The University of Otago gets real about student experiences

The University of Otago has rolled out a new ‘Only Otago’ campaign via Rainger & Rolfe, featuring real students sharing their experiences of student life in Dunedin.

A series of videos rolled out online takes a look at first year experiences, ease of transition, building friendships, ‘studentsville’, residential colleges, support, volunteering and Maori and Pacific culture and support services, all from a student’s perspective.

As one student says in the ‘Studentsville’ video, 20 percent of Dunedin population is students and fittingly, the other comments from students revolve around the combined social and study lifestyle of the city.

“Everyone’s sort of studying, everyone’s in the same boat, everyone’s here to have a good time as well,” another student says.

The university’s head of marketing, Lindy Wilson, says nothing compares to the unscripted, unprompted, compelling voice of a student talking from the heart, which is what makes this campaign special.

“We know the satisfaction levels down here are world class – why wouldn’t we look to leverage this?”

Rainger & Rolfe managing partner Jen Rolfe agrees that the students are the best ones to tell and sell the Otago story.

“They told us they’re living the dream and they told us they wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. Now we have a campaign to capture and communicate this.”

And as well as tackling university from the perspective of undergraduates, there’s also a postgraduate digital an outdoor campaign aimed at challenging potential students to consider higher education.

It’s a similar approach to the university’s 2016 campaign, also by Rainer & Rolfe, which explored 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.


University of Otago: Lindy Wilson, Lisa Vote, Fiona Clarkson, Karlo Feliciano

Rainger & Rolfe: Ant Rainger, Jen Rolfe, Georgie Levitt, Peter Mayo, Matt Halliday, Allie Buczkowski, Lauren Proud, Lex Fleming, James Hutchinson

Video Production: Otago University Media Production Unit: Lloyd Walker, Jon Wolken, Wayne Johnson, Stuart MacKenzie

Audio: David Liversidge

Starcom: Karen Booth, Tamara Robinson.

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