There are college recruitment videos showing students in a fun and bright campus, discovering college as a path towards independence and a promising future. At most, they may bring back successful graduates to give a sound bite on how college changed their lives for the better and imply that you as the viewer will equally benefit with the end goal of a great career.
Then there’s Western Sydney University (WSU). They have broken the boring, antiquated rules of student outcomes by showing college as a starting place for a much greater journey beyond career placement. They use the theme of “unlimited.” Each of the three spots are only 90 seconds long but they speak like visual parables for which we are guests witnessing personal legends unfold. Australian director Jae Morrison expertly crafts his visuals in a flashback cinematic style and takes us on a journey showing our heroes’ different motivations to strive—lifelong dreams, tragedies, or struggles—and superimposes simple captions in the center to serve as labels the same way art galleries use them as devices to provide context instead of dictating an emotional response.
In the book The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho, the main character Santiago lives life as a series of struggles that occur with no particular reason other than life happens. Its meaning and purpose are up to Santiago to decide and he uses them to propel towards a great treasure. Similarly, Deng Adut, Melissa Chiu, and Jay Manley take what life throws at them and reframe the problems as inspirations to unleash their potential.
WSU is not the emphasis in the videos or necessarily the turning point for these highly motivated individuals, but it is one of many catalysts for something far bigger than finding a stable career. Our heroes are changing the world the best way they know how by breaking old limits. WSU will help make it happen—no voice-overs required.