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Special character at heart of new “Only Otago” marketing campaign

Only Otago students outside the clocktower

Monday 4 July 2016 3:57pm

Rainger and Rolfe Managing Partner Jen Rolfe says being awarded the competitive tender for the project late last year was particularly rewarding as a former Otago “scarfie”.

The University of Otago has launched a new advertising campaign entitled “Only Otago.” The campaign focuses on the University’s core attributes of a time-honoured reputation for academic excellence as well as its unrivalled residential character.

“We know our strengths and what makes us stand out; the excellence and prestige of an Otago degree, together with an outstanding and caring collegiate environment,” says Vice-Chancellor Professor Harlene Hayne.

“I am enormously proud to say that this campaign encapsulates the excellence in learning and the second-to-none life experience you get only at Otago. Put simply, only Otago can offer that unique combination of attributes – an all-round, top-quality education experience both inside and outside the classroom.”

Professor Hayne adds it is vital for the University to run a nation-wide advertising campaign because it draws a significantly larger proportion of its students from outside its catchment area than any other institution.
The multi-media campaign, launching on television and computer screens from July 1, replaces the former “Your Place in the World” campaign. It features:

  • Three 30-second video advertisements showing a flyover of the University campus, residential college life, and the measures Otago takes to ensure students are well looked after, and featuring the voice of Dunedin’s Dougal Stevenson. These will be screened on website, television, social media and cinema platforms, and will include still images for print advertising. New stories will be added in future to reflect the diversity of the student profile and experiences on and off the campus.
  • A series of advertisements for print and digital media featuring individual stories of Otago graduates including Martin Snedden, Daniel Radcliffe, Anton Oliver, Professor Sir Murray Brennan, Guy Ryan, Dr Julian Haszard, Jonathon Wong, Alison Shanks, Emily Wilson, Kereyn Smith, Kawiti Waetford, Amanda Ellis and Dr AnnMarie Oien.
  • A series of videos and profiles following the behind-the-scenes lives of the three main “actors” (real Otago students) in the advertisements.
  • A campaign website; where audiences can go to learn more about the idea behind Only Otago and see all of the videos and profiles.
  • A postgraduate digital and outdoor campaign aimed at challenging potential students to consider higher education.

Head of Marketing Services at the University of Otago, Lindy Wilson, says the development of a new campaign was contracted to Auckland-based creative agency Rainger and Rolfe following a very robust tender process. She’s proud of their work and of the campaign. She’s also proud of the dedicated team in Marketing and Communications and the wider group of staff who contributed so much to the production of the new Only Otago story.

“No other University has this type of (student) community within a five kilometre radius that develops when students go to the Colleges and then go out flatting from their second year; This includes the support the University wraps around those students while they are here. We’ve had years of experience of providing a great student lifestyle. The new campaign reflects this,” she says.

Rainger and Rolfe Managing Partner Jen Rolfe, who was born and raised in Dunedin, gained her First Class Honours Degree in Marketing Management from Otago’s School of Business in 1993. She says being awarded the competitive tender for the project late last year was particularly rewarding as a former Otago “scarfie”.

“I think we have done a pretty good job of faithfully capturing the unique spirit and mood and the sense of Otago-ness in everything we’ve done so far; the courage, adventure and resilience of the students making the right decision to journey to Otago,” she says.

“Three of our staff including myself who have worked on this campaign are Otago Commerce graduates and I don’t know if we could have done this if we didn’t have at least a couple of alumni in the team. You can’t represent Otago without having the knowledge of being there in amongst the culture and lifestyle; in the colleges, then finding a flat and then considering your post graduate study.”

She says that her time at the University of Otago taught her resilience and innovative skills that were essential as she embarked on her own career, which has seen her become a partner in one of New Zealand’s leading creative agencies.

“That is uniquely Otago, and you won’t find that in any other graduate; the same spirit that keeps drawing us Otago graduates back together from all parts of the world as friends for life; we shared a defining student experience at Otago that we will cherish forever.”

“Otago has a wealth of stories to tell about its special character and we look forward to working with Lindy, her team and the wider community within the University to bring these to life over the next few years.”

University of Otago Campaign credits

University of Otago: Lindy Wilson, Lisa Vote, Luke Calder, Connor Kilkelly, Fiona Clarkson.

Rainger & Rolfe: Ant Rainger, Jen Rolfe, Hugh Walsh, Allie Buczkowski, Lew Bentley, Georgie Levitt, Lauren Proud, Jane Mill.

Film Construction: Perry Bradley, Valentine Taylor, Jonathan Venz.

Director of Photography: Renaud Maire.

Casting: Cindy Diver.

Starcom: Karen Booth, Kim Gribble, Laura Wilson.

Blockhead: Nigel Mortimer.

The Coopers: Jon Cooper.

A list of Otago experts available for media comment is available elsewhere on this website.

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