Getting Creative with Clearing

UK universities seek out new students

August 18, 2016
We all are communicators, learners, teachers, and social media participants

Clearing is a major event that happens annually within UK higher education. Unlike the United States where admissions announcements happen on a per-institution basis, on A-level results day, offers of admission go out en masse. For students who didn't automatically get an offer to a university, Clearing is their potential pathway to higher education. UK universities compete with one another via social media, email, and phone banks. It's an admissions and recruitment bonanza.

Having surfed through myriad hashtags, tweets, and posts, here is a selection of how some UK universities have gotten quite creative with their marketing efforts for Clearing:

This clip from the University of East Anglia was one of my favourite Clearing videos. It's visually stunning and the sound is perfectly mixed:

The University for the Creative Arts showcases that they are a place where people truly get creative in a variety of ways. Although, I'm still waiting for the drop.

Loughborough University, a name which took me a few tries to pronounce when I first moved to the UK, emphasized the communal / family feel of their campus. They also created a video to let students know that "we don't all get it right first time":

Goldsmiths, University of London, focused on storytelling in their adverts. This piece with Harriet is quirky and inspiring...just like the institution:

The Open University always does a great job with their marketing efforts:

Time lapses, facts, and gorgeous visuals make for a high quality video from the University of Sheffield. While this clip isn't necessarily about Clearing, it definitely should attract the attention of prospective students:

Anglia Ruskin University has been at the top of UK Twitter trends today as they sponsored #Clearing, celebrated A-level results on Snapchat, and shared an epic marketing video:

The University of Salford is working hard to make students fall in love with their university by way of digital matchmaking:

It's not often that you see people asking for a free towel, but that's exactly what happened after the University of Gloucestershire (it's not pronounced how it's spelled...at all) started giving out these amazing illustrated tea towels:

Clearing is a very busy day for UK universities and tasks at St George's, University of London, required multiple hands and coffee (and humour):

We all know that helicopter parents can be challenging. Middlesex University shared a guide for "how to deal with parents during Clearing":

It was nice to see Facebook Live being used as a platform for Clearing Q and A sessions. Also, sometimes all you need is a gif...and Drake. Thankfully, Sheffield Hallam University tweeted out this humble brag with a bit of bling:

The University of Warwick is a beautiful place and their Clearing video is elegant in its simplicity:

I frequently visit the South Bank district in Central London during the weekends. There's always great food to be found and sights to see. Additionally, there's London South Bank University. For Clearing, they live-streamed announcements on Periscope, shared photos of their call centre staff in action, and touted the fact that EU student recruitment was going well:

Regent's University kept their messaging simple...they really do have the prettiest campus in Central London. It's located within Regent's Park!

Maybe I needed more coffee at the time, but I literally laughed out loud when I saw this tweet from the University of Northampton:

The University of Cumbria's video for Clearing does a great job of reassuring and supporting prospective students:

Keele University always impresses with their marcomm efforts. Featuring their signature squirrels, a drum line soundtrack, and captivating drone sequences, Keele's Clearing clip is top-notch.

Leeds Beckett may have actually won Clearing when they incorporated a unicorn into their marketing mix. They were also active on a variety of communication channels:

The University of Hull's "True North" features an epic soundtrack, walking, staring, athletics, more staring, beautiful facilities, and a solid finishing tagline ("individually different, collectively brilliant")... It's quite intense and it sets the tone for their brand:

This University of Nottingham video features a subtle glimpse of Robin Hood, more drone-based shots, and a prominent use of the word "awesome":

Did your university get creative with Clearing? Please feel free to share links and examples in the comments below.

Thanks to Times Higher Education for the mention in their A-Level Results Day blog.

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