How dancing squirrels helped one university recruit more students

Have you ever thought about the little things that make your institution unique? What’s going to make prospective students remember you above all the other campuses they visited or the hundreds of other university websites they trawled through?

When it comes to promoting your university or college, should the focus always be on academic endeavours or should a little room be made to promote the whimsical things that are utterly unique to your university? Perhaps it’s a revered historic figure that once walked the halls of your campus or maybe it’s something just that little bit quirkier.

Are you familiar with Keele University, a public research university located in Staffordshire in the United Kingdom? Well, if you aren't then you’re about to go nuts for their latest marketing campaign!

Keele University, like many other universities found itself struggling to generate interest and awareness about their institution among prospective students and decided to do something different to promote their campus. While Keele haven’t abandoned traditional marketing campaigns, this is one university that have definitely discovered that a little whimsy can go a long way.

Keele’s digital campaign is based around the natural beauty of the university’s campus which is home to tens of thousands of grey squirrels. The campaign incorporated a video of dancing squirrels which received thousands of views on YouTube and an accompanying #NutsAboutKeele campaign which encouraged students, alumni and faculty members to have their say about why they love Keele University. The campaign proved enormously successful with students, prospective students and to date has engaged more than 100,000 users across social media sites.‌

A campaign like this one, proves the value of originality, creativity and what can come from daring to be that little bit different when it comes to marketing your university. While it's necessary to readily provide prospective student’s with information about your institutions’ academic benefits, it’s always worthwhile to go that extra mile to promote the hidden treasures that make your campus unique.