The start of the academic year is an exciting time for new students at Aarhus University: they’re surrounded by new people, places, and lots of ‘fredagsbarer’ (Friday Bars). However, it also introduces a turbulent time for many students who will test their boundaries in their completely new everyday life.
Studenterrådet – The Student Council – and Aarhus University wanted to communicate a message of responsibility and good behavior among the students, ensuring the message didn’t come across as a parental reprimand that might be easily dismissed. In this initiative, we joined forces on a mission with the aim of inspiring students to take care of each other.
Together with the Student Council and Aarhus University, we created a concept and campaign that wasn’t too accusatory, but rather a friendly reminder that it’s important to pay attention to yourself and to your fellow students – especially at this time of year.
Our goal was to create a campaign that was relatable and reflected the student’s own experiences and expectations of what it means to study at the university. We wanted to invite them to discuss the topic among themselves in a light tone without neglecting the importance of the subject. So, it became a matter of contributing to changing the culture around the introduction week – which cannot be done overnight, but setting the tone and bringing relevant subjects and scenes to the table was a good start.
The project consisted of multiple elements, all of them conveying a strong feeling of community for everyone, and all of them with the purpose of encouraging students to reflect on the best ways to interact with each other. Hopefully, it could even inspire them to do something different next time a situation arises – and encourage others to do the same.
A series of short videos played a central role in the campaign, each delivering an individual message encapsulated by the overarching theme: Be Nice Not Træls. Here, “Træls” can be translated into “annoying” or “difficult.” In the videos, we took a couple of scenarios, boiled them down and gave them a twist of good old Aarhus-charm and humor, which supports the general message to be attentive, reflect, and take care of yourself and others.