The Open University, the UK’s largest academic institution, today launches a major new marketing campaign aimed at increasing the number of students from international markets. International Open Diaries, an evolution of the OU’s current UK-focused Open Diaries campaign, highlights the university’s world-leading flexible, distance learning capability and will target a number of key overseas markets.
Currently, approximately 7,500 of the OU’s students are from outside the UK. This series of short films explores the lives, dreams, struggles and achievements of five real OU students and alumni from different corners of the world, and documents how the OU has enabled them to follow their aspirations.
Stories include those of international OU student Rain, studying BSc Psychology remotely from her home in Antipolo, Philippines as local universities didn’t offer her desired course; Colm, who after starting a BEng Engineering course in Dublin, left to go travelling and was still able to continue his studies from whichever country he was living in at the time; and Sridev from Palakkad in India who, while studying for a BSc in Astronomy and Planetary Science, could carry out practical experiments through the OU’s OpenSTEM Labs, including using the OU’s remote-access, robotic telescopes in Tenerife.
Targeted primarily at 25-45-year-olds, these films and associated content will be promoted via digital channels including social media, native advertising and digital display in fourteen key markets around the world, including Hong Kong, Singapore, UAE, Canada, Malaysia, South Africa and across Europe. They will also be supported by traditional media buys, including through BBC Worldwide and through the OU’s own social channels, website and CRM programme.
The campaign aims to raise awareness of the OU outside the UK, capitalise on the increasing demand for more flexible learning and inspire others to consider what they could achieve with the OU. It has been created by a cross-agency Havas team led by Havas helia and Havas International and marks the agency’s first major international campaign since it won the integrated OU account earlier this year.
Claudia Church, head of acquisition and brand at The Open University says: “The Open University’s international audience is incredibly diverse, but with one fundamental thing in common: a shared determination for growth and personal development, on their own terms, in a way that works for them. With people increasingly seeking flexible lifestyles, careers and education options, the OU is perfectly set up to help them achieve their learning goals wherever they are in the world.”
Dominique Bergantino, managing director at Havas helia, adds: “The OU is such a venerable institution that it’s easy to forget the tangible and positive difference it can make to people’s lives – not just in the UK, but all around the world. It opens up a range of world-class higher education options to all, regardless of location or circumstance. It’s those stories we celebrate in this campaign for what is one of the country’s great exports.”
Creative Agency: Havas
Executive Creative Director: Stuart Peddie (Havas helia)
Creative Director: Andrew Park (Havas helia)
Creatives: Carys Newbury (Havas helia)
Managing Partner: Mike Welsh (Havas helia), Rob Breese (Havas Media), James Boulton (Havas International)
Account Director: Alex Bailey (Havas helia)
Agency Producer: Dominique Strouthos (Havas helia)
International Account Director: Florence Weber-Zuanigh (Havas International)
International Account Manager: Céline Collarini (Havas International)
International Account Executive: Gabriele Graziano (Havas International)