Oregon State University

Trains, Tiburones and Beavers: What do they all have in common?

“Portland is Happening Now” is suddenly happening everywhere. The cross-platform marketing campaign launched this year and invades the public’s consciousness: A song by the Tiburones, funky commercials on TV and YouTube, the ubiquitous #PDXnow hashtag and a train car takeover. The campaign tattoos the message into jealous hipster hearts everywhere that it’s high time to live it up in the nation’s coolest city. The campaign is a digital marketing strategist’s dream. So where did it start? Portland, Ore., of course.

When Travel Portland needed to showcase the spirit of the community to the world via an effective, cross-platform marketing campaign, it stayed local and went to the world-renowned marketing firm, Wieden+Kennedy. “Portland is Happening Now” captures the quirky, vibrant culture that is Portland’s brand, and by extension, the company that created it.

"One of the ways we get a quick read on an idea is by thinking about all the different places and ways it can come to life," said Zach Gallagher, director of interactive strategy at Wieden+Kennedy and an Oregon State instructor. "That’s not to say every idea has to work in every channel, but when you can immediately imagine a bunch of social/digital/interactive ways a story could draw your audience in, it gives you more confidence that the time spent working with clients and partners will result in a campaign that feels big.”

This type of audience interaction with a brand, especially on digital platforms, doesn’t just happen with a press release and a commercial. This is exactly why Beaver Nation’s newest online certificate was created. Professional and Continuing Education (PACE) designed a digital brand management certificate to help marketing and communications professionals increase their digital technology and branding savvy across media channels.

PACE partnered with industry professionals like Gallagher, OSU alum and digital brand marketing manager for adidas Jeremy Darlow and director of social media and content for Portent, Inc Sara Lingafelter, to provide expertise in digital communication challenges for participants in the online Strategic Approach to Digital Brand Management certificate.

“Up until very recently, nobody went to school to be an online marketer; we all evolved into it from other disciplines,” said Lingafelter. “I think of my career as a series of degrees. At REI I got my MBA in REI, now at Portent I'm working on my Ph.D. in organizational leadership and strategic marketing. I love that with the OSU Strategic Approach to Digital Brand Management certificate. I'm able to bring that perspective to students: the reminder that wherever I am on my career path, I'm learning something that may come in handy to open the next door I come to.”

Students will be immersed in cutting-edge campaigns, engage with cross platform technology and work with the digital marketing world’s mavericks. The Strategic Approach to Digital Brand Management certificate’s four courses focus on designing effective content across marketing channels, building a content strategy and managing social media effectively — the very same elements that went into the Travel Portland campaign. Each course will be seven weeks in length and priced at $475 individually. This certificate is a partnership between the School of Writing, Literature and Film’s College of Liberal Arts and Professional and Continuing Education.

For more information, check out: http://bit.ly/DigitalComm.

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