Campus Life

Texas A&M’s New TV Ad Showcases 12th Man, University Impacts

The spirit of the 12th Man extends far beyond the playing field, and Texas A&M‘s new signature broadcast television commercial aims to show that to a national audience.
By Diane C. McDonald, Texas A&M Marketing & Communications September 20, 2012

Texas A&M is nationally known as the “Home of the 12th Man,” a reference to the student body that stands during the entire game, ready and willing to assist their football team. But the spirit of the 12th Man extends far beyond the playing field, and Texas A&M‘s new signature broadcast television commercial aims to show that to a national audience.

The university’s new 30-second spot titled “What You Stand For” highlights the impacts of Texas A&M at the state and national levels, while showing the university’s core values and land-grant heritage in action — all while capturing the spirit of the 12th Man, a 90-year-old university tradition.

“With the extensive national television exposure provided by our new affiliation with the Southeastern Conference, this commercial aims to introduce audiences to the core of the Texas A&M brand, which is embodied by the 12th Man,” said Jason Cook, vice president for marketing and communications. “These themes of service, leadership, loyalty and discovery define the unique educational opportunities offered at Texas A&M.”

Student E. King Gill was a spectator at the 1922 Dixie Classic when he was called from the stands by Coach Dana X. Bible after the Aggies suffered several injuries that left the team with only 11 players. Gill suited up and stood ready on the sidelines, standing by in case his team needed him. He may have never entered the football game, but Gill’s willingness to serve his team that day has passed down from generation to generation of Aggies, earning Texas A&M the distinction of being the “Home of the 12th Man,” a scene that is depicted in the opening shot of the new commercial.

“The commercial starts with the literal standing of the 12th Man on gameday and then transitions to showing how this spirit carries over to Aggies’ service to our community and country,” explains Diane C. McDonald, the university’s executive director of marketing and social media.

Impacts of the 12th Man featured in the ad include a unique and inexpensive water filtration system that is a project of Texas A&M’s Colonias Program, which celebrated its 20th anniversary earlier this year. The water filtration program brings clean water to the rural impoverished communities in South Texas, an endeavor that resonates with Texans as the state is facing critical water issues.

“We wanted to highlight the unique opportunities such as the clean water project that Texas A&M presents to its students to have an impact in the communities, not just in the classroom,” says Brian Wright, director of visual media. “This commercial features current Texas A&M students in action, showing their impacts.”

All indications point to the Texas A&M Corps continuing to be the largest uniformed group on any campus.

(Texas A&M Corps of Cadets)

Texas A&M’s Corps of Cadets — the largest uniformed body of students in the nation outside of the U.S. service academies, which boasts more than 2,300 members this year — as well as Marquis Alexander, the 2012-13 Corps Commander, are also featured in the commercial, emphasizing the university’s core value of leadership and service to the nation.

Additionally, the broad impact of Texas A&M’s academic research — specifically in the area of energy — is highlighted in the commercial, with a shot of solar panels that are installed on the rooftop of a building adjacent to Kyle Field. The panels are a research project of Robert S. Balog, director of the Renewable Energy, Advanced Power Electronics Research Laboratory in the Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering, and his students, highlighting just one way that Texas A&M researchers are tackling global energy issues.

The commercial closes by directing viewers to, which contains video vignettes and full stories about the impacts of Texas A&M in a variety of fields and industries in greater detail.

The ad is broadcast during televised NCAA sporting events, including the university’s inaugural SEC games aired on the ESPN and CBS networks, and is also shown during home football games at Kyle Field. It was created by Texas A&M’s Division of Marketing & Communications in partnership with Belmont Icehouse, a Dallas-based advertising agency and Reel FX, a Dallas-based production company.

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