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In a big year of transition for Victoria University of Wellington, we were fortunate enough to develop the campaign to recruit new students for 2019.
Our task was to take an established campaign platform and deliver an execution that was a lot more effective.
Our brief was to continue the Know Your Mind positioning of previous years but to make it more relevant for potential students, more unique to Victoria and to deliver greater cut-through.
Know Your Mind is about learning how to think, taking your own position on the things that matter to you and the world around you. Repositioning an established idea is often more difficult than starting with something fresh, so we started by talking to a number of year 13 students to know their mind. It was clear that the idea of free-thinking and making your own mind up appealed, but their focus was much more immediate than the Know Your Mind proposition embodied. They were more focused on a series of ‘now’ decisions. What shall I study? Which university? Where will I live? What career shall I pursue?
We looked at what universities around NZ were doing and saw none were really expressing the decisions they were trying to make up their mind on. All were making similar promises of career-readiness, employability, inclusiveness and the student-experience. The opportunity quickly presented itself to extend the concept of Know your Mind beyond these common promises to also express what was actually on the mind of potential students in the here and now.
We tested a number of approaches and quickly saw that in today’s ‘social world’ students talking to students would hold more sway than anything Victoria could say.
Real students were photographed and a whole series of thoughts, ideas and questions were placed around them to represent what was going on in their mind as they considered their university options. Many of the words came directly from our earlier research or from the students themselves. The hand-written style added to a sense of personal thoughts and the busy random placement reflects the nature of our thoughts.
Bold words and images were complemented by equally strong colours. This delivered cut-through but also helped to distinguish the different propositions – enrol, scholarships, accommodation and also the various faculties in the school.
The core design idea informs a whole series of eye-catching executions including huge electronic billboards, videos, bus-shelter and street posters, cinema ads, open-evenings as well as direct and social media marketing.
The campaign is only half way through but already the signs are positive that the visuals are grabbing the attention of potential students and the messages are really resonating with what’s on their mind. Engagement is higher than previous campaigns and enrolment numbers are well on track.