Disrupting education

Go to college. Graduate. Pray you get a job. Then, spend years trying to pay off your student debt. There had to be a better way. Enter Udacity, the online tech school created by Sebastian Thrun whose dream is to reimagine what a university looks like in the 21st century.

By partnering with Silicon Valley industry leaders like IBM Watson, Google and Mercedes-Benz, Udacity created unique course curriculums called Nanodegrees, to teach the specific skills needed for today’s jobs in technology. Jobs in these fields are in high demand and within reach for anyone at any stage in life looking to change or advance their careers. And because you can graduate in months, not years, you pay a fraction of what a traditional education would cost.


So how could they stand out in a market already saturated with other online schools?
Enter, Davis Elen. We clearly understood the passion behind what Udacity was trying to do. And as a start-up, we guided their vision into a voice, creating a brand they could own.


Right from the start, we looked for new ways of reaching our audience. An Uber / Lyft campaign got the message out in sticker form that you can graduate debt free. We wrapped a train with our brand message along the main Silicon Valley job route. A car was also wrapped to promote a Self-Driving Car Nanodegree at Tech Crunch. And billboards on the 101 Freeway, along with social media ads, rounded out our advertising initiatives. As Udacity grew, so did our messaging. Our first TV commercial elevated the brand even further by highlighting groundbreaking technological advancements through special effects, and airing our message to a wider audience around the country.

The results so far? Today, thousands of people are enrolled in Nanodegree programs. And hundreds of successful students are working in jobs they love.


The main idea behind the commercial is to demonstrate what’s emotional, aspirational, and amazing about this company. Through vignettes highlighting Nanodegrees in areas like autonomous cars, virtual reality and artificial intelligence, Udacity is demonstrating that the education they provide is for jobs in fields that are in high demand.


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