written by:

Here is the first place winner of our recent scholarship campaign! You can see the original flyer of this submission here. The plain text version is below:

If I were to create a marketing campaign for the University of Minnesota, THIS IS HOW I WOULD DO IT:

The campaign would be CLEAR, FOCUSED, and PERSONAL.

The message of the campaign would be clear: Driven to Discover. The focus of the campaign would be specific: prospective students. The campaign would be personal: connecting individuals to individuals.


Create an engaging and exciting pop up event for prospective students to discover the University of Minnesota. The events will be held on high school campuses, where students will be invited to become a part of the University through VR. They can sit in on a live lecture, run onto the field with the football team, grab a coffee from the local coffee house, tour a dorm, or participate in a live Q & A session with current students. Interest and engagement will occur through the use of the school’s and student’s social media and efficient use of VR.

Send A Clear Message

The message will be clear: “The University of Minnesota: Driven to Discover”. Students will then be asked “What would you like to discover?”. Students can choose to explore academics, athletics, residential life, local entertainment or ask questions of a current student through VR. After this experience, students will know that an education at the University of Minnesota focuses on discovery.

Stay Focused

The locations of these pop up events will be specific and targeted. By using admissions data from the last five years, specific high schools will be chosen to host a Discovery event. There will be a focus on two types of schools: 1) Schools with a large percentage of students who have historically applied at the U of MN. 2) Schools with a low percentage of students who have historically applied at the U of MN, and have admissible academic records. A larger number of events will occur in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, North Dakota and South Dakota, with fewer occurring in non-adjacent states.

Take A Personal Approach

REACHING THE GOAL: The goal of this campaign is to attract potential students to attend the University of Minnesota, and taking a personal approach is a proven way to accomplish that goal. Instead of spending countless hours and dollars on students who are not interested in the U of MN, the VR approach allows all students to become personally involved with the University. Students who are interested in the University already can put themselves in the shoes of a student, see what their future may look like, and ask questions of students. Students who are in it for the fun of VR may just become interested after discovering what Minnesota is about.

USE EXISTING NETWORKS: The U of MN’s social media accounts will utilize live photo and video of the events, snapshots of the VR tours, interviews with current students and share with followers of the U of MN. However, most prospective students are not involved with the University’s social media accounts, and instead are connected to other students. Students can livestream their VR experience, get photos with Goldy the Gopher, and use Discovery branded Snapchat filters at the event. The use of student’s existing network will enable the U of MN to reach an even broader population who are within their target market.


  • The University of Minnesota is Driven to Discover.
  • Prospective students will be invited to Discover the U of MN.
  • Through VR, they can discover academic, athletic, and social life in Minneapolis. The pop up events create excitement and interest in the school.
  • Students will share their discoveries with existing social networks.
  • More students will become interested in what they can discover at the U of MN.


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