If you happen to be in New York City’s Times Square this week, you may see a shout out to Montclair.
All week long, a Montclair State University student-produced 30-second short film promoting Montclair State University’s Feliciano School of Business will be broadcast on a prime-location Times Square video billboard. The short featuring the University’s mascot, Rocky the Red Hawk, and a cameo appearance by MSU President Susan A. Cole, the piece will run four times per hour throughout the week.
According to Feliciano School of Business Dean Greg Cant, advertising on a billboard in Times Square would have previously been too pricey to consider, but business school donor and namesake Mimi Feliciano made it possible when she won it at a charity auction and presented it as a gift to the university last fall. It was then up to the business school to devise a plan that would best utilize the one-of- a-kind opportunity.
“It’s one of the most iconic, photographed spots in the world,” said Cant. “Normally when we think about advertising, we think about buses, billboards and tags on the bottom of computer screens. It was a completely different process to think about advertising in such a large, busy space; what would make us stand out in that highly stimulating environment?”
The university decided to pose that question to the student body and launched the “Feliciano Times Square Challenge.” Students across the University were invited to pitch film concepts that would promote the Feliciano School of Business’ innovation in 30-seconds, in the context of a Times Square digital billboard. More than a chance to promote the business school at the crossroads of the world, the Feliciano Times Square Challenge presented an opportunity to gain interdepartmental cross-collaboration and experiential credentials for students.
From the student submissions, the winning storyboard was produced with the supervision of MSU’s School of Communication and Media News Producer (and Montclair resident) Steve McCarthy.
The silent video features the University mascot Rocky the Red Hawk, who ultimately earns his MSU business degree and achieves success.
For Daniel Fedkenheuer, one of the student producers behind the film, having his team’s work displayed in Times Square reinforces that he should follow his dreams. “This project is a fantastic kickstart to what I hope will be a successful career in the field of advertising, and a treasured moment that I will claim for the rest of my life.”