Nom du projet
Carrying a historic institution into the twenty-first century
Villa Maria high school is a co-ed private school that delivers personalized support in a motivating bilingual environment.
Going co-ed is a big deal. Especially for a 160-year-old educational mainstay in the heart of Montreal. Villa Maria was ready to take the plunge in 2015, but with reluctant students and the sector’s dated media buying habits, it was shaping up to be a rough process.
Villa Maria had to shed its “girls only” image while also showcasing the educational and technological innovations it had implemented to keep pace with a changing world.
Where to start? From the beginning!
We were tasked with creating a new brand platform. That would mean developing a new logo and a core creative concept that could be deployed across the institution’s communication channels.
We kicked off the project with a full brand audit, looking at the school’s positioning, web analytics, competitors, opportunities, and so on.
The insights we collected would direct our strategy, fuel our creative process and generate a solid brand image that could speak to the school’s core values and forward-looking academic approach.
The logo we developed retains the school’s legacy and history with a polished serif font, and adds a 3D twist to emphasize Villa Maria’s commitment to innovation.
A robust M and bright yellow V combine to express the optimism, energy and creativity of Villa Maria’s students and faculty while instilling trust in parents.
Schools need a lot of print and digital collateral—there’s no way around it. We made sure the logo would come out clean and vibrant no matter what.
Villa Maria’s new brand looked and sounded great. But we still had to get the word out—and get prospective students (especially boys) to the annual open house.
That first open house would set the tone for years to come, so we focused on new communication tools, an engaging ad campaign and smart digital media buys. We ran advertorials and ads in local dailies like the Montreal Gazette, La Presse and La Presse+.
A contemporary font and “mirrored” visuals of students’ faces highlighted evolution on two fronts: the institution’s co-ed leap into a future of innovation, and the student’s rise into maturity and adulthood.
We capped off the rebrand with colourful 30-second videos telling the stories of Julien and Sarah, two Villa Maria students looking to the future. (Produced in-house, of course.)
The best part? The project set off a multi-year partnership that caters to the school’s evolving needs and helps us carry out more focused media buys.