Big Network On Campus, TUN Has Them Tuning In

As marketers bemoan diminishing returns from TV and print efforts targeting 18- to 24-year-olds, many see out-of-home media as a savior. The University Network (TUN) has emerged as a new option, promising the exposure on major college campuses that many advertisers crave.

TUN's campus presence comes in the form of flat-panel displays in high-volume corridors of student unions and recreation centers. TUN pays for the displays and works with its university partners to create the content, a mix of campus news/announcements and quick-hit ads. Revenues are shared with the schools.

Since its launch in early 2003, TUN has found its way into more than 100 universities. And according to a survey of 1,100 students conducted on 10 TUN campuses by an independent provider, the audience is paying attention: 93 percent of those surveyed say they check the displays at least once per day, and 67 percent recalled the advertised products unaided.

Current and previous advertisers include DreamWorks, Dell, and Cingular. "Students want to be grabbed and we want to get information to them in a way they'll pay attention to, so this works all around," says Charlie Salas, associate director for the LBJ Student Center at Texas State University. Plus, he adds with a laugh, "It doesn't cost us anything."

TUN hopes to grow its base to 700 universities by the end of 2008, at which point TUN founder David Sanders claims the network will be able to deliver 30 million impressions per week.

Larry Dobrow is a regular contributor to MEDIA magazine. This article is republished from the December issue

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