November 7, 2023

Purdue marketing leaders to share insights on Purdue Global’s brand building at Ad Age’s ‘Business of Brands’ event in New York City

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Purdue Global encourages working adults to start their comeback to advance their careers and increase their social and economic mobility. Marketing leaders from the online school will share their experiences launching Purdue Global’s own comeback during Ad Age’s Business of Brands event Nov. 8-9 in New York City.

Purdue Global will serve as a co-presenting sponsor of the event, which features 16 sessions led by marketing leaders from Major League Soccer, the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee, SAP, Colgate-Palmolive, Moderna, Keurig Dr Pepper and others on how the business of brands is changing. Purdue Global, Purdue’s online university for working adults, will highlight how data-based insights helped in the launch of its latest brand and marketing platform, “This Is My Comeback.”

Additional Information

Ad Age’s Business of Brands brings together industry leaders to examine how the business of brands is changing and the role marketing plays in the evolution. Marketing leaders examine the catalysts, disruptions and innovations that are setting the stage for today’s brands.

“We have been on a remarkable journey over the past 18 months with Purdue Global,” said Kati Pratt, executive director of brand and marketing strategy. “Purdue Global is built for working adults. We see value in what they bring to the table and how they want to take the next step for themselves. Purdue Global is about providing real opportunity and opening doors for more students.”

Pratt and R. Ethan Braden, executive vice president and chief marketing and communications officer for Purdue University and Purdue Global, will present “Reimagining Online Education” on Nov. 9. The talk will be moderated by John Dioso, Studio 30 editor for Ad Age.

‘This Is My Comeback’: A brand revolution

Purdue Global’s own comeback started with conversations among Braden, Pratt and Purdue Global Chancellor Frank Dooley. Those conversations launched a collaborative effort with leadership, faculty and staff exploring what defines a Purdue Global education and experience in a crowded online market, tapping the more than 40 million Americans who have some college credit but no degree.

“This Is My Comeback” launched in April. Purdue Marketing and Communications engaged with longtime partners Ologie and BrandTrust, which also helped with Purdue University’s rebranding in 2020. A team conducted extensive research over a 12-month period with Purdue Global students, prospective students, student advisors, faculty, alumni and business partners. The current student snapshot at Purdue Global — which has more than 35,000 students enrolled and awards an estimated 11,000 degrees and certificates each year — includes these data points:

  • 59% of students are 30 years of age or older.
  • 40% of students are from underserved populations.
  • 52% of students have a child or other dependents.
  • 50% are first-generation college students.
  • Approximately 10,000 are military-affiliated students, a population that includes uniformed personnel, veterans and eligible dependents.

Purdue’s “What Can You Imagine at Purdue?” YouTube video — which has more than 29 million views since launching in November 2022 — was recently a winner for Best Motivational Video or Video Series in the 2023 Content Marketing Awards. The video follows a young girl as she imagines her educational journey — from completing high school at Purdue Polytechnic High Schools and then going on to Purdue’s flagship campus in West Lafayette, Indiana — as well as her father’s journey as he completes his degree with Purdue Global. The video concept was developed by Purdue marketing staff and produced by Toledo-based Madhouse.

In addition to winning Marketer of the Year and being named finalist for Project of the Year, Purdue was also a winner or finalist in seven other Content Marketing Institute award categories, which were announced earlier in the season:

  • Braden, B2C Content Marketer of the Year, Winner
  • This Is Purdue” podcast — Best Podcast/Audio Series, Finalist
  • “What Can You Imagine at Purdue?” — Paid Advertising/Content Marketing Integration, Finalist
  • The Persistent Pursuit— Best Content-Driven Website, Finalist
  • “Sounds of Persistence” video series — Best Short Form Video or Video Series as Part of a Content Marketing Program, Finalist (Aidan O’ConnellRaven ColvinMason Gillis)
  • Purdue MarCom 2022 Impact Report— Best Annual Report — Editorial, Finalist
  • Semiconductor Campus — Visual Storytelling — Best Use of Illustration, Finalist

“What Can You Imagine at Purdue?” is also a finalist in Campaign US 2023 BIG Awards’ video category. Those awards will be announced Nov. 15 in New York City.

Connecting humans and online experiences

To some people, online education is characterized as something that can be done anywhere by anyone.

But at Purdue Global, it’s more than that. In many instances the person enrolled in online classes is balancing full-time work and caregiving responsibilities.

“Our team has been constructing this brand by building relationships with students and alumni,” Pratt said. “By being empathetic, passionate and personable and meeting them where they are, we’re able to gather authentic stories to share across our various platforms.”

During the past 10 months, team members have visited alumni and students in Chicago; Indianapolis; Fort Wayne; and Bloomington, Illinois, as well as at commencements in West Lafayette and Anaheim, California. Stories and videos are used across social media, media relations and more, including sporting events, as Purdue Global is in the second year of a multiyear sponsorship with Purdue Athletics.

“It’s a wonderful opportunity to share these comebacks,” Pratt said. “We look forward to sharing more comeback stories so others can be inspired to start or restart their journey.”

Writer/Media contact: Matthew Oates,, 765-496-6160, @mo_oates

Sources: Kati Pratt, Abby Eddy

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