St. George’s University puts the spotlight on performance

A new campaign for the Grenada-based school takes a dramatic approach to attract Canadian would-be doctors to apply.

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When you’re a university located in the Caribbean, it’s easy to promote the beautiful weather and scenery surrounding the campus as a way to attract students. But when you’re trying to convince students that they are “unstoppable” in their pursuit of success, it might be time for a different approach.

St. George’s University is a school based in Grenada that has, to date, seen more than 1,600 Canadians graduate as doctors. A new campaign for the school by Vancouver agency 123w shows the path of one of those doctors, from the moment she arrives at her dorm room to late-night study sessions to performing in high-stress treatments for the first time.

The “Be Unstoppable” campaign also includes a series of shorter videos spotlighting the school’s facilities, as well as real doctors who are currently working in Canada after graduating from St. George’s.

The online-only campaign is highly targeted, focused on Canadian students in the process of applying for medical school. St. George’s is looking to reach a relatively large and interested audience: only 16% of applicants get accepted into medical programs at Canadian universities in a typical year, leaving the rest to look to schools in other countries.

One thing missing from the campaign are shots of the tropical scenery that surrounds the St. George’s University campus. Lynn Kuhl, executive director of marketing and admission at St. George’s University, says the challenge in attracting students is getting them to “see beyond the beautiful location” and see that the school is an opportunity for anyone looking to become a doctor. To that end, the creative ditches the smiling students and colourful photography typically associated with post-secondary recruitment campaigns, in favour of highly dramatic, performance-focused creative backed by a pounding soundtrack.

According to Scot Keith, founder and CEO of 123w, the creative approach was a way to reflect the dedicated mindset of those looking to become successful doctors.

“This target is incredibly driven,” he says. “If you tell them they can’t do something, they want it even more. From the tone to the music to the black-and-white look, we are highlighting this mindset in a way students have never seen before.”