Making the grade: Capulet goes back to school

A thorny problem

St. Michaels University School (SMUS) is one of Canada’s top boarding schools. Despite a 115 year history and sterling reputation, SMUS found itself competing with similar schools in the region for the same applicant pool year after year. The school wanted a remarkable way to break that cycle and move into new markets across North America.

Navigating the wilderness

While working with SMUS, we were inspired by Tourism Queensland’s wildly successful contest where a compelling video CV could land you a gig as a well-paid island caretaker

Similarly, The Best School Year Ever contest gave high school students the chance to explain through a simple video why they should be chosen to live and study on campus in Victoria, BC. The first grand prize was a full ride — room, board and tuition, worth about $50,000.

We helped SMUS devise, produce and promote the contest, as well as use it as a testing ground for online marketing activities, online advertising and email campaigning.

Out of the woods

SMUS received video applications from students in cities across North America—places the school hadn’t reached before. The contest also proved an effective lead generation activity for the school. Again and again, students who submitted videos but didn’t win still opted to attend SMUS because they went through the contest experience. SMUS responded by expanding its Best School Year Ever scholarship program, offering finalist prizes.

The contest has run every year since its inception in 2014. This campaign was once a Remarkable for SMUS. Now, it’s a heartbeat activity.

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