Last month, New Brunswick’s own Université de Moncton became the sexiest university in the world. How? By releasing a 30-second promotional video titled “Université de Moncton 2015.” The name might be innocent, but the video is anything but. The word juicy comes to mind. What I’m referring to is the pornstar kiss between two students at the nine-second mark.
The ad exploded around the world, making waves in the United States and even getting featured in a Taiwanese newspaper under the headline “Students Can Kiss When Selling! Canadian Universities Ad Suction Eye.” Google Translate’s never 100 per cent correct, but I take it to mean that the Republic of China will soon be getting their own campus of UdeM.
While some found the kiss harmless, not all were pleased. Firstly, there’s the obvious question of why the hell the university wants to give the impression that its students are making babies in the library (though I’ll admit that the same tactic got my roommate pretty interested in working for Pearson Hardman).
Secondly, and more importantly, some are upset with the entire concept of the ad itself. They’re asking tough questions that can’t be answered with flippant references to Suits, such as why only six seconds of the ad were devoted to academia and why the ad plays better when overplayed with the audio of a beer commercial. UdeM is an institution dedicated to self-improvement, learning, and wisdom, is it not? Why sell ourselves short?
For many, it comes down to the commodification of education, which is an issue that is not altogether foreign to us here at UNB. We might not have an advertising controversy, but we do have an administration that views itself as a business and a Board of Governors that views students as clients. Our friends in Moncton are in the same boat as us. It just happens to be a far sexier boat.