Fall heralds an enhanced marketing and brand campaign with several new twists

A moon with the words "This is your project" [OPEN YOUR MIND] on it
An example of the new [OPEN YOUR MIND] brand advertisements that will roll out around the Ontario Universities Fair

Fall is an exciting time, as York University’s campus communities are abuzz with activity and the next generation of university students begin to contemplate where they want to pursue their postsecondary studies.

A moon with the words "This is your project" [OPEN YOUR MIND] on it
An example of the new [OPEN YOUR MIND] brand advertisements that will roll out around the Ontario Universities Fair
In 2015, York launched [OPEN YOUR MIND], a powerful, breakthrough brand advertising and marketing campaign that reflects and promotes the bold, proud and leading initiatives that make York University one of Canada’s top postsecondary institutions.

“There is strong and growing evidence that our campaign is creating significant attention in the market and garnering the interest of both prospective students and their parents to learn more about our incredible learning opportunities,” said York University President and Vice-Chancellor Mamdouh Shoukri.

“While our marketing focus will continue to showcase and capitalize on the innovative, high-quality academic and research programs at York, given the importance of experiential education (EE) in our University Academic Plan, we are introducing a new creative element to highlight and bring to life the broad range of the diverse EE opportunities available at York,” said Susan Webb, chief marketing and communications officer. “Last spring we tested experiential education ads with focus groups and received a very positive reaction. Based on this, we anticipate our approach will help differentiate York from our competition.

“Arriving at these examples of program and EE excellence, and finding an unexpected visual in counterpoint to the headline, is not as easy you would think…. It took collaboration with leaders from across the institution, including the president, provost and the deans, to make it happen.”

When and where will you see the new ads?

The new campaign is set to roll out around the annual Ontario Universities’ Fair, which takes place from Sept. 23 to 25. This is a pivotal time for thousands of students and their families. The campaign is multiplatform and will be featured in university guides, bus shelters and transit, out-of-home billboards, TV, cinema, and across digital and social media – focused primarily in the Greater Toronto Area.

In addition to the multiplatform campaign, the highly popular free tuition contest coupled with an Instagram initiative and a top YouTuber will complement advertising efforts. “York will again offer the free tuition contest, which more than 9,700 prospective students participated in last year,” said Webb. The initiative is an effective way to learn about students who are interested in studying at York University and offers an effective portal for channelling recruitment efforts.

The Instagram contest showcases the University’s beautiful campuses. York students can enter by snapping and tagging photos of their favourite spot on campus to win prizes.

As well, a top YouTuber will announce her participation in York’s Red & White Day celebration on Sept. 29 – stay tuned for details on Sept. 22.

To learn more and to see the full campaign, visit the [OPEN YOUR MIND] website at openyourmind.yorku.ca.