Home to one of the leading engineering universities in the nation (the University of Illinois), Champaign-Urbana had issues recruiting software engineers to the large and growing number of innovative startups and major tech companies that called the city home. Working in conjunction with the University of Illinois Research Park and the Champaign County Economic Development Corporation, our challenge was to rebrand the community and attract the talent needed to foster innovation moving forward.
We quickly discovered that Champaign-Urbana was home to countless innovations ranging from the Web browser to the plasma television screen and that it is also home to one of the top computer science programs in the U.S. At the same time, we spoke with dozens of recruiters and transplants about the perception of the community and the key obstacles that had to be surmounted in order to attract talent.
We knew we needed to create a brand that was disruptive, something that acknowledged the legacy of innovation while highlighting the vibrant, welcoming community. That’s where “You’re Welcome” was born. It’s a double entendre: you’re welcome for the innovations that have come out of the community and you’re welcome to join us.
The You’re Welcome campaign was launched in September 2015 and included branding, creative strategy, website development, content creation, media relations, paid media and more. Best of all, the community embraced the campaign, adopting the assets we created in their own communications.