As UC Berkeley prepared for an ambitious fundraising campaign, they struggled with the familiar challenge of creating a “culture of giving and gratitude.” University Relations engaged us to develop a theme for the campaign that would bring a fresh perspective and motivate new and current donors.
In dozens of interviews, we mined for the true meaning of UC Berkeley, which led us to an unexpected conclusion: to stereotype the university was to miss the anti-brand hero it symbolizes. Students graduate with an exceptional education, but also with a strong sense of self. We created a platform where everyone touched by UC Berkeley could tell their story, starting with “Thanks to Berkeley…”. The theme inspired a photo booth project, where hundreds of portraits were displayed with their accompanying stories. The installation marked the successful kickoff of the public campaign which ultimately exceed its goal of $3 billion.