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Case Study

Cate School Enrollment Communications

The Most Beautiful Place on Earth

The Office of Admissions at Cate School knows that once prospective families visit the school, 97 percent apply. So the goal for the new admissions materials was to get them there. Inspired by the words of Sarah Kidwell, director of marketing and communications (“It’s the most beautiful place on earth”) and after visiting the Carpenteria, California, campus, we began crafting a set of materials that would entice people to visit this West Coast boarding school.

Knowing that the competition for Cate included Northeast schools, where a student endures a long, cold winter (hey, we’re Northeasterners—we know), we wanted to maximize the scenic location of the school on the Pacific Coast. We started by creating mood boards that had inviting colors and friendly typography.

 

We also knew from touring the school that it had an intimate campus nestled into a hillside. The buildings evoked the feeling of camp, while the landscape was majestic. We directed Ben Morris, multimedia coordinator, to capture the place in stills through approachable day-in-the-life photography.

 

Mark Sheehy Creative was called upon to craft copy to evoke the essence of Cate and emphasize its academic rigor. His writing didn’t get bogged down in details but instead pulled readers in, enticing them to want to learn more and to finally arrange a visit to the school.

 

The end result was a series of printed pieces and a website that each have their own interactive elements. Each printed piece mails in a clear acetate envelope enticing recipients to open it—almost like peeking under the wrapping of a present. The website complements the print materials through design and deeper content.

These materials were part of an initiative to increase visits to Cate School. The result: nearly 700 applications, a 23 percent increase over the previous year, and more than the school had ever received. The admissions director noted that it was also the most eclectic, accomplished group to apply.

Client

Cate School

Sarah Kidwell, Director, Marketing and Communications

Capabilities

Art Direction

Content Strategy

Identity & Branding

Interaction Design

Marketing Design

Industry

Education

Cate School 

Cate School was founded in 1910, and more than 100 years later it continues to attract students from around the world. The admissions materials we developed were part of an initiative to increase visits to Cate School. The result: nearly 700 applications, a 23 percent increase over the previous year and more than the school had ever received. The admissions director noted that it was also the most eclectic, accomplished group to apply.

Honors: UCDA General Excellence Award and AAF/Albany Ad Club Award

Partners

Mark Sheehy Creative

Contributors

Ben Morris