University of the District of Columbia


Marketing Campaign

Campaign Description

Since November 2013, SRB Communications has worked as the advertising agency of record with the University of the District of Columbia, an urban, historically Black public college with enrollment of nearly 5,700 students including a significant number of international students from dozens of countries from all over the world. In late 2018, the University of the District of Columbia tasked the SRB Communications team with the launch of a new digital UDC marketing campaign.

Marketing Challenge

The university wanted to recruit new students with an impactful new campaign and tagline that represents the culture and core values the university operates by. UDC has struggled with public perception in the past and it needed to rebrand itself as the premier public university in the District of Columbia.

The Work

SRB Communications developed a region-wide advertising campaign that would recruit prospective students and increase the number of annual applications. Based on research conducted by UDC that confirmed anecdotal suspicions, we knew that such an effort would first require the development of a significant rebranding campaign that articulated an entirely new vision for the university. We developed messaging and supported it with a $1 million multi-platform strategic advertising campaign that engaged community residents. Specifically, this included high-visibility Out-of-Home placements, full-page print ads, high-engagement paid social content, brand ambassador teams and videos and long-form radio announcements.

The SRB team worked closely with UDC to develop digital banner ads for a contemporary integrated campaign. The SRB team worked with the university to negotiate the media buy and serve web, mobile app, and social media ads to targeted prospective students.

SRB Communications targeted potential African Americans (18-23), African American workforce students (28-35), continuing education students and Latino students.


The campaign successfully increased the overall recruitment efforts at the university. It not only allowed for UDC to successfully rebrand itself as a viable and affordable public university in Washington D.C., nationally and globally – but also, as a place where students go to “Aspire. Accomplish. Take on the World”.

The campaign yielded 4,472,077 impressions and 9,611 total clicks to the UDC admissions and Workforce Development web pages. Overall, it achieved an above average click-through-rate of 3.14% (industry standard 0.18%) and drove more than 31,000 visits to the landing page in a few short weeks.