William & Mary

How to turn three words into a billion-dollar story.

William & Mary

How to turn three words into a billion-dollar story.

William & Mary

How to turn three words into a billion-dollar story.

Focusing the message.

As America’s first university and its second college, William & Mary is known for a lot of things. Being bold isn’t typically at the top of the list. But after in-depth research of students, faculty, and alumni, three words emerged: “For the Bold.” Armed with this theme to carry the campaign, we realized that the question wasn’t “Is this the right story to tell?” but rather, “What’s the right way to tell it?”

Past, present, and future.

We worked with the William & Mary team to interpret “For the Bold” strategically and creatively, seeking to tell a modern, authentic story that honored the university’s historic past, while also conveying the impact that a financially secure university could make over the next 300 years.

The campaign’s look and feel balanced inspiration from over three centuries of tradition with contemporary elements that reflected the school’s forward momentum.

Putting it in motion.

We blended horizon lines, first-person perspectives, and existing brand elements to create a symmetry that reflected the university’s rich heritage. We coupled these visuals with a narrative that illustrated what “For the Bold” meant to the institution, and what the campaign meant to William & Mary and the world.

A story to bridge generations.

The campaign needed to reach a broad range of people, yet it also had to tell a consistent story. To connect with individuals from many generations, we developed audience personas that helped campus communicators understand these distinct groups (so that they, in turn, would be equipped to speak on behalf of the university and its campaign).

An elegant and powerful ask.

Campaign case statements tend to pack in a lot of information. So we used powerful infographics to simplify and energize the numbers, leaning on original photography and bold illustrations to profile the students, faculty, and staff behind them. Then we brought everything to life in a unique brochure with a beautiful and compelling package.

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