Hill Holliday Wins Capella University’s Biz

Succeeds Cole & Weber as lead shop

Hill Holliday is going back to school, 21st century style.

The Interpublic Group shop has landed the creative and media business of Capella University, a school that exists solely online and therefore competes with the likes of the University of Phoenix.

The creative assignment encompasses both traditional and digital advertising. Account revenue is estimated at $3 million.

The Boston headquarters of Hill Holliday won the account after a review in which there were a handful of other finalists. The other contenders could not be ascertained. Select Resources International in Santa Monica, Calif., managed the process.

In selecting Hill Holliday, Capella chief marketing officer Mary Miller cited the agency's strategic thinking and "innovative approach" to media. Hill Holliday president Karen Kaplan, in turn, praised Capella's "unique, innovative" model, adding that online represents the future of education.

No word on what quarter—or semester—the new shop's first work will break. Capella's media spending approached $23 million last year, up from nearly $17 million in 2011, according to Nielsen. Those figures don't include online expenditures.

Capella's previous lead agency was Cole & Weber United in Seattle, whose ads for the school carried the tagline, "Matter."