2012 GoAbroad Innovation Awards Finalists: Innovation in Marketing

Innovation in Marketing


The GoAbroad Team pleased to feature the 2012 GoAbroad Innovation Awards finalists in the category of Marketing. We received many wonderful nominations and the selection committee has chosen five finalists, listed here in alphabetical order. Throughout this week and next, GoAbroad will highlight the finalists in each of the GoAbroad Innovation Award categories!


Academic Programs International (API)

“Learning Transformed. Life Transforming.” Tagline & Campaign

Academic Programs International’s (API) tagline and campaign – “Learning transformed. Life Transforming” is a new effort to publicly proclaim the organization’s commitment to the idea that study abroad can be a driving force not only for academic growth but also for personal and professional transformation. This is embodied in the organization’s mission statement, programs, and commitment to superior student service and experiences. The theme was kicked off in 2011 through a stop-motion video produced by API staff and the branding effort continues through API’s marketing materials, photo and video contests, student blogger program, and Peer Mentor program.


Athena Study Abroad

“Colors of the World Visual Marketing Campaign”

Athena Study Abroad’s marketing approach at captivating its target audience of college students started not with words, but with imagery. Since there are no words that can truly capture the experience of studying abroad – discovering a new world, discovering yourself – Athena’s in-house design team attempted to create a visual that could capture the experience.

More intense than a well-crafted slogan, Athena’s vivid swirling rainbow theme is reflected across all of Athena’s marketing initiatives, unifying the brand across the company’s website, catalog, flyers, and social media. The rainbow colors of the theme represent the differing races, genders, religions, etc. captured in the experience and participants of study abroad. The circular swirls represents both the roundabout way that many of us have to travel to discover ourselves, as well as the concept of the karma-like cycle of giving and receiving. The artwork inspired the previous website, catalog, and other marketing initiatives, and was a sparkplug for the company’s current theme.

Catalog link: http://issuu.com/athenaabroad/docs/2011_catalog?mode=embed&layout



“2 Months 35 Countries with CIEE”

In Spring 2011, CIEE launched a nationwide contest, “2 Months in 35 Countries with CIEE,” to search for three intrepid travelers to visit 35 countries in two months’ time to share the life-changing adventures of those who are studying, teaching, training, and working through CIEE programs. While exploring the globe, these travelers would document the lives of CIEE participants through film, photos, and blogging.

From a field of nearly 500 applicants, three professionals were chosen. Throughout their journeys, they visited CIEE Study Centers to show and tell the stories of current CIEE Study Abroad, High School and Gap Year Abroad, International Faculty Development Seminar, and Work & Travel USA participants. The goal: to learn how cultural exchange opportunities have a real impact on the lives and perspectives of participants, host families, educators, and CIEE employees. Today, CIEE’s winners’ stories continue to play a central role in CIEE’s effort to provide potential participants with an accurate representation of what it’s really like to participate in cultural exchange—all from the first-hand perspectives of those who have already done it.


EF International Language Centers

“Live the Language Films”

The “Live the language” films from EF International Language Centers were among the most talked about commercials in 2011-2012. Not backed by any impressive media budget, the “Live the Language” campaign became a massive hit in the design blogosphere and in social media. In the films, director Gustav Johansson uses his unique way of storytelling to capture the stories of seven different students who travel abroad to study with EF. The films portray students as they arrive at their schools, make new friends, and begin “living the language”. Everywhere they go they communicate in the local language and pick up new vocabulary, illustrated with gorgeous artifact-style typography by Albin Holmqvist.

“Live the language” became a massive hit in the design blogosphere in 2011. Over 700 design blogs from Argentina to Japan wrote about the campaign, and thousands of tweets and social media postings helped the films reach 5 million video views – with virtually no media budget.


University of Maine – Study Abroad Office

“Celebration” Radio Show”

Andrea West and Orlina Boteva created a radio called “Celebration” to promote study abroad at the University of Maine (UMaine). On Celebration, Andrea markets study abroad as a passage to opportunities for meaningful experiences with people from other cultures. She promotes an appreciation for cultural diversity at UMaine by giving a forum to international students and acknowledging members of the campus community who contribute to the internationalization of UMaine campus, espouse cultural differences, and promote an appreciation for cultural diversity, primarily through their work in international education.

On each show, Andrea features a country which is a study abroad destination and interviews an international student, study abroad returnee, and/or member of the campus community who is from the featured country or has a professional or some other meaningful connection to it.The show has also allowed us to increase the diversity of locations, experiences, study abroad programs, academic programs, and student sub-populations represented by our peer advisors and mentors and consequently appeal to a larger audience. Students can listen to Celebration online.



Congratulations to the finalists! The winner of this category will be announced at the GoAbroad invitation-only reception during the upcoming NAFSA: Association of International Educators Annual Conference and will be posted to the GoAbroad blog and the GoAbroad Innovation Awards page. Other category finalists are also being announced this week. Stay tuned for more updates!

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