It’s time to open the envelope.
We received thousands of votes from over 30 countries, and watched in amazement as people clicked, voted, and shared their favorites.
All four finalists deserve a standing ovation for their ambition and creativity in 2015, but alas, there can only be one winner.
And the winner of the first annual Kira Award for Best Higher Ed Recruitment Video of 2015 is...
Congratulations to the team at University of Moncton!
"At the University of Moncton, our language is a point of pride; a force. It’s the language of progress, business, (and of other affairs…). It’s the language of vision, of discovery. It’s with this language that we respond; we assert ourselves. Here our language is French, and here is your University." - Video Narration translated from French.
Why This Higher Ed Recruitment Video Works
It isn’t enough to just declare a winner. We wanted to make sure we provided perspective on why this video was so effective, so let’s take a look at that now.
It Was Built with Its Audience in Mind
This ad isn’t for everyone, and that’s exactly the point. Whether you love it or hate it, the important thing is that you have an opinion about it.
Moncton designed this campaign from the ground up with students in mind, and unapologetically pursued and executed on their vision. "Everybody has a great program, everybody has scholarships, if you keep saying that you’re not sticking out. And we wanted to stick out,” said Denis Boucher, University of Moncton's Director of Recruitment.
Lesson: Remember this for every marketing campaign you work on: when you try to appeal to everybody, you appeal to nobody. Define your goals and your target audience during the ideation process and relentlessly pursue them. If you back down, you risk diluting your message and missing the mark.
It Was Built for Sharing
The polarizing nature of this campaign sparked a strong self-amplifying effect. It resonated with it’s intended audience, but quite ironically, the people who found it shocking took the time to share their opinion on it, unintentionally making it more viral in the process.
And where strong opinions exist, major media coverage follows, earning the University of Moncton coverage in the National Post, Gawker, Huffington Post, and CBC.
The campaign was also packaged effectively — it's short, coming in at just 30 seconds, which makes it easy to watch and share with your network. According to YouTube, videos that are 30 seconds or less have a 90% playback completion rate, compared to a video at one minute with just 59%. Those numbers fall sharply every 30 seconds after that. That isn’t to say that long videos can’t retain viewers, but your video has to be top-notch to accomplish that.
Lesson: Design your campaign to be highly shareable right from the start, instead of trying to share something that just wasn’t built to do it. Define your audience, unapologetically appeal to them, and get to the point.
It Drove Meaningful Results
Without a doubt the most important component of any campaign is whether or not it actually helped you reach your goals. If it doesn’t, it would be difficult to call it a success.
In combination with a refreshed school website, the University of Moncton saw a 22% increase in applicants the year following this campaign — a major victory for a small university marketing team.
Lesson: Before you start designing your campaign, ask yourself what you’re doing it for. What are your goals? How will you know it’s working? What else can you do to double your chances of success?
Congratulations again to the team at the University of Moncton!
We’re looking forward to another great year of higher education recruitment videos in 2016, and we’ll be back again this time next year for the 2nd Annual Kira Award for Best Higher Ed Recruitment Video.