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2018 Apply to UA Video

Freshman Admissions / Videography

As marketers, one of our biggest challenges is to stay updated on current trends that impact our creative work and the strategies behind it. It gives us a good excuse to spend a lot of time learning about what young folks are up to these days and how they prefer to consume content.

When it came time to produce the 2018 freshman recruitment video, we decided to shake things up a bit by experimenting with a fresh approach. The concept included the use of vlog-style footage, a perfect format for the generation that’s growing up in the age of YouTube and selfies.

To turn our idea into reality, we found three outstanding students who were willing to share their journeys to the UA: Kiran, Shelby and Becca. These students exemplify the diversity of our student body, but they all have one thing in common; the shared experience of becoming Wildcats.

If there’s something we know for certain, it’s that authenticity is important to the Gen Z audience. According to the Cassandra Report, an ongoing study on Millennial and Gen Z behaviors, 63 percent of viewers prefer to see real people in video ads rather than celebrities.

“To pull this off, we needed to have some degree of authenticity, so we decided to go into production without a script,” said videographer Antonio Villagomez. “I had no idea what the stories would look and sound like until I sat in the editing room and started cutting the footage together.”

To make this concept a reality, a team from SAEM/AISS Marketing traveled near and far, even venturing to the Midwest to capture some breathtaking b-roll in the Windy City.

“I was thrilled to see Wildcat pride in the heart of Chicago!” said marketing manager Lauren Vidal, one of the team members who visited Chicago. “Although I work on campus, seeing fellow Wildcats outside of Tucson never gets old.”

While the students were amazing to work with, the off-the-cuff approach to producing the video led to a few challenges.

“When you film in different cities with very tight schedules sometimes you cannot scout locations ahead of time, so a lot of the location scouting happened the day of filming,” Antonio said. “We got kicked out in the middle of shooting once or twice during the whole production. We just laughed it off and moved on to the next location.”

Despite any logistical complications, early call times and late editing nights, the team was able to pull off a video that surpassed all expectations.

“I get so excited every time I watch this video,” Lauren said. “I think the authenticity of each student really makes it come to life.”