Hillel Day School
Branding, Logo, Admissions and Annual Fund
Faced with Detroit’s changing Jewish demographics, Hillel Day School of Metropolitan Detroit needed a partner who could help communicate the value of a Jewish day school education to a new generation of families. To help advance the school’s mission, Creosote identified core brand messages and a new creative expression, including a new logo.
The theme that arose from our background research and interviews with Hillel administration, faculty and parents is that Hillel’s dual curriculum is a complementary, rather than competitive, duality. Academic skills and innovative technology are as much a part of the Judaic studies curriculum as faith and values are part of the general studies curriculum. In fact, a Hillel education is better precisely because it combines Judaic studies with general academics to develop the whole child. We captured this idea effectively in our recommended creative expression: “Mind and Soul. Better Together.”
The interactive viewbook we created invites the audience to explore the different aspects of the Hillel brand with dynamic imagery and video, exciting examples and engaging interactivity that highlight strengths from all grades. Design and text work together to convey the liveliness, spirituality and support of the Hillel environment along with the rigor and challenge of the curriculum.
Creatively, we chose to illustrate the “better together” theme with appealing duos that are easily and unquestioningly seen as better together—from “mac and cheese” to “moon and stars.” This unique hook reflects the innocent simplicity of childhood to appeal to the primary audience—parents of young children—and to put the audience in the mindset to accept what Hillel asserts is better together.
The interactive viewbook launched in fall 2013 and received 542 visits during the first week. Along with our print ads and targeted direct mail campaign, it made for a very successful November Open House. The Open House drew 20 potential students, 18 of whom applied.
A new website featuring our text and imagery launched in March 2014, and in its first month it received 2,060 visits, 45 percent of them new visitors. Hillel also engaged us to promote its tuition grant program to current and prospective families via the website and print materials. After the first year of our work together, the school enjoyed a 24 percent increase in applications over the prior year.
In the first two years of its launch, the viewbook has had nearly 11,000 unique page views, 73 percent of which have been new visitors. Hillel has undertaken an ambitious renovation project, and we recently updated the viewbook with new text and imagery highlighting the school’s new Innovation Hub.
Along with admissions work, we applied the creative theme to develop annual fund materials. A call to “give testament to our belief that we are all better together” was the perfect approach to increasing parent participation. Elements of the “better together” creative expression also supported a successful 2:1 Annual Fund Match challenge the next year.
Creosote Affects was the most winning agency in the country at the Higher Education Marketing Report Awards for 2013 and 2014.
In 2015, Creosote Affects was the third place winner, and in 2016, Creosote Affects tied for second place, taking home 26 total awards, including seven Golds and Best of Show.
AISAP, Nashville, TN
Joe Cliber and Emily Hajjar will present how to build community brand ambassadors on July 17.
NACAC, Salt Lake City, UT
Joe Cliber and Emily Hajjar will be exhibiting September 27-29.