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The Challenge

NYU hosts around 60 “New Student Send Off” events every summer for incoming freshmen. Held both in the US and Globally, these events are an exciting – and gentle – entry into what can be an overwhelming time for students and families. They’re actually really important too, because NYU welcomes close to 6,000 freshmen from all 50 states and some 90 different countries each fall, and the vast majority of these new students aren’t from New York, or any of NYU’s other the other campus locations.

There’s a lot to explain about what the event is, what to expect, and why to attend. We thought a fun, animated video might both explain and entice.

 

What we did:

  • Concept Development
  • Script
  • Storyboarding
  • Motion Graphics
  • Sound Design

The Solution

With NYU wanting to encapsulate a very dense message into just 60 seconds, we had to divide and conquer: let the script speak to the basic rundown of the events and the sign-up process, while the visuals handled the dozen or so specific questions, like: How many family members can I bring? Will there be food? Is there a dress code? Will we get a chance to ask questions?

To make this possible we developed the script in tandem with sketched visual concepts, to be sure we were covering all the important information either in voice over or visuals.

us_sketches
global_version_sketches

With the script solidified and the flow of the visuals approved, we began developing a visual style appropriate to the brand and audience. NYU wanted the video to feel fun, light and inviting – as welcoming as the event itself. So we went with a simplified and rounded character design.

And given how diverse the student body is, we made sure we included a broad representation of cultures and ethnicities. We made full use of the NYU brand color palette so that skin-tones and hair colors weren’t too racially specific.

nyu_sso_storyboards_rev01_global_08
nyu_sso_storyboards_rev01_07
nyu_sso_storyboards_rev01_01
nyu_sso_storyboards_rev01_global_09
nyu_sso_storyboards_rev01_10

We felt really comfortable with our visuals but we also knew we had to get the music and voice over just right.  The voice talent we chose provided a youthful yet professional tone. For music it was important to come up with a track that was authentic, not something-older-people-think-the-kids-are-listening- to. With those in place our last step was to complete alternate versions for different online channels and a Global vs US audience.

On the results front, all of the events exceeded registration goals with more than half hitting full capacity. Furthermore, the video succeeded in preempting general questions about the event series and NYU’s overall time answering questions decreased. Awesome!

NYU was thrilled and we’re secretly wishing we were college freshmen again.

Class of 2021 ahoy!


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