In 2016, Deakin University had grown to become in the top 2 per cent of universities worldwide. They had achieved much of this through traditional student recruitment channels - i.e. conferences, recruitment events, school visits - but the landscape was changing quickly, and the university had to take drastic steps to ensure it wasn’t left behind.
As part of a forward-thinking digital agenda, the university brought in a digital marketing team, focussed on developing great content, creating a wider digital ecosystem, and running ads that could recruit and convert.
To succeed in communicating to future international students, Deakin University needed to speak their language. While it’s common for universities to give future students a sales pitch - throwing stats, industry figures and emotionally-charged recruitment videos at them - we wanted to do something different, something authentic.
International Students in Cars Getting Coffee is a content-led video series developed to articulate soft-sell messaging to increase brand awareness and drive student international student recruitment.
The series is all about capturing authentic conversations with international students, chatting to them about life, their studies and where the future will take them. And let's be honest, nothing quite says Melbourne like a freshly-brewed cup of coffee.
Localised Video Pieces for Paid Social
With an employee car fitted-out with a couple of GoPro’s and a microphone, we created the ultimate low-budget video series.
In total, we produced nine videos, covering authentic student stories from around the world, from India, to the Philippines, Nigeria, Pakistan, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Sri Lanka and China.
The video series was run across paid social media advertising, with a focus on Facebook, Instagram, Line, WeChat and Weibo.
Yes, we made a viral video
Within days of launch, our video series had clocked up more than 200,000 views. And within the first month, our content had been seen by more than 4 million unique people around the world - all of which, prospective future international students.
A real recruitment driver
Our video series was conversion-tracked, end-to-end, and we closely followed the journey of prospective students who watched the video, submitted an online enquiry and went on to make an application for studies at the university. The results were unprecedented, and in terms of numbers, made video marketing our most effective sales channel overnight.
International Students In Cars Getting Coffee was awarded the 2016 International Education Association of Australia award for Innovation in International Education.