New campaign revolutionizes recruitment

November 25, 2014
Catherine Riggins
Tags: marketing
Royal Roads launches innovative campaign which includes live virtual tours via Google Glass and GoPro.

Brochure style marketing and traditional print ads may soon be a thing of the past in the education sector, after an extremely innovative student marketing campaign has been brought to life by Royal Roads University.

Rather than taking one uniform approach to this fall’s marketing campaign, Royal Roads launched a range of targeted, creative angles that leverage new technology and social media last week.  Conducted live via Google Glass and GoPro wearable cameras, the Future View campaign is the first of its kind in Canada.

“Our alumni speak of their experience here at Royal Roads as transformative and life-changing," said Catherine Riggins, Royal Roads director of branding, marketing and recruitment. "Now that we have technology and social media at our fingertips, it makes perfect sense for us to give prospects a true taste of life at Royal Roads, customized to their needs.”

The resulting tactics span Google, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter – with some activations engaging directly with individual prospective students and others designed for wider engagement.

  • Views through Google Glass and GoPro cameras provided potential students with a virtual tour of the campus last week, allowing them to sample a day at Royal Roads University from anywhere in the world. Representatives were outfitted with the technology and sent onto the campus as virtual guides – attending lectures, conducting Q&As with faculty, enjoying the pristine grounds and taking in a tour of Hatley Castle – transmitting their experience live in real time, with viewers tweeting questions and instructions along the way.
  • The university created custom profiles that are the ‘future selves’ of select student prospects on LinkedIn, showing how their careers could advance after a Royal Roads education. Candidates receive a notification that their ‘future self’ has viewed their profile and if the prospective student views it back, Royal Roads then reaches out to them directly to continue the conversation (these profiles contain clear disclaimers that they are not real or searchable, and will be removed within a one week timeframe).
  • ‘Glimpse into your future’ events have also been created on Facebook, to which specific candidates are invited through promoted posts. These events include future career milestones, like ’Moving into your new corner office with a view.’
  • Google AdWords target potential student candidates. If they happen to Google themselves, an ad displays with a message speaking directly to that individual by name, supported with more general display ads.

All activity links prospects to a microsite and Royal Roads enrolment advisors who provide additional information to contacts on the various programs of interest. The microsite offers ways to connect with Royal Roads alumni as mentors, who can provide potential students with real-life insights and guidance on their future educational path.

The advertising agency behind the campaign said the creative was all about narrowcasting rather than broadcasting.

“Rather than just speak to the masses, we knew it was more fruitful to speak directly to warm prospects, and what better way to do that than to put them at the centre of it," said Michael Milardo, Cossette creative director. "Through technology, these potential students can sample the Royal Roads experience first-hand with elements such as the Google Glass stunt, or take a glimpse of what their future would look like if they decided to attend the university. Such a personal approach to the campaign is proving to be highly engaging." 

The campaign will run through to the end of fall.