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The Open University's Animated Stories Reinforce Online Learning Credentials

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Created by Havas CX helia, Stories of Ambition aims to capitalise on the increased interest in online learning amidst the COVID-19 pandemic

The Open University's Animated Stories Reinforce Online Learning Credentials

The Open University, the UK’s largest academic institution, has today unveiled a new marketing campaign showcasing its flexible, high-quality, distance learning credentials through the real stories of its students.

It aims to capitalise on the increased need for online learning options brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, highlighting the OU’s more than 50-year heritage of pioneering innovative distance learning and how it has inspired and enabled millions of students to realise their ambitions through its courses. As other academic institutions quickly shifted to online learning, it also seeks to assuage concerns about the quality of such offerings – reassuring potential students that the OU has honed its own approach, methods and structures over many years. 

Stories of Ambition, created by customer engagement agency Havas CX helia, is an engaging series of animated stories from real students whose ambitions have been realised through the OU. It replaces the OU’s previous ‘Open Diaries’ series, which had been in-use since 2018, and forms part of its overarching brand campaign ‘Free Your Ambition’. 

The first in the series tells the story of OU student Joe, who is fascinated by human behaviour and wants to be a clinical psychologist. Brought to life through animation by Buff Motion, he explains, in his own words, how the OU’s inherent flexibility has allowed him to study for a BSc in Psychology while also working for the NHS as he does so. There will be three future student executions.

The campaign, which runs online, on video on demand and paid social, as well as via the OU’s own channels, reflects the OU’s founding mission to enable people’s ambitions by making learning accessible to anyone, anywhere.

Rachel Cully, senior marketing manager at The Open University says: “Stories of Ambition is about finding new ways to leverage the OU’s greatest advocates – our students and their amazing stories – to address any questions and uncertainties prospective students might have about both the OU and distance learning in general. This is particularly important in light of the pandemic, with more and more people considering online learning and seeking information on how it actually works. We hope hearing other students’ experiences can provide crucial context, understanding and relatability for all those people who want to realise their ambitions through education in a way which works for them.”

Stuart Peddie, executive creative director at Havas CX helia adds: “The proof, as always, is in the pudding – and the fact is the OU’s biggest cheerleaders are all the students whose ambitions have been realised through the flexible, distance learning approach it began pioneering more than 50 years ago. We wanted to modernise these testimonials, capturing them in a fresh, organic style that speaks to the next generation, while retaining their inherent and inspiring authenticity.”


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Client 

Client: Rachel Cully, Senior Marketing Manager, Brand Acquisition (The Open University)

Agency 

Creative agency: Havas helia

ECD: Stuart Peddie

Copywriter: Carys Newbury

Art Director: Daniel Scott

Account team: James Hough (Business Director), Miles Hurren (Senior Account Director) and Caroline Brosche (Account Director)

Agency producer: Amy Scott and Tom Lacey

Planner: Kristin Cowper

Media

Media agency: Havas Media

Media planner: Asher Burrell

Animation 

Animation: Buff Motion

Genres: Animation, People

Categories: Education, Corporate, Social and PSAs

Havas UK, Wed, 17 Mar 2021 09:50:59 GMT