The Maynard School’s #MadeforGirls advertising campaign wins ‘Ad of the Week’

The Maynard School’s recently launched advertising campaign has fended off international competition to be voted ‘Ad of the Week’ by The Drum Network. In an unprecedented success for an independent school in Exeter, the 40-second film and corresponding print, digital and outdoors advertising campaign was voted ahead of global giants such as L’Oreal, McDonald’s, Samsung, Renault, Ambrosia and Cancer Research UK.


“The Drum Network champions innovation and provides a huge platform to assist international advertising agencies in achieving their goals. It has a huge member network and boasts up to 1.1 million visitors to its website each month,” said Jo Conway, Marketing Manager at The Maynard School.

“We are, of course, absolutely thrilled that our home-produced campaign has hit the industry’s pinnacle and we are indebted to AB, the Exeter-based creative communications agency, who has collaborated with us to produce and launch such a fantastic campaign. It is quite incredible that an all-girls independent school in the middle of Exeter can launch a series of adverts that prove more popular than those emanating from industry giants such as McDonalds and Samsung, amongst others.”

The campaign itself has been many months in the making and the School has worked closely with AB to ensure the right message is driven through the film and print adverts. Adam Fausset, Client Services Director for AB, explains:

“This was a wonderful brief from the off. To borrow from another well-known line in the ad world, ‘this isn’t just a school, this is the Maynard School’, one of the oldest and most revered girls’ schools in the country. Dating back to 1658, it sits alongside the great public schools of Britain and is a force to be reckoned with: Look at the bare faced stats that this legendary institution can reel off: Top school in the Westcountry*, ranked 17th in the whole of the UK**, 100% of students placed at their first choice University, of which 86% are part of the Russell Group. But equally brilliant is that a huge proportion of those parents who attend one of their Open Days end up sending their daughter to The Maynard. They clearly have a way of doing things.

“So it seemed easy, but delving deeper we found stiff competition, particularly amongst co-ed schools. We also found that this same competition were marketing heavily and all doing pretty similar stuff. Smiling happy children, but undistinguishable.

“Clearly we needed to be unique, we needed to get ahead of the crowd, behave in a league above, on a national level, not just regional, and have a point of view.

“Our research found that when there was any concern about enrolling a child at The Maynard it focused on concern over single-sex education and the desire that those parents have for their children to grow up in a co-ed environment.
“Digging deeper, the stats told us that girls simply learn differently to boys. For them to truly flourish and be the best they can, they thrive better in a girls only school. None of those pesky boys to disturb their brilliance! So the positioning became obvious, that our greatest barrier was our greatest asset. Sell it. Be proud of it and be confident. The Maynard isn’t just made for girls, it’s the making of them!

“For us at AB, it was a textbook advertising campaign. From research, to creative development, to photography and to the film shoot, even in late January, it all went to plan and to budget. Just how we like it, well apart from a wayward drone…

“Great campaigns don’t always work out like this, but when both agency and client work as a unit and have the same belief, great creative work comes out and happily in this case gets recognised at the highest level.”

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