Nom du projet
Building a branded universe
Collège Universel is a private (non‑subsidized) institution providing 2‑year university prep programs and 3‑year trade programs to high school graduates as part of Quebec’s educational framework.
Brake or pivot?
When Collège préuniversitaire Nouvelles Frontières became Collège Universel – Gatineau Campus, their communications team needed to articulate a 22-year reputation for a new brand and a new audience.
In the years leading up to our collaboration, they had worked hard to expand their program offering, upgrade their facilities and implement a student-centric learning model. The school was slowly but steadily gaining ground in the private postsecondary education space, and it was time to ramp up its communication efforts.
We received a stimulating-but-standard brief. The goal? Clarify Collège Universel’s status as a private (non-subsidized) postsecondary institution and offer compelling reasons to choose them for preuniversity or vocational training. Our solution? Sophisticated targeting, cohesive messaging and High-impact visuals across platforms.
But then a pandemic hit—and few brands were prepared. As traditional mechanisms for student recruitment and program delivery came to a grinding halt, the education sector faced a difficult choice: slam on the brakes or pivot hard.
Education is largely marketed with promises of innovation, excellence, potential—a slurry of well-intentioned keywords that get lost in the shuffle of a saturated market. On the hunt for an angle, Camden’s strategists realized there might be something in the saturation itself.
High school grads and people looking for a career change aren’t short on information or choices—and everyone you ask (or don’t!) will have something to say about the “right” way forward.
We realized that while Collège Universel’s top-of-line equipment, experienced faculty and modern learning approach tick all the standard boxes, they’re total rockstars when it comes to personal attention and actionable guidance.
Working from home through a pandemic, our strategists also watched as digital technologies swept in to (temporarily, we thought) buttress social, educational and workplace experiences, with physical experiences becoming a luxury—hard to come by and consequently highly valued.
This set our creatives on a mission to merge those insights into a single coherent world—or what we would come to think of as a branded “universe.”
Driven by the tagline “Your universe of possibilities,” our campaign featured a material representation of the Collège Universel experience: a circular 3D-printed frame. This unique object would take us beyond photoshop levels and layers, encouraging our student ambassadors to interact with the brand in the most literal sense, with their hands and arms and eyes. It also conveyed the notion of “focusing” one’s ambitions, casting the circle as a camera lens.
Student video profiles, a website redesign, a new visual identity and bespoke content completed the project, with media planning for the ad campaign helmed by Camden’s media department in Toronto.