Keep cool till after school: Unitec and Special Group celebrate the urban creators

Last year’s risky ‘Change Starts Here‘ docu-ad campaign for Unitec Institute of Technology aimed to address some long-standing misconceptions about the institution among parents and students and led to a significant increase in enrolments. And now it is hoping to, ahem, build on that by celebrating the achievements of graduates of its Faculty of Technology and Built Environment with its new campaign, ‘We make the people who make it’. 

The aim of the campaign is to drive awareness and interest in the faculty—which includes courses in the traditional trades such as carpentry, plumbing, electrical engineering, drainlaying, automotive mechanics and boatbuilding, as well as civil engineering, construction management, surveying and property development—with a creative approach that, like last year’s effort, “breaks the tertiary education marketing sector norm”.

In the past, it’s fair to say Auckland’s built environment wasn’t really worth shouting about, but things are definitely on the improve, and the city is getting some liveability love from the likes of Monocole and The Economist for its recent efforts. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-3zVShQP6Vk“Our graduates have played a huge part in making Auckland the great city it is today. By telling our graduates stories we want to inspire people with a passion for the trades and technologies to get trained so they can make their own mark on our city,” says executive director of marketing and communications, Jeanette Paine, who’s up for the prestigious marketer of the year award at this week’s TVNZ-NZ Marketing Awards. 

The campaign was created by Special Group with media strategy from Naked Communications, and the very urban and energetic TVC, which is the cornerstone of the campaign and establishes the feel for a host of other elements that will roll out over the coming months, was shot by Andy Morton of 8com (who also directed the ‘Change Starts Here’ campaign when he was with Fim Construction). The soundtrack was written and performed by Auckland artist Loui the Zu and can be downloaded for free via a text to download application embedded in the TVC or by visiting www.unitec.ac.nz.

Part of the campaign’s digital strategy will focus around a Google Maps application, which enables people who have worked on buildings in Auckland, and around the world, to mark the spot and detail their involvement. As the campaign progresses, this application will become a highlighted component of the digital activity.

“The campaign showcases an industry that has had a huge impact on our city and gives people working in the trades the opportunity to mark their contribution to the Auckland Cityscape via the Google Maps application,” says Paine.

The campaign will roll out over a number of different platforms, including cinema, outdoor, online, and an innovative GPS-activated audio-video tour on city centre Link Buses.

“Last year, the ‘Change Starts Here’ documentary campaign highlighted the experience of studying at Unitec,” says Michael Redwood, managing partner Special Group. ”This year we wanted to focus on the amazing things these Unitec graduates are achieving in our city.”


Jeanette Paine – Executive Director, Marketing and Communications
Alistair Kirk – Director Customer Journey
Carly Wigley – Director Brand Experience
Darren Horsman – Director Corporate Relations
Chris Liew – Online Marketing Manager
Christine Prestwood – Contractor – Brand Campaign

8 Com
Andy Morton – Director
Kate Millington – Producer

Special Group
Tony Bradbourne – Creative Director
Rob Jack – Creative Director
Antony Wilson – Writer
Iain MacMillan – Art Director
Michael Redwood – Managing Partner
Nicola Winslade – Account Manager
Maia Copper – Account Manager
Mahsa Willis – Producer
Nigel Sutton – Producer

Naked Communications
Matt O’Sullivan – Managing Partner
Te Roi Dodson – Communications Strategist

Beat Communications
Angela Mace – Director
James Boult – Account Manager

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