Research | Narrative | Campaign Design | Group Project
The prompt brought to our studio was to develop a campaign for a call to action that would facilitate the curriculum's growth of the Environmental Charter School in Pittsburgh, PA.
We delivered a social media project with an interactive website and a simple petition-signing experience to mobilize local authorities to fund a building to house grades 9–12. The project featured a slogan inspired by the school’s four goals of its mission –catalyst, character, collaboration, commitment. Each goal starts with the letter “c”. Our campaign inspired the community to 4CtheFuture.
The environment charter school is a school that integrates multiple disciplines and concepts in a non-traditional way in order to encourage holistic learning. Courses are not separated as unrelated entities. Concepts are learned hand in hand. Math promotes sciences promotes the history of discovers that can only be communicated through clear writing methods — all disciplines are connected.
The ECS program only housed elementary to middle school programs simply because they were running out of building space. It became our mission to come up with ways to spread awareness about the program, and encourage a call to action from the community. My group decided to pin-point the fact that the main issue was the lack of space and room to grow, and built a campaign around the simple concept of needing a new school building to house grades 9-12. With that, we decided to cater our campaign to parents and encourage them to petition their local leaders asking for help to attain a new building for an ECS high school.
I came up with a social media sharing ability through a catchy hashtag phrase #4Cthefuture, based off of the 4 principles of the school (that all happened to start with the letter “C”). It was after this lightbulb went off that we honed in on building our campaign around the need for parents to think ahead, think long term, and be able to foresee the future of their children’s education.
We started out by thinking that these 4 principles could be the main seedlings of our campaign, that would all come together to become a strong, rooted foundation for the project. We saw this project as a metaphor for growth, and chose to initially visualize it through what would be roots of a tree. We decided we liked this concept but needed to hone it further.
I was focused on the need to have a strong, persuasive voice that wasn’t too aggressive but got the need and point across. Our initial concepts were either too “nice” and gentle, or too bold and close to a “scare tactic” which wasn’t what we wanted. We resolved the voice and narrative to something educational at first; something that reminds people how school systems traditionally function and why ECS models of learning are so exemplary; and then take it away from them so that people realize the need for its growth.
The campaign grew into a content heavy narrative piece that is embedded in an interactive website with a simple petition signing experience at the bottom of the page. Our group worked fluidly together; Zii in charge of interaction experience, Mina in charge of illustration and animation of the video piece, and I was in charge of content writing, story boarding and narrative direction.
Designing a campaign from start to finish was a great collaborative experience. My group worked very well together and the work was delegated fluidly. From concept ideation to narrative writing, to content management and editing, to video creation and animation, this project made us work through a lot of the obstacles that come with trying to call people to action, and the school was excited to receive this campaign concept upon presenting it to them.