the watsons

the work.

montclair state university

one of the happiest highlights of our 15 years of watsondom was being named agency of record for montclair state university. if we had a nickel for every time we left the campus saying, ‘i wish i could go here’ we’d need to ask a math major to help us calculate our wealth. this potently productive partnership makes us proud to be red hawks — even if it is in spirit only.


montclair state’s new campaign is very much ready.

what began as a normal school in 1908, preparing a handful of students to become teachers, is today a nationally-ranked, research doctoral institution — with more than 21,000 diverse students and over 300 majors, minors, concentrations, and certificate programs. 

as a university experiencing unprecedented growth and recognition, it was time to illuminate their place of leadership in the enrollment marketplace. 

our goal was to develop an anthemic brand concept with the flexibility to speak both universally and specifically to a spectrum of benefits. we also aimed to create a campaign that broke from the category’s clutter of sameness. 

the result is a campaign we call ‘red hawk ready’, which speaks to the many ways in which montclair state readies its students for lifetimes of success. 

the messaging leverages the university’s momentum in a way that’s distinctively montclair state: no other brand can say this or look like this. we also created a next-generation design that centers on a modern and sophisticated use of msu’s core red color — with typography that reflects the dynamic and progressive nature of the school itself. and while there are other schools in the region whose colors include red, we made sure montclair state was the only school to own it.


a spot-on approach for generation z.

at its core, the red hawk ready concept is about moments, big and small, that prepare students reach their goals in education — and in life. the ready video spots serve to bring that thinking to life by way of a spectrum of moments that show people in the process of readying themselves in ways as simple as walking to class, opening a book, or starting the day with a run — and as transformative as taking the stage to give a speech and entering an elevator to begin a first internship. each spot creates an anthemic, evocative story that says, at montclair state, getting ready for the new world is a powerful, positive experience — in and of itself. spots were created for undergrad, grad, and csam, the innovative school of communications and media.


taking the campaign to integration nation.

using media that ranges from snap ads and ooh to digital and collateral, this campaign uses a multitude of media to showcase a multitude of offerings. the integrated campaign is running on facebook, instagram, and youtube pre-roll — and in the form of digital display, collateral, and infographics. we also created interactive posters for the admissions office, inciting prospective students to take and post selfies with them.