Open University launches first TV ad since 2016

It was directed by Ivan Bird, who is best known for Guinness 'Surfer'.

The Open University has launched its first TV ad since 2016 and is positioning itself as a way for people to set their ambition free.

The work, by Havas Helia, tells the story of three people who have changed their lives by using The Open University. It is shot in reverse and opens with a man taking his first class as a teacher and ends with the moment that all three protagonists were inspired to apply to The Open University.

"Free your ambition" was directed by Ivan Bird – best known for the Guinness "Surfer" and "Swimmer" films – through Moxie Pictures. It was created by Carys Newbury. 

Sister agency Havas Media handles media planning and buying for The Open University. The agency said the ad is expected to reach 75% of the UK adult population. It will run across TV, cinema, radio, out-of-home and digital.

The campaign also includes a partnership with Sky Media that begins on 13 January, for which four 30-second ads around the successful lives of Open University students working at Sky will be broadcast on TV and video-on-demand.

This work was created by Jump, Havas Media Group’s content and partnership division, and aims to showcase the credibility of a qualification from The Open University.

Claudia Church, head of acquisition at The Open University, said: "While The Open University’s students are hugely diverse, a single thread runs through each of their stories: ambition.

"A range of ambitions motivate people to study with us, from wanting to be ‘an inspiration to my children’ and ‘creating a better future for my family’ to ‘saving the oceans’. We are excited to see the impact of our new campaign and hope it encourages more people to step forward and start to realise their ambitions, whatever they are."

Havas London, Havas Media and Havas Helia won the consolidated account in January 2019.

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