The Emmanuel College rebrand was a winner at the 2020 Summit Creative Awards in Portland Oregon. This rebrand of a 100+ year old residential college located in Queensland Australia, is the epitome of our strategic brand development process specialised in the education sector.

Traditionally, colleges such as this have not had to market themselves, but with the rising competition of global student housing companies now must appeal to students as a modern option, yet steeped in tradition.

Our strategy was to discover what made Emmanuel different from other University of Queensland residential colleges, as well as what students valued about college life over other non-college student accommodations options available in Brisbane.

Initial desktop research on Emmanuel College and it’s competing University of Queensland Colleges a well as the current student accommodation environment in South East Queensland informed the structure of the discovery sessions which would be the keystone of our strategic approach to the rebrand.

Engaging with students

We facilitated a series of discovery sessions, initially with staff of all levels, and ultimately with students at varying stages of university life, both undergraduate and postgraduate.

Our sessions that included discussion and indirect enquiry via a series of activities to ascertain how current students pictured an ideal Blue Dog (the name Emmanuel residents use to refer to themselves). Our discovery refined unique points of difference of the college, the visual style they respond to, as well as marketing channels they felt were most appropriate for communicating to prospective residents and their families.

The data we derived from the session also informed what type of imagery to use, as well as avoid to deter the type of resident that could potentially not fit the culture of the college.

Initial deliverables

Our research and engagement was used to deliver a report that formed the basis of a marketing plan, including recommendations, brand strategy, student insights, touchpoint mapping, competitor analysis, brand language tone, tagline, and photographic imagery strategy. This information formed the way forward for all marketing material both on and offline.

Based on the intelligence gained from current residents, we were able to develop marketing touchpoints that were customised to the needs of the specific demographic the college targets.


Over the course of 12 months we developed a series of touchpoints and marketing activities that would target potential residents, their families and high school careers advisors. The rollout crossed many mediums from print and digital, to merchandise and video.

Adjusting for COVID-19

As the rollout took place in 2020, a secondary strategy was developed by our creative team to respond to the limitations of COVID-19, such as the inability to facilitate a physical open day. This strategy led to a more targeted and direct approach to highschool careers advisors via physical media and direct mail, as well as potential students via social media.

Social media campaign

As part of our marketing campaign, we facilitated a highly targeted social media campaign via our partner agency. The campaign led potential residents and their parents on two different personalised journeys (based on the being within demographic of a student vs a parent) through consideration, and via remarketed advertising guided them to ultimate apply to reside at Emmanuel. This approach gave the college results that were easy to analyse and attribute success.


“Paper Monkey’s work with Emmanuel College has allowed us to understand who we are and what makes us different in an increasingly crowded market place. The brand and the subsequent marketing strategy they developed have seen us communicate our unique offerings to a targeted audience using channels we have not utilised until now.

Engaging with our students as part of the development of the brand resulted in buy in at a user level, with our residents embracing the new brand from day one.” Louise Hallo, Deputy Principal, Emmanuel College.

Read about the Emmanuel College rebrand winning at the Summit Creative Awards here.

See Emmanuel College here.

Emmanuel College logo before and after rebrand


Brand activation kit

Talk to us to find out how we can help you find out what is unique about your college, and help you find the right students. Contact us today.