New Monsters University Ad and Website Use Brilliant Parody to Get Old People

January 6, 2013 — Leave a comment

Young monsters looking for an excellent post secondary education should strongly consider Monsters University, says the beautiful new recruitment television ad. It’s a place “Where those who embrace their history become those who create it.” Potential applicants can learn more about MU at a nifty new website.

But wait – the ad isn’t meant to recruit monsters to go to a real animated university for real animated monsters. The ad’s job is to promote the Monsters University movie, premiering June 21, 2013. It’s a spot-on parody of the awfully scary, terrifying ads for colleges that we’ve all seen. Some are gouge-my-eyes-and-ears-out-awful. Hey Appalachian State, you are not, in any way, hot hot hot. Sorry.

But wait – the website’s job isn’t merely to sell movie tickets and toys. It’s to boost the whole Monsters franchise, which is smaller than Cars and Toy Story. The movie Monsters, Inc. will be 12 years old when the sequel comes out, so the website will give the whole franchise another thing for fans to talk about, which helps Pixar, which helps Disney. Oh, happy anniversary Disney. It’s almost seven years to the day since you and Pixar got married.

The Monsters University campus map.

The Monsters University campus map.

It’s a great website, spoofing education communications really well. At the Alumni page: “Seeking intern or employee talent? Don’t forget MU’s ‘Monsters Hiring Monsters’ initiative.” Easter eggs and surprises are baked in, and the writing pimps the platitudes of communications in academia. There’s a login feature, but it goes nowhere. Gotta be a tease for future functionality as we get closer to the premier.

Back in June 2012, this Monsters University trailer was released, but it was just a typical, average trailer, and the site was launched back in October to little fanfare. That’s a pretty fractured and boring release strategy. But this parody spoof campaign seems new, and really smart.

The movie is an animated cartoon for kids, right? But wait – the recruitment ad and the website aren’t targeted to kids. Hey, the recruitment ad broke during the Rose Bowl, which doesn’t exactly pull in the youth market. And kids won’t get the parody of the ad, or the website. Disney/Pixar’s target is old people, like me. The strategy here is “get adults into Monsters University.” That’s smart business. 

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