New marketing campaign highlights the drive behind UAB’s success

Television, digital, print and other advertisements will showcase UAB’s unique passion for spurring innovation and spearheading change.


For half a decade, the University of Alabama at Birmingham has touted its ability to produce world-changing knowledge. This past year, more than 1,190 principal investigators were backed by $562 million in research expenditures. Some 56 patents and 21 ongoing drug discoveries were produced. Startups and licenses based on UAB innovations generated $4.7 million in revenue.

But after all that success, what pushes Blazers to go the extra mile and make more amazing things happen? In short, it is the determination to change things, demand something better and make it happen.

powered by will webThat passion can be diffused into one powerful statement, as UAB’s new marketing campaign asserts: “UAB. Powered by will.”

As Birmingham moves to the forefront of innovation in the technology, entertainment and health care industries, UAB is leading that charge with its passion for pushing forward.

“This campaign will highlight our research, innovation and entrepreneurship at the frontiers of the sciences and medicine, technology, education, business, the arts and humanities, and other fields,” said Ray L. Watts, M.D., president of UAB. “In doing so, we will ensure that the University of Alabama at Birmingham is known far and wide — around the nation and the world — as a university that promotes progress, pushes frontiers and is indeed ‘powered by will.’”

Powered by will

The marketing campaign will introduce others to the life-altering work that epitomizes UAB. It will share the ways UAB is lowering barriers to college for low-income students, how it is combating the problem of distracted driving, and changing the national conversation about organ transplant. Please visit and consider sharing to read about Blazers whose curiosity and commitment drives research, innovation and entrepreneurship.

People such as epidemiologist Olivia Affuso, Ph.D., who spends a good bit of her time devising ways to get people off their couches and into motion. And computer scientist Matt Might, Ph.D., who began his career in precision medicine by tracking down his son’s killer. Or Brian Pillay, Ph.D., who is exploring ways to transform the algae that contaminates the oceans into inexpensive, biodegradable materials that can be used in manufacturing and construction.

The work of these and dozens of others is collected in stories that reflect the spirit of UAB faculty, staff, students, alumni and donors.

The “Powered by will” campaign, which will run through 2019, also includes short videos for sharing plus links for giving, applying for admission and learning more about UAB as a whole. It was developed during the past year by UAB’s Office of University Relations in partnership with Lewis Communications.

“We wanted to create a platform to tell remarkable stories that hadn’t been heard before, and the unifying message we tapped into was, if you’re an innovator who feels driven to accomplish a goal, UAB will support you like no one else,” said Carlton Wood, vice president of Client Services at Lewis Communications. “The individuals featured are proof and illustrate the confidence, willpower and pride of UAB. And their stories and this work are just the beginning. The ‘Powered by will’ theme is really a foundation for telling dozens of additional stories of innovation happening at UAB.”

Look for videos on television and Hulu, digital ads on the web, billboards, and more throughout the city, state and nation in the coming year.