After a high-profile university rebrand, Virginia Tech’s office of university relations needed to introduce and own their new brand platform, justify the changes made with measurable improvements in brand perception, and create a comprehensive suite of marketing communications that embodied the spirit, intent, and plans that had been so carefully detailed out over the previous two years. Virginia Tech tasked and trusted Eddy Alexander to develop, sell, and execute, an entirely new creative concept that had to meet many high-stake demands and unify a diverse leadership team around a new brand platform that hadn’t yet been fully embraced.
Based on the complexity and importance of the new brand platform, Eddy Alexander recommended a creative direction that literally translated the meaning, and intent, of “Claim Your Role” in a variety of different scenarios as it applied to new and prospective students, professors, staff, and research talent. The team at Virginia Tech embraced the concept pointing out that the featured “planting of the flag” action leveraged a well-understood global reference to “pride and ownership” while the witty featured “roles” demonstrated a clear understanding of Virginia Tech’s reputation as a friendly, welcoming community with approachable and wildly capable academics at all levels.
Print, digital, and broadcast ads as well as larger than life, out-of-home installations all leveraged custom photography, unique and creative real-life career role and personality types, authentic situational environments, and the new “Claim Your Role” creative and editorial platform to frame real Virginia Tech students, alumni, faculty, and staff in the places and situations where they do innovative, important, and deeply rewarding work every single day. Taglines and body copy for each execution further demonstrated the campaign’s meaning, the university’s culture, and indicated the launch of exciting times for all of Hokie Nation. Upon launch, the university’s inhouse social media team partnered with Eddy Alexander to take the school’s mascot on a road trip to Washington DC. Together, they were able to capture the Hokie Bird navigating the nation’s capital, riding the metro, interacting with unexpecting and wildly excited fans of all ages, and experiencing the immersive Union Station takeover first-hand. By sharing these social media videos with students and alumni around the globe, Virginia Tech was able to further leverage their investment to help all university affiliates take pride in the project.
From on campus buzz, to global research outpost feedback, the campaign was heralded as a great success. Placements in Wired Magazine, US News and World Report, and more grabbed attention and sparked new conversations. The Union Station domination in Washington DC’s busiest public transportation hub provided context for the $1B innovation campus announcement that would became world-wide news just after launch, and closer to home, students and alumni finally stopped asking about the new logo and refocused on what being a Hokie was all about. The bold campaign leveraged the new brand architecture to ignite, invigorate, and equip a global army of brand advocates by providing stories that resonated across demographic, cultural, and geographic boundaries. It created a common excitement about the promise of the future and provided a proud platform for the celebratory announcements to follow.
“The creative vision, strategy and can-do spirit helped us achieve what most would have thought impossible on a timeline that was equally tough. I’m delighted with the outcomes we achieved in our work with Eddy Alexander. Simply put, they took our new messaging and gave it personality and visual impact.”