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University of Southampton

Using video to connect with Gen Z

Marketing to prospective students who are selective in their online engagement.

How do we make our university stand out to prospective students among so much competition? 

University of Southampton came to us with this question. 

They already knew their Gen Z audience and knew video content was crucial, but we agreed they needed a new strategy, so this is where we started. 

Gen Z, characterised by a short attention span, high expectations and possible doubts over attending university,  are not always an easy group to please. They seek the truth, have strong values and want to be treated as individuals. 

Who are Gen Z? They’re the hyper-connected, highly opinionated generation.

92% of Gen Z have a digital footprint, they are digital natives and they consider themselves to be more creative than the generations that have gone before them. They are constantly bombarded by online media wrestling for their attention and only engage with content that really resonates. 

University of Southampton is a game changer among universities, a founding member of the Russell Group, and has values, innovation and a reputation that mirror what Gen Z are looking for, we just needed to show them that, on their terms.

What do Gen Z want to know about their choice of university…?

  • That their opinions can be expressed and their individuality will be valued
  • That there is room to grow 
  • That they can invent, define and influence their own future

‘Made in Southampton’ was the result. Over 120 shots showing the breadth of opportunity available at the university with an urban poem as the narrative, we challenged the voiceover artist to play with the lyrics and allowed her to find her own rhythm within the piece. The finished audio has a spontaneous flow that is unique to her style.

The video tells its audience what they want to know about their personal experience at the university, that they will be in control of their destiny and that they can mould and shape their future. The world is theirs. 

The creativity that we’ve seen develop around Gen Z has really manifested organically based on how they communicate with each other.

Jeff Miller, Global Head of Business Marketing - Snap

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