The Call For Nerds

The Swedish high school economy system relies on the number of applicants each year. The mission for our client, NTI Gymnasiet, was to get as many applicants as possible. So how could we make a Swedish school with focus on technichal education an interesting alternative for young students (especially among girls)? And also make NTI Gymnasiet stand out among high schools where communication is pretty generic?

Client: NTI Gymnasiet   Agency: Rodolfo   Year: 2013   Role: Lead Art Director


Teachers Hated it,
Kids Loved it

After talking to students, more students and some more students we quickly learned that they really were in to the digital world. Daniel Ek, Notch Person and Elon Musk are the new superstars, gaming is mandatory and electronic music is HOT. Our insights were super clear: the students were proud to call themselves nerds. So we created a communication platform for NTI gymnasiet: The Nerd 2.0 – an updated version of the nerd. Teachers hated it, but the kids loved it. However, when creating the concept we referred to the Swedish Academy Dictionary. Unfortunately it offered, in our eyes, an obsolete definition of the word: “Narrow minded, ridiculous person. A wimp.”


Narrow Minded & Ridiculous. Wimps.

We felt that in order to be able to call students Nerds 2.0 we also needed to update the definition of the word. So our idea was to create a giant proclamation: Nörduppropet (the Nerd Proclamation) and mobilize all nerds in the name of NTI Gymnasiet. We created a campaign where we simply asked for a name signature to change the definition and if wanted: give an own suggestion on a new definition for the word.


Nerds Mobilized

The proclamation spread like wildfire, especially in social media where all kinds of nerds united. And with a challenged campaign budget we achieved a viral spread for the proclamation which eventually even reached old media. We filled the current students with pride and got the interest of the coming applicants. And yes, the teachers eventually joined in as well. The campaign was a success achieving results way above the set KPI:s, but most important of all NTI Gymnasiet was the most applied to technical high school that year… and oh, we changed the definition too. 

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Insight Is King

This project gave me a lot of learnings and experience. But one thing in particular is my understanding for how easy the ideas come to you if you have done your research right and have a rock solid insight. I also learned that nerds are pretty damn cool (oh yes I play video games) and that people are happy to unite for a common cause if you inspire them. 

As Lead Art Director for this I had the responsibility of communication strategy, creative process, communication platform, digital strategy, design, campaign rollout and additional units in digital media. 

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