The ‘EC World’ Global Campaign
First impressions matter. From our schools to our staff, teachers, resources, and online spaces, our brand embodies what makes EC special. Our global marketing campaign, ‘EC World’, illustrates why thousands of students around the world choose us.
Creating the Campaign
We knew we wanted to showcase our commitment to innovation in language learning, as well as our commitment to providing a unique student experience in the world’s best destinations. The EC experience means more than just learning English. We give students a chance to become a part of their new city, to learn about other cultures, become more independent, meet people from around the world, and get to know themselves better. We wanted to communicate all of this without using a single word.
Step into the EC World
We focused on three important parts of the student journey: innovation, VIP experience and stunning destinations. We wanted to avoid ‘three and a tree’: that clichéd education marketing styling that generally depicts two or three good-looking students somewhere on a campus near a tree! We wanted a more authentic feel that was true to our brand.
Our EC World campaign focused on what makes us different. We believe in innovation and we invest in technology that provides the best in language learning. From state-of-the-art classrooms to EC Online, our digital study companion, to EC Advance, our digital needs-analysis tool which creates personalised study plans, everything is focused on the student. And with Blippar, an app that allows the reader to scan areas of a page with a smartphone and be taken directly to the corresponding webpage, video or on-screen animation, our students could dive deeper into the EC World by simply scanning a page.
And with Blippar ... our students could dive deeper into the EC World by simply scanning a page.
We created a fresh look for the brand, capturing all that it means to study at EC. Visually, the campaign includes a distinctive, colourfully-illustrated landscape, drenched in shades of EC orange and accented with vibrant blues, purples and reds. The scene bursts with iconic landmarks unique to our destinations, including Big Ben, the Golden Gate Bridge, the Statue of Liberty, and the CN Tower.
As you can see in the video below, the shapes seem almost animated, making destinations stand out, yet seamlessly come together to create a view of an innovative and highly immersive learning experience.
The different tones of EC orange used throughout the campaign meant we could give each destination its own identity while staying true to the brand. But we also had a bit of fun when we announced the launch of EC Dublin: we washed the EC World in Ireland green and highlighted the iconic sites of the city.
The Big Reveal
We planned the launch of EC World to coincide with the release of our 2017 brochure at ALPHE, the annual study travel industry conference. We knew the campaign would make EC stand out in a sea of similar-looking brochures and exhibition stands at conferences and fairs. We knew our cover was different (no three, no tree), and that Blippar would be an interesting and engaging feature. But the reactions were far more than we expected.
We were overwhelmed by the positive response. Agents and competitors alike were excited by our new concept and by Blippar, and were very interested in how and why we decided to diverge so far from the norm.
But beyond what the outside world thought, we were most surprised and satisfied by the internal response from our staff. The campaign opened internal doors, creating a sense of unity and cohesion amongst the staff, which led to greater collaboration across departments and locations. There was an even stronger sense of family pride for our employees, and an undeniable feeling of togetherness throughout the entire company. The campaign renewed staff enthusiasm about the brand, leading everyone to consider how they and their departments could continue to move EC forward.
The campaign opened internal doors, creating a sense of unity and cohesion amongst the staff, which led to greater collaboration across departments and locations.
We were also pleasantly surprised at the impact of the campaign on our students. They loved the lively colours and the Blippar immersion into EC World -- something our competitors could not match.
There was also an increase in social media influencers who wanted to become brand ambassadors for the company, including the well-known Colombian actress Sara Corrales, who first studied at EC San Diego in 2015. Shortly after the launch of the campaign, Sara returned to EC San Diego and shared her experience online daily with her more than one million Instagram followers. Her results were powerful:
- Each of her posts about EC received close to 15,000 engagements and more than 200 comments.
- Her Facebook Live video showcasing the school’s facilities, staff and students had over 35,000 views.
The EC World also attracted a series of influencers from Brazil, Saudi Arabia, Italy, France, Japan and South Korea, all of whom studied with EC and shared their experiences with their millions of followers.
Impact on the Industry
The campaign was rolled out across our B2B and B2C print and digital channels. A 30-second animation was created for use on Blippar, YouTube, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter (see the sample below); a 15-second animation was created for each of our destinations and used across all social and digital channels. We were excited to see significant results across all our marketing and communication channels:
- Student leads and converted bookings: approximately 15% increase
- Increase in traffic to website: 8%
- Increase in direct bookings: 14%
- Views on video animations: 750,000
- Engagements: 1.6 million
- Website clicks (social media): 10,000
- Blippar: 5,000 engagements, 32 countries
- Facebook: 90% increase
- Instagram: 40% increase
- Twitter: 10% increase
- YouTube: 30% increase
- LinkedIn: 5% increase
- Brochures distributed: 100,000
- Estimated total campaign reach over six months: 5 million across 50+ countries and all social, digital and offline channels.