We’re delighted to share our nominations for the Best Higher Education Recruitment Video of the Year.

Among this year’s nominees you’ll find humor, exhilaration, inspiration, and above all, pride. These nominees represent six universities across four countries. They were selected based on recruitment effectiveness, entertainment value, and emotional appeal.

We watched over 80 recruitment videos from the past year to narrow our selection down to these six.

Congratulations to all teams whose hard work, creativity, and vision went into making their unique and passionate school stories come to life before our eyes. 

Sit back, get comfortable, and enjoy viewing the videos from our 2017 nominees*:

*Nominees are listed in alphabetical order by institution name.

Auburn University: This is Auburn

In a spectacularly simple 30-second spot, Auburn University successfully marries alumni success and football fandom into one. The video highlights notable graduates across industries coming together to cheer for their alma mater.

The video culminates with the university’s battle cry, "War Eagle," which is a common greeting for students and grads, endearingly known as the Auburn Family. As the eagle lands on the field, viewers hear a hair-raising single line of narration and are given a small taste of the proud community.

“You never really leave Auburn, because Auburn never really leaves you.

Read more about the 2017 commercial 

Ohio State University: The Student Experience

One of the biggest criticisms of higher education today is the gap between students’ university education and career readiness. Ohio State University’s (OSU) national campaign tackled that concern head on with three beautiful alumni stories that capture how their experience at OSU led them to find their career passion.

Each alumni participant, Maggie, Mimi, and Dennis, are recent graduates who have directly applied their education to their career path across medicine, social enterprise, and engineering. Viewers feel inspired and motivated that OSU can bridge the gap in whatever field of study they pursue.

“Ohio State connected everything for me.”

Read more about the national TV spots

University of Auckland: Never Stop

Students and faculty at the University of Auckland never stop. Rather than focusing on student stories and experiences to attract applicants, the University of Auckland shares how their research impacts on the world to recruit future graduate researchers or faculty members. In a fast-paced 30-second television ad, “Never Stop” captures some of the most compelling and transformative projects happening at the university.

In the "behind the scenes" video, you learn more about each of the researchers and their commitment to creating change through their work. The campaign, developed by J. Walter Thompson, is a multi-layered brand initiative aimed to a number of key audiences, not just students, to grow awareness nationwide about research initiatives.

"Through your journey to the top: Persist, prevail, break norms, blaze trails, and never, never, never stop."

Watch "Behind the scenes of our Never Stop TV commercial" 

Oxford University: International graduates at Oxford

Unlike many of our other nominees, Oxford doesn’t try to ‘wow’ viewers with big music and lofty statements. For one of the most famous and oldest institutions in the world, the playful and straightforward nature of the video is surprising and delightfully refreshing.

Coming in at 1:46, Oxford’s video is by far our longest nomination, but it doesn’t feel long. The piece is packed full of information about life at Oxford, but the tone and delivery makes it truly entertaining, educational, and ultimately effective for portraying life as an international student. Plus, the inclusion of the cat club helps. You can never go wrong with videos of cats on the internet.

“Wherever you’re from, when you come to Oxford you might find the rest of the world is already here.”

Read more about Graduate Admissions at Oxford University

University of Helsinki: Would you like to be 1* of the best?

University of Helsinki opted to use a clever video to showcase statistics to emphasize why attending school in Finland, over other international destinations, is the best choice for prospective students.

The ad begins with big statements like being the “second best country to be a girl” and “safest country in the world”, and narrows in on Finland having the best education system across the globe. The video joyfully highlights why international students should study at the University of Helsinki for an opportunity of a lifetime. By leveraging humor and wit throughout, you can’t help but smile and remember this nominee.

“So, why wouldn’t you?”

Read about University of Helsinki’s “Be 1* Of The Best” Campaign

University of Phoenix: We Can Do IT

The University of Phoenix’s "We Rise" campaign has brought us some incredibly powerful advertising, including one of last year's nominations for “Still I Rise.” “We Can Do IT” presents a completely unique approach to the recruitment video through a delightful and emotionally-charged animated short that you will want to watch twice.

Aligned with the parent-student profile the school is targeting, the video tells the relevant and timely story of the impact automation is having on blue collar jobs. The story profiles a working mother who reinvents her career with an online IT degree from the University of Phoenix and finds success in the modern workforce.

“The pace of change in today’s ever-changing workplace is unparalleled—it requires new competencies to be developed, skills to be fine-tuned and, in some cases, complete professional reinvention,” University of Phoenix CMO Joan Blackwood told AdWeek. “At University of Phoenix, we know you are only obsolete if you decide not to take action on the change that happens around us.”

Read about We Can Do IT in AdWeek


Which video do you think is the best higher education recruitment of 2017?