market what’s


The city burst element located on the left side of the CBD Marketing logo and the agency website.
Boosting enrollment with some serious straight talk.

What they asked for

College Illinois! wanted to increase enrollment in their pre-paid tuition program amid state-wide skepticism.


What they got

A breakthrough campaign across myriad channels, big-time PR support and more than 1,000 qualified leads.

The College Illinois! logo. College Illinois! helps parents to start saving for their children's college tuition.

Background: Facing the facts about future tuition

College Illinois! helps Illinois residents prepay and save on future tuition costs for their children and grandchildren. This can reduce the need for student loans—a huge pain point for millions of Americans.

However, beyond the normal challenge of getting parents to think about future college tuition while their kids are still in diapers, College Illinois! was facing negative publicity and misconceptions across the state.

The Answer: Introducing the face of student loan debt

To show the emotional impact that this can have, we used images of children reacting to the news that their future college tuition was covered. Or…that it wasn’t.

Click on video to hear the Pandora ad

Lead generation was critical. So we built a landing page with helpful information about the program and collected data through a limited-time rebate offer.

CBD developed a landing page for College Illinois!, shown here.

Spreading the word

PR and social media tactics helped spread positive awareness of the program to parents and grandparents across the state. Through bylines, editorials, social media, enewsletters and more, the program’s benefits were clearly explained. Positive testimonials from current contract holders were shared to enrich the story – and inspire other parents and grandparents to take action.

CBD developed Facebook ads that helped reach a large volume of College Illinois! prospects. One of the ads is shown here on a mobile device.

In-demand information, on demand

What do you do when your client has limited resources, but a lot to share? An on-demand webinar, of course. It answered common questions and provided valuable content that could be consumed at the convenience of our audiences.

We also created a short, impactful video that looked at factual and emotional reasons to believe in College Illinois!.


1,514+ qualified leads—a 200% increase YOY

426 contracts during general enrollment

77,158 landing page visits

Facebook page likes: 10,874

Potential earned media reach of 47,952,141 impressions