How the University of Technology Sydney drove international brand recall
The campaign won in the public sector/charity/not-for-profit category at The Drum Awards for Marketing APAC 2023.
The campaign ran from December 2022 to January 2023 with plans to continue its run due to its great success.
The University of Technology Sydney (UTS) developed ‘Where Creativity Meets Technology’ to boost brand recall overseas and attract international prospects, with its omnichannel approach generating millions of impressions and page engagements.
Within Australia, UTS carries a strong identity as a leader in technology and innovation. However, the university’s brand recall is not as solidified overseas and the Higher Education (HE) provider does not exploit its full potential internationally.
UTS decided to attract future students by targeting growing markets across Latin America, Southeast Asia, North and Central Asia, South Asia and Africa. The university’s main message and selling point in that quest? Preparing students for Industry 5.0 across many disciplines. To do that, the HE provider needed to reach international prospects in an authentic way – leveraging on Gen Z’s desire to live a life of financial freedom, whilst being purpose-driven.
To address the university’s objective of boosting brand recall overseas, UTS launched a campaign that the UTS International Marketing team led internally. The team received support from the UTS Creative Services Team and external suppliers. UTS took an omnichannel approach using student profiles, geo-targeting and interest targeting based on market research and demographic targeting parameters.
The campaign was informed by the QS 2022 Global International Student Survey. UTS used the survey insights and ran its campaign across numerous channels such as Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, online video/ programmatic and PR.
The university collaborated with TikTok influencer and UTS alumni Stella Morrison for a visually stunning video that utilized live-action footage, 3D animation, VFX and a dynamic music track. The new brand video was compiled of footage shot on campus and the surrounding Sydney areas. Through storytelling, UTS sought to position itself as a space where students meld creative and strategic thinking with emerging technologies.
The HE provider paired the video with a suite of static ads, social media cutdowns (including vertical and bumper video ads), organic TikToks, a landing page with lead capture and email nurturing for new leads. In total, UTS ran 208 ads across five different online channels and created five different language versions of the video and its collateral to allow deeper market penetration and connection to the audience.
The university’s main KPI of the campaign was Brand Awareness and the measurement of success was total impressions, page engagement rate and bottom-line conversions (university applications).
The campaign was a remarkable success for UTS. It generated over 81m impressions, 8m page engagements, over 900,000 clicks and over 800,000 landing page views in two months. UTS decided to continue using the campaign assets at events and roadshows. To build on the campaign’s success, the university announced to fill a pipeline for behavior retargeting and lead nurturing.