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Iowa State university

Adventure by you

Student recruitment for the zext generation.

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



Social Commercial

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.

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 visitors to a site that allowed users to explore the student experience. Prospective students who reached out received additional information highlighting memorable moments they can expect at Iowa State University.

After ten years, it was time for a refresh to appeal to the incoming Generation Z audience. Iowa State positioning and materials have all been updated to keep the campaign and Iowa State relevant to this next generation of students.

The Results

+ 2008–2016 — Applications reach record highs each year
+ Since the start of the branding campaign enrollment has increased by 39% (2006–2018), an increase of 9,981 students
+ Iowa State’s 39% increase has far outpaced in-state competitors University of Iowa (10%) and University of Northern Iowa (-9%)


Brochure spread