Familiar Creatures

Hampden-Sydney College
"That's Old School"

Making Young Men Think Deeper About Where They're Going.


You Don't Get to be 250 Years Old by Accident.


Hampden-Sydney is a men’s college in the heart of Virginia. It’s older than the Declaration. Yes, that Declaration. And when an institution is that old, you might think they’re dusty and outdated. Not H-SC. Because, while most colleges and universities are bending to trends, Hampden-Sydney is laser-focused on its mission: forming good men and citizens.

We set out to develop H-SC’s first brand platform, beginning with research and interviews as part of our brand strategy and positioning work. From these early conversations and research, we concluded that H-SC is the school where exceptional young men grow into extraordinary leaders. From there it was a matter of coming up with a smart way to say that.

Spoiler: we did.



Owning H-SC's Values


What differentiates Hampden-Sydney AND conveys its values is the school's age. Something we summed up in the phrase, "That's old school." “Old school” values are not commonplace anymore—they’re quite rare—and especially needed today. Things like, speaking well, looking someone in the eye, meaning what you say and saying what you mean, to name a few.



Focusing on the old-school values that are so important today, we wrote statements pointing to Hampden-Sydney’s distinction and paired them with a visual system unseen in the higher education space. We worked with composers at Cleod9 to create original music to accompany digital and social communications.




H-SC could’ve just sent an admission letter, but to stop there just isn’t the Old School way. So, we created the Swagabox, a more tangible way to welcome new students to the Old School brotherhood.



And speaking of welcome, this campaign is rolling out now, so we welcome you to check back for the latest results.

Ads that make you think? That's Old School.