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Wake Forest University

Digital Marketing + Creative Strategy + Marketing Campaign
Next Wrok
American Battlefield Trust
American Battlefield Trust
NEXT American Battlefield Trust

Wake Forest University’s Documentary Film Program (DFP) needed a hands-on agency to help with digital marketing optimization and transparent reporting for two of its key programs:

MFA: Documentary Filmmaking
MA: Sports & Media Storytelling

Facing declining enrollment and different audience focuses, the DFP was looking for support in identifying, attracting, and engaging more right-fit students. 

What happened next? Digital marketing magic, based on a collaborative, benefits-focused digital strategy and campaign that helped prospective students understand the difference between the two programs and how to select the one most aligned with their goals.

Service Offering:

Digital Marketing Strategy
Creative Concepts
Campaign Creation and Execution


Inspire and motivate qualified prospective students to inquire and apply for the Wake Forest Documentary Film Program by…

  • Positioning Wake Forest DFP as a support system that provides students with the resources to tell their stories through film
  • Highlighting key benefits of the DFP’s alumni network and potential career outcomes
  • Differentiating the two DFP programs so right-fit students can make informed decisions about the best program for their goals

Wake Forest needed help identifying and engaging the right-fit students for its Documentary Film Program. Competing against many other well-known film school programs, the DFP also needed to communicate what made its program the best choice for students looking to share their story through film.


Most film programs teach students the creative side of filmmaking. Wake Forest teaches the entire process of filmmaking, from storyboarding and filming to pitching and production, providing students with a wider set of skills to thrive in the film industry as soon as they graduate.

Staying Nimble, Adaptable, and Actionable

By leaning into the entrepreneurial aspect of the DFP, we were able to educate our audiences about how much of a head start the DFP can give them in achieving their filmmaking career goals. We also used data gathering to adjust our digital strategy throughout the campaign, effectively maximizing our media spend and objectives to get our message out to the right audience at the right time.

/Messaging Strategy

Looking at the Whole Picture

For messaging, we leaned into the fact that the Wake Forest DFP is a “soup to nuts” type of program. Students learn more than the creative side of filmmaking; they graduate with a firm understanding of the business side of the industry, giving them a firm leg up to get their projects produced right after graduation (a big draw for the right-fit students looking to launch their filmmaking career).  

/Digital Strategy

Going Behind-The-Scenes

We also created a video asset that we activated across the media mix, which served as a highlight reel of student documentary films and behind-the-scenes glimpses of the hands-on approach the programs use within the classroom and student film sets.

/Campaign Strategy

Pivoting and Differentiating

After some time in the market, the Documentary Film Program campaign started disproportionately generating more prospective student leads than the Sports & Media Storytelling Film program. Although students could switch majors once in the program, there was still a need to differentiate the programs from each other so students could make more informed decisions about which program best fit their goals.

/Campaign Strategy

Refreshing the Experience

To help show the value of the Sports & Media Storytelling program, we evolved the campaign to focus on career outcomes for recent graduates. Using quotes and testimonials from alumni who’ve gone on to fulfill their filmmaking dreams, we were able to show (not just tell) our audience what the Wake Forest DFP could do for them. 

/Campaign Strategy

Collaborating on the Creative

The key to a successful campaign? Collaboration, collaboration, collaboration. We worked directly with the client on a creative-to-creative level to determine the exact story we wanted to tell and how we wanted to tell it. For example, during the campaign refresh, the consensus was to focus on career outcomes and making the student the hero vs. the programs, positioning the message as: “This is your story. We’ll help you tell it.” 

A Little Listening Goes a Long Way

Throughout the campaign, we listened to our clients, evaluated data, and explored new solutions at every turn to generate the best results. After building a strong following via Meta channels, we used the campaign creative to engage our audience and keep our prospective student leads warm. And the results of our collaboration and adaptability speak for themselves. 


Million+ Impressions




Requests for Inquiry


Lower Than Media Mix Average for Cost per Inquiry


American Battlefield Trust