As students returned to campus in 2020, we worked with the University of East Anglia (UEA) to create a video that celebrated young people who had been through a lot with the pandemic but were still labelled snowflakes!
2020 was a tough year for students. No exams. No proms. No graduations. But they just got on with it. They supported their local communities. They embraced online learning. They left university to join the NHS on the frontline. And they stayed at home during lockdown to safeguard others.
Yet young people are still branded ‘Snowflakes’ by ‘OK Boomers’ who should know better. They were called ‘entitled’, ‘oversensitive’ and ‘easily offended.’ Especially by the likes of Piers Morgan. So, when students around the world started to arrive at university campuses in September 2020, we championed young people and collaborated with UEA to celebrate this event with a powerful story.
The idea of a ‘Snowflake’ video was controversial to say the least. As we considered different approaches, a powerfully emotive poem called ‘Snowflakes’ by a UEA student, drifted into our inbox, as if it had just fallen gently from the sky.
The poem effortlessly dispelled the myths and fought back for a generation. That’s when the impulse and the instinct kicked in. We started to pull together a powerful story to champion UEA’s students and celebrate their courage, resilience and dreams.
Making the film during lockdown was a huge challenge. Together we remixed as much UEA student content as we could, with some stock footage and filming of friends and families in parks and gardens. To make sure we got this just right, we tested the film, over and over, with a panel of 16-21 year olds. This latter point was crucial to the whole project. We knew it would be brave to launch a film like this and we knew it was a fine line in getting the message right. When they told us it was beautiful, we pressed the button.
Together we created a video that celebrated the collaborative power of young people with amazing potential. A generation that’s set to change the world for the better and to take on big problems like climate change and inequality that they have inherited from ‘OK Boomers’.
Through a mix of welcome communications, including personalised emails (78% open rate) and a welcome portal we ensured that the film was available for all new students to view. Internal bulletins embedded the film and helped to maximise reach, landing in 15,000 student inboxes and 5,000 staff inboxes. We generated well over 70,000 views of the film within 7 days of our launch. Which just goes to show that the annual avalanche of students is well worth fighting for!
2021 Heist Gold Award – Best Student Engagement Campaign or Initiative
2021 Heist Gold Award – Best Low Budget Initiative (under £15k)
2022 Prolific North Marketing Awards – Best Education Campaign
“A heart-warming entry that truly championed the students of the University of East Anglia, the judges adored this empowering piece of work that challenged stereotypes and acted as a rallying cry for youth. With very clear goals, well within budget and far exceeding the objectives, this is a campaign the whole institution can be incredibly proud of. Massive Congratulations, University of East Anglia.”
“This was an emotive video with broader impact than expected. The creative and content tapped into the mindset of the target audience, building the university brand and adding to the conversation about the value of a university degree. Huge congratulations, University of East Anglia.”
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