Working with VisionPoint: Creative Services

Posted: February 17, 2023

Tony Poillucci Vice President & Creative Director

A Life Jacket in the Sea of Sameness

For the better part of the past 100 years, higher education was booming. Enrollments grew steadily across the country, and there was little-to-no need for competitive marketing and creative strategies.

Well, that was then.

Today, institutions are facing challenges from every direction: population decreases, tighter budgets, increased competition, and a growing perception that a college degree is no longer a worthwhile pursuit. To make things even more challenging, you and your competition are fighting for the attention of an incredibly savvy populace whose eyeballs and ear holes are being bombarded with images, messages, texts, tweets, videos, podcasts, and every other form of media you can imagine from the moment they wake to the moment they fall asleep.

As a higher ed marketer, you probably already know that generic, clichéd creative – what we lovingly refer to as “sea of sameness” – can no longer be relied upon to secure quality leads and applications.

Our Creative Team Wants To Make You Cry

In advertising as in branding, there are ways to trigger emotions in people. To speak to something deep in their psyche. To move them and excite them. To make them laugh or feel proud or even bring them to tears of joy.

When a creative campaign for your institution triggers an emotional response, a powerful and lasting connection is forged between your brand and your audiences. This bond leads to affinity and, more importantly, to action. People tend to think that decisions – especially big decisions like where to go to college – are rational in nature. That we logically weigh our options and make a decision based on data. But it turns out that’s not always the case.

Research shows that most of our decisions, big or small, are made unconsciously and involve emotion.

Dr. Susan Weinschenk, behavioral psychologist

At VisionPoint, we pride ourselves on crafting strategic, creative campaigns that connect with our clients’ audiences on an emotional level and get the results they need to be successful in their efforts to fight the headwinds we’re all feeling these days.

And yeah, making the leap to a breakthrough campaign can sometimes feel as intimidating as it is exciting. But we’ll walk with you the whole way, ensuring buy-in from important stakeholders at each step of the decision-making process.

The end product is something your entire campus community can rally behind because it shows what really makes your institution special. Oh, and you’ll have the results to prove it.

And, How Does That Make You Feel?

Breaking through the noise is what we stake our reputation on. And our multi-phase cross-team collaboration ensures that the campaigns we create for our client partners will be emotional, impactful, and successful. Here are a few examples:


A polytechnic institute is an institution of higher education offering courses primarily in technical subjects. We know you knew that, but the vast majority of the population does not, which left Purdue Polytechnic Institute in a bit of a tough spot. By turning this challenge into the solution (the old “the obstacle is the way” approach), the “Polywhat?” campaign does much more than just clarify a name; it shines a light on the cutting edge, high-demand technology majors offered at PPI.

Settle For…

Community colleges are unfortunately still overlooked and underappreciated. They’re largely seen as a second choice, a last resort, a place where students have to “settle” for less. And while our client partners at Northern Virginia Community College have been proving this misperception wrong for decades, they were still running up against this stubborn old stigma. Using a fine balance of levity and indignation, the “Settle for…” campaign sets the story straight and positions NOVA as a place where you’ll “settle for” nothing but the best.

Dare to Make It Big

With over 40,000 students and as the nation’s second most diverse institution, the University of Houston is indeed “A powerhouse of perspectives.” It’s also a university whose leadership and students are consistently described as bold, determined, hard-working, and fearless. This campaign positions the University of Houston as the university that doesn’t admit students, they dare them.

VisionPoint’s Creative Offerings

Advertising Campaigns (Big Ideas)

From concept to execution, we work closely with you to help your institution increase enrollment, build brand awareness, overcome misperceptions, or any other obstacle you may be facing.

Quick-to-Market (QTM) Campaigns

QTM campaigns are designed to be deployed quickly, albeit temporarily, while conceptual work is being done on a custom marketing campaign that can stay in market much longer.

Campaign Refreshes

Brands last for decades or even a lifetime, but advertising campaigns are meant to evolve with culture, society, and with your institution’s changing needs. Campaign refreshes provide an opportunity to refresh your creative while building on the solid ground established with existing, successful campaigns.

Brand Messaging Platforms

A Brand Platform establishes a compelling story for your institution. It is the centerpiece of all marketing and communications efforts and includes brand pillars, personality traits, and a positioning statement. It helps establish consistency and clarity in how you talk about your institution.

Brand Tagline

A tagline is a short, memorable description that succinctly and clearly communicates your brand message. It is one way to express your brand creatively and can be used on its own or sometimes in combination with an ad campaign.

Visual Identities

Regardless of the output, your visual identity should be a clear expression of your brand platform and should help tell the story of your institution. We’ll create everything from a visual mark to an official seal, along with usage guidelines.

Work With Us

Whether you’re a state system, a 4-year university, a local community college, or anything in between, VisionPoint can help tell your authentic and compelling story with our award-winning creative, giving you the best opportunity to achieve your goals. Ready to talk about your institution’s specific needs? Email or fill out the form below to start the conversation with a free consultation call.

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