Familiar Creatures

Mercy College
"You Can"

Conquering the fears of potential students with two words.


Research makes the work, work


Every great piece of communication starts with great research that leads to a great insight. And when we dug into the research for the MBA program at Mercy College, we learned something very unusual—the applicants that passed on Mercy didn’t end up going anywhere else.

This meant Mercy wasn’t competing against a stacked deck of MBA programs, they were competing against the inertia, insecurities, circumstances and fears of a unique demographic who was on the fence about their future. With that insight, we got to work.


Turning doubt into belief


We worked on campaign ideas that spoke to the problem at hand while aiming for something that cut through, despite a limited media spend. Messaging that was too drastic could turn off this reluctant demographic, but messaging that was too quiet would be tuned out.




What rose to the top were two words that acted as a confident, yet compassionate nudge—You Can. These MBA candidates have many things in their lives that make them say “I can’t.” Their living situation. Their finances. Their undergrad major. Decisions they made in the past. We didn’t want to ignore these realities, to sugarcoat what they’ve gone through. We wanted to acknowledge them, and offer a bit of hope.



Making a program stand for something larger


In addition to those two words, we also knew these candidates needed a strong reason to consider Mercy above other MBA programs once we got their attention. So instead of plainly stating reasons to believe, we summed up their program as succinctly and powerfully as we could, as "The Most Life-Friendly MBA." This alludes to the flexibility, affordability and accessibility Mercy’s MBA program provides in an iconic and ownable way.

The campaign launched in the form of a :30 OTT video. As well as in billboards, bus wraps and :30 radio. Results to follow.