TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — The University of Alabama’s latest television commercial for the award-winning Where Legends Are Made branding campaign celebrates the achievements of its influential UA alumni.
After an opening scene that features the Crimson Tide football team, viewers are introduced to a montage of UA Legends represented in scenes highlighting their accomplishments as entrepreneurs, authors, performers, innovators and CEOs.
“What most people know about us is that we play great football,” said Linda Bonnin, creator of the campaign and UA’s vice president for strategic communications. “In the commercial, we pivot from that to the rest of the story. Let’s talk about the great things our alumni have created and done that you may not know us for.”
UA’s entrepreneurial spirit is showcased in a scene featuring students meeting at The EDGE, a new state-of-the-art facility that supports entrepreneurial collaboration and innovation. The scene pays homage to such UA alumni as Joe Gibbs, co-founder of The Golf Channel; Jimmy Wales, co-founder of Wikipedia; and John Hendricks, founder of Discovery Channel.
A second scene showcases a stack of books written by UA alumni. These include The New York Times Best Seller “The Help,” by Kathryn Stockett, who earned her degree in English and creative writing from UA; “Forrest Gump,” by Winston Groom, who graduated from UA in 1965; and the Pulitzer Prize-winning “To Kill a Mockingbird,” by Harper Lee, who studied law at UA and edited the campus newspaper. She received an honorary doctorate from UA’s College of Arts and Sciences in 1990.
The University’s influence on the performing arts is represented in a backstage shot at UA’s Allen Bales Theatre. The scene pays tribute to UA alumni such as Sonequa Martin-Green, Sela Ward and Michael Luwoye for their accomplishments on stage and screen.
A subsequent scene was shot in Tuscaloosa’s Alberta community at a house built by Habitat for Humanity, founded by the late Millard Fuller, who earned his law degree from UA in 1960. For his work, Fuller was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, in 1996. The house featured in the commercial was built through a partnership between Habitat for Humanity and the Nick’s Kids Foundation, created by UA Head Football Coach Nick Saban and his wife, Terry.
The closing moments feature Marillyn Hewson, chairman, president and CEO of Lockheed Martin Corp, also an alumnus of UA. Hewson is seen directing a meeting at the Lockheed Martin facility in Bethesda, Maryland. She was named one of TIME magazine’s “100 Most Influential People in the World” for 2019, and CEO of the Year in 2018 by Chief Executive magazine. Hewson was also recognized as No. 1 on Fortune magazine’s “50 Most Powerful Women in Business” in 2018.
Bonnin is quick to point out this is just a sampling of UA’s alumni who have had a profound impact on their industries and the world.
“Our graduates have given the world amazing gifts with their talent and entrepreneurial spirit, and they continue to bring national and international recognition to The University of Alabama,” said Bonnin. “We want the world to know this is the place where legends are made, and we can back up that assertion every day with the accomplishments of our alumni.”
The commercial was written and produced by UA’s Division of Strategic Communications. Earlier this year, Where Legends Are Made was named the #1 advertising campaign internationally for higher education by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education through its 2019 Circle of Excellence awards program.
The University of Alabama, the state’s oldest and largest public institution of higher education, is a student-centered research university that draws the best and brightest to an academic community committed to providing a premier undergraduate and graduate education. UA is dedicated to achieving excellence in scholarship, collaboration and intellectual engagement; providing public outreach and service to the state of Alabama and the nation; and nurturing a campus environment that fosters collegiality, respect and inclusivity.