webby award entry
As students around the world 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!
It had been 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 were still branded ‘Snowflakes’ by ‘OK Boomers’ who should know better. They were called ‘entitled’, ‘oversensitive’ and ‘easily offended. So, when students 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 diverse 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’. As well as appearing on the University’s social channels, the video was embedded into personalised welcome emails and internal emails to generate well over 70,000 views within 7 days of our launch.
Our video really hit home, celebrating and welcoming new and current students as they joined UEA’s diverse and inclusive community. This purpose-driven, sector leading work has been recognised for excellence in higher education, winning two Heist Gold Awards for ‘Best Student Engagement Campaign or Initiative’ and ‘Best Low Budget Initiative’. At the Prolific North Marketing Awards 2022 the video also won the award for Best Education Campaign.