By Taruka Srivastava | Freelance journalist

June 27, 2022 | 3 min read

The Open University has unveiled a major new platform called ‘The Future is Open.’

An accompanying ad showcases an astronomy-obsessed young woman sitting on her bed, surrounded by posters of the solar system. Looking up from her book, she notices the large moon pinned to her wall is giving off an inviting glow. Intrigued, she breaks through it to reveal a portal – reminiscent of the ‘O’ in the OU’s logo – that transports her through time into her dream career in aerospace engineering.

Other characters, including a busy dad shopping with his daughter, an exhausted office worker and a young woman working in a coffee shop, follow suit – diving headfirst into their own portals to realize their callings as a healthcare worker, a barrister and a broadcast journalist respectively.

The spot was created by Havas London and shot by Cannes Lions Film Grand Prix-winning director Malik Vitthal through majority women- and minority-owned production company The Corner Shop UK. Havas Media UK handled the campaign’s media planning and UK-wide buying.

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The campaign will run across linear, BVOD and on connected TV (CTV) and radio, with regional adaptations that run UK-wide, and bespoke cut-downs running on digital video and social media including Facebook, Instagram and TikTok. It is also supported by out-of-home (OOH) with regional adaptations and will run throughout the UK.

The campaign comprises a substantial program of student-facing communications from the OU’s in-house CRM and digital teams, with Havas customer engagement agency Havas CX Helia supporting recruitment communications.

Vicki Maguire, chief creative officer at Havas London, said: “I have a huge amount of love for the Open University, and I’m not the only one. This campaign brings that to life across every touchpoint. More than half a century since it burst onto the scene, the OU has never been more relevant – and we needed to reflect that. I’m proud to have been involved.”

Director Malik Vitthal added: “I needed to make this film, because not so long ago these people were me. Like so many people, I lacked the self-belief to take the important leap of faith and follow my dream. It was my guidance counselor, Mr Johnson at Moorpark Junior College, who encouraged me to follow a career as a filmmaker. Sometimes, it takes that teacher, advisor or coach to make us realize what we’re capable of. Needless to say, this script spoke to me – and I so deeply respect all that the OU does to ensure people have everything they need to transcend their circumstances and truly begin succeeding. With the right support, the future truly is open.”

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