To communicate the uniqueness of the university with a message that would differentiate us in a way that no other university could, UCM launched the WONK campaign in 2011.
Wonk is a simple, memorable, and uniquely Washington term that succinctly and uniquely expresses AU's distinctive qualities. Describing experts, thought leaders, and Washington insiders, the word was a perfect match for the AU community—smart, passionate, focused, and engaged individuals who use their knowledge to effect meaningful change.
After nine years in circuit, the campaign has evolved to reflect the university's growth in reputation and stature. From exploring what it means to be called a wonk to highlighting the impact our wonks have in the world, we focus on stories of impact that show not only how our alumni are effecting positive change but also how their time at AU helped them do so.
The brand campaign continues to resonate with our audiences. The university is experiencing recognition as a stronger draw to prospective students and is engaging more alumni. Our bold approach inspired prospective students, partners, and higher education peers to take a new look at AU.
The brand campaign also featured print pieces that utilized strategic elements like tone and design. Below is the Undergraduate Admissions Booklet from 2017.
We created an adaptable campaign that could be used to speak to many different audiences, from students and alumni, to donors and members of leadership. In the example below, we used design elements and outcome equations to highlight the achievements of our alumni and engage with our audience.