February 9, 2021

For The University of West Florida, This Was Anything But Academic

Posted by
Mark Gause
Empowered woman healthcare student

This was about showcasing the alumni of the University of West Florida (UWF) in an innovative and immersive way. 

In the realm of marketing institutions of higher education, a school’s alumni are one of its most treasured assets. Alumni profiles have filled the pages of alumni and university magazines for decades. In recent years, podcasts with alumni have raised the volume on how universities engage stakeholders, encourage financial contributions, and inspire young minds to enroll and carve out their own stories of success. 

For the university located in the corner of the Florida Panhandle, a few miles from the Alabama state line and in the oldest city in North America, this initiative had to alter the landscape. It had to break the mold. It had to rewrite the rules on how these stories were told. Luckily, we love rewriting the rules at idgroup.

What impact will you make? What will you accomplish when you decide to live life without fear, without limits?

These are bold challenges from which the reputation as “Florida’s Innovation University” were synthesized and set into motion. Working shoulder to shoulder with the Office of the President, the Office of University Advancement and the Office of Institutional Communications, our “No Limits” campaign seized upon the university’s values and attitude of a spirited community of learners launching the next generation of thinkers who will change the world.

We sought to replicate the DNA of daring voyagers exploring the open seas on a quest for new horizons and frontiers. As a result, Argo Nation was untethered.

From there, the expansion of the UWF brand required translating it into an immersive, visual and experiential website experience. A site unlike any other, alumni stories were told—boldly and beautifully—across a mix of different media. 

3 views of mobile responsive website

The design of the website itself was intentionally simplified since we couldn’t anticipate what stories would emerge and what media we would have to work with. Some may showcase photography, others video, and others still audio recordings. We designed the elements of the site simply so that they can be modified to fit the needs of each story and enhance the storytelling.

Our target for this website experience consisted of various university stakeholders—prospective students, current and past students, parents, alumni, professors, staff, donors, government officials, business owners and community members. The intent is to highlight what we call “Stories of Impact''—the stories of Argo Nation’s impact on the people and communities of the world. Actions ranging from tiny to tremendous, but with immeasurable impact.

Website page example

With three phases completed and thirteen stories onboarded, we have laid the foundation for how Argos are making waves across the world. Many more examples are out there and we are steadfast in continuing to share how these individuals are breaking barriers or impacting the lives of others.

At the five-year point, the alignment of the brand ecosystem and impact of a purposely choreographed brand experience—online, onair and on ground—has shown continued growth for UWF in awareness, enrollment, support, spirit and reputation as Florida’s Innovation University.