Albuquerque Academy

Admissions and Advancement

For Creosote Affects, our finest work comes from an innate understanding of a school—from its unique philosophies to its position in the community. Albuquerque Academy was no different: to complete our charge of preparing a new brand expression that would demand attention and increase enrollment, we had to visit the campus to see its beauty in person and listen to students and faculty to truly appreciate how the Academy has shaped lives.

Deeply impressed by the way Albuquerque Academy lives out its mission of educating the city’s most talented students, we began our work with a strong conviction. The contagious sense of possibility we picked up from students, parents, teachers—that would be the message. Because the Academy inspires students through the belief that they have it within themselves to reach whatever they desire to achieve, we chose “Within. Reach.” to express the Academy’s brand.


First, we developed a strategic, conceptual photo and video plan featuring real students—both in their homes and on campus. We used the imagery to produce an interactive viewbook, ads, a mini viewbook and direct mail efforts. With the footage, plus an original script, we crafted a short introductory video for the interactive viewbook and a series of five television spots. The sense of possibility, wonder and innocence we were able to convey, and the way parents were able to see themselves and their children in those highlighted in the videos, “moved [people] to tears,” said Marlene Sigle, co-director of communications at Albuquerque Academy.

Visit the interactive solution at

The past two fall Open Houses were also huge successes—largely because of our striking and engaging direct mail pieces. With the goal of attracting the attention of intellectually curious students and their parents, we took a unique approach. Besides telling the Academy’s story, the two pieces feature original brainteasers and puzzles. Of those surveyed at the most recent Open House, 60 percent said that our mail pieces directly influenced their decisions to attend the event. Overall, yield and quality of applicants has greatly increased over the past two years.


Impressed by the success of our admissions efforts, the Academy asked Creosote to explore unique advancement strategies. In addition to our effective work on the past year’s annual fund, we partnered with Albuquerque Academy in 2015 on their first ever capital campaign. With a thorough understanding of the brand, we still needed an in-depth discovery visit with advancement team members, trustees and key alumni to learn how to best connect with donors.

For the campaign, we developed the creative expression “Charged by Promise.” “Charged” evokes the electric feeling of possibilities for the future, while “Promise” implies the commitment the Academy makes in its mission as well as the potential of the students themselves. Together, the words state that the Academy exists because of, and for, its mission; it runs on the promise shown by its students as well as the commitment of its entire community to carry on this vital charge.


Using this exciting theme, we developed a campaign video along with a microsite for the quiet phase of the campaign. This was a new approach, as microsites usually do not exist in quiet phases. We efficiently designed the site to allow for campaign goals to be changed or expanded upon as the site evolved and became public. We also produced print materials. So far, the quiet phase of the campaign has been immensely successful.

Check back for a link to the Academy’s campaign microsite and video.

Over the past few years, we have developed a close professional relationship with faculty, staff and administration, and we have become a fundamental branding and marketing partner of the Academy. We understand and support their mission, and because of this, they have entrusted us exclusively with representing their brand across numerous platforms.