Columbia College asked its digital content partner DEG to help it communicate the offering of both virtual and in-person learning to students for the entire fall semester.

The coronavirus pandemic threw everyone a curveball, including higher education institutions hosting thousands of students on campus throughout most of the year. Some colleges already equipped with virtual learning options, such as Columbia College, were able to pivot to provide online classes for their students.

So, when the fall semester saw a continuation of social distancing and hyper-vigilant isolation, Columbia College sought to ease the minds of its students—and their parents—by offering several learning options.

The challenge

Founded in 1851, Columbia College is a private, nonprofit liberal arts and sciences college focused on helping students advance their lives through higher education, both online and on-campus at its more than 30 venues nationwide. When the COVID-19 pandemic showed no signs of slowing down as the fall semester approached, Columbia College asked its digital content partner DEG to help it communicate the offering of both virtual and in-person learning to students for the entire fall semester.

The strategy

Knowing many students—especially those entering their first semester of college—would be disappointed with the prospect of not experiencing the intended adventure of college, DEG focused on creating a positive and bright-colored message for Columbia College. The agency needed to appeal to both parents who are paying for school and the students enrolled in classes to get everyone to select the learning option that best suited their situation for the fall.

Columbia College leveraged DEG’s video production abilities to launch the regional broadcast spot across the Midwest, informing students and their parents about learning options available during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The solution

DEG began by developing a narrative that showcased the online and in-person class options from the perspective of a student who determines their schedule based on their needs and desires, which can change every day.

Branding Columbia College as “Your college, your way,” DEG built out a video treatment using motion graphics, with b-roll film from previous spots and used the brand’s tertiary color palette to stand out. The agency delivered a 30-second video to Columbia College, meeting the timeline and budget needed to launch the spot in a regional buy that ran for eight weeks leading up to the fall semester.

In response to the work produced by the DEG Content Studio, Columbia College Associate Vice President for Marketing Division Brad Wucher said, “When the last-minute request came in, I knew exactly where to turn for assistance. DEG always comes through.”

The outcome

Columbia College leveraged DEG’s video production abilities to launch the regional broadcast spot across the Midwest, informing students and their parents about learning options available during the COVID-19 pandemic. Columbia College also displayed the video on its website leading up to the start of the fall semester.

Now, students can easily select which learning option is best for them thanks to the informative “Your college, your way” video.

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