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Digital Dexterity: UHCC System Smashes Industry Benchmarks

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Named the best community college system in the nation and spanning seven campuses across the Hawaiian Islands, the University of Hawai‘i Community Colleges (UHCC) serve more than 24,000 credit students annually. When UHCC realized its traditional marketing plan needed a reboot to reach digital-savvy students, they enlisted Interact to craft new, exciting campaigns to build program awareness while aligning consensus and collaboration within the large district.

The result has been a strong partnership, with solid campaign work for five years and counting that has consistently exceeded goals and smashed industry benchmarks.

Research Fuels Long-Lasting ROI

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Securing +206,600 completed YouTube video views in just one four-month digital campaign doesn’t happen by chance. The secrets are robust research, insightful strategy, and killer creative and copy.

How do you know to put the right content on the right channels at the right time for target audiences? For UHCC, the answer was simple — they’ve been participants in Interact’s Media Prefs research for more than a decade, with unique, penetrating insights into what content students want to see and what channels they frequent.

So, when Interact helped UHCC launch fresh digital campaign work in 2018, the partners were more than prepared; they were prophetic. Armed with the brand-new “In the Making” tagline that was custom-crafted for UHCC, the partners aimed to drive traffic to the systemwide website with a resounding call to action for new students to apply. The partners leveraged 90+ pieces of collateral across YouTube, Facebook/Instagram, display, geofence, and pay-per-click. Over eight months, the campaign garnered +20,800 website visits … and that was just the beginning.

Initial Campaign Work Makes Waves

That initial work began a tradition of excellence with annual campaigns and strategies that continue to exceed expectations.

Fast-forward to 2022, where the original “In the Making” tagline has matured into “Define Your Path. Discover Your Future. Make It Happen,” and the years of solid teamwork built up to surprising and rare results. Right out of the gate, Hawaii’s latest campaign garnered the kinds of metrics most have to wait at least three to six months to achieve.

2022: Crushing Industry Benchmarks After Just One Month:

After just one month, UHCC secured…

  • +4,660 website visits
  • Close to 50,000 completed video views — double the industry average at a rate of more than 50% and for a fifth of the average industry cost!
  • Talking about making every dollar count … Right off the bat, the campaign averaged a CTR of 11% that it maintained for the duration of all four months, which is more than double the industry average — yet with an average cost per click less than half of the industry average!

Results of the Entire Four-Month Campaign: Off the Charts

After a full four-month campaign, UHCC earned …

  • +1,985,900 total impressions
  • +17,200 total website visits
  • +206,600 completed video views
  • UHCC also boasted an average completed video rate of 60%, +35% above average, and for an exceedingly low average cost of .02 — 7.5 times below the industry average of .15 cents.

The 2022 fall campaign ranked as one of the most successful in UHCC history, thanks to refining targeting with research and a sharp digital media strategy. As the campaign progressed and form completions skyrocketed, the partners leveraged the RFI data to refine pay-per-click keywords and targeting, turning a home run into a grand slam.

The result was authentic marketing that resonated with prospects and drove engagement, with record-breaking numbers flocking to the website to fill out the request-for-information forms. Say aloha to enrollment!

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“Interact worked with us to develop a strategic plan of how we wanted to spend our dollars, especially on different digital platforms. Working together really made a difference, and we’ve seen amazing results.

“We’ve outperformed a lot of the metrics against the industry standards, and I’ve been really happy with the results so far.

“I love working with the folks at Interact!”

Lesli Yogi, Director of Marketing & Communications, Office of the Vice President for Community Colleges, University of Hawai'i


Behind every successful campaign is robust research, and the depth of data UHCC has attests to its success. With a decade and counting of Interact’s unique Media Prefs research under their belts, the partners could effectively target audiences and deliver their message to the right prospects on the right channels at the right time.


Over five years of creative campaign work, collateral was crafted to be fresh and exciting while also reflecting modern and authentic island culture. From video to dynamic carousels, multiplatform campaigns were fast, focused, and effective.


A cornucopia of on-point, convincing copy encouraged prospects to visit the website and request more information across video scripts, advertisements, and emails. UHCC was thrilled that Interact helped capture the “local flavor” of the state’s culture in a way that truly spoke to students.

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Strategy & Digital Media Buy

Strategic execution of digital media buys meant it was simple to make every dollar count, with campaign refinements that drilled down target audiences and raised results. A robust marketing plan laid the groundwork for groundbreaking campaigns, complemented by monthly reporting and a user-friendly dashboard to see digital media metrics in real-time.

Campaign Creative Gallery

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