College just got real.

Posted Apr 5, 2013 & filed under Boise, New Work, News, Show and Tell

At Carew Co., we had been anxiously awaiting the chance to push this campaign further and knew this was our opportunity. We've had an amazing partnership with the marketing team for many years and enjoy any opportunity to "mind meld" with our friends at CWI. As an extension of the marketing team, we bring ideas to the table, consult on the campaign strategy, and get the tactics accomplished.

In late February, we attended an initial brainstorming session to discuss the future of the campaign and which steps to take to ensure a strong enrollment for Fall. As typical in any strategic planning session, we bring passion, ideas (both good and bad), and a collaborative spirit to the conference room. As last year's campaign was highly successful, Paul knew that the bar needed to be raised. After discussing similar tactics as last year's campaign, Paul can vividly remember saying to the group, "If we really want to get the attention of potential students, we should do a reality TV show!"


When we received approval on this project, Paul's first thought was, "What the heck did I do…now we have to shoot a reality TV show!?" As is always the case, Jennifer had been doing some creative thinking of her own and suggested the campaign tagline of "College just got real." We couldn't have said it better ourselves — and knew it was time to roll up our sleeves and get to work...

After receiving the green light, the first call we made was to filmmaker / actor / writer / comedian / documentarian Travis Swartz. We knew that the interviewer role was crucial in making this concept work. Not only does Travis possess the skill set, he has the personality to make the interview interesting, keep us on our toes, and help create interesting stories. We were also fortunate enough to add filmmaker / documentarian Gregory Bayne to the team, as well as Jake Hixon, our sound expert and additional shooter. We knew we needed talented partners to ensure the outcome would be a success for our client.

With a solid concept and crew in place, we needed students to feature in the series. Given that CWI has diverse programs and students, it made sense to do a casting call to identify the best stories to tell. We worked closely with CWI staff to ensure we had great students to feature. We invaded the lives of each student from first thing in the morning, to their classes, to their places of employment, and captured their entire day from start to finish. We chose five students with five unique stories to feature in the series.

Watch the first episode of "What If?" featuring Tyler Murphy, and stay tuned as more episodes roll out.

In addition to the reality TV series, we developed a campaign website at as a landing page to view the episodes, get more information on the program, read student-submitted "What If?" statements, aggregate the college's social media feeds, and offer a blog that features articles written by students and faculty. We also integrated a $1000 Scholarship contest on CWI's Facebook page, as this was a successful tactic in last year's campaign. The "College of What If" campaign is a great example of what we can accomplish on behalf of our clients.