Be Bold: UO unveils new television commercial

First new spot in 5 years spotlights the unique nature of Oregon

The University of Oregon has unveiled its first new promotional television commercial in five years, a 30-second spot titled “Be Bold.”

“We wanted it to be different from the typical college institutional message,” said Phil Weiler, the UO’s senior director of communications. “We wanted this commercial to communicate the character of the UO — what makes it unique.”

So instead of aerial shots of campus or images of students studying a library, the ad depicts UO students engaged in a variety of activities — running track, dancing, rock climbing, kayaking, working in a lab.

“Now is the time to be bold; to explore; to evolve. This is who you are: Unconventional; exceptional. Own it. Be proud of it. Be open to adventure,” the narrator intones over a soaring indie pop tune called “Welcome Home,” by Radical Face. “This is real; this is now; this is how you change everything: This is the University of Oregon.”

All the scenes in the commercial were shot on or near campus last May over three days, featuring more than 20 UO students. The scenes were shot with natural light to give the commercial a more “natural, authentic” feel, Weiler said.

“We wanted it to look real, not posed or stiff or staged,” he said.

The 30-second commercial airs during telecasts of UO football and basketball games and other events. During televised games, broadcasters typically provide free air time at half time for participating universities to air promotional commercials.

The university also features the commercial on the “About Us” page of the home site it plans to roll out later this fall, and on social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter.

The commercial was produced for the UO by Fleishman Hillard, a St. Louis, Mo., communications firm. It replaces the “Cool O” commercial the university has used to promote itself in recent years.

— Contact UO Web reporter Tim Christie at