Encouraging students to plan for tomorrow

USW Campaign Intro
Client:
University of South Wales

Background

University of South Wales (USW) is one of the youngest and largest universities in the UK. In 2020, True North was awarded a three-year contract as lead brand agency, consulting and delivering on brand strategy and communications across all aspects of the University. The first project was to translate USW’s existing positioning as ‘The University for Tomorrow’ into undergraduate and postgraduate recruitment campaigns.



Problem

USW’s core catchment areas means it competes with well-established universities in Wales and South West England. It has lower awareness, lower levels of understanding of its offer and its locations, and it is consistently outspent in advertising. Consequently, it can be a difficult choice for a student to make to join USW when there seem ‘safer’ choices available.

USW Campaign Brand Device

Insight

Even before COVID, school-leavers were under no illusion that their future may be tougher and more uncertain than for any generation in the last few decades. They expect to have to work hard, to adapt, to be resilient and to always be learning. They’re more focused, pragmatic and conservative (with a small c) than ‘millennials’. And they’re acutely aware that any investment they make in education – whether university or otherwise – needs to be valuable in the long-term.

Most prospective students can’t afford to delay building their careers.

Solution

The campaign offers a positive, urgent action that USW and its students can take together: Better Tomorrows Start Today.

USW’s approach to education is focused on learning through experience. Turning theory into reality, ideas into action. Students get hands-on from their first term with the same tools and facilities that industry professionals use. It’s the closest thing to being in the industry of your choice whilst at University.

Creatively, the campaign demonstrates the USW appeal of less talk, more action. A series of short, sharp films on TikTok, Facebook and Instagram show what it means to experience a subject, rather than just study it.

With smaller budgets than competitors, distinctiveness and brand attribution for every piece asset is critical. We created a framing device from the USW’s logo which is used consistently, and a direct, bold tone throughout.

And we worked with teams across the university to express the campaign idea across brand and course specific communications, and across all channels, media and events.

USW Course Brochure Covers
USW i Phone animation
USW Campaign Social Media
“True North greatly impressed throughout the tender process. They demonstrated a clear understanding of USW’s strengths, and its challenges in the market, and articulated a creative approach fully aligned to the university’s brand proposition and ambition. The resulting 2021 campaign brings to the fore USW’s mission of delivering education and research that will change lives and change our world.”
Fiona Davies, Head of Brand & Marketing at USW
USW Campaign Guidelines
USW Billboard
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