College Recruitment Ad Hides a Real Graduate in a ‘Digital’ Kiosk

Attention-grabbing stunt from Royal Roads University

Soliciting testimonials from alumni isn't a new way to advertise a university, but this example definitely takes it to a new and charming extreme.

Canada’s Royal Roads University decided to let alumni speak for themselves by physically embedding them in what passers-by assumed to be digital ad kiosks.

In the case study below, the university and agency Cossette Vancouver show how they constructed a special display box that hid a live alumna inside. When people pressed a "Connect" button on the display, a panel dropped down, revealing the actual woman they thought they'd be hearing from digitally.

Some were so surprised that they thought she was a very realistic video or perhaps a robot.

Nothing screams "I love my university" louder than a woman’s willingness to stand in a claustrophobic box all day and talk to surprised strangers. But the clip would obviously be more effective if we saw high schoolers or even parents praising the approach rather than hearing seniors talk about how nice it was to talk to a "real person." Still, I look forward to other inventive executions in this campaign.


Agency: Cossette Vancouver

Client: Royal Roads University

Creative Director: Michael Milardo

Art Director: George Lin

Copywriter: Pierre Chan

Director of Account Services: Chris Miller

Strategic Planner: Ute Preusse

Account Supervisor: Robyn Smith

Account Team: Philippa Groom, Megan O'Rourke

Producer: April Haffenden