Unitec change perceptions with bold new campaign

How the lives of three real life students change over the next 12 months is the focus of a groundbreaking new ad campaign for Unitec Institute of Technology .

School leaver Alex Riley arrives at Unitec to study architecture, Netane Takau returns to his nursing degree to repeat a paper that he must pass before being able to start his final year, and adult student Vicky Te Puni embarks on her final year of a Bachelor of Design and Visual Arts in photography.

The journey of the three students from different ages, stages and walks of life will unfold on air throughout 2011 as part of Unitec’s new “Change Starts Here” brand campaign. The campaign will culminate in an hour long documentary on TV3.

The campaign is part of a major repositioning of Unitec. Award winning creative agency Special Group was asked to come up with a bold, big idea which broke the education category mould. But the idea is not without a fair amount of uncertainty – whatever the students go through, good or bad, will form the basis of a series of quarterly 60 second ads, which look more like mini documentaries. Media agency media360 (that’s us)  were involved in negotiating a comprehensive partnership with Mediaworks for the brand campaign.

Unitec Executive Director Marketing and Communications Jeanette Paine says, “We wanted a creative approach which would shift people’s perceptions of Unitec, raise awareness and align with our brand values of being real, inventive and immersive.”

“The real life documentary concept lets us show what it’s really like to study at Unitec be it as a school leaver, an adult student returning to study or someone in a non-typical study area,” she says.

“People choose to study at Unitec to make a change in their own lives and that of their family and whanau. The year long documentary approach will allow our students to talk openly about their hopes, what inspires them and the challenges they face,” says Paine.

“By being open and showing what it is really like we hope others will be inspired to make that change.”

Film maker Andy Morton of Film Construction is shooting the campaign. He will be capturing each of the 3 students’ year of change, working closely with them to portray their story in the most unguarded and natural way.

Special Group Creative Director Tony Bradbourne says “We believe this innovative advertiser/broadcaster partnership will be highly effective. It’s more about creating compelling content than creating traditional 30 second ads. But there is a fair amount of risk about what will happen. Combine all of that and it will make involving and interesting viewing”

To view video clips of the ads go to: http://www.facebook.com/UnitecNZ?v=app_4949752878

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