Academic & Education



The Essex Collaborative Outreach Network (ECON) is part of a national network that works to encourage more young people into Higher Education. ECON came to Mackman to devise a campaign with this core aim and to change attitudes in low-participation areas for teachers, students and parents.

The goals of the campaign were to inform young people about how they can access Higher Education, speak to young people, parents and teachers, and create something which was genuinely useful to schools and outreach teams.

Brand Facts

  • The Essex Collaborative Outreach Network is one of 29 local consortia to receive funding to deliver a national programme which launched in January 2017.
  • They work towards changing attitudes in low-participation areas for students, teachers and parents.
  • In addition, they contribute to students and parents researching Higher Education opportunities at an earlier age.

Project Facts

  • ECON approached Mackman to produce a campaign with measurable results to demonstrate the project’s worth to future funders and partners.
  • The campaign needed to inspire, energise and encourage people to explore the opportunities available and what it could mean for their future.


Creating a bespoke student campaign

Mackman launched the movement ‘Make Happen’, and a tone of voice was developed for the campaign, supporting ECON in generating future content to continue to grow the movement. We built a microsite for the campaign, used to share video content from ECON and resource material for students, parents and teachers. This included what opportunities are available within Higher Education, how to apply and life once at University.

Make Happen asked people to search for what they really want to do and make that happen. It’s a message that speaks to everyone, young, old, male, female, it doesn’t matter where you grew up, you can Make Happen. The Make Happen campaign puts the responsibility on the potential student, in an empowering and aspirational way.In addition, social media accounts were established to encourage a conversation between students on the workshops, their friends, ECON and other partner organisations involved in #MakeHappen.

The Challenge

Mackman created a brand identity for the campaign, applied on various collateral used to deliver Make Happen workshops across the region. The campaign has an energy that aims to get students excited about this decision, rather than daunted or pressured by it. Make Happen not only met the initial objectives of the campaign, but also continued to engage and inspire the audiences after launch.

The Results

Make Happen directly engaged with 678 students. Of those students:

  • 86% said they would recommend Make Happen to their friends
  • 79% have a clearer idea about the subjects they want to study after school
  • 81% know more about the support available should they choose to go to university

Teachers praised the Make Happen concept and were impressed that the workshops inspired students to open their minds to what they could achieve, recognise their own strengths and skills, which built their confidence.

Students enjoyed discovering what their own goals are, what they enjoy and how they can convert that into a job in the future. Make Happen also became a talking point among students, discussing what Make Happen meant for them.