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Cactus Launches Westwood College TV Commercial

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July 2008


Cactus, a Denver-based full-service advertising agency, has partnered with Westwood College to launch “Changing Backgrounds,” a clever television spot that hits home with young adults who aspire to pursue rewarding careers beyond burger-flipping and window washing.

“Westwood College is a leader and innovator in their industry, providing education and training solutions for tomorrow’s workforce,” said Norm Shearer, Cactus creative director. “Together, we’re producing work that we can stand behind and that we believe in.”

Charged to bolster Westwood College’s reputable brand image among prospects, students, teachers, parents and employers, and to generate qualified leads and increase enrollment, Cactus took a fresh approach to the college’s traditional direct response television advertising.

Featuring a typical post-high school graduate, ”Changing Backgrounds” taps into the frustrations that young adults experience while working dead-end jobs without a plan to achieve their desired career goals. Discovering traditional university life or jobs in minimum wage industries aren’t the right fit, the graduate responds to an advertisement for Westwood College. He then receives education and valuable experience, which eventually leads him into the successful career he has always desired.

“Our team at Cactus was inspired by Westwood College's passion and drive to make education more valuable and accessible for those whom traditional college programs aren’t a good fit, or who otherwise may have not attended college altogether,” said Shearer. “This commercial is designed to universally appeal to young adults who are searching for a better life and fulfilling career.”

With multiple end tags, the spot can be customized for Westwood College’s campuses in California, Colorado, Illinois, Georgia and Virginia to promote different career programs, including criminal justice, design, business and healthcare, offered at local campuses.

In conjunction with the “Changing Backgrounds” TV spot, Cactus has also launched an online component including HTML and Flash banner advertisements. With headlines such as “Go from making a living, to making a life” and “Throw away your throw-away job,” the banner ads feature young adult students in pursuit of rewarding careers and are consistent in appearance, tone and message with the TV spot.

“Westwood College engaged Cactus in January 2008 to reinforce their brand image while continuing to attract qualified prospects,” said Shearer. “They appreciated our ideas and long-term strategic thinking for integrated and interactive tactics that are more relevant, meaningful and effective with younger audiences. This first TV spot is the beginning of our partnership toward more innovative marketing solutions.”
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