Otago University provides a window into student life to lure young’uns to its campus

The University of Otago is celebrating student life in a new ‘Only Otago’ campaign via Rainger and Rolfe, showing what goes on inside and outside of the classroom.

A series of ads explore the different aspects of the university’s student culture, from peers introducing themselves, to the outfits required for different events to a cute cure for exam stress.

Not only are the videos set in the university, the talent has been sourced from it, with real students taking on the personas of Josh, Taine and Sam.

Vice-chancellor Professor Harlene Hayne says the campaign “encapsulates the excellence in learning and the second-to-none life experience you can only get at Otago”.

Hayne adds it is vital for the university to run a nation-wide advertising campaign because it draws a significantly larger proportion of its students from outside its catchment area than any other institution.

The university’s head of marketing services Lindy Wilson says the campaign reflects the lifestyle of the students.

“No other university has this type of student community within a five kilometre radius that develops when students go to the colleges and then go out flatting from their second year,” she says. “This includes the support the university wraps around those students while they are here. We’ve had years of experience of providing a great student lifestyle.”

Rainger and Rolfe won the Otago University account in December last year and managing partner Jen Rolfe, a Dunedin local who gained her degree at the university, says being awarded the competitive tender for the project was particularly rewarding as a former Otago “scarfie”.

It was big win for the agency, with Otago having spent over $3 million on advertising between November 2013 and October last year.

“I think we have done a pretty good job of faithfully capturing the unique spirit and mood and the sense of Otago-ness in everything we’ve done so far; the courage, adventure and resilience of the students making the right decision to journey to Otago.”

She says the university has a “wealth of stories to tell about its special character” and it looks forward to bringing them to life over the next few years.

The campaign is supported by the ‘Only Otago’ website, on which audiences can learn more about the idea behind it and see individual stories of Otago graduates including Martin Snedden, Daniel Radcliffe, Anton Oliver, Professor Sir Murray Brennan, Guy Ryan, Dr Julian Haszard, Jonathon Wong, Alison Shanks, Emily Wilson, Kereyn Smith, Kawiti Waetford, Amanda Ellis and Dr AnnMarie Oien.

This latest campaign replaces the former ‘Your Place in the World’ campaign the university has called on for a number of years.


University of Otago: Lindy Wilson, Lisa Vote, Luke Calder, Connor Kilkelly, Fiona Clarkson

Rainger & Rolfe: Ant Rainger, Jen Rolfe, Hugh Walsh, Allie Buczkowski, Lew Bentley, Georgie Levitt, Lauren Proud, Jane Mill

Film Construction: Perry Bradley, Valentine Taylor, Jonathan Venz

Director of Photography: Renaud Maire

Casting: Cindy Diver

Starcom: Karen Booth, Kim Gribble, Laura Wilson

Blockhead: Nigel Mortimer

The Coopers: Jon Cooper

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