AU “Greatness” Campaign


Client & Project: Established more than 40 years, Athabasca University has been a leader in distance learning.

The Problem/Opportunity: Reposition and differentiate AU from other universities in the increasingly competitive post-secondary marketplace, leveraging its non-traditional online structure.

Our Solution:  Our campaign strategy was based around the insight that AU’s open, distance education platform is seen by its potential students as its greatest strength but also its greatest weakness. This friction point became the key to our strategy for AU, which was to reframe their “unorthodox” online delivery method with AU’s consumers as the very thing that would set them apart, giving AU students permission to be different and forge their own path on their own terms. The campaign headline, “You don’t have to sit in school to stand among greatness” was punctuated by visuals and stories of famous historical figures who also had educations that were considered different or unorthodox at the time: Marie Curie, Albert Einstein, Mark Twain. By joining these types of “unorthodox” famous historical figures with AU’s vision, we reinforced the AU brand as “unorthodox” explorers, owning this unique intersection in the post secondary marketplace.

Art Direction & Design: The Office of Sarah & Marlene Miceli / Copywriting: Marlene Miceli