Oscar Winner Angus Wall Teams With Enso in Clever Back-to-School Effort

Khan Academy is launching first big ad campaign

Khan Academy wants to school you—and, for the first time, it's going beyond YouTube tutorials to do it.

You Can Learn Anything,” its inaugural mass-marketing campaign, includes a 30-second spot made with Oscar-winning film editor Angus Wall (The Social Network) that will start airing Aug. 28 through a multimillion-dollar PSA donation from Comcast. The online education nonprofit teamed up with agency Enso on the campaign.

The TV spot features children learning a variety of skills, such as gymnastics and playing the cello.

Khan Academy launched classes for all ages in 2006, making it one of the first entrants in the video-lecture education space. Although edX, Udacity and Coursera are usually mentioned as its competitors, the brand mainly offers online versions of branded educational content from university or corporate partners. Khan Academy’s nonproprietary approach to content makes it more like massive online open course providers (MOOCs), such as Udemy or P2PU (Peer to Peer University).

Apart from the TV spot, Khan Academy’s “You Can Learn Anything” campaign includes banner ads, social media-seeded graphics with slogans such as “Failing is just another word for growing” and videos of people talking about the effort of mastering new skills.

The campaign page on the Khan Academy website also features videos with experts explaining the science behind the primary message that intelligence is not fixed—that the ability to learn is more a function of the willingness to be educated and to be persistent in the face of failure.

But the campaign doesn’t seem to have stumbled yet—the 90-second YouTube video (seen below) that was seeded last week has already garnered more than 500,000 views.