Prospective students asked: down for it?

The University of Otago is doing its best to get down with the kids.

Its latest domestic student recruitment campaign, "Down For It?", aims to attract prospective scarfies down south for the 2025 academic year by issuing a challenge of growth.

The campaign is the first piece of major marketing by the university to feature its new tohu (symbol) and ikoa Maori (Maori name), after launching the $1.3 million branding last month.

University of Otago marketing director Hone Paul said more than 80% of students came from outside Dunedin, and the campaign highlighted the journey these students often took to get to the city and the life experiences they could expect to have once here.

The slogan was a play on words, challenging future students to come study in Dunedin and experience the opportunities to grow.

It was inspired by the university’s new brand identity, which spoke to it being a place of many firsts, he said.

"For many new students, it will be their first time leaving home, moving into a college, attending a lecture, joining a student club or seeing Dunedin’s beautiful natural environment.

"Down For It highlights these firsts and importantly highlights our firsts in teaching and research."

The campaign video, playing to The Clean’s Tally Ho!, features footage of real first-year students making their way to Dunedin at the start this year.

Mr Paul said the university put out a call to incoming students in February to share their journey to Otago and their first few weeks of study.

About half a dozen journeys were selected for the campaign video.

Otago University Students’ Association President (OUSA) Keegan Wells said she loved the new campaign video, particularly the graphic design and editing style.

The choice to feature actual first-year students made it a lot more relatable and represented the student experience quite well, she said.

It also highlighted how uniquely positioned the university was in the city, so students could access a lot of cool opportunities alongside their studies.

"The reason that students choose Otago is mostly for the Otago experience ... I think this campaign highlights that really well."

It was cool for prospective students to see the university’s new branding featured in the campaign, as those starting next year would be the first to see it throughout their studies.