Assumption Bookstore Takes YouTube Approach 

Bookstore Josh is on a mission to help students understand that the Assumption College Bookstore, Worcester, MA, is on their side. That mission made it onto YouTube with the release of a pair of television commercials that have become a hit on campus.
Joshua Moore, director, Assumption College Bookstore, is Bookstore Josh, the hero of the videos, as well as the creative mind behind the commercials. Moore earned the nickname because of his active participation in campus events, which led to a group of students who wanted to get the campus television station back on the air to approach him for help.
“We’re always looking for ways to advertise and this was a great promotion, so we filmed one. It went over great, and I happened to write a second one that went over great,” Moore said. “Now, students are expecting them.”
The first commercial began airing in mid-October and features Josh, with a silly grin and outstretched arms, extolling the “things” available to students in the store, such as candy, frozen food, clothing, and textbook rentals. The commercial ends with the tagline: “The Bookstore. We’ve got ... things.”
“The girl in it with me is in all the plays on campus and is known to be a fantastic actress. I got her specifically for us to act terribly,” said Moore, a veteran of campus theatrical productions who is working on two plays simultaneously this fall.  “I wanted people to squirm just for the comedy’s sake. I think it worked brilliantly.”
The second commercial uses the theme music from the 1960s Batman television series and features Bookstore Josh saving a pair of female students from campus boredom with a quick tour of the many things to see and do at the bookstore. It ends with the tagline: “The Bookstore. We’ve got ... time.”
“People actually come up to me when I’m walking about campus and say things like ‘I need to come to the bookstore for ... things,’” Moore said with a hearty laugh. “It’s certainly something we carried on to the second one. It wasn’t initially the plan, but it really seems like just changing the tagline every time is a good way to go.”
Being there for students, and having a blast while doing it, is all part of the master plan for Bookstore Josh.
“These commercials are an extension of the way I’ve approached this job since I’ve been here,” said Moore, who will celebrate three years at the Assumption store later this month. “I came here with the expressed purpose of changing how students see a bookstore. I am certainly aware of what a bookstore represents on campus and how students typically see a bookstore, and I really wanted to change that perception.”
Moore hopes students at Assumption consider him as their representative instead of just another part of the institution. He has tried rolling racks of clothing into Assumption basketball games to, in his words, “hang out.” He also understands students searching for the lowest course material prices and tries to make the task as convenient as possible in the store and on its web site.
“I’ve always described myself as a mascot more than a bookstore director,” he said. “I go out and try to promote the bookstore in ways that change that perception. I’m trying to get them excited about coming into the bookstore and looking at it as a place that is fun to go.
“Now, we are seeing students trusting us enough to check out our textbook prices. They are coming in feeling like they are not going to be ripped off. They are coming in with a different attitude.”
The best part for Moore is he’s having a ball doing it. And in case you’re wondering about the next commercial, he’s not revealing anything.
“I am enjoying this tremendously,” he said. “But I think the next commercial might be a trade secret until it comes out. I have a couple of scripts written and we’re looking for the time to actually get some filming done.”
—Dan Angelo


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