Getting a head start on careers through industry exposure and practical experience is at the heart of the latest brand campaign via McCann Sydney, for Charles Sturt University (CSU), Australia's largest regional university.
Head of advertising and digital marketing at CSU, Jennifer Galloway, said people who are uncertain about the value of a university degree in building future careers are the key target of the 'Start Now' campaign from CSU.
Says Galloway: "This campaign sees a shift in focus for Charles Sturt University, with a move away from multiple campaigns dedicated to different modes of study and target markets, to delivering against a single-minded brand position.
"Market research was conducted to discover motivational shifts in consideration of tertiary study.
"The key insight that underpins this campaign is that uncertain undergraduates need the certainty within themselves and those closest to them that their decisions today will deliver them a better life tomorrow."
Galloway said this uncertain market has developed a perception that four years or more at university will be spent simply earning a piece of paper, rather than an education that genuinely prepares them for the career they are dreaming about today.
Says Galloway: "Charles Sturt University is consistently ranked as the institution with the highest graduate employment rate in Australia. So we know that a university degree that offers the opportunity for lots of practical and industry experience gets you the career you want. What we want to do with this campaign is show the market why we are number one for career outcomes, and how that can benefit them."
To deliver that message with certainty and clarity to the market, CSU briefed creative agency McCann Sydney to develop a campaign that positions CSU as the university that can simplify the experience and generate confidence in consumers that CSU courses and qualifications will lead to tangible career and financial outcomes.
Says Galloway: "Hard work doesn't scare our audience, but waiting four to six years to get into their career certainly does. The new campaign does a great job tackling that insight head-on, driving home the University's unique difference to other universities in kick-starting careers. The executions are all about action. A rewarding life is there for the taking, all people have to do is start."
The campaign focuses on the CSU brand truths of:
CSU is grounded in the community, industry and a supportive network
CSU offers hands-on practical experience from year one
CSU creates the most employable graduates in the country (Australian University Ratings and Rankings 2017/2018, The Good Universities Guide)
CSU has flexible modes of study to fit varied lifestyles
Marcus Tesoriero, creative director, McCann Sydney, said the campaign speaks directly to current attitudes around modern life and careers.
Says Tesoriero: "The world has changed. People want to get on with their lives rather than spinning their wheels studying. We targeted that uncertain fork in the road when choosing between university and the workforce, showing that unlike many universities, Charles Sturt University supports a rolling start into a better career.
"In essence, the work demonstrates that getting a university degree isn't time wasted striving for your dream job. With Charles Sturt University you get to start living the dream immediately, because, at Charles Sturt University, your career starts from day one."
The first phase of the campaign is supported via TV, outdoor and point of sale advertising, along with digital and social executions.