Close grid

University of Wisconsin-Madison

University of Wisconsin-Madison

The world’s first bone-marrow transplant. The drafting of the U.S. Social Security Act. The first weather satellite in space. The University of Wisconsin-Madison has moved the world forward in every field. And with iconic alumni like Frank Lloyd Wright and the founders of Harley-Davidson, it’s easy to understand why. As they headed into their first-ever comprehensive fundraising campaign, UW-Madison asked us to create a brand narrative that would secure the support of its 400,000 alums.

Situation

The state of Wisconsin and UW-Madison were born in the same year, and their joint history tells the tale of success achieved together. Yet UW-Madison stands out as “a blue dot in a red state”—very different in outlook from the state it serves. Ideological differences between the two led to steep declines in state support, but have also galvanized the university’s resolve to take the steps necessary to secure the school’s enduring mission.

Solution

To keep UW-Madison’s success going, we doubled down on a campaign that highlights the success that lies ahead by exploring the long history of the ways UW-Madison and Wisconsin achieved success in the past. “Boundless Together” has become the school’s mantra—one in which collaboration unleashes tremendous results and promises a brighter economic future for everyone in Wisconsin. Eight nationally televised TV spots highlighted fascinating discoveries born of collaboration among students, faculty, state government, and industry. These and other paid and unpaid media placements drove traffic to a digital hub inviting alumni to move the university forward in every direction.

Results

On a campus famed for skepticism of authority, there is consensus that “Boundless Together” has captured the essence of the university. The launch of the university’s comprehensive campaign, “All Ways Forward,” has already hit nearly half of its $3 billion goal since its launch. The university’s ranking in U.S. News & World Report jumped up six places in 2016.

6-spot increase in U.S. News
Over $1.4 Billion Raised
Increase in Web Traffic