April 13, 2010

Adv. Week Exclusive: God & Cdigix at Yale


In 1951, a twenty-five-year old Yale graduate published his first book, which detailed his thesis of what he saw as an extraordinarily irresponsible educational attitude prevailing at his alma mater.

Hmmm... the more things change, the more they stay the same. Things have certainly changed at Yale and in fact at all the top schools in the country. There is practically no part of college life that has not been turned upside down. Yet, the simple fact is that we continue to see news reports on a weekly basis exposing one type of irresponsibility or another that are too numerous to recap. It's not just the students. Sometimes it's the faculty.

This book rocked the academic world and catapulted its young controversial author, William F. Buckley Jr., into the public spotlight. With the Fall 2006/07 semester on its way, "God" (as it is referred to in certain circles) celebrates the fifty-fifth year anniversary of its publication.


Ironically, there is one positive news report that the Ivy's, various NCAA's, Big 10 and PAC 10 and SEC 10 schools can boast about; news about their official college entertainment portal.

Over the last 4 years, schools such as Yale, Columbia, UCLA, Michigan, Purdue and about 100 top academic institution administrations have provided a free platform of entertainment and college curriculum tools to their students and faculty which enable almost 1 million students access to over 2 millions songs, hundreds of videos, and MySpace-like college community environments at no charge.

It's called Cdigix, which stands for College Digital; or as students refer to it as "C." To date, Cdigix has not taken advertising. However, beginning with the 2006/07 school year, virtually all of Cdigix college partners have endorsed and encouraged Cdigix to offer advertising sponsorships to name-brand marketers, only.

The Web 2.0 Portal To The College Marketplace

Once students' register for and log on at Yale.edu, they don't see Cdigix. They see Yale University. That's because Cdigix is baked into the campus IT system, so that it is one and the same with the school. So anytime a student makes a purchase on their college branded Cdigix, the school--not Cdigix--bills the student's account like they do for all their college-based purchases. In essence, it is seamless for all parties and will continue to be for advertisers.

It is also exclusive. Colleges contract with Cdigix as their exclusive and official interactive entertainment partner. This enables them to offer both online and on-campus advertising opportunities in ways that no other college media company can provide.


College teens and twentysomethings also have money to spend. Seventeen million people are now enrolled in U.S. colleges, the largest number in history, spending $182 billion a year--$46 billion of which is discretionary spending, up 12% from last year, according to market research firm Harris Interactive.


It all sounds dumb-simple, right? Not really. Few on Madison Avenue have not heard the drum beating both for and against the merits of communities advertising in illegal file-sharing, racy and dangerous content on many of the community file-share sites.

Advertisers marketing to college students have particular pressure on them. While the audiences are impressive, the fear of backlash or worse, litigation has made almost every major advertiser take stock before they jump in.

The pressure can boil over as well when they find virtually no risk-free way of reaching a market with media habits such as:

Students More Likely Webheads Than TV Addicts

Marketing To College Students: Go Web!

"Class in session for gadgets." --Must-have college tech.

Cdigix is different. It's a hybrid of Napster, Facebook and YouTube with a couple of major differences, namely it has no illegal file sharing, is virus free and no tasteless content. It was incubated at Yale, Duke and Purdue and is now the official online content provider for over 100 top schools around the country.


Whether you agree or disagree with William F. Buckley, both sides universally acknowledge that his book raised the discussion of the college environment, which to date still roars on.

A POV agreeing with Buckley

Buckley is precise in describing how he felt traditional American values were being ignored, undermined, and distorted by academics. He makes his case by citing specific classes, instructors, and textbooks. In the revised edition he brings readers up to date on how critics and the public responded when the book originally came out.

A POV disagreeing with Buckley

Without going into detail, or needing to, you will find in a nutshell that Mr. Buckley feels it's fine for Yale faculty of faith to gently shepherd students toward [his] beliefs within their science and math classes, but it's a sin for the other, heathen, atheistic masters, to rampage through the clay of young minds and, in one semester, destroy the fragile faith of 18 to 20 years [of his religious] indoctrination. Pu-leese!

In the same regard, Cdigix also has raised the eyes, the interest and the expectations of both college administrators and students alike. Now, the opportunity is there for marketers to enjoy this new college experience.

Look for more coverage and proprietary research of the Cdigix college students' online media usage later this week. Enjoy Advertising Week.

For more information about Cdigix, please contact The Editors at editor@madisonavenuejournal.com

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