‘Milwaukee’s Alternative’ Campaign Wins Gold and Bronze at NCMPR

Posted: October 12, 2022

Joy George Proofreader

Recently, VisionPoint’s client partner Milwaukee Area Technical College (MATC) won two awards from the National Council of Marketing and Public Relations (NCMPR) for our work together on the “Milwaukee’s Alternative” campaign. In the “Social Media or Online Marketing Campaign” category, VisionPoint won a gold medallion. In the “Successful Recruitment or Marketing Program” category, VisionPoint brought home a bronze medallion. According to NCMPR, the “[a]wards recognize outstanding achievement in design and communication at two-year community and technical colleges in each of NCMPR’s seven districts.”

VisionPoint, in partnership with our client MATC, crafted the “Milwaukee’s Alternative” campaign, a drive to reclaim the term “alternative” – which had been used as a derogatory descriptor – and reframe it as a positive attribute. MATC is an excellent alternative to unfortunate situations such as the burden of crushing debt, being stuck in a dead-end job, or underemployment. When the campaign first launched, the scenarios we created through custom illustrations connected to the pain points and apprehensions that members of the target audience felt in regards to education or a career. Crushing debt, for example, refers to the fear that many potential students have about the long-term implications of financing their education. The scenarios were relatable but still compatible with the humor-infused nature of the campaign.

We responded to MATC’s audiences by owning the nickname they knew and highlighting the bragging points of the institution: low tuition, acclaimed faculty that are accessible, courses rooted in lucrative career outcomes, personalized instruction via small class sizes, and more.

As the campaign matured in the midst of the pandemic, it required a visual refresh that leaned less heavily on humor and introduced photos of real students. To visually connect this evolution of the “Alternative” campaign to its first iteration, we maintained similar typographical treatments and text containers. We also introduced some hand-drawn details to the photos to accent movement and visually connect this new photo-driven look to the previous illustrated visuals. This preserved the energy of the original “Alternative” campaign, while dialing down the playfulness in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In its first year in-market, VisionPoint’s MATC campaigns helped drive a 5% increase in spring full-time equivalent enrollments at MATC, along with semester-over-semester increases in first-time applications.

We’ve spent the last 21 years in higher ed marketing getting beneficial results for MATC and our other client partners. Want to see what positive changes we can bring to your institution? Let’s talk! Contact our Vice President Dana Cruikshank today to schedule a free consultation call.