'Embrace Humanity': Students challenge ISIS with social media campaign

CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) - The ISIS attacks in Paris have given new meaning to an advertising project undertaken by some college students in west suburban River Forest.

ISIS uses videos to recruit thousands of supporters worldwide. Now, a marketing class at Concordia University is hoping that its own ad campaign on social media will make some inroads against the Islamic State.

“It’s all through social media. How else are they going to get em?” said Concordia professor David Koehler.

Koehler's students call their campaign "Embrace Humanity." It’s one of 33 student projects worldwide, which are being submitted to the State Department for use against ISIS.

The winner walks off with a $5K prize, but the attacks in Paris have made this about much more than money.

“That made a loud boom, but we're going to make a louder boom. With peace, and with unity. and hope,” said marketing student Hannah.

“The students started becoming more aware that this beyond something that we are doing in school,” said Koehler.

The marketing students recognize that in taking on ISIS, they are taking on some of the most sophisticated marketing experts in the world.

“It’s hard to stop them on social media. So we are offering this, as kind of through social media to embrace everyone else,” said marketing student Angelo.

Students believe "their" message will resonate better with potential ISIS recruits, than something created by a more traditional marketing team.

“The lone wolf that might be susceptible to this message, like, they might find it very comforting to be reached out to by someone similar to them,” said marketing major Elizabeth.

The winner will be announced next month, but the students hope their campaign continues well beyond then.

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