Student campaign proves to be big and brave

‘Free to be me’ is the theme and focus for a trailblazing new campaign from The Bedford College Group – one designed to celebrate individuality, promote inclusivity and boost student enrolment in 2022.

The campaign, launched this month on TV screens across the region, has at its heart an innovative short film, produced by Luton-based digital company Clearhead.

The film follows the journey of two students and one teacher and includes a social commentary on self-identity, social judgment, and mental health.

Sarah Elam, Head of Marketing for The Bedford College Group, made up of Tresham College, Bedford College, and Shuttleworth College, said: “We wanted to go big and brave with our campaign and create something fit for the world we live in today. This campaign may be pioneering and bold, but at its core is a very simple message: whatever your colour, gender or sexual orientation we provide an inclusive environment where every individual is so much more than grades on a piece of paper.

“We approached Clearhead with the ‘Be free to be yourself’ message and a few ideas, and the rest came from them – the narrative, casting, messaging and of course final product. The film has been received really well by both staff and students and we are now excited to be screening and sharing it more widely.”

The ‘Free to be me’ film, now being screened on Sky TV, ITV and other regional TV stations, is at the heart of a campaign designed to help the group’s meets its ambitious student recruitment targets, which include enrolling more than 3,600 new students at the group’s colleges in Northamptonshire, Bedford and Biggleswade next year.

Alex Lawrence, co-founder and Chief Creative Officer of Clearhead, said: “We are proud to have created an impactful recruitment film that does not shy away from today’s most pressing issues and challenges. We wanted to steer away from what was expected and create something truly powerful, that resonates with potential students, existing students, parents, and general society. 

“Our film reveals a college community that is empowering and one in which individuals can discover who they are, who they want to become and what and who is needed within their lives to make it happen, a place where students and staff alike are valued and supported so they can discover, define their beliefs, hopes, and abilities.”