TU RISE Campaign
Towson University, 2021
Towson University was preparing to launch its largest-ever capital campaign in support of the university’s ambitious vision for its future. TU had grown to a nationally recognized leader in advancing student social mobility and an anchor institution for its region. Ashton Design was charged with developing a campaign brand that reflects TU’s unique character, activates pride within every corner of the university’s diverse community, inspires a desire to invest in TU’s future, and raises the bar by supporting a new culture of philanthropy at the university.
Campaign Website Case Study
Strategy / Identity / Print / Web / Campaigns
Stakeholder Engagement and Interviews
Gift Opportunities Research by Program
Competitive Landscape & Benchmarking
Campaign Name and Value Proposition
Campaign Narrative and Case for Support
Identity System Development
Web & Mobile Site Design and Content
STRATEGY AND NAMING
Our campaign strategy was built on insights from dozens of donor, alumni, faculty, and stakeholder interviews, roundtables, and an intensive namestorming exercise with institutional advancement staff.
Our intensive and engaging process surfaced a campaign name that captures the energy and dynamism of Towson University and the spirit of the campaign: active, participatory, ambitious, forward-looking.
The RISE campaign brand leverages the new university brand—and does not compete with it by adding new visual language during the campaign.
First and foremost: the campaign brand had to feel like TU.
The RISE campaign visual approach captures TU’s forward momentum and integrates visual elements from the Calvert Pattern of the State of Maryland’s flag.
The RISE campaign is fueled by the closely held value that has shaped Towson University for more than 150 years: Put students first.
The photography strategy propels the people-centric spirit of the campaign and builds on what we learned in our research.
The RISE shape subtly reminds alumni of TU’s role in empowering students and graduates to thrive, achieve and lead—and encourages re-engagement with the Tiger spirit.
Because TU alumni tend to associate more closely with their college or program than with the university as a whole, design for the campaign case provided for segmented messaging through inserts with giving opportunities specific to each college and program.
The campaign website provides multiple ways users can find their own interests within this comprehensive campaign, featuring stories of the university’s impact and instilling a sense of pride in association with a university on the rise for alumni from all generations. See the website case study here.
The video storyboard revolves around TU Voices, featuring the stories of the students, faculty, and donors. It is an emotional, personal, story-based immersion in TU’s impact on people and the world. The video strategy was reworked to factor in constraints brought by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The campaign identity translates well to social: dynamic, student-centered, youthful, and image-driven.
The campaign brand was designed to live within the university’s visual and narrative language. TU’s marketing, advancement, and events teams were easily able to embrace the RISE brand for the campaign’s virtual launch on April 29, 2021.
Awards & Recognition
Collegiate Advertising Award, Bronze (Case Statement), 2021
UCDA Design Awards, Gold (Print & Digital), 2022