Advertising Specialists

S3 Advertising are specialists in education marketing. We have produced award-winning campaigns for universities, schools and colleges around the UK that certainly bite big. Take a look at our experience.

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At S3, we’ve been making education marketing campaigns for universities, schools and colleges since 2014.

We get how intricate the education recruitment cycle can be, with different UCAS phases and deadlines, conditional offers, results days, and last-minute student decisions creating a windy, varied admissions process that’s difficult to plan around. Our experience in student recruitment means we arrive at the party with all that stuff already understood. This allows us to get stuck into the important things right away – producing a creative campaign that will cut-through the noise and reach the bullseye in a prospective undergrad audience.

And cut-through it must. The HE market is notoriously competitive, with institutions using increasingly novel tactics – from unconditional offers to free laptops – all trying to attract the next generation. In a market like this, advertising needs to be seen and it needs to inspire. After all, choosing a university to spend years of your life at is a profound decision, one that often comes down to a deep, emotional level. Aside from HE marketing, S3 works with numerous FE and secondary education providers – both traditional schools and alternative education providers – to produce creative campaigns across brand, media, digital and social media.

If you work within education / HE marketing and have become sneakily suspicious or downright frustrated that you’re not where you deserve to be, S3 Advertising can help.


Education Clients

Education Expertise

Behind the scenes of USW advertising campaign Unleash Your Colours by S3 Advertising

Generation Z Insight

Planning numerous undergraduate recruitment campaigns has given us deep understanding into the motivations and behaviours of the market’s core ‘Generation Z’ audience. We know they have a shorter attention span and need media that is reactive, engaging, quick and effective. Using data from our audience insight tools S3’s strategists stay on top of trends and changes to this market, evolving campaign plans and channels to fit, just like the moment we took the University of South Wales into TikTok. We also monitor postgraduate market behaviour, appreciating that this market applies later, often choosing institutions closer to home, and so this sees us work with numerous international markets – not least from our many campaigns with Study in Wales, which aims to attract overseas students to study at Wales’ eight universities

Working across large HE organisations

Having created campaigns for major institutions like University of South Wales and University of Huddersfield, S3 is very used to helping our marketing team clients sell in advertising concepts and plans to the many faculties, executives and stakeholders that make up institutions of this size. We understand the way these large organisations work and consider this in our strategies. S3 is also experienced in translating recruitment brand ideas into stick-in-your-mind open day experiences, schools programmes and in-house-led communications like enticing prospectus and e-communications.

Creating stand-out in a highly competitive category

Education marketing can so easily fall into the same old traps. You know the ones… you’ve seen them, maybe even made some ‘students gazing positively into the future’ posters or the classic ‘students making new friends on campus’ infomercial content. Well, let’s just say S3’s creatives and strategists are certainly not shy of doing things a little differently. We seek out the concepts and brand ideas that will go against the grain and in turn help education clients bite big in their market. This is exactly what we did for University of South Wales, producing their distinctive ‘Unleash Your Colours’ campaign – created using a very large trampoline, a hangar and 75kgs of powder paint – racking up a £1:£7 ROI in the process. Tidy.

Long-term UCAS customer journey planning

We are super familiar with the nuances of the annual recruitment cycle. Our team helps HE clients plan campaigns effectively around this consumer journey. Our planners and strategists then build campaign communications models around peak moments, supporting bursts of hero advertising activity with an always-on digital approach designed to convert in-market applications. We set tracking in place across all media channels to evaluate how everything is working, providing live dashboards to clients; optimising campaigns over the course of the buying cycle to achieve the greatest conversion to application and enrolment.

About S3

S3 creates advertising campaigns for brands who aren’t (yet) market leaders. We help them take on the big guys and become the overachievers they damn right deserve to be!

We’re living proof that you don’t need to go to the ‘big smoke’ – and pay London price tags – to get work that bites big.

Our 35-strong team of strategists, creatives, media buyers, digital experts, content pros and account people share the belief that it’s always worth investing in the little. We especially love making bold campaigns for brands in consumer-facing sectors – like Education, FMCG, Retail, E-Commerce and Entertainment.

Our ethos is built on the certainty that the seemingly little have the power to overachieve – whether that’s the ‘little’ not-quite-the-market-leader (yet) brand, the ‘little’ fledgling team member who just needs someone to believe in them, or the ‘little’ regional agency giving the big pedestal-sitters a run for their money.

This agency doesn’t ego pander and certainly doesn’t think small.

This is where the little bite BIG.


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