The University of Wyoming’s “The World Needs More Cowboys” campaign video was recognized as the best single-spot television ad among all national higher education advertising in the past year.

The video, which anchors UW’s comprehensive marketing and branding campaign launched in 2018, earned the Best of Show honor in the 34th annual Educational Advertising Awards competition, sponsored by Higher Education Marketing Report.

The overall campaign, UW’s first in at least a decade, was recognized with a Silver Award in the “integrated marketing campaign” category of the competition, which had more than 2,200 entries from more than 1,000 colleges, universities and secondary schools from all 50 states and several foreign countries. The awards were announced last week.

Additionally, UW’s video and marketing campaign Saturday received regional “Addy” awards in the American Advertising Federation’s American Advertising Awards competition in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

The video was named Best of Show among all entries in the competition, which is for advertising of all types, not just higher education. And UW’s overall campaign won a Gold Addy in the category of integrated, branded content campaigns.

The regional Addys are the first of a three-tier national competition. By virtue of their Gold recognition, both the video and the overall campaign advance to the next level.

The American Advertising Awards, which attract nearly 35,000 professional and student entries each year, recognize and reward the creative spirit of excellence in all advertising.

“It’s wonderful to see that our marketing campaign and its anthem video are being recognized as outstanding not only among higher education institutions, but also across all types of advertising,” UW President Laurie Nichols said in a press release. “We know ‘The World Needs More Cowboys’ has galvanized UW alumni and other supporters across the country and even internationally, while catching the attention of thousands of prospective students and many others.

“The external validation in professional advertising circles demonstrates the power and impact of the campaign among a variety of audiences.”

Drawing upon Wyoming’s heritage, the release said the campaign redefines what it means to be a Cowboy in this day and age, distilling it down to the inner spirit of curiosity and boldness that all who call themselves Cowboys and Cowgirls can identify with — no matter their race or gender.

The campaign had been criticized for being sexist and racist.

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