University bicentennial ad played during Orange Bowl receives mixed reactions

Friday, December 30, 2016 - 10:39pm

An advertisement for the University of Michigan’s upcoming bicentennial played during the first quarter of the Orange Bowl game between the Michigan Wolverines and the Florida State University Seminoles — sparking many reactions on social media.

The 30-second clip featured a number of highlights and famous moments at the University, including snippets of football games and clips of Martin Luther King Jr.’s and John F. Kennedy’s visits.

It also showcased research accomplishments of the University, like Mcity — the University’s 32-acre site for automated and simulated driving on North Campus — along with other research projects, such as collaborative research from the University Medical School and the Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning, and College of Engineering bipedal robot experiments.  

Past research successes at the University, like Jonas Salk’s development of the polio vaccination, were included as well.

The advertisement received a big response on social media, particularly Twitter, with University students, professors and alumni tweeting their reactions.

Presidential Bicentennial Prof. Martha Jones tweeted out the advertisement and retweeted the U-M Heritage Project account, which called the clip “beautiful.”


Michigan alum Sydney Glide also responded to the video, saying she thought it was an emotional representation of the University’s past 200 years.

James Wilson, a content specialist at the office of social media for the University, also tweeted out his support for the commercial, restating a slogan used in the clip.

Twitter user Kim Clarke said in a tweet what she enjoyed most about the game was the video.

However, Brian Noble, associate dean for undergraduate education of the College of Engineering, said he did not agree with other faculty members’ reactions, stating he did not think the video was as good as others were saying.

Another differing opinion came from Twitter user Jane Coaston, who tweeted that the advertisement fell into lines of implying other alma maters were “déclassé.”


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