From the Nominator
As the 2020 spring semester unfolded, it was business as usual at Northeastern. Then the pandemic hit. The country shut down. Our campus shut down. The students were gone. But 78% of students wanted to return, so we needed to make that happen–safely. We invested millions in a COVID-19 testing lab, reimagined student housing, and installed new technology to enable learning, online OR in person. But this massive effort would fail–unless we could influence people’s behavior.
So we created a campaign with a simple rallying cry: Protect the Pack. First, we needed to educate the community. One in three students weren’t fully aware of the safety protocols. We’d need to protect ourselves, each other, and our Boston neighbors, too. Our urban community became our canvas. A giant mural wrapped our testing facility, the cornerstone of our reopening plan. Soon “Protect the Pack” was everywhere: banners, windows, and mass transit. And we created a toolkit with messages and graphics our many university partners could use.
Our campaign came to life with 7 million social views. Faculty, staff, and students took up the rallying cry, with 650+ organic hashtag mentions.
Our results? Impressive: 25 million impressions and 250,000 social platform engagements, helping to drive 2 million-plus pageviews to our COVID information site.
By the year’s end, our testing compliance rate was 92%. And our infection rate? Well below one percent–significantly lower than in local communities. Together, we proved we could protect our pack.
From the Judges
We were extremely impressed with the creative take on a public awareness campaign at Northeastern. We saw that the tagline, “Protect the Pack,” was used ubiquitously throughout all applications, and was fully integrated around campus. From their use of campus landmarks to portray the message, to the stunning creative that was culturally relevant to the college demographic, Northeastern’s outdoor communications were top notch. Not only was the campaign beautiful, but they were able to tie these strategies to tangible metrics that had a positive impact on their community.