The Open University (OU) launched a new UK-wide ad-campaign in partnership with Channel 4, created by The Outfit and MediaCom. Making its debut during last night’s episode of comedy chat show The Last Leg the new ads will run until mid-September (16/09).
Building on the success of the OU’s first Channel 4 media partnership last year, the second phase will tell the story of six new OU student ambassadors* through interviews with TV presenter Anna Richardson, highlighting the OU’s life-changing potential in order to inspire prospective students to sign-up ahead of the October intake deadline or continue their studies.
The partnership will be broadcast across the six-week period and follows last year’s partnership, which enabled the OU to enjoy fundamental shifts in its student delivery numbers and engage with a younger and more diverse audience for the first time. Surpassing expectations, the campaign over-delivered by more than 16%, with likelihood to enquire increasing from 63% to a monthly average of 69% – peaking at 71%.
Featuring TV talent and tutor stories in its ads for the first time, are prime examples of how the university is doing things differently in the education sector. Students were given a platform to tell their own story in their own words, ensuring the ads felt as natural and authentic as possible.
Star of Channel 4 shows including ‘Supershoppers’ and ‘Naked Attraction’ Anna Richardson is the perfect fit for the OU, offering a warm, honest and relatable interview style which helps to put interviewees at ease.
The broadcaster’s iconic falling blocks remain and are once again integrated into a jointly branded identity that will appear in ads across Film4, E4 and More4, in addition to Channel 4, demonstrating the strength of the ongoing partnership between the two organisations. The consistent merging of both the OU’s brand and Channel 4’s unique style help to ensure that viewers feel connected to the new ads. The partnership was brokered by 4Sales and MediaCom.
For the first time this year, the adverts and student ambassador stories will also form part of a much broader multi-channel partnership with multiple executions. Students will participate in the Channel 4 ads but also star in other campaigns including partnerships with Global Media and the Metro, fulfilling a broader role as ‘student ambassadors’ for the OU in 2018. Their stories are also set to be promoted across all of the OU’s other marketing channels including social, PR, partnerships and CRM.
“We’re excited to be taking our partnership with Channel 4 to the next level following the huge success and boost to student numbers we enjoyed during last year’s campaign. With its recognisable human-interest approach and relevant audience, Channel 4 is the perfect vehicle for telling our student stories in a genuine and authentic way,” said Ella Hall, Head of Brand and Acquisition Marketing at The Open University.
“The OU has a wealth of rich and interesting content and our new campaign has been executed in such a way that we are able to go further and deeper in exploring what it’s really like to study with the OU. As diverse as our students, these stories are about growth and personal development. We are very fortunate to be able to showcase this content through our partnership with Channel 4 and to align it with their programming. We look forward to seeing this valued partnership with Channel 4 go from strength to strength moving forward.”
Danny Peace, Agency Principal at Channel 4 comments: “Our continuing partnership with the OU builds on the success of last year’s launch, putting Channel 4 talent and OU student stories at the heart of another engaging campaign.”
Niall Murdoch Founding Partner at The Outfit comments: “Our aim is to get people thinking about further education and to ignite a wider conversation about the number of opportunities on offer at the OU. As we learnt during our 2017 campaign, some of the best spokespeople are the students themselves, so we wanted to provide a much deeper look at these people and their inspiring stories. Working with Channel 4, which is renowned for making authentic content that heroes real people, and working in partnership with Anna Richardson, meant that we could deliver key messages in a very human, honest and compelling way that really resonates with the Channel 4 audience.”
Rachel Dixon, Business Director at MediaCom, comments: “We are delighted to bring together this new phase of the OU’s partnership with Channel 4. This campaign represents the ongoing strategic commitment to partnership activity, to drive deeper audience relevance, greater value and effectiveness from our brand media campaigns. The OU and Channel 4 are a natural fit, and through enhanced audience targeting and the vibrant new creative from The Outfit, we expect to build upon the success of the first phase and achieve even greater business outcomes.”
Source: The Outfit