Bradford College


Following a turbulent 2018, the College needed to show signs of progress and a pivotal 2019 summer recruitment drive had to hit ambitious targets. Based on audience insight from the targeted 16-18-year-olds plus some aged 19+ (Part-Time/Higher Education) Bradford College wanted to target youth-focussed and representatives of a diverse student cohort (36.1% of the Bradford population are non-White British). Equally, it needed to appeal to parents/influencers.


Forward & Thinking developed film content, scripts and executed all of the paid social placement; the production company Media Partnership led on filming/editing. The campaign launched on internal channels (staff email, intranet, plasmas) in early June before appearing on social/web platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube, Google Display Network/Search Words). Throughout July-August, organic and paid social media pushed the recruitment video, animated GIFs, and campaign shots. The film simultaneously ran at local cinemas, City Park’s big screen, a digivan at Bradford Festival, BT digi-phonebooths, an air banner at The Broadway Shopping Centre, and was even a digi-ad for TV-on-demand (ITV & Sky) during Love Island! Spotify and Capital FM ads used the 2 Unlimited track, Get Ready, weaving in a student voiceover. Concentrated adverting ran in local press and on digital six-sheets to coincide with exam results branded banner stands enhanced summer events and, in September, an induction video was screened to students to complete their journey. An accessible, subtitled version was also produced.


The campaign met all objectives, coming in on time and budget. The campaign results were phenomenal! 4,050 further education students enrolled (exceeding the target by 6%). 274 organic posts via Facebook/Twitter with 4,671 users engaged, 1,492 likes and 1,369 click-throughs to the College website. 140,859 YouTube views and 37,000 Facebook views (recruitment video/three months) plus 54,000 views of the ‘clearing’ edit. The campaign was even shortlisted for the Northern Digital Awards 2020.

Forward & Thinking provide a welcome addition to our in-house Marketing & Communications Team. They deliver expert advice and campaign direction by supporting our planning, implementation and delivery. Since working with F&T we have seen our summer campaign increase in impact by reaching wider audiences and generating improved engagement, with particular success using YouTube and Snap Chat - our viewing figures and swipe ups broke all previous records, helping us to achieve our recruitment targets

Gemma Dunn, Bradford College