My First Choice Campaign

Award Winning Recruitment Campaign

Columbus State University is a progressive school with high goals and expectations. They came to Naartjie to help them recruit students from Atlanta; not an easy task. The team had to create a campaign that allowed CSU to compete against much larger schools and gain market share through brand recognition in an already over saturated market. The “My First Choice” campaign used billboards, radio, TV, websites, social media, print collateral and fundraising brochures to convey why CSU should be a student’s first choice in higher education. Naartjie produced several Youtube testimonial videos and developed a testimonial centric website,, which was used as a contest for current students to write, photograph or video why they picked CSU as their first choice. Together these proved to be a very effective way of communicating honest examples of successful student advocates. The first year of the campaign saw a 10% increase in Atlanta student applications, which has continued to grow to the point where Atlanta applications now outnumber Columbus applications.

Columbus State University’s “My First Choice” campaign won a CASE national award for overall campaign achievement, besting much larger colleges and universities like Georgia Tech and the University of Florida.

Naartjie is the Agency of Record for CSU and assists the university with the following:

Inbound/Outbound Media Strategy

Media Planning/Placement/Post Buy Analysis

Creative Development

Print/Outdoor/TV/Radio/Digital Advertising

Social Media/Online Reputation Management

Mobile App Development

Cougar Cam

Naartjie produced CSU's first iOS app, Cougar Cam which integrated cutting edge augmented reality features to promote student engagement.

iBeacon Technology

Naartjie uses bluetooth iBeacons to deliver special offers, campus information, news and Apple Passes to students on both campuses. A self guided tour is now in place which uses installed beacons to guide visitors and families through campus. CSU has become one of the first iBeacon campuses in the country as a result.