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David M. Henahan, director of communications
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David.Henahan@esc.edu

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July 13, 2011

SUNY Empire State College Ad Wins NORI Award

40th Anniversary Logo

(Saratoga Springs, N.Y. – June 25, 2011) – “Parkour,” a television commercial produced to recruit new students to SUNY Empire State College, was honored by the Albany Ad Club Association of Professional Communicators with a NORI Award at a gala event in Schenectady in June.

The prestigious NORI honors outstanding achievement in regional advertising and communications; the creative competition is judged by professionals with broad-based design and advertising experience committed to high standards of excellence in communications.

“I commend the team from Empire State College and Elevation Films, who worked together to develop this commercial,” said President Alan R. Davis. “The ad speaks directly to prospective students who juggle family, work and civic responsibilities and would benefit from the college’s open, flexible ways of earning a college degree. This ad was an inspired example of fresh thinking, as the college continues to reach out to a younger population.”

“Receiving a NORI for our television commercial is an honor since submissions are judged by national experts in the field of advertising and marketing,” college Director of Marketing Renelle Shampeny said.

“Parkour” features professional athletes running in both urban and park settings, leaping across rooftops and scaling walls as they overcome mental and physical barriers, much like adults who work and have families must do in order to also be college students explains Shampeny. The discipline originated with the French military to teach soldiers how to traverse territory quickly and safely and requires physical and mental skill and strength and keen alertness.

The concept for the TV spot was proposed by director/editor Tom Gliserman and Patricia Lane, owner and producer of Elevation Films, a small Saratoga Springs company. Shampeny says it was targeted at an audience in their 20s to 40s, who could identify with the idea of conquering challenges.

The commercial took a day to film in Saratoga Springs in locations including Broadway downtown, side streets and the Saratoga Spa State Park, and about a month to edit and enhance with a soundtrack. SUNY Empire State College staff served as extras alongside the Washington, D.C.-based parkour experts, whose breathtaking moves drew a crowd and media during the shoot.

The 30-second spot was aired 5,000 times in September 2010 and 5,000 times in April 2011 on cable stations in New York state markets from Riverhead, Long Island to Buffalo, and has elicited hundreds of inquiries from prospective students, according to Shampeny, who worked on the project with Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Services Hugh Hammett, Vice President for Communications and Government Relations Mary Caroline Powers, Senior Marketing Director John McKenna and Assistant Director of Media Production and Resources John Hughes.

Elevation Films also produced a second TV spot, “Ivy,” a conceptual commercial in which ivy leaves fall in different shapes, representing key concepts that make the college unique. Both “Parkour” and “Ivy” won Best of Category Awards for Excellence in television advertising at the annual SUNYCUAD (Council for University Advancement) conference held in Saratoga Springs.

About SUNY Empire State College

Celebrating its 40th anniversary throughout 2011, SUNY Empire State College was established in 1971 to offer adult learners the opportunity to earn associate, bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the State University of New York. Students learn through independent studies, online courses, seminars and residencies. Learners also may earn credit for prior college-level learning from work and life experience.

The college serves more than 20,000 students worldwide at 35 locations in New York state and online. Its 63,000 alumni are active in their communities as entrepreneurs, politicians, business professionals, artists, not-for-profit agency employees, teachers, veterans and active military, union members and more.

For additional information, visit www.esc.edu. For more on the 40th anniversary, please follow this link.

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