Graeme Newell

bourgade catholic college preparatory

The Research

Focus groups among Bourgade’s current students and parents revealed that the decision of which school to attend was primarily driven by the parents but could be vetoed by the student. Also, a surprisingly high percentage (about 30%) of enrolled students had asked their parents if they could attend the College Prep High School. Although the vast majority of students were Catholic, the religious background was the second most important criteria for parents. The most important factor was preparation for college—among both parents and students.


The Objective

Communicate the remarkably high college enrollment rate (99%) for Bourgade graduates among prospective parents while simultaneously positioning Bourgade as an exciting lifestyle and growth opportunity for students.


The Strategy

Previously all advertising was targeted to parents and emphasized the Catholic tradition. There was no emphasis on college preparedness, despite the fact that an amazing 99% of their graduates enrolled in college. A statistic that outperformed all other local high schools. Based on these facts, the new strategy increased the focus on Bourgade’s college enrollment results. At the same time, the campus life was positioned as more active and inclusive of all students, allowing them to develop in all areas of academics, athletics and special interests. Bourgade was a high school “where students fit in. And stand out.”


The Results

Along with new brochures the campaign included extensive print and OOH advertising. After the campaign’s first year, the school’s enrollment went from slightly under capacity to full enrollment with a waiting list. The school expanded its capacity the following year and continued to maintain a wait list.

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