Just as the Academy Awards are winding down, it’s time for the Kira Award to do the same.

But not before we reveal this year's top higher ed recruitment video! Like years past, the Kira Award hinges on two combined factors:

  • An internal meeting where our team votes based on recruitment effectiveness, emotional appeal, entertainment value, overall campaign effectiveness.
  • Votes from the general public

We had an incredibly close race this year, with two universities passionately battling it out for the most votes.

After learning of their nomination, the University of Birmingham and London Metropolitan University engaged in a battle of the Brits.

The University of Birmingham began rallying a network of supporters. Each day, we saw their collection of likes, retweets, and votes rise significantly as the riveting recruitment video captured the hearts of many viewers.

Pride was flowing within the online community, giving the other top contender a run for their money.

And the Award goes to...

After spending much of the voting period on the edge of our seats, we’re ready to announce the winner of 2018’s Best Higher Education Recruitment Video:

Congratulations to London Metropolitan University for garnering over 2000 votes!

In addition to collecting the most votes, London Met’s video wowed our team. It excels in all four judging criteria and leaves a lasting impression.

We love how their video leverages the power of a strong script and stimulating visuals to communicate their unique selling points. It does a great job of showcasing their city and facilities while using an authentic student voice.

Hasnai Benkacem, the university’s Marketing Officer, says their goal was to create a video that would stand out.

While many higher ed recruitment videos share the same, repetitive messaging, London Met refused to fall into that same category.

They wanted to produce something that would be “a breath of fresh air in what is often quite a repetitive story,” Hasnai explains.

The Approach

A behind the scenes shot of the protagonist, Andre, on setWhen striving to be unique, you must think outside of the box. For that reason, the team at London Met chose not to look at other universities for inspiration.

“One thing we never want to do is blend in with the rest of the university crowd – we’re different and we want to portray what makes us different in a unique and innovative way,” says Hasnai.

That’s why they looked to leaders in other sectors who are influencing people think differently.

Some of the outstanding elements in their video (like the humor, linear narrative, bold colors, and vibrant protagonist) were drawn from surprising inspirations. The team’s creativity was ignited by a combination of TV adverts, comedy skits, and even music videos!

The Script

In today’s media environment, people are constantly jumping from one piece of content to the next. The average attention span has shrunk to about eight seconds and this has significantly impacted the way marketers do their jobs.

When it comes to video content, about 1/3 of viewers drop off by 30 seconds, 45% of them by 1 minute and almost 60% by 2 minutes.

To keep them engaged, every last detail counts — especially the script.

“The script is the heart of our video; it was written by someone who holds the University – and its mission – close to her heart,” explains Hasnai.

Demetria Maratheftis, the Deputy Director of Engagement, wanted the script to focus on the university’s tagline Do Something You Love.

Every sentence defines who they are as an institution and reveals the opportunities that await prospective students. As a school based in the heart of London, it’s the place to live, study and prepare for a successful career.

Viewers don’t need to take our word for it, they could take Samuel Johnson’s: When a man is tired of London he is tired of life. But, of course, we added a little London Met spin to it: “But what he didn’t say was in this great city you should always do something you love.” - Hasnai Benkacem, Marketing Officer

The Cast

The cast of London Met's recruitment video onboard the subwayResearch shows that we tend to like people who are similar to us.

With that in mind, a recruitment piece featuring a relatable figure is likely to sit very well with students.

That’s why Andre, the young, personable host is the perfect fit for this video. We love his energy and the fact that he was surrounded by real staff and students from London Met!

The decision to use real staff and students stemmed from a desire to not only add authenticity to the video but also showcase the community, diversity, and passion at London Met.

The Campaign

Creating compelling video takes time, money, and resources. It can be a tedious task, but one well worth it — if done right.

To get the most out of their investment, London Met developed three versions of their full-length video, each with a different call to action. Doing so allowed them to use the video in different campaigns throughout the year.

Across all three versions, the video received more than 1,380,000 views. The version with the most views has an average watch-time of 1 minute 23 seconds (85.4% of the video).

They also created social media cuts that were shared through paid and organic channels. And of course, it appeared on their own website and third-party sites such as Whatuni.

The Feedback

In addition to impressive stats, London Met has collected some great qualitative feedback. Here’s some of the buzz from potential students, current students, and staff:

“This video has the right direction – it shows the facilities and it is really informative.”

“Words like 'amazing', 'genius', and 'bold' are thrown about a lot nowadays – yet these descriptions would be perfectly apt for this stellar video.”

And from Ricardo Eversley, a Senior Lecturer in Visual Communication at the university:

“Fun, visually expansive and definitely resonates and aligns with the visual narrative of our current/future cohort really well. A job ‘more than well done’ from me.”

Summarizing Success

The cast and crew of London Met's recruitment video smiling for a picture on set

When reflecting on what her team is most proud of, Hasnai shares :

“We’re really proud of how the video brought our community together. Staff and students were all keen to get involved (yes, that’s one of our education lecturers as Samuel Johnson). Whether it was filming late at night on the London Underground, painting canvases in our lunch breaks or running to the shops for much-needed sustenance, it was a real team effort and we think we have a great video (and some great memories) to show for it.”

Thank you to everyone who voted for 2018’s
Best Higher Ed Recruitment Video of the Year!

Looking for more of the best higher ed recruitment videos?
Watch the Kira Award winners from 2017 and 2016.