Havergal College picks Ruby & Foster as AOR

The newest client for recently opened agency will launch a recruitment campaign to differentiate the girl's school.
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Toronto all-girls boarding and day school Havergal College has picked Ruby & Foster as its new agency of record, tasking it with leading a recruitment campaign promoting a new enrollment option for students.

Ruby & Foster was selected following an RFP process that involved four other agencies, with work beginning earlier this month. Havergal selected Red Lion Canada – which was closed by holding co Publicis Groupe last year – as its AOR in 2015.

Ruby & Foster was co-founded late last year by chief brand officer Marketa Krivy – who had previously been an ECD at Tribal and CD at John St. and KBS – and chief operations officer Anna Halfpenny, who had previously held senior client services roles at John St., Bensimon Byrne, Cundari and Taxi. At launch, it was working with health innovation company Zephyrious, as well as two clients that remain confidential (though Krivy says one is a tech company in the health and fitness space, and the other a start-up in health and wellness media). Earlier this year, it also began working with Schaf Skincare on its brand, digital and business strategy, with an eye towards evolving the Canadian company’s business model.

Krivy says Ruby & Foster was founded to take a more holistic view of its clients business, focusing on outcomes rather than platforms or tactics used in an execution. Because of this, many of its assignments have been consultative and strategic in nature, though covers everything from branding and marketing to digital and design. Antonietta Mirabelli, executive director of communications and marketing at Havergal, said the “holistic approach” the agency presented during the RFP process was a main factor in its selection.

Havergal College was founded in 1894, and is one of the oldest independent schools for girls in Toronto, with an enrollment of over 900 students from kindergarten to grade 12. While Havergal is among the more prestigious schools in Toronto – it was the only school to receive a perfect score in this year’s ranking of Ontario schools by think-tank the Fraser Institute – Krivy points out that “parents have a ton of choice” when it comes to educational options for their children, be it other boarding or private schools, alternative education options and schools in the public system, which are offering more specialized programs.

The agency’s first work with the school is set to be an enrollment campaign that focuses on Grade 5 as an official entrance year for students at the school, a new option for students. It will also aim to differentiate Havergal from other options, and help parents navigate “a plethora of choice” and avoid “a confusing and time-consuming search,” Krivy says.