As part of our work with KONGSBERG Group, which comprised many projects over several years, I was tasked as Creative Lead to increase awareness and liking among students at Norway's top engineering university, NTNU in Trondheim.
The challenge: My team was asked to create a campaign that would stand out in a communication blizzard at Norway’s top technical university with its 22,0000 students, and give concrete results on employer desirability ratings. If it ended up looking polished and highly produced, that would send a wrong signal, so it had to reflect student life, on their terms.
What we did: Instead of adding to the blizzard in the public arenas we engaged the university leaders, professors and key student organizations directly on a carefully crafted strategic platform of a stated and publicized challenge for the university: high drop-out rates. This identified a mutual goal for KONGSBERG and the university: if KONGSBERG would use its name and reputation to inspire and encourage the first and second year students, for which the drop-out rates were the highest, the University would allow us into other, less crowded arenas of the university environment.
Together we developed the campaign "Your Extreme" - from the question "What's your extreme?” as the trigger in an open online concept competition. Derived from KONGSBERG's brand statement: "Extreme performance for extreme conditions”, the concept forged an engaging openness built on both KONGSBERG’s identity and the invitation to let your imagine run.
My team's efforts were added to KONGSBERG HR & Recruitment's own employer branding work to set a substantial footprint at the University Campus, as we joined and boosted the exhibition KONGSBERG installs in one of the central atriums every year, enabling the competition and the exhibition to feed off each other's buzz.
The campaign centered on a website supported by print ads, on campus promotion activities and high impact stunts, cinema commercials, an open seminar of lectures and exhibitions and an award gala.
The result: The campaign moved KONGSBERG from 11th place to 3rd place on the annual national survey for students' most desired companies. Initially designed as a one-off, KONGSBERG decided to make “Your extreme” a permanent sub-brand and expand the competition nationally, and eventually internationally. Your Extreme was voted “Event of the Year” in 2013 by Gyro’s own employees.