The new world-first, which was developed in collaboration with leading design agency Bond & Coyne, has seen the specialist arts university build and host their 2022 prospectus entirely over Instagram; an environment where it says its audience is already crafting, creating and curating the artistic heritage of the future.
In the highly competitive and increasingly global HE environment, innovation and disruption are key to standing out – Simon Pride
Internationally recognised for its state-of-the-art specialist digital and creative facilities and graduate programmes, AUB is home to the UK’s first purpose-built arts school Drawing Studio for more than a century, and Bournemouth Film School, which fuses a raft of big screen and cinematic specialisms into an industry-renowned filmmaking institution.
AUB’s concept has been underpinned by research demonstrating an increase in school leavers using social media, particularly Instagram, to identify university choice. Reports by education research group EAB in 2017 and 2019 highlighted Instagram’s growth in popularity, as well as a decline in the use of competitor platforms Facebook and Twitter.
AUB’s new prospectus creates a real-time conversation with an audience, offering an opportunity, for the first time ever, to discover and understand what content inspires one of Europe’s most thriving digital and creative environments.
The entirely digital platform presents the university with a unique opportunity to host multimedia and live content. Course detail is dynamic and easily navigable, immediately immersing prospective students among the university’s creative narrative, or out to their website.
Head of student recruitment and marketing Simon Pride said: “In the highly competitive and increasingly global HE environment, innovation and disruption are key to standing out – particularly if you are a small creative specialist university like AUB, vying for the attention of one of the most marketing literate/marketing cynical audiences there is to communicate with – young creatives.
“For us, an important part of standing out was to avoid the ‘broadcast’ nature of many university marketing campaigns. We wanted to take a step towards our audience and open a conversation with them through their own media – their own world. Our students use Instagram to stage their most creative and disruptive work, so why shouldn’t we?”
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Pride adds: “Working across a network of inter-connected accounts, we’ve created an AUB brand experience that is richer in content than any printed prospectus could ever be. A ‘hero’ social media account gives an overview of AUB and signposts 28 individual social media accounts for every course or level of study.
“AUB’s Instagram prospectus can host live events. It can start a conversation. It can be updated throughout the year, as and when information changes or exciting events happen that we wish to share. Content can be shared immediately with friends and family, not to mention a monthly live Instagram community of more than one billion users.
“Ultimately, our aim was to create a communication project that lived up to the values we strive to instil in our students – to be bold and innovative in their practice. And with the help of some super-talented AUB alumni, we think we’ve done that.”
AUB’s digital prospectus is among a range of new online and digital content the university is using to showcase its collaborative approach to creative arts education, using student and staff work to demonstrate the quality of its arts practice. The digital-first approach also helps them reduce their impact on the environment.
With a new website launched in June 2020, the university is also launching AUB:360, a new virtual campus experience and interactive glimpse of AUB’s specialist facilities, designed by the university’s In-House Digital Designer and Photographer.