Alma’s new 60-second television spot depicts a fictional — though typical — Alma Experience as portrayed by James Thomson ’10, the commercial’s main character.
The spot opens with a wide-eyed James arriving on campus as a first-year freshman. The upbeat music of the Freelance Whales plays in the background. He says goodbye to his forlorn parents as he enters his residence hall. He scopes out the vibrant residence life scene on his way to his room, where he meets Greg, his video game-playing roommate.
As James takes in his dorm room, his bed suddenly morphs into a rock-climbing wall. James scales up the wall, with Greg steadying him on the rope. Nearing the top, James loses his grip and plummets toward the floor. As he laughs, he mysteriously drops into the middle of a Swanson Academic Center classroom lecture.
While James and his classmates take lecture notes, the SAC classroom desk suddenly becomes a keyboard as James noodles on an electric piano in the Eddy music studio. The piano then becomes a laptop keyboard in the SAC media conference room, where James conducts a long-distance video meeting.
The computer keyboard then becomes Scotty, the Alma Scots mascot, lying on a training table, where James inputs data in the ultrasound console. Then the ultrasound machine becomes a novel as James reads aloud to his outdoor English class.
The next scene shows James and his little brother having fun at a Big Brothers/Big Sisters charity event at the local bowling alley. The ball sticks on James’ hand, and he ends up being pulled down the lane as the kids laugh and cheer. James and the ball disappear into the pins.
James then springs onto the Heritage Center theatre stage with girlfriend Gabby, costumed as pirates. Their sword fight is interrupted by the appearance of the historic Scottish warrior Braveheart.
James and Gabby then make their way down the Chapel walkway prior to entering an airport’s international terminal. Gabby gives a goodbye hug as James heads to Scotland for a Spring Term trip, where he encounters a Highland cow on the Scottish countryside.
Back in Alma, James conducts research in a Dow Science laboratory with his faculty mentor. A copy of the student newspaper, The Almanian, reveals that James has won a student research award.
After four years at Alma, James prepares for graduation with his proud parents in attendance. Dressed in cap and gown, James stands on the commencement stage to receive the Barlow Award, Alma’s most prestigious student award.
With degree in hand, James’ transformation is now complete. He is ready to build upon his Alma Experience and make a difference in the world.