Iowa State University

  • Derek – TV Spot
  • Cassidy – TV Spot
  • Mall Kiosks
  • Print Collateral
  • Jordan Creek Mall Stairway Graphics

The Work

The Challenge

Iowa State University came to us with a simple challenge. More applications. Simple, but challenging given the demographic trends in Iowa and surrounding states combined with increased competitive pressure from colleges and universities in its marketing area.

The Smart

Brand planning research indicated students expect universities to have great professors, high academic rankings, campus activities, classrooms and job placement statistics. They all do. What they really want is an environment where they will feel comfortable as they grow, learn and discover their passion. A place where they can enjoy their adventure.

The Bold

Enjoy your Adventure. We used student expectations of their college experience to drive admissions advertising. Ordering pizza at 2 a.m. Pulling an all nighter in the library. Meeting new friends. Losing your voice at a football game. Changing your major again, and maybe again. Discovering your potential, your passions and yourself.

The Work

Prospective students and parents were introduced to Iowa State as an environment where students could “Enjoy the Adventure”, with television spots featuring a memorable spokesperson describing places and experiences that were meaningful to renowned alums. An online marketing campaign drove clickers to, an interactive site that allowed users to follow a map to points of interest where they could click to learn about activities, points of interest, academic highlights and more. Prospective students who reached out for more information received a variety of brochures highlighting memorable moments they can expect at Iowa State University.

After five years of the “Enjoy the Adventure” campaign, it was time to refresh the look of marketing materials to appeal to the everchanging youth audience. Direct communications and traditional advertising materials have all been updated to keep the campaign relevant and continue to position Iowa State as a university that offers the academic and social opportunities of a big institution with the welcoming environment of a small school.

"Enrollment has broken records several years in a row and internally, administrators and directors have embraced our student experience
brand as an 'adventure,' making the 'Enjoy the Adventure' campaign more fully integrated into university decisions and policies."
– Carole Custer, Director, Office of University Marketing

The Results

  • Spring 2008 & 2009 – Applications reach record highs
  • Fall 2009 – Enrollment reaches record high (27,945)
  • Fall 2010 through 2016 – Enrollment records continue each year