A diversity campaign, taking a non-traditional approach within the tertiary environment.
The purpose of the campaign was to attract prospective students from various backgrounds, ethnicities, cultures and lifestyles to specific creative courses on offer at Toi Rauwhārangi College of Creative Arts.
We wanted to show cultural diversity, we didn’t want to be ageist, and we wanted to normalise and celebrate our differences. The uniqueness of this approach was to also allow what the students reveal during the production of the creative, to also drive the creative.
The create with us campaign celebrates individuality and the power of shared individual voices coming together as a tight group in unity. The messaging is clear – create with us. A two-pronged meaning – create with us (“us” as in the students as a group), and create with us (as in the tertiary institution).
Five current students, one from each of the creative courses, were found, and without knowing their backgrounds, they came together. The production of the campaign included a photography and video shoot.
The process was energetic, organic and revolved around five individuals creating the campaign for us, from their own clothing they brought to the shoot, to how they interacted, and the stories they shared. The entire process allowed space for them to bring their own creativity to the mix and collaborate with one another.
There was no video script. Just specific questions we asked each one, independently of each other. We didn’t want them to have time to prepare an answer. It had to be on the spot answers, which in turn meant that there are moments of thoughtful consideration in their responses.
Our approach was to not, at any stage of the creation of the campaign, question a student’s personal style, sexual orientation or cultural affiliation. If the student wanted to share that, then that was up to them. This meant not asking why one of the students wore a plaster on his face. We were conscious not to make assumptions about a person’s lifestyle because of their appearance, but this did come with its challenges when sharing this creative with some of our colleagues. Numerous questions and requests like “You are probably already on to this, but were you going to Photoshop out the plaster on the boy’s face?” meant that we had to take a stance and follow through on our commitment to represent the students as they are, as their true and unique self.
The digital campaign was executed on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and online channels. A promotional web landing page was created, and various printed material was developed for both internal and external use.
As at the time of writing, the client was ahead of the target recruitment numbers as a result of the campaign.