PAT BARON chief creative officer mccann australiamail@patrickbaron.com

Made Possible By Melbourne

Despite being Australia’s number one university and a highly respected institution globally, market research consistently identified limited awareness and understanding of the University of Melbourne’s research endeavour and public contribution. 

This finding was particularly evident for the University’s core audience of Melbourne’s business leaders and investors (known to the University as the ‘Esteem’ audience), a group identified as being highly influential but largely disengaged. They had little understanding of the institution’s research output, rather they see the University as a teaching institution only.  

Research is not only core to maintaining reputation as a leading research institute and impacting the wider community, but is also the key driver of every other function of the University. Research attracts the brightest academic minds, and therefore attracts the best students to study at the University. To put it simply, without maintaining research, we cannot continue to remain as the top ranked university in Australia.

So, the Made Possible by Melbourne campaign sought to find a way to make the research conducted at the University of Melbourne interesting and relevant to our key audience. It needed to be differentiated, cut through and be easy to engage, so as to shift perceptions of the University from that of a teaching establishment to that of an institution which has real global impact, happening right here in Melbourne.

The solution was to turn an entire city into a free exhibition by featuring world-changing research re-imagined in 14 traditional outdoor media panels and brought to life with a mobile audio guide. The campaign ran through the month of November 2016, through special build OOH and static OOH sites, digital and social media, on the city’s transit media (tram and train) and as pop-up activations. It also lived on as an online exhibition featuring the 14 hero stories as well as many other research initiatives happening at the University.

During the month-long campaign, Made Possible by Melbourne outperformed every measurable objective set, shifting the perception of the University from being just a teaching institution to a centre of world-changing research.

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