Re-imagining a new McGraw-Hill brand
to engage college students.


Getting College Students Excited to Connect

Going to college is an exciting time for many reasons. But one aspect of college life that doesn’t tend to thrill students, from 18-year-old freshmen to parents taking evening classes, is textbooks.

McGraw-Hill Education decided to change that — and enlisted the help of Garfield to make students excited to use their new personalized, adaptive, high-tech experience, called Connect. When the grades came in for this new branded campaign, we scored an “A+.” Take a look at how this campaign graduated summa.


Brand & Campaign Strategy | Branding | Creative | Digital | Content Creation | Video


Downloads of the Connect App


Percent Opens for Email Campaign


SMS Opt-ins


Social ad impressions

Connect: College Smarter, Not Harder

Through teamwork, determination, and plenty of coffee, Garfield conceived and executed a concept we believed would communicate the Connect value prop in a way that resonates with a diverse group of students: College Smarter, Not Harder. All executed through a new brand look, voice, landing page, email campaigns, social ads, SMS messages, videos, multiple print pieces, and of course, some swag.

In four words, all the technical benefits of Connect — from time-saving ebooks highlighted to signify the most important parts of each reading, to algorithms generating custom study guides, to alerts reminding students to head to class or study for exams — were summed up in one, powerful benefit.

Connect managed to eclipse its YOY conversion rates in just 30 days, proving that “College Smarter, Not Harder” was a motto students from any university could rally behind.

We couldn’t be more pleased with the outcomes we’ve seen as a result of the College Smarter, Not Harder campaign. The branding, voice, and content managed to reach a wide swath of students from a variety of different backgrounds and walks of life. Garfield helped us position Connect and digital platforms as the future of learning, not just secondary supplements to traditional course materials. Changing mindsets and encouraging people to be open to transformation is no easy feat, but Garfield made it happen.”

Betty NelsonSVP and Chief Marketing Officer, McGraw-Hill Higher Education

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