From College to University
We started our relationship with Mercy in 2019 by developing their first-ever strategic positioning, leading to the platform Open to Whoever You Are. Beyond the launch work, this platform has led to multiple campaigns and commercials for them, driving home the point that Mercy is elite when it comes to accessibility.
As a result, Mercy has doubled its aided awareness numbers and increased enrollment year over year. And in 2023, they were able to "graduate" from a college to a university. Our job? Tell the world just that.
Making Way for Uneasy Trailblazers
This was more than a name change. Mercy’s positioning was updated and a target was sharply defined– uneasy trailblazers. Making up 70% of Mercy’s student population, these students are the first in their families to attend college and tend to be first generation Americans. With unique factors potentially causing this demographic to doubt and hold back their pursuit of higher education, it was important for us to not only captivate but also motivate these students to take the next step in paving their own futures.
Made For Mavericks
We realized that these uneasy trailblazers embodied the same independent spirit of a maverick, Mercy’s mascot. This gave us a way to use the school’s built in equity and give it new meaning. So, amongst a number of other platforms and insights, Made for Mavericks was born.
Wanting to develop a unique look and feel, we expanded the color palette and made their new logo the centerpiece. Then, it came time to introduce the new Mercy University with our launch spot.
Calling the Mavericks
We sought out to make something that felt real to these students and honestly spoke to how hard it might be to take the leap to a university. This led to a script that was a distinct departure from traditional college marketing—where few dare to provoke or inspire. We knew for these trailblazers that this leap wasn’t purely rational, it was an emotional decision. So rather than talk down to them or merely present the facts, we had to go deeper.
Our script attracted interest from great directors and we ended up landing Cuba Scott – a maverick in her own right. As the granddaughter of Ridley Scott, Cuba had the unique opportunity to learn from a true master of film. She brought a passionate, poised and bold perspective, understanding how important it was to reach these uneasy trailblazers in an authentic way.
Yes, those are real horses
It was highly critical that we filmed this on location, in an area a potential Mercy student might recognize. We found that the Bushwick neighborhood of Brooklyn was the perfect backdrop to our gritty, yet metaphorical story.
After two days of shooting and help from the best in class post partners— Rock Paper Scissors, Company 3 and Q Department, we had the final spot. We’re proud of the result but even more proud of our long partnership with Mercy.