SHARING REAL STUDENT STORIES TO DRIVE AWARENESS FOR OMBUDSMAN
Winner of 2017 Telly Award
Winner of 2017 PCC Golden Trumpet Award
When Ombudsman Educational Services teamed with Chicago Public Schools to reach off-track teens and help them graduate, FCG was tapped to generate brand awareness among Chicago youth 15-19 years old. The primary goals were to position Ombudsman as the best choice for Chicago options schools, drive enrollment, retention and graduation.
A robust integrated marketing campaign with advertising, social media, events, stakeholder engagement and media relations was implemented. FCG’s Greenhouse Studio developed a powerful campaign theme based on Chicago’s nickname, “City of Big Shoulders,” coined by Carl Sandburg to describe Chicago’s strong, working class spirit. Ombudsman’s “On Big Shoulders” campaign showcased the resilience, determination and hard work that these talented students bring to the classroom, despite challenges outside the classroom. Students who openly shared their stories were the heroes throughout the campaign. Advertising included video content on Facebook, YouTube, and Pandora; a TV commercial that aired on Chicago’s WLS-TV; digital ads; out-of-home boards; radio spots on urban stations and print ads. Stakeholder engagement featured a community breakfast for nonprofit organizations, media and other concerned citizens interested in urban education. Ongoing media relations reinforced campaign messages.
Ombudsman saw an immediate spike in awareness after the “On Big Shoulders” campaign launched on WLS-TV during the Bud Billiken Day Parade, with a viewership of more than 1 million households. Media coverage over the past year generated more than 7MM local impressions. Although only in-market for a few years, thousands of students have enrolled, attended and graduated, and year over year, graduation rates continue to increase. In addition, another milestone was achieved for the first time when there was a 100% college acceptance rate for Ombudsman’s Class of 2016.