Marine Institute

Once upon a time, Kim Thornhill, the Marketing Manager at the Fisheries & Marine Institute (MI), hired Upstream to help convince more millennials to take the road less travelled and enroll at MI. An identity redesign and thousands of view books later, an impressive case study was born.

Inside the Mind of a Millennial

In just 20 interviews with first-year students we uncovered the key strategic insight for attracting more applicants: offer evidence that a degree from MI leads to an enviable career (and enviable selfies). We also learned that MI’s prospective students wanted brevity in promotional materials, smaller class sizes, one-on-one instruction, and “never-the-same-thing-twice” jobs in the great outdoors.

Bring out the Selfies!

The strategy harnessed multiple media channels—cinema, transit, outdoor, digital, social, direct mail and point-of-sale—to bolster MI’s reputation as a catapult to exciting jobs. We asked alumni to submit selfies or other images of memorable moments at work, which netted imagery of graduates at the Arctic Circle, the Lost City of Petra and other exotic locations. This gave a distinct, bold, and adventurous flavour to MI’s brand identity and the ensuing campaign.

Hang on to Your Hat.

By the end of that year, recruiters reported an unprecedented demand for the redesigned recruitment materials, and by 2015, MI posted a 33% increase in student enrollments. Not bad for a stack of selfies eh?



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