Case Study: TAFE Queensland ‘Avotar Campaign’


TAFE Queensland unlocks authentic brand storytelling to engage school leavers.


The Strategy

TAFE Queensland engaged Social Garden to develop a lead generation tool as part of their school leaver nurture program. The tool needed to fulfill two goals: help position TAFE as desired study option post-secondary school and to collect enriched data on prospective students to form the basis for further content development and nurture ideas.

In a world where millennials spot native advertising from miles away, deeper audience insights spark better brand storytelling. Our team identified the need for a tool that would be relevant and authentic, driven by data and creativity.

To this end we ran a joint workshop. Our Director of Education and the growth team travelled to Brisbane to meet with the TAFE Queensland team. During a few sessions, we got to know their prospective students. Two big ideas came out of this collaboration: user-generated content (UGC) and Stories. Millennials spend over 5 hours daily watching UGC. And Stories provides the ideal platform to deliver a personalised experience, from the ad right down to the value exchange.

These are the insights that sparked the Avotar Campaign.

The Avotar

Property mogul Tim Gurner infamously declared “Freely spending on avocados may be one of the reasons why some young people can’t afford a house.” But with a higher average income, VET graduates have a greater initial earning capacity than university graduates. So they can have their avocado and eat it (too).

In this spirit, the Avotar was conceptualised. A hybrid of avocado and avatar; being a digital representation of oneself popular with TAFE Queensland’s teenage audience. A series of custom illustrations were designed in-house to represent various Avotar characters including The Creator, The Doer, The Innovator and more.

We launched the campaign targeting school leavers on Snapchat and Instagram with 9-second Story ads. Our creative team adopted a UGC format with native filters, lenses and emojis to cut through the noise and capture their attention.

The Story ads encouraged prospects to swipe up to a landing page, designed and developed in Marketo. The page served to connect the two messages – ‘avocado’ and ‘VET graduates earn more’ – and give users an opportunity to complete the Avotar quiz.

In a BuzzFeed approach, some questions provided entertainment while others indicated preferred study areas. The information was then collected by Marketo to segment prospects into a course area and send them their Avotar match via an autoresponder, using the dynamic content functionality.

The Impact

Results showed the campaign to be a huge success on Instagram Stories, with 600 quiz completions and the highest number of leads. Our growth team ran a series of split tests on the platform, from the UGC talent to animations.

Interestingly, female variants received higher engagement while visual cues such as arrows delivered a stronger click-through rate. And while ‘Swipe up’ proved popular, it was ‘Take our quiz’ that resulted in more quiz completions.

With such a high number of impressions and quiz completions, TAFE Queensland now use the Avotar campaign in school visits to engage prospective students.


  • 823 quiz completions
  • 188 shares on Facebook
  • 69 leads
  • 10.37% conversion on Instagram Stories
  • 4,540,779 total impressions

Apply the Lessons

This campaign is an important lesson in using data creatively. When it comes down to it, “good storytelling stems from a good idea, an insight and a truth.” Here are our three tips on how you can improve your storytelling.

  1. User-Generated Content
    With user-generated content you can cut through the noise and tell your brand story through the voices of your most passionate advocates.
  2. Win Big with Gamification
    Gaming techniques make the most of user attention and create an experience that won’t be perceived as just an ad.
  3. Match channel and objective
    We identified Snapchat as the right channel for brand awareness and Instagram Stories for lead generation.
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