Recruiting a new generation of students.
How we’ve helped UK start the conversation with Generation Z.
What we did
Art Direction and Design
As the last of the Millennial generation moves into the post-graduate workforce, the University of Kentucky is gradually shifting its focus to a new generation of students. So what is it exactly that makes Generation Z different? And what makes them tick?
Gen Z tends to be more pragmatic than their idealistic Millennial counterparts. They’re more self-aware and self-reliant. Many have an innate entrepreneurial spirit and want to create a future of their own. They’ve grown up fully immersed in the information age, where the internet and social media are second nature.
We wanted to give prospective students a way to customize their own journey into higher education. We wanted to show them that the University of Kentucky is a school where they can find their place—whether that means discovering their calling in the classroom, becoming a part of a community on campus, or finding a home in the city of Lexington. We wanted to show them that there are endless opportunities to make their own way in the world, and that UK is an experience that they’ll carry with them for the rest of their lives.
As one of the first and most important touchpoints with prospective students, UK recruiters host “Preview Nights” at high schools around the Bluegrass state and beyond. There, students are given a printed Viewbook that introduces the University in greater detail—from colleges and majors, to campus life, to application deadlines and everything in between. The Viewbook can also be downloaded online, giving students the option to pre-select their majors and interests to create a Viewbook that’s tailored to them.
To help open and close the Preview Night presentation, a pair of videos tell the collective story of the University through the experiences of current students. This invites prospective students to imagine their own story—their next four years at the University of Kentucky.
Teresa VanderMolen, Creative Director
“Every prospective student wants to know what their time on campus will be like. At the same time, the beauty of the UK experience is that it’s so versatile, students can really pursue just about any direction while they’re here. Our goal was to let this diversity speak for itself through the lives and activities of the interviewees. And they did not disappoint—we saw firsthand how students are thriving in every corner of the University, taking advantage of the chance to live out their passions across a myriad of fields.
Everyone at UK is part of a great story. We wanted to highlight that collaborative environment by inviting students to share their stories together. That’s where these videos diverge from typical college admissions fare, and it’s also a glimpse of the community that makes UK an exciting place to call home.”
Jessica Vincent, Director of Account Services
“There’s been a real shift in understanding how to best connect with Gen Z. We’ve been able to leverage a lot of great research and insights that have influenced both design and content. So our strategy and how we’ve gone about presenting the university to prospective students has changed. It’s helped set the tone with what the university is doing in regards to undergraduate recruitment, and how they’re communicating with current students. That approach—strategy based on insights—has also changed how our client talks to their internal audiences, making it easier to sell up to administration and executive leadership.”