The University of Sheffield clearing campaign

Take the Lead campaign header created by Born and Raised

Results day. There’s a phrase that can conjure a range of emotions from nervous excitement to mild panic. It’s a crucial day for anyone relying on A-level results to secure a place at university.

So how do you transform a potentially stomach-churning day into a positive experience and empower students to take control of their own future? Like this.

Concept to completion

The University of Sheffield approached us to create a compelling Clearing, Adjustment and Confirmation campaign to increase the number of applicants who pre-registered interest with the University.

The concept we landed on was Take the Lead.

Chosen for its positive, empowering stance, Take the Lead embodies the University’s values and the core proposition of the undergraduate recruitment campaign Explore. Challenge. Influence.

The University wanted proactive students with a drive to take control of their own future. So rather than focusing exclusively on students who might have dropped a grade or two, the campaign also appealed to students who might have done better than expected and wanted to trade up.

To achieve authenticity, it was important to ourselves and the University to use real students who’d been through the clearing and adjustment process in the campaign’s creative execution. This meant the University could capture the students’ stories and continue the narrative.

Row of students used in the clearing campaign

Digital-first approach

A digital approach to this campaign was an obvious choice and the best way to engage an audience of digital natives.

To date, we’ve produced banners and social assets using the photography we art directed. The design combines authentic photography and bold University colours. We wanted to capture the students looking relaxed and confident, reflecting the state of mind of students who pre-register for clearing. Having the students looking into camera also gave this campaign tie in with the undergraduate recruitment campaign.

Grades to shout about

Results day came and went in the blink of an eye. And now the dust has settled the results are in. Take the Lead was a resounding success. The number of quality registrations received by the University which UCAS considers strong increased by 47%.

The number of advance registrations before results day was up 56% and there was a 23% increase in advance registration applicants who went on to accept a place at the University.

Interested in more of our work with the University of Sheffield? Take a look at our recent undergraduate recruitment campaign.