The Netherlands Film Academy trains students in the art of film and television production. Students learn to tell meaningful stories with moving images and sound alongside peers from a range of related disciplines.
How do you make an institution as diverse as the society it serves? This is a burning issue for organisations across the Netherlands, including the film academy, whose current student body is less representative of society than it could be, which limits the range of stories being told. This has to change!
The academy is open to everyone. But not everyone knows this, or where to find the door. Its annual open day was an opportunity to address this, so we produced an engaging campaign welcoming students from a more representative cross-section of society.
A career in film is closer than you think. Bloopers, flashbacks, stereotyping: our campaign began by mixing hints of our message with familiar industry terms, thereby setting the scene as a sort of teaser.
Moments of engagement
Our online campaign mimicked the launch of a blockbuster movie, unfolding in stages. From snippets and teasers to trailer and premiere, with information crafted to each stage and each one building on what came before. Moments of engagement within this sequence were cleverly linked to potential students’ interests and surfing behaviour.
Phase 1 — The teaser
General awareness of the academy was raised through an accessible social media campaign, with ads relating to something the student was already viewing.
Phase 2 — The close-up
Students who had seen the teaser got to see the full ad. Actors playing students talked about their disciplines and the welcoming atmosphere of the academy, adopting the mock seriousness of professional filmmakers. This was supported by interviews with real students on the school’s website, elaborating on the message of inclusion.
Phase 3 — Action!
Potential students were sent an invitation to the open day, where they could chat with the academy’s greatest ambassadors: its current students. Whether you’re named Fatima or Ferdinand, Marieke or Mohammed, the Dutch Film Academy wants you!
To be continued…
The campaign has been a huge success, attracting students from a more representative cross-section of society. But that’s not the end. Diversity and representation must remain a goal for all institutions, not just the film academy.
Hide and Seek
Bernie van Vlijmen