The Royals releases first work for Charles Darwin University

By Paige Murphy | 1 October 2019

Independent agency The Royals has released its first work for Northern Territory-based Charles Darwin University (CDU) since winning the account earlier this year.

The agency won a three-year contract for the CDU creative account in a competitive pitch involving a number of national agencies.

The account covers strategy, brand and design.

The new campaign You Make CDU, created by The Royals, is seeking to entice new students.

It stars CDU graduates Yron, Beth, Talea and May, who tell the stories of their diverse journeys to university – highlighting CDU’s supportive and flexible learning environment.

For Talea, it was studying midwifery remotely while raising three young children and for Beth, who didn’t finish high school, it was completing CDU’s free tertiary enabling program and transitioning into a Bachelor degree that has led to her starting her career as a law intern.

In the unscripted TVCs and videos, we see all four CDU graduates receive surprise messages from the people closest to them, telling them how proud they were of their bravery and achievements.

"Our higher education students are more mature and are often juggling work and family responsibilities. So it was important to change the approach by telling students we need you, rather than telling them all the reasons why they need us," CDU director of marketing Shannon Holborn says.

"We need your diverse backgrounds, life experiences, creative minds, curiosity and community mindedness, to help us build a new world.

"The resulting campaign from The Royals has exceeded our expectations, and perfectly showcases CDU as a university that empowers and supports all kinds of people by offering them an inclusive and flexible learning environment.”

Through the new brand platform of “You make CDU”, the campaign flips the traditional university narrative of “you need us to make your life better” to emphasise the message that a university is only as good as the unique minds it fosters.

“Our aim through every aspect of this campaign was to communicate the warmth, inclusivity and progressive points of view of CDU – and director Dylan Harrison and his team did a beautiful job in helping us achieve that," The Royals creative partner Nick Cummins says.

The campaign has rolled out across TV, cinema, digital video, OOH, radio, press and social.

Atomic 212 was appointed to the media account for CDU last year.


Client: Charles Darwin University
Director of Marketing: Shannon Holborn
Marketing Manager: Renee Gries

Agency: The Royals
Managing Partner: Dan Beaumont
Creative Partner: Nick Cummins
Head of Strategy: Michaela Futcher
Group Account Director: Priyanka Patel
Senior Account Manager: Etaoin Knight
Copywriter: Lee Spencer-Michaelsen
Art Director: Ruby Boardman-Boynton
Senior Design: Terry Chisholm
Finished Artist: Kitty Turpin
Producer: Alex Gillespie
Digital Project Manager: Emerald Cowell
Digital Designer: Kenneth Sum
Full Stack Developer: James Robinson
UX Designer: Maxime Lacoste

Production Company: Hooligan Collective
Director: Dylan Harrison
Producer: Ash McLeod
DOP: Jason White
Editor: Mark Parry
Post Production: Vandal
Colourist: Daniel Pardy
Sound Designer: Nigel Crowley
Photographer: Rhett Hammerton

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