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Special Project

Special Project
From the 16th Annual Shorty Awards

160over90 - UC San Diego Medium Length Video

Audience Honor in Medium-Length Video


This brand anthem video was developed as part of UC San Diego’s 2023 brand refresh. UC San Diego is a world-class public research institution driven by a distinct, collective passion for discovery. There’s a sense of urgency among their students, researchers, and change-makers to get out there, explore the unknown, and follow their curiosity to unexpected places. This sentiment is at the heart of UC San Diego’s brand refresh and what we aimed to communicate through this video. We capture students traversing from unknown into the known, discovering just how far their curiosity will take them, and how UC San Diego helps them think further. 


We developed a concept for the video that brings the vibrancy and impact of the brand refresh to life. The cinematography and camera movement was thoughtfully implemented to symbolize the student's journey from the unknown to the known. When the video starts in the unknown, the camera movement is reflective and thoughtful. As the story progresses, the camera picks up speed and energy reflecting our continued progress and journey to unleash curiosity.  


The filming for this video took place over a four-day period that included working with over 50 students and faculty to ensure we accurately represented our broad and diverse campus.  


Our goal in creating this video was to visually, narratively, and emotionally communicate UC San Diego’s new brand refresh. To showcase how curiosity, innovation, and exploring the unknown is at the heart of UC San Diego.  

Strategy and Execution

We set out to create an anthem video to bring UC San Diego’s brand refresh to life; to allow people to be fully immersed in the feeling of discovery. Our hero talent moves from an abstract anything-is-possible world of the unknown to something real and tangible – unleashing their full curiosity and passions at UC San Diego.  


We achieved this storytelling through various visual techniques to symbolize a student’s journey from the unknown to the known. Starting in a mysterious place that represents the unknown, we captured footage of students in a blacked-out room with florescent lighting to create a tunnel through the abyss. In front of them, was a sleek, 20 x 20’ ultra high-resolution LED wall featuring abstract imagery of nature in transformation that faculty and students use to understand complex data and imagery. The wall showcases visuals that represent possibilities beyond the known.  


We bring viewers inside the unknown– they see a lab where million-year-old ice blocks are examined for clues about our climate’s past, they get an up-close look at researchers turning algae into polymers for shoes, and dive underwater at the Birch Aquarium.  


We made use of slow-motion shots on a Phantom camera to create tension and show the traverse between our two distinctive worlds. We shot Super 8 film to establish multidimensional textures within our cinematography, further bringing this exciting new world to life in a visceral and vibrant way.


With the goal of visually communicating UC San Diego’s brand refresh, showing how curiosity, innovation, and exploring the unknown is at the heart of everything at UC San Diego, we set out to feature the students and faculty who are thinking further and asking the questions no one has thought of yet.  


In the video you’ll see student researchers pushing boundaries to tackle water insecurity, studying million-year-old ice samples to unlock clues about how our climate behaves in a warmer world, and working on cutting-edge research to develop biodegradable shoes from algae. This came together through thoughtful coordination between the internal marketing team, creative agency, and campus partners.  


Once the video was created, we set out to shift the perception of UC San Diego among our key demographics: prospective students and their influencers, and leaders in UC San Diego’s community including alumni, donors, and the educated public. We targeted these demographics through a multi-channel media buy across online, social, CTV and broadcast channels.  


A brand lift study was conducted to measure the impact of UC San Diego’s brand refresh. The video contributed to:  


The UC San Diego Anthem Video also garnered significant social media engagement. The video post beat the $.70 CPC Benchmark by $.32 and garnered 1.3 million impressions.  


Video for 160over90 - UC San Diego Medium Length Video

Entrant Company / Organization Name

160over90, UC San Diego

Entry Credits