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University of Virginia

University of Virginia

He took down a monarchy in his 20s. Authored an entirely new concept of government. Governed it. Made the smartest real estate purchase in history. But Thomas Jefferson’s greatest contribution—his final one—was the reinvention of higher education.

Situation

The University of Virginia. The nation’s first public university, dedicated to collaboration and carefully architected to perpetuate ingenuity so that this fledgling country could continue to shatter convention. Nearly 200 years later, UVA is fulfilling its cinematic origin story as the #3 public university in the nation—a heavy-hitting research institution with 11 prestigious schools, a comprehensive health system, and the country’s top men’s athletic program. However, the legend of Jefferson and the university’s museum-like traditions were eclipsing its current story of driving novel thinking and impacting the world—through safer vehicles, major medical breakthroughs, and its prolific output of global leaders, to name a few examples.

Solution

So it was up to 160over90 to create a new narrative around Jefferson’s ideals rather than Jefferson the person. Weaving themes of cross-collaboration, experimentation, and constant evolution, we united the many layers of the complex institution under one story—the endless pursuit of better. We launched the brand through a campaign that included print, digital, TV, radio, social media, and high-visibility spaces such as the Charlottesville and Richmond airports.

Results

In just four weeks, the campaign garnered over 15 million impressions and an 87% lift in unique site traffic from visitors worldwide. The two-minute anthem video is the most successful video in school history, having virally reached over 350,000 Facebook users in just 48 hours.

Over 15 Million Campaign Impressions
87% Increase in Web Traffic
Most Watched Video in School History