North Warwickshire and South Leicestershire College (NWSLC) are a college group in the midlands that provide further education opportunities through their vast range of courses. As with many educational institutions, NWSLC seek to offer their educational opportunities to as many students as possible. Not only do they look to attract more students, but they look to ensure that students are matched with the best possible course for them.
As part of their recruitment efforts to fulfil these aims, NWSLC came to us with two objectives. Firstly, they wanted a TV advert producing that could be shown in order to attract more students to the college. Secondly, they were looking for a series of videos to populate their website with that would give an overview of every course they offered.
These videos should include key insights into what students could expect from the course and what they may hope to get out of it. This was all in the aim of ensuring prospective students were given enough information to be matched with the right course for them.
Over the course of six months, the Glacé Media team went about the completion of both these projects. This involved a detailed pre-production phase, with the subsequent management of the production and post-production elements. At the heart of all this, we sought to keep the two main aims of NWSLC at the forefront of the projects, whilst making sure we provided them with high quality and creative content that was fit for purpose.
How We Achieved It
As with any project of such scope, a detailed pre-production phase will make the rest of the production a lot easier for everyone. Laying out the aims early on and planning the best solutions from the beginning means that throughout the process, everyone is aiming towards the same goal. What helped this process the most was splitting this into two projects. As there were separate aims at play, it made sense to tackle them one by one. This is how they both came together.
Firstly, the aim of the TV advert was to attract new students. This was to be done through a 30 second slot on Sky and ITV. The conclusion of the planning phase was that to effectively draw the attention of new students in 30 seconds, showing previous students and what they were doing now would work well. This would highlight both the diversity of careers that a student can go into and also the success of past students.
To ensure the audience could instantly tell what the former students on screen were now doing, this needed to be shot on location. This involved four different filming locations over the course of two days. A restaurant, an airport, a warehouse and an ambulance depot. Although this provided extra logistical challenges, it meant the audience could see a very clear visual. The advert needed to show what careers students could go into, shooting it this way meant the viewer could instantly see this.
To ensure a TV standard of production could be shot over four locations in two days a crew of seven was put together. The crew we assembled for this project allowed us to work quickly whilst still hitting the aim of a TV quality advert. By doing this, we could ensure the shoot didn’t have to last any longer than two days. Therefore saving time that would have been wasted with a much smaller setup. The balance here was for efficiency and quality and by approaching it in this way, this is exactly what we got.
The final edit sought to show prospective students the careers they could end up in whilst being of a standard fit for TV. With the combination of opening/closing graphics, a well suited voiceover and music, the final edit produced an optimistic tone highly suitable for recruitment. The through line of “I started my journey at NWSLC”, along with the sign off “Start here, go anywhere,” compliments the visuals that displayed the career development available after studying at the college.
This advert has been used over the course of a 12 month campaign on both Sky and ITV. On top of this, versions were edited for Youtube, Facebook and Instagram. A secondary version was also cut to target those wishing to attend open days. The flexibility of the shoot meant this alternative version could be produced and the content therefore extended its use.
The second aim of the college was to create a series of videos to populate their website with that would provide an insight into every course that they covered. Going from producing one video of 30 seconds to creating 40 – 50 videos that were 2 minutes plus, was immediately a large scale up. This is why once again the aims were very important. When breaking this down it became clear that these videos must offer a natural insight into the course as well as being produced to a high quantity.
Two aspects were combined to hit the first element. The college is set up with lots of great working and studying environments so these needed to be shown off. Much like the TV advert, the visuals here are very important. The viewer needed to instantly be able to see what the college was offering. This played out on the days of the 3 day shoot as a roaming crew visiting each department of the college and capturing visually interesting footage showing students and teachers in a learning environment. By doing this the viewer could instantly see what the course was about as well as getting the human connection with the teachers and students.
To follow this, we brought the student and teachers on camera to talk about their experiences. Casting actors is all very well and good for the ultimate polished look. However, this needed to be authentic. Engaging students and teachers with a set of questions brought out genuine thoughts and experiences that the audience could relate to. These were all done in front of a white backdrop for consistency throughout. This studio feel was set up on location across 4 different locations. We were able to capture this standard in varying locations conditions but by still being flexible for what the client needed.
Over the course of the 3 days of filming, the crew were able to capture enough footage and audio that every course at the college would be represented visually and audibly through the interviews. Creating this setup also gave the college the opportunity to capture some extra content such as an interview with the principal which would become useful for their wider marketing.
The final edited versions of these videos had a consistent feel throughout them, yet still allowed the character of the subject areas to come through. As a result, NWSLC could populate their website with highly informative videos that matched with the visual theme of the site. On-screen graphics were also included in line with the brand guidelines, adding an extra level of brand consistency. On top of this, the flexibility of these videos meant they were also very useful for their wider digital marketing efforts. Youtube and Facebook versions were also utilised to further maximise the use of the content.
A Platform For Greater Things
After being given the two main aims, these two projects achieved what the college was looking for. NWSLC ended up with a highly polished TV advert that added to their recruitment efforts via television advertising. They also gained a vast amount of insightful video content that added a lot of extra detail to their website. Utilising these videos as part of their annual marketing campaign meant that the college had extra content to attract students to them and plenty more videos to offer further information once they found themselves searching their website.
These projects have laid the groundwork for plenty more marketing successes for NWSLC in the future. All the content produced has a relatively long life span. This means that it will be relevant for many marketing campaigns going forward. Especially with the content on the website, the college now has the ability to quickly and easily share targetted information with relevant prospective students.
Building a foundation like this means that the opportunity to produce even more enticing and attractive content is available going forward. As the quantity aspect has been addressed, projects that focus on attracting students on different platforms with different styles is now open to them.
Producing content like this is incredibly useful in of itself, but the platform it provides to step into the wider world of video is enormous.
If you’d like to get the ball rolling and start creating some video content like this for your educational institution, just drop the Glacé team a message now with what you are looking to achieve and we’ll be able to help you out.