Seattle Pacific University

Communication challenge/opportunity: SPU was rolling out a new brand. It was very important to address alumni as well as future students—two widely different audiences. SPU also needed to communicate its core values and a new one: Seattle is its new campus.

Goal: To successfully roll out SPU’s new brand for alumni and future students.

Strategy: To win over two such distinct audiences simultaneously, we looked for a story/stories that could link the two and also embody the values of the university. We found that running was a great metaphor and vehicle for the university’s values. We decided that two characters who would ultimately merge was the best strategy. We identified two alumni—one a five-time World Champion (the first woman to run a sub-5-minute mile) and one a current student and All-American sprinter. The two had very different stories and voices but came together on their final lines. We set the beginning of the film in the 1960s, utilizing archival footage of the record-breaking race, and then transitioned to the two runners—the older running on campus and the younger sprinting through iconic locations in Seattle (subconsciously selling the idea of “Seattle as campus”).

Results: University partners were over the moon. The roll-out was a huge success. The pieces were so successful online that they were converted into ESPN spots and played nationwide.

We have turned to Soulcraft for some of our most significant, high-profile videos in the last few years. Most recently, the team created a story-based video that stunned us all. It has been a powerful tool in conveying the heart and meaning of Seattle Pacific University’s new brand. I also value my interactions with Aaron Straight – he knows when to push for his vision and when to flex with what we want. That is not an easy balance and Aaron makes it look effortless.
— Alison Leary Estep, Assistant Vice President, Office of University Communications, Seattle Pacific University