DraftWorldwide Snares $35M DeVry Account

DeVry Inc. has chosen DraftWorldwide, Chicago, to handle direct marketing and branding for DeVry University, the result of a recent merger between the company's undergraduate and graduate divisions.

An estimated $35 million to $40 million is being set aside for this effort to add students, increase women's enrollment and position DeVry as an institution of higher learning with a focus on technology.

“Our objective is helping them to truly get out the stature of DeVry University versus the old-line thinking DeVry Institutes of technology,” said Yvonne Furth, Chicago-based president and chief operating officer of DraftWorldwide's U.S. operations. “So, it's a huge challenge. At the same time, we can't miss a beat in filling seats and making sure that enrollment is at an all-time high.”

Advertising consultant Jones Lundin Beales, Chicago, helped DeVry look at 12 agencies, a list that was trimmed to five. Three made the final cut, including OgilvyOne Worldwide and Cramer & Krasselt, both of Chicago.

“In the end, we decided we wanted to be a cab ride away rather than a plane ride away from our agency,” said John Skubiak, executive vice president of parent company DeVry Inc., Oakbrook Terrace, IL.

DraftWorldwide's appointment ends a long-term relationship DeVry has had with Brown Marketing Communications, Chicago. Though Skubiak would not go into details, he said that Brown handled a budget last year that matched funds earmarked for this year under the new agency.

“Well, we've worked with one agency for 18 years, so we're not agency jumpers,” Skubiak said. “This transition to DeVry University was an impetus, and also the technology market has affected our business, our ability to generate leads. But mostly, this is just an opportunity to make DeVry anew, and we thought it would be good to have a fresh approach in light of this important transition.”

DeVry began as a technical school in 1931 in Chicago. It has evolved into an institution with multiple divisions, including DeVry Institutes for undergraduates that recently merged with Keller Graduate School of Management.

Today, DeVry offers graduate and undergraduate programs to 56,000 students in 17 states and two Canadian provinces. It has 23 undergraduate campuses and 47 adult learning centers.

DeVry properties also include DeVry University Online and the Becker Conviser Professional Review for professional certification exams coursework.

Though DeVry has grown to offer education in various disciplines, the “technical school” label has stuck.

“Given our heritage, we've been positioned as an institute of technology, a place where young men go to get a technical education,” Skubiak said. “We're a much richer, broader organization than people know us as, and we want that to come across, and at the same time we want results, direct response results.”

DraftWorldwide begins direct response television, direct mail, print ads and online marketing in June. The agency's Chicago office will spearhead the account, working with outposts in New York and Toronto.

Reaching out will take all forms. This includes presentations yearly to 10,000 high schools in North America. Segmentation will play an even greater role: adult learners versus full-time traditional students, business students versus technology students, and so on.

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