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Charles Darwin University Campaign Makes Students the Focus

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The camapign was developed by The Royals

Charles Darwin University Campaign Makes Students the Focus

Northern Territory-based Charles Darwin University (CDU) is seeking to entice new students with a campaign that tells them “You make CDU”, created by The Royals.

Breaking today across TV, cinema, digital video, OOH, radio, press and social, the campaign stars CDU graduates Yron, Beth, Talea and May, who tell the stories of their diverse journeys to university – highlighting CDU’s supportive and flexible learning environment.


For Talea, it was studying midwifery remotely while raising three young children and for Beth, who didn’t finish high school, it was completing CDU’s free tertiary enabling program and transitioning into a Bachelor degree that has led to her starting her career as a law intern.

In the unscripted TVCs and videos, viewers see all four CDU graduates receive surprise messages from the people closest to them, telling them how proud they were of their bravery and achievements.Through the new brand platform of “You make CDU”, the campaign flips the traditional university narrative of “you need us to make your life better” to emphasise the message that a university is only as good as the unique minds it fosters.



Says Shannon Holborn, director of marketing at CDU: “At CDU, we pride ourselves on being a modern and progressive university, and we know we are different from universities that primarily attract school leavers. Our higher education students are more mature and are often juggling work and family responsibilities. So it was important to change the approach by telling students we need you, rather than telling them all the reasons why they need us. We need your diverse backgrounds, life experiences, creative minds, curiosity and community mindedness, to help us build a new world. The resulting campaign from The Royals has exceeded our expectations, and perfectly showcases CDU as a university that empowers and supports all kinds of people by offering them an inclusive and flexible learning environment.”

Says Nick Cummins, creative partner, The Royals: “Charles Darwin University is an extraordinary institution, one that embraces change rather than adhering to the conventions of its category. Our aim through every aspect of this campaign was to communicate the warmth, inclusivity and progressive points of view of CDU – and director Dylan Harrison and his team did a beautiful job in helping us achieve that.”

The Royals won a three-year contract for the CDU creative account in a competitive pitch involving a number of national agencies. The account covers strategy, brand and design.


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Client: Charles Darwin University

Director of Marketing: Shannon Holborn

Marketing Manager: Renee Gries

Agency: The Royals

Managing Partner: Dan Beaumont

Creative Partner: Nick Cummins

Head of Strategy: Michaela Futcher

Group Account Director: Priyanka Patel

Senior Account Manager: Etaoin Knight

Copywriter: Lee Spencer-Michaelsen

Art Director: Ruby Boynton-Boardman

Senior Design: Terry Chisholm

Finished Artist: Kitty Turpin

Producer: Alex Gillespie

Digital Project Manager: Emerald Cowell

Digital Designer: Kenneth Sum

Full Stack Developer: James Robinson

UX Designer: Maxime Lacoste

Production Company: Hooligan Collective

Director: Dylan Harrison

Producer: Ash McLeod

DOP: Jason White

Editor: Mark Parry

Post Production: Vandal

Colourist: Daniel Pardy

Sound Designer: Nigel Crowley

Photographer: Rhett Hammerton

Genres: People, Storytelling

The Royals, Wed, 02 Oct 2019 08:43:05 GMT