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A campaign aimed at taking fear out of the clearing process.

University of Suffolk

The University of Suffolk needed a new creative concept for a clearing campaign running from July to September 2022.

We were chosen to deliver this piece of work for the University based on our previous experience of delivering university clearing and student recruitment projects.

As clearing is a fiercely competitive part of the university recruitment cycle, this campaign needed to cut through the noise as pertinent, provoking and distinctive content. The campaign would need to encourage students to see that the future is bright and that clearing is just the start of their new adventure. It also needed to be adaptable to work across multiple channels, audiences and assets - from social media to cinema adverts and graphics for lift doors.

A campaign aimed at taking fear out of the clearing process.

University of Suffolk

Project summary

  • Research and insights
  • Campaign strategy
  • Messaging development
  • Creative direction
  • Concept development
  • Graphic design
  • Digital design
  • Animation and motion graphics


From our initial research, we discovered that clearing is the first crossroads moment in the life of most 17–18-year-olds and the fear of making a bad decision and feeling stuck with the wrong choice can lead to decision paralysis.

Our campaign concept ‘Switch It Up’ tackled this by reframing the clearing process as a positive experience. It focused on the idea that the University of Suffolk was offering something very different to students – a distinctly more personal and supportive university experience, a community with students at the heart.

We identified that there were three stages of the clearing campaign: pre-clearing, ‘apply now’ and ‘it’s not too late’. We then developed a messaging framework that allowed the University to select the right message for each channel, based on the audience they were looking to target. We also carefully selected imagery to include landscape, lifestyle and aspirational images to help shape the messaging to each of the different audience segments.

Working in partnership with the University’s digital advertising agency, we created over 15 types of assets for digital and OOH, ensuring they were accessible to WCAG 2.0 AA. We also included QR codes on each of the OOH assets to make it easy for the audience to access the University’s website – an innovative way of using technology to connect offline and digital spaces.

A leaflet for the clearing campaign.
A mock up of the campaign poster on a busy high street.


The campaign went live in summer 2022, gaining a huge amount of traction across multiple channels and touchpoints. Over half a million people saw the lift graphics we placed at Chantry Place.

Thanks to this campaign, the University of Suffolk has been able to reframe the clearing process as a positive one – helping them to attract more students.

Lift doors featuring the campaign messaging.
YouTube advertising banners for the campaign.
One of the campaign's instagram posts.
Another of the campaign's instagram posts.