Familiar Creatures

Mercy College

Helping a gem in NY shine a little brighter.


Mercy started with 0% unaided awareness. So we had some work to do.


How could Familiar Creatures step in and help this extreme underdog of a college stand out in a super-cluttered space like higher-ed marketing?

Positioning. Undeniably articulated, positioning.

We first surveyed the college landscape in the New York metro area and realized they were all saying the same thing—like, literally running the same commercial.


From Brand Workshop to Ownable Insight to Creative Brief

We presented this competitive video at the start of a half-day brand workshop, where we met with Mercy's stakeholders to dig into the core of the brand through a bunch of different strategic exercises. #markersandflipcharts. This brand deep-dive gave us the inputs—along with other market research—to develop a brand house with positioning at its core. The ownable insight we crafted? Mercy College is "elite when it comes to accessibility."

We translated all of this into a creative brief and then generated multiple big creative brand platforms. The one that resonated the most was called "Open to Whoever You Are." As our society has become more and more closed, our message was simple—no matter who you are, or where you come from, Mercy College is here to give you a better shot at life.



In 3 months the campaign led to an 11% increase in applications compared to the entire previous year.