Campaign overview

In 2017 UNSW achieved the most first preference applications in NSW, and were looking to achieve this again in 2018. However, with so much intense competition, it’s hard for universities to differentiate, and even harder to change pre-conceived notions of career outcomes. UNSW needed to build long term brand equity around the differences they offer their future students.

What we did

To engage Australian school-leavers, Hotwire looked beyond the traditional lecture theatre with the Experience First campaign – highlighting the unexpected university experiences that shape a student’s future. With many school leavers unsure about their future, the strategy focussed on changing the yardstick for choosing universities – shifting from rankings and course options to embracing the UNSW experience that will shape them as an individual.

The campaign was brought to life with the stories of four students and their UNSW student experience beyond their degree – embracing all of the opportunities available to them outside the classroom. Their stories were told through strategic OOH media placements, targeted digital banners, a campaign landing page, YouTube pre-rolls and social video placements.


The campaign microsite was visited over 10,000 times and the ‘My First Year’ mini-series received more than 6,500 views. For the first time in consecutive years, UNSW ranked number 1 for first preferences in 2017, 2018 and 2019.

Global reach.
Local flavour.