Private Schools Marketing

Learn how we leveraged data to create a fresh campaign for St. John's-Kilmarnock School that packs a more personalized punch. 

An independent, not-for-profit, co-educational IB World Continuum School, St. John's-Kilmarnock School (SJK) provides kids with a student-centric approach focused on small classes, personalized learning, and hands-on experiences. This Waterloo, Ontario-based school has worked with Metric over the past three years and we were excited to partner together once again on a new campaign concept.


SJK has been operating since 1972, but they still hear from families unfamiliar with the school or what they offer. We partnered with them to refresh their marketing message and create a strategy that would help raise awareness among right-fit families in the area. The solution needed to show what makes SJK different from other schools and encourage families to inquire–and to apply.


Based on research and data analysis from our previous campaign work together, we found SJK’s key differentiator that resonated most with their target audiences was the way they focus on each student's individuality and are able to tailor their academic journey to their abilities. The school also runs robust arts and athletics programs that allow kids to reach their full potential outside of the classroom. Ads that show kids engaged in a wide range of activities in their environments of choice could help parents visualize what their kids could experience if they attended the school. 

With all of this in mind, the new Go Beyond campaign was born. To make the campaign work, we needed our audience to understand what Going Beyond truly means–and relate to the message emotionally so that they take action and consider SJK for their children. 


To bring this concept to life, we conducted an on-site photoshoot with current SJK students and encouraged them to bring items that represented the things they loved to do or learn about at school. They were instructed to use their personal items how they would if they were at school, to give the photos a natural–and less forced or posed–feel. We really took our time to be able to create a fun atmosphere and bring out the personality of each individual student.

In the design stage, we split the campaign into three distinct colours–yellow for primary years, green for middle years, and blue for their diploma programme (grades 11-12)–with colours that matched back to the traditional IB colours for each level. 

The headline, displayed at the centre for maximum visual impact, features a play on words and conveys the transformation that happens when SJK students are supported in exploring themselves fully. 

In addition to showcasing students' abilities to transform and adapt, the transparent images demonstrate to parents how each student has the opportunity to explore every aspect of themselves at SJK. 

This fully-rounded campaign was complete with hand-drawn elements representing the child-like freedom students might feel when presented with a blank page. 


Thanks to our previous work with SJK and their Learn Without Limits campaign, admissions are full for the 2022-2023 year. The Go Beyond campaign is still in market, but make sure to check back in 2023 for the results! We’re excited to share them with you. 


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