Marketing company says Engineering billboard is 'brave' not risky

Louisville, KY - By Elizabeth Donatelli - bio | email

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - A new billboard is getting a lot of attention from drivers on I-71 heading into Spaghetti Junction. It's a tongue-in-cheek approach to the slow moving progress on the proposed bridges. It's sponsored by the University of Louisville's Speed School of Engineering, but some question if it's going too far.

Dan Barbercheck, president of Red7e, the marketing company that worked on the ad, called it a "brave" ad to run.

"I mean we've done things for other clients that are more risky, but it's braver than most clients would be willing to go to touch on something that might be more controversial," explained Barbercheck.

The Speed School posted the billboard with this daily reminder to drivers: "Without engineers the bridge could never be built, even if we knew where to put it."

Dean Mickey Wilhelm says the marketing campaign is not directed at prospective students, but to teach people about what engineers do.

"To remind the public without engineers it really wouldn't matter where you put the bridges," said Wilhelm. "They have to be designed, and those people that do the design of infrastructure like large bridges are engineers."

Wilhelm denies that the billboard is sending a message that the University is taking sides and says it is not political. The ad campaign is paid for by an endowment specifically for public relations, not by university dollars.

"You're reading way too much into it," said Wilhelm. "It's a lighthearted, hopefully humorous way to get the message across about engineering, not about the bridges."

Barbercheck credits Wilhelm for the creative idea, while Wilhelm said it was a collaborative effort.

One woman we spoke with agreed with the Dean and said it's exactly right.

"It's a top notched school in the country and it's a very true statement," said Carol Voyles of New Albany who is in favor of the bridges.

Another man said the ad is too wordy and confusing.

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