Developing the identity and persona of an entire university is always a tricky endeavor, but Forge Worldwide was presented with an especially challenging project when Johnson & Wales University (JWU) approached the agency to create its first university-level branding initiative. The main difficulty was creating a cohesive message when JWU isn’t really just one university - it’s four different geographic entities, each with its own unique attributes.
Forge's solution was to establish "Experience Your Future Now" as the umbrella messaging and brand positioning and the unifying message, voice, look and feel will be tailored to support each of the university’s four campuses in New England, North Miami, Denver, and Charlotte.
"Johnson & Wales students know the future they want and are determined to claim it for their own," says Forge CEO Harry Chapin. "They want opportunities now. They want to begin proving themselves now."
The creative concept and messaging takes the core DNA of JWU - experiential education - and attempts to create a consumer-centric message, one that convinces prospective students of the benefit of starting their career now. "Our solution was to highlight the compounding effect - the compounding interest - that we have on the lives of students to prepare them to do even more later," says Chapin. "Our messaging will guide like-minded prospects to our doors by constantly/daily sharing the experiential learning JWU provides. Now is the time for students to experience their futures, to start succeeding, to improve their futures tomorrow.
The integrated campaign runs across radio, TV, out-of-home and digital in the New England, North Miami, Denver, and Charlotte markets. The TV commercial, "Time Waits for No One” can be seen here.
“We are moving forward in a smart and aggressive way. I have no doubt the campaign will positively impact JWU student recruitment and fundraising in the months and years ahead,” said Doug Whiting, VP Communications at Johnson & Wales University.
The university spent $7.76 million on advertising and promotions in 2014, up from $7.19 million in 2013, according to its financial records.
This is the first project Forge has developed for the school. Many creative elements being used in this effort were originally presented in its winning pitch for the account.