A Monstrous College Website

Carnegie Higher Ed Oct 17, 2012 Carnegie Higher Ed Persona The Visionary Frontrunner

One of my best college buddies sent me an instant message the other day that totally stopped me in my tracks. After being freshman-year neighbors and conquering the communications program at Penn State, you can say we’ve been through a lot together. But other than an occasional request to be her personal thesaurus, our career paths don’t really cross: I’m up in Boston doing my thing here at Carnegie, while she’s down in D.C. being a guru at a social media company. However, her IM the other day proved me wrong. Her company’s client, Pixar, launched a website to promote the prequel to the movie Monsters, Inc. Behold: Monsters University.

Our worlds collided.

(Go ahead. Browse around that website for a bit. I’ll let you finish.)

Seriously, how great is that? Naturally, the site went viral here in the office. Even my own editor pointed out that this faux website is better than some real college websites. It’s sad, but come on college experts—you know it’s true. (But what else would you expect from one of the most innovative, industry-changing companies on the planet?) With this in mind, the higher ed marketer in me couldn’t help but browse around the website to find what exactly this “university” has done right.


I love a well-organized website more than a new pair of fuzzy slippers. On the homepage, you can find everything you could possibly need to know about the school—and here’s the tricky part—without it looking totally jam-packed.

Consistent brand

You know those websites that have 80 different versions of the school color? You don’t see that here. There’s also a good separation of academic and athletic brands. And that logo . . . so awesome, isn’t it?


“Students” are prominently highlighted on all the pages, making the site pop with excited smiles and colorful fur. Educating students is why an institution is established in the first place, so don’t forget to emphasize the population that is the essence of your college.

Okay, at the end of the day, we’re analyzing a fake website here. But when you work as hard as we all do, sometimes you need to stop and let the kid in you enter your career for a quick minute. What did you think of the Monsters University website? Are there any standout similarities or differences to your school’s website? Let us know in the comments!

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