University of Nebraska on a roll with moving billboards
Omaha, Neb. -- Oct. 24, 2003 -- The University of Nebraska rolled out a new advertising campaign today.

On 18 wheels.

As part of an innovative national promotion, the university has partnered with Crete Carrier Corp. to create a small fleet of "rolling billboards" – that is, 53-foot semi-trailers with mural-like University of Nebraska advertising on the sides.

The gigantic billboards will be seen rolling on interstate highways between Kansas City and Omaha and on freeways and highways in all of the lower 48 states. The huge eye-catching messages tout the university’s "Pioneering New Frontiers" campaign and promote pioneering successes in personal student achievements, life-saving cancer research and innovative technology, with bold graphic images of a computer infrastructure, a DNA helix and portraits of students and young alumni from all four University of Nebraska campuses.

The rolling ad promotion uses a cutting-edge advertising medium that is unique for universities, according to university marketing director Sharon Stephan.

"It is an innovative way to market the university and it fits well with our university-wide marketing theme of ‘Pioneering New Frontiers’," she said. "It’s also far more cost-effective than traditional outdoor advertising due to the broad reach and longevity of the promotion."

Crete Carrier Corp., headquartered in Lincoln, donated the sides of five new semi-trailers for the project. Bailey Lauerman marketing communications proposed the marketing idea and designed three billboards that are applied as decals, in sections, with the support of Wabash National, a Lafayette, Ind.-based trailer manufacturer.

"We at Crete Carriers are pleased to assist the University of Nebraska and are proud to display the many great things they are doing in research in addition to how well they benefit the many students they serve," said Duane Acklie, Crete Carrier chairman. Acklie said that whenever Crete can help pass the message to potential students, it is for the purpose of benefiting those students through their education and careers.

University of Nebraska President L. Dennis Smith said the unique promotion should gain some national attention.

"This is an innovative approach to marketing a university that is becoming known for innovation," Smith said. "The images represent three of the real strengths we have on our four campuses: undergraduate education, medical research and information technology."

Three of the trailers were ready to roll this weekend and two were showcased Oct. 24 prior to the University of Nebraska Foundation annual meeting of trustees at Qwest Convention Center in Omaha.

"One trailer will be on a dedicated Omaha-Kansas City route so Nebraskans will see it in this area frequently," Stephan said. "Other trailers will travel throughout the lower 48 states over the next several years. According to an article in the Business Journal of Kansas City, traffic is estimated at 100,000 vehicles per day crossing the river just north of Kansas City. These trucks will be seen by thousands every day."

Trailers will also appear at key events such as football games and alumni gatherings, as schedules permit, she said.
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