To infinity and beyond in university advertising

The University of Queensland has a new student recruitment campaign, set to run in cinemas, on television and outdoor. It will also “be the central message underpinningsocial media. The university is looking for staff, students and alumni, “who have an inspiring or unconventional story about their path to success” in an uncertain word, presumably to use in the strategy as it rolls out.

According to Chief Marketing and Communication Officer Kelly Robinson the campaign “delivers a clear point of difference for our university.”
“One of our roles as a university is to give our students the confidence and capability to navigate this uncertainty and pivot between current and emerging careers. Creativity, critical thinking and problem-solving – the skills that UQ has championed for more than 100 years – will be more important than ever,” Ms Robinson tells university staff.

Good-o, but the “new message” is “own the unknown” which does not exactly spell-out the brand’s attributes and how they benefit students.

The first video of a graduate, Amber Bourke, talking about her life and work is bang-on, and more like it will work really well in presenting UoQ to prospective students. It’s as grounded as “own the unknown” isn’t.

Perhaps when it’s time for a refresh UoQ could swap slogans with UWA which has used “pursue impossible.” Or they could ask Austrade if they could borrow its last student-focused campaign, “education unlimited.”  None communicates anything substantial and they are equally interchangeable. Alternatively, they could just commission new creative from the Buzz Lightyear Partnership.


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