Rethinking reputation

Enhancing Bristol’s global reputation, helping to achieve recruitment and research impact goals through the promotion of the university’s impact on important global issues through research and teaching. 

The University of Bristol needed to increase brand recognition globally to meet ambitious international student recruitment and research impact goals.

They needed to change perceptions of audiences through powerful storytelling and promotion of brand values – market research showed they were under-the-radar; and build audiences early in the funnel, developing brand recall and data, ready for subsequent conversion activities – essential in a competitive marketplace​.

What we did

So my team and I developed a stand-out creative and advertising campaign, strategically aligned to Bristol’s key reputational and recruitment priorities, with strands adjusted for diffferent research and recruitment audiences.

  • We collaborated with talented creative agency psLondon to develop new impactful advertising creative to help Bristol stand-out from competition in the busy advertising space.
  • We created a storytelling framework to identify and develop the university’s most powerful stories, sharing them from the eyes of academics, students and alumni.
  • We partnered with skilled digital advertising agency Hybrid and internal stakeholders to develop the right segmenting and targeting strategy, extending brand reach through broad-brush interest targeting in regions we needed to drive brand awareness.
  • We also developed a comprehensive media plan to reach the right audiences, on the right channels (including programmatic, search, social, out-of-home and video-on-demand), at the right time.
  • We then created a host of new marketing assets including videos (many courtesy of Bristol-based video production company Jones Millbank), adverts and website landing pages to connect with audiences in relevant and impactful ways (see below).
  • We undertook user research and testing throughout the process to maintain customer-focus at every touchpoint.

Tackling climate change through ‘plogging’

Changing the world for diabetics

The results

From a brand awareness perspective, quantitative results include reaching over 200 million people across 12 months, increasing website visits by 15% of total sessions received across the same period the previous year – a significant jump. However, the campaign was designed to do more than that. By strengthening re-marketing conversion activities, predictions estimate a 15% uplift on application numbers. This is an impressive result for one campaign.

The campaign also joined-up internal teams on a collaborative and exciting project, boosting morale and relationships. It’s provided a blueprint for future campaigns – the model and content has inspired other teams, who are re-purposing it for their own campaigns and projects.

Your next steps

If you’re interested in how I could help you with your content and campaign strategy and management, say hello today.