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Kenyon College

The Brand

Kenyon College is a private liberal arts college in Gambier, Ohio. Established in 1824, Kenyon is a college with great tradition, however very forward-thinking with their programs and communication.

The Problem

Colleges across the country have always had the challenging task of communicating in the right way with prospective students. Today, that task is as difficult as it’s ever been because there are so many businesses and brands fighting for any one person’s attention. Kenyon College and partner, Simpson Scarborough knew they not only needed a more authentic approach but an interesting one as well.

The Plan

The amazing team at Simpson Scarborough reached out with a fascinating plan and a tough turnaround time in Early December. The request was simple but quite challenging at the same time.

  • 2x animated videos that visualize a unique experience a student has had at Kenyon College. 
  • Each 90-120 seconds in length
  • Delivered by late January.

We learned that these videos would play a crucial role in communicating with prospective students, a REAL experience directly from the mouths of some of the best and brightest at Kenyon. Since this was during Covid times, our recorded audio could only be an edited Zoom call.

As far as visuals go, we essentially had free reign to do almost anything as long as it included the brand colors.

The Approach

Knowing that each video should look different, we started by exploring styles that would work well for the Kenyon brand. Styles that would be accepted and enjoyed by the younger audience.

We decided to go with an illustrated version with stylized characters for one video and a sort of collage (collage… college… get it ;)). Right after the holidays, we got approval on our 2 styles and got ready for the production sprint to meet our deadline.

The Work

With the selections made by our partner and client, we were quickly off to meet our challenging deadline of Jan 31.

Our next step was to visualize our shots as a sketched storyboard to see how our stories would play out with the student interviews. Once we had that looking good, it was time for us to design all the frames and get prepped for animation.

After getting our partner some early looks at the animation, the response was pure excitement. AND they even asked us to complete ANOTHER video for this series bringing the total to 3! (With a little added time, we’d go on to complete the third video in February.)

For animation, we had 3 really distinct styles that included illustration, photographs, and 3d animation. Each one with its own challenges and a very unique feeling when it comes to storytelling. A challenge we very much live for.

The Results

In the end, we delivered all 3 of the videos on time with a great response from both our partner and client on the project. One of the videos even made it to the Kenyon home page and had over 115,000 plays in just one month.

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