A fresh brand and a digital approach through collaboration and shared learning

University of California, Berkeley

Teaming up with our long-term partners at Berkeley, we were excited by their latest challenge to deliver a fresh brand that works seamlessly with digital marketing to attract students worldwide. 

Berkeley’s message ‘Experience Brilliance’ served to inspire students across the globe, celebrate their cutting-edge spirit and drive awareness of their pioneering, inclusive approach to education. Our strategy was to create a deeper, shared conversation around Berkeley, sharing peer messaging to support students on their journey to discovery. 

Berkeley University California is a global leader, a world top 30 and has paved the way for counter-culture movements, free speech, wet suits, microscopic motors and CRISPR gene editing. Their alumni boasts 32 nobel prizes and 223 olympic medals — there’s no single box that fits graduates of Berkeley University California, and they seek that same uniqueness in solutions.

The Challenge

Berkeley wanted to develop a new brand within the university, the Berkeley International Study Program -- a six-week experience for students from abroad to come and get a taste of the campus, the curriculum and a bit of that California life. It needed its own identifiable subrand of assets that worked with the masterbrand of the university, and a digital marketing strategy that translated across students worldwide.

California is synonymous with sunshine, nature and progress. University of California Berkeley is the home of visual brainwaves and robotic legs. There’s a synergy in being surrounded by some of the brightest minds on a campus buzzing with electricity. Every day is an opportunity for an international student to see something new, feel different and taste a bit of California life.

The Solution

The answer came in the shape of ‘Experience Brilliance,’ a robust campaign that leveraged real stories from international students at Berkeley. Sharing their daily lives, showing what they do and articulating the kind of brilliance students will experience was central to driving the message home and moving an audience who was quite a distance away.

Creating awareness through ads across campus, we were able to promote Berkeley’s outward-facing, global mindset. Out of home ads were spread across key points in the Bay area where tourist footfall was heavy, promoting an extended stay and study.

Digitally, we leveraged peer-to-peer formats on social media, such as Instagram stories and days-in-the-life videos, to build an affinity with audiences we knew would care. Once we captured their attention, and engaged them on the decision making journey, targeted ads continued to build a picture of what life would look like experiencing brilliance and bespoke landing pages were built to answer any and all possible queries a student might have before making the final decision. 

It was a success. The course has been fully subscribed since its inception, and we continue to work with Berkeley to find new ways to engage local and international audiences.

"The campaign developed a clear, nurtured path, creating early awareness with potential clients and using remarketing to turn interest into action. I was very impressed with Hybrid’s creative expertise and approach that ultimately led to great campaign success".
Bridget Lehrer
Berkeley Marketing Manager