As a native of one college town and a resident of another, I've always felt that the strategic advantages of living in such a city are hard to beat. While not all college towns capitalize on themselves as well as they could, many could benefit by taking a page from the marketing playbook of the University of British Columbia (UBC).
Using the University's current marketing tagline, an ad made last year (above) presents the seductive case that where is the most important of the "Five Ws," echoing Richard Florida's argument about the world's "spikiness"--that is, that talent and capital necessary to power the knowledge economy are increasingly concentrated in a handful of global megaregions. This resonates for anyone who's interested in the power of place or regional identity.
In the context of the ad, UBC is part of a spike. The institution is a world-class research university in one of the world's favorite cities, drawing from standalone intellectual, geographical, and cultural advantages. Even the buildings and open spaces of the University appear to possess the magic qualities that inspire the pursuit of knowledge, the flourishing of culture, and the powering of the economy. Vancouver and the university's namesake province are cast as extensions of the University's dynamism. (And it doesn't hurt that they are beautiful, safe, cosmopolitan, forward-looking, and prosperous.)