Pixar is infamous for its clever and witty marketing campaigns for its films. The Monsters University campaign has been particularly creative as the studio launched a full-blown university website for MU packed goodies such as an admission page, student life section, student store (with some merchandise clothing having multiple arms) and more!
Well, the campaign isn’t solely for the online world. Yesterday I had a little surprise from Monsters University arrive in the mail: an MU alumni packet! I didn’t know I was an alum, but hey, I’ll take it! (More on that below.)
The package was contained in an envelope from the Monsters University School of Scaring. It was addressed to me and The Rotoscopers. To the best of my recollection, I don’t remember signing up for anything on the website, so I’m pretty sure that this was a press-only piece.
Within the envelope was all the goodies. The first being a letter address to me from Dean Abigail Hardscrabble. In the letter (below), Dean Hardscrabble encourages me as a MU alumnus Scarer to be proud of my collegiate heritage and to remember that “razor-sharp teeth, bloodshot eyes, serrated claws and even magnificent webbed wings do not make us great monsters. It is what buried deep within our very souls that makes us true scarers.” And in typical alumni letter fashion, the last paragraph is a call for me to continue contributing and donating to the university (aka asking for money).
The next piece is the Spring/Summer Monsters University School of Scaring Alumni News. The four-page, color newsletter is printed on high quality glossy paper and prominently showcases MU’s latest achievement: the School of Scaring was just ranked No. 1 in Scaring for the 143rd consecutive year in Monster News & Report rankings. The paper also contains an alumni spotlight of scarer “Frightening” Frank McCay (Class of 1977), a current student spotlight (Johnny Worthington III, a jock-looking senior), a story commemorating seven centuries of institutional excellence, more news stories, a calendar of events, and advertisements for Harryhausen’s, Monster’s Inc, and the MU store.
Up next is a MU Alumni sticker decal so I can proudly display on my car monstromobile, computer, or binder that I am an MU alumnus. It’s pretty big and I’m actually pretty excited to find a place to put this.
Lastly, what seemed to be the most initially boring piece turned out to be the most intriguing. A return-mail piece and envelope saying that “Yes! I’m pleased to help accelerate MU’s progress by continuing my support of the 2013-2014 Campaign for Monster University” (translation: yes, I’ll donate money). Now, I would have filled this out; however, the address goes to “Monsters University, P.O. Box A113, Monstropolis.” Since I don’t live in Monstropolis, and have no idea where it is, I doubt USPS would have any clue what to do with the letter without a zip code. Oh well, it was all fun in the end.
But wait! That’s not all, folks! That return letter had a web address to the MU alumni page. Since Pixar typically doesn’t just put things like that in its marketing pieces for no reason, I decided to leave no stone unturned and check out the page. And whaddya know? I discovered this message:
Uh oh! It looks like there has been a distribution error in the latest MU alumni newsletter! Guess it wasn’t supposed to go to me after all (seems obvious since I’m a human and not a monster). Well, too bad, MU! I’m definitely not destroying and disposing of the contents of my package! Now I know that monsters do exist and have a whole university devoted to scaring children! Now I must go tell the world! (On a side note: this isn’t the first time the MU website has had problems. Yesterday, the site was hacked and defaced by rival school Fear Tech). No other blogs that also received the letter caught this little tidbit, so I pretty excited that I was the first person to catch it and report it.
All in all, this was a pretty exciting package to receive. Being a marketer, I’m absolutely fascinated with Pixar’s ability to create unique, engaging campaigns for its films. The Monsters University viral campaign is now in full swing and I’m excited to see what the next few months leading up to the film’s release brings. I can only imagine that the campaign will push even harder. And I really hope I receive another MU letter by accident.
Monsters University opens in theatres June 21, 2013.
What is your favorite part of the MU Alumni campaign? Did you accidentally receive a letter in the mail?
Morgan is an Arizona native who's had a lifelong passion for animation. Her favorite animated films are Aladdin, Beauty & the Beast, and The Iron Giant. She earned an MBA in Marketing from Arizona State University and now runs her own business where she coaches and trains entrepreneurs how to launch, grow & scale successful online businesses.