Creative agency Lightning Orchard (LO) has launched a powerful recruitment-focused campaign, including a newly conceived school mascot, for Brooklyn Frontiers (BF). A transfer high school operated by the New York City Board of Education in partnership with Good Shepherd Services, BF serves students who are at risk of not graduating.
Public schools across the five boroughs have been deeply impacted by Covid-19 and transfer schools are no exception. The pandemic has both compounded the risk of students not graduating and created hurdles for recruiting new students amidst shutdowns and subsequent physical distancing mandates. As a result, LO leadership made the decision to envision a bold design-forward campaign to help in this particularly urgent moment for education. Bolted into LO's DNA from its founding last year, they had already worked to develop an internship program where BF students gain real-life ad agency experience.
The marketing campaign includes prime media placement with donated billboard real estate and poster executions in Times Square. LO’s design package also encompasses a re-envisioned school identity, a social media campaign strategy (replete with a Facebook Messenger bot), and fresh materials to help enlist enrollees. The campaign is particularly compelling due to its use of images of actual BF students who are also LO interns.
The partnership between Lightning Orchard, Good Shepherd Services, and Brooklyn Frontiers High School produces a wide range of benefits: helping BIPOC to graduate, supporting continued education, year-long internships, exposing students to various careers within advertising, and offering job opportunities post-graduation. LO also donates laptops, has PTA involvement, provides fundraising support, and offers PR assistance to the high school.
LO founding partner and CSO, Laura Janness, said: "NYC public schools remain some of the most segregated schools in the nation. Systemic racism in education is a root cause of so many other inequities that BIPOC face. Solving for greater diversity in our workplaces means solving for the education gap. Everyone at the agency participated in the creation of the Brooklyn Frontiers campaign. We are deeply committed to the success of this school, its staff and students."
Transfer schools serve about 13,000 youth in New York City, meeting the needs of those living in neighbourhoods where inequitable education and scarce resources are pervasive. The BFHS program is integrated with Good Shepherd Services, providing students whose educational path may not be traditional and linear with coaches who help them to create personalised academic plans and guide them through the process of achieving them.