deng-adut

The Challenge

Our brief was to relaunch the University of Western Sydney (UWS) as Western Sydney University, embrace the cultural diversity of its home, help build pride in Western Sydney and change how people think of it. A disruptive strategy was required to reshape views of the area and the University’s role in it, and make the University a more attractive place for students.

The Solution

Our strategy was to seed the rationale for change through earned and social media, drive interest in the University’s Open Day to unveil the rebrand, and hero alumni stories embodying diversity and the new brand via content and earned media.

We ran a teaser social media influencer engagement program coined #NewWS to champion viewing Western Sydney through a new lens leveraging high profile people from, or connected with, Western Sydney and the University, placed University stories in mainstream media and officially unveiled the new brand at a media launch.

To launch the new brand with a bang and immerse prospective students and community members into the new look and feel university, we created an ultra-modern Open Day experience.

We then gave media access to the storytellers of the rebrand campaign, closely working with one graduate, Sudanese refugee lawyer Deng Adut who was taken from his family at five and turned into a child soldier. We ensured the detail of his education was told through earned media.

The Results

1000+ earned media items (July-September) including every major broadcaster
The Deng content trended at the top of Facebook and Reddit for 48hours
Deng’s film attracted 2M+ views across Facebook and YouTube (over 200k views before any paid support!)
50%+ growth of University social profiles
128% uplift in Open Day attendance
7% increase in school leavers putting WSU first preference

ABC’s Gruen called the campaign their ‘best of the year’ and commentators around the world have celebrated the work as a new benchmark for higher education marketing. The campaign was so successful and the story so compelling, Deng was asked by the New South Wales Premier to give the prestigious keynote address at Australia Day in 2016 and he has also signed a book deal.

Categories

Education
Consumer marketing
Stakeholder management
Advocacy
Social media
Influencer relations
Media relations
Event management
Experiential events
Integrated campaigns