As part of a multi-year push to actively promote its departments, Grande Prairie Regional College commissioned nine10 to develop and deploy a marketing campaign for its trades programs. The campaign needed to both attract new students and provide a branded image that GPRC staff, students, and faculty could all be proud of.
Students in GPRC’s trades programs come from unique and diverse backgrounds, yet each shares the aspirational goal of changing their career and life circumstances by learning a trade. This key insight led nine10 to a strong campaign theme based on the concept of “trading up” to improve a person’s life. This wordplay describes both the way in which all students are looking to trade their old life for a new one, as well as alluding to the excellent facilities and “places” GPRC has for students to master their new trades.
Student Profiles and Custom Photography
Realizing that the campaign would be strongest if it could tell real success stories, nine10 worked closely with Beauchamp Photography to coordinate a series of environmental portraits of existing students and alumni in the context of school facilities and real work environments. These images were designed to accompany written bios of each student, created after interviewing each subject. The bios highlight not just which trade each person studied, but also what they “traded” in order to embark on their new career path. Additional images were taken of GPRC’s excellent shops and learning facilities in Fairview and Grande Prairie to accompany the student profiles and round out the campaign imagery.
GPRC Works Here
As an offshoot of this campaign development, nine10 helped GPRC coordinate a secondary campaign around the “GPRC Works Here” icon. Developed during the design phase for Trade Places, this icon was printed as stickers and distributed to local businesses who employee GPRC alumni and students.
Social Media Promotion, Contest, and Campaign Landing Page
Knowing that a good campaign needs a rock solid activation strategy, nine10 and GPRC developed a social-media based campaign that included a strong contest incentive that would appeal to potential trades students: ten $1000 gift cards donated by Grande Prairie’s Canadian Tire. Additional advertising buys rounded out the strategy in mediums such as NewAd posters, outdoor billboards, and targeted magazines and publications.
The campaign was structured to drive visitors to the Trade Places landing page where they could explore the student stories, enter the contest, share it, and learn more about enrolling at GPRC.
Once the campaign was live, nine10 oversaw the scripting, coordination and recording of several radio spots that used the real students voicing their own stories on local radio stations.