Of all the projects West Creative has been involved in, the 'Challenge Your Thinking' Campaign for St Peter's Girls' School is the one that we get asked about the most, so we thought it would be the perfect subject for a case study.
St Peter’s Girls required design of an advertising campaign, to reflect their new tagline and philosophy for the School: “Challenge your Thinking”.
The creative needed to echo the philosophy as presented in the School's rationale; “to think beyond the limits of convention and conservative expectation.” This meant moving past relying on cute portraits of students, as is the expected advertising regime amongst most School advertising.
Our goal was to evoke an emotive response and attract the attention of potential new families, particularly in the Junior School. School advertising across Adelaide was saturated at this time, so it was important for the School to stand out from the crowd.
Deadline - It was a tight one! We had 1 week to present concepts back to the School Board.
The Creative Phase
The short deadline turned into a positive by forcing us into fast, intensive brain storming sessions. Working on this campaign meant constantly rejecting the usual School concepts and images. Gone were the school books, classrooms, happy student portraits and any other stereotypical school advertising concepts. We wanted to blow away the preconceptions of what a Saints Girl was - that she was more than a student smiling prettily for the camera, but was happy to roll her sleeves up and explore the world without fear.
During this process, no idea, even the outlandish ones, were rejected and in the end we had four strong concepts to present to the School.
The Concepts were initially presented to the Director of Marketing, the Principal and finally to the Board of Governors. Right from the start, the wave lifting concept was the clear favourite. The concept relied on a strong photographic image, minimal copy and bold typography. This challenged the audience to think beyond the limits of convention and move away from the ‘expected’ School advertising.
Bringing the concept to life
The challenge now was to create the image. Utilising the skills of Adelaide photographer, Russell Millard and Saints Girl Tilly as talent, we chose Aldinga Beach as our location. We lucked out with a perfect day with the right amount of white puffy clouds floating in a blue sky. Mindful of our client's tight budget meant that Tilly’s mum became photographic assistant and makeup, hair and art direction was handled by West Creative.
Pretending to hold up an imaginary wave was no easy task for Tilly, but after two hours, and one sore arm later, we believed we had the right combination of hand and head angle to make it work. A clean background image of the sea was also taken.
Now the tricky bit - enter the magic of retouching! Darell Merritt, illustrator and retoucher extraordinare, utilised his amazing skills to bring the image to life. The final image ended up being a combination of three different shots to achieve both the perfect expression on the student’s face, combined with the arm angle and sea background.
Now that we had the image; the design and artwork phase started. We wanted the image to speak for itself, so it was important to not overcrowd it with too much copy. Steve Willis of Write Mind was brought in to write copy that conveyed the important messages in as few as words a possible!
The advertising campaign was launched across a wide range of media including bus shelters, magazine advertisements, pullup banners and large billboards placed in key spots around Adelaide.
The response to the campaign was immediate, with members of the general public, even those who had no connection to the School, relaying their positive feedback: “I just wanted to congratulate you on your advertisement on the back of Adelaide Matters.....the one with the sea. I haven’t got any daughters at School age at present, but that ad would have been enough to push me in your direction. Good work! “
Tangible results - Enquiries to the School were increased by 20% with Open Day Tour attendees up by 15%.
The campaign is still being successfully used, 18 months after it’s initial launch, and is a source of pride to both the School and their students.
"At Saint’s Girls’ we were thrilled with West Creative’s innovative thinking and design work with our latest campaign; “Challenge Your Thinking”. The key to their success is that they take the time to really understand our brand and what we are trying to achieve. This makes her work authentic and delivers tangible results." Andrew Rosser - Business Manager St Peters Girls