The Real Deal

October 24, 2018


Project Background

Through their research, the Buena Vista University marketing team found that 40% of students who visited their campus ultimately enrolled. So it was up to us to show their target demographic why they should take action and visit BVU.

BVU reached out to us for help with a new student recruitment spot. They needed a call to action to get students and families to visit their unique college campus. We happily accepted and were ready to get to work to show the beauty of the campus and debunk the myth that there’s nothing to do” in Storm Lake, Iowa.

Our Solution

We started out by meeting with the BVU team to identify their goals, and we did a couple campus visits to connect with their vision for the commercial. And to sample Iowa’s #1 Burger of 2017.

Located on the shores of Storm Lake, BVU has a campus unlike any other college in Iowa, and its lakeside location is an integral part of campus culture.Our challenge was to create a spot that not only tells the story of the student experience and captures the beauty of the campus, but also brings the unique feel of BVUs culture to life. In other words, log rolling. (You’ll see.)

Instead of profes­sional actors, we used BVU students to give viewers a realistic feel of campus life. Before shooting, we made sure they were comfortable with their lines and that they were excited to promote their school and campus. The students debunked the myth that there’s nothing to do” in Storm Lake, while enjoying outdoor activities (bubble ball, anyone?) and hanging out in popular spots around campus (see, there was us reason we had to sample those burgers). Using unique and interesting locations, we captured the student experience of both going to school and enjoying the culture at Buena Vista University.

Our Results

Since the commercial aired, BVU campus visits have increased 30% over the last year from September to January and applications from Iowa residents are up 17% year over year.

The spot has also been performing well on YouTube and Facebook, with nearly 59,000 views.

Our Client's Reaction

I enjoyed working with the Applied Art team and appreciated their commitment to always getting the shot right, no matter how long it took. They were always trying new and different angles to achieve the best result to complete our project. They are a top notch group of profes­sionals and I was glad we chose to partner with your team for the commercial shoot. They worked well with our students and made them feel at ease during the filming process.

I love the commercial and the way it turned out! I never tire of seeing it air and I know we continue to receive many positive comments about it.”

— Laura Todd, Marketing Coordinator ‑Marketing & Communications at Buena Vista University