Integrated winner: SHC Digital for University College Birmingham

As Google and YouTube prevent under 16s from being targeted, the campaign called for an integrated approach to target the prospective students as well as their parents.

University College Birmingham (UCB) briefed SHC Digital to devise, run and optimise an integrated digital campaign for its 2021/2022 academic college intake. The campaign needed to reach students aged 15-16 across the West Midlands, making them aware of the wide range of practical vocational courses available, as well as drive completed applications.

Google restricts targeting under 16s across the platform, ruling out YouTube as well as programmatic and display tactics. The campaign called for an integrated approach targeting not only students but their parents too, enabling UCB to leverage core conversion tactics across the Google network. 

The media plan focused on awareness, consideration and conversion tactics. From a channel mix perspective, both parents and students were targeted via Meta and Spotify, but parents also included Google and students also TikTok and Snapchat. 

SHC needed to find a workaround to target students across the Google network so used education-specific platforms which used mobile data to target under 16s with display and YouTube ads.

The campaign creative of ‘Level Up with UCB’ was refreshed three times throughout the campaign period, to avoid creative fatigue and maximise wider awareness. It delivered a significant uplift in completed applications compared to the previous year and data shows that the quality of applications was also higher. 


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