They will be seen by an audience of millions but the stars of De Montfort University Leicester's (DMU) new TV advert are not professional actors - they are students and graduates from all kinds of courses.
The university's new advertising campaign - called 'Proud to be More' - showcases the different aspects of university life that contribute towards an outstanding student experience, while computer-generated strands run through the scenes to form a final shot of DMU's iconic lion logo.
More than 50 DMU students took part in various scenes, either in prominent roles or as background extras, in the advert created by ad agency Cubo, film production company Fat Lemon and visual effects studio Nineteentwenty, along with DMU's Marketing and Communications team.
"Proud", "happy" and "excited" are among the reactions of the students who took part.
Jonathan Sant, creative director at Cubo, said: "The ad is based on this unbreakable spirit and culture that the students have within the university.
"The question was how we communicate pride, strength and the nurturing side to DMU in one symbol and the answer was staring us in the face - the DMU lion."
The director is Alex Haines, who has previously worked on adverts for Adidas, Audi and Toyota. He said: "This is different to a regular advert in that it's very much of a collaboration between everyone.
"The students we've been working with have been great - super open and completely understanding of the process."
There are 60- and 30-second versions of the advert, while the supporting poster and web campaign also features our students and recent graduates, superimposed on the DMU lion graphic.
Scenes in the 60-second version include:
- A student arriving on campus for the first time in front of the award-winning Vijay Patel Building
- Students and a lecturer rehearsing a play at Leicester's Curve theatre
- The women's basketball team, DMU Pitbulls, competing in our Queen Elizabeth II Leisure Centre
- Students taking part in a Be The Change debate in the Crown Court at DMU's Leicester Castle Business School
- A team exercise in DMU's Architecture department
- Students speaking at the United Nations in New York as part of DMU's involvement in the #JoinTogether campaign to support refugees
- Shahid Sheikh, OBE, MD of Clifton Packaging, taking one of our students under his wing on a work placement
- Footage from the award-winning DMU Square Mile India volunteer programme being projected on the face of a student
- The DMU Gospel Choir performing within the walls of Leicester Prison
Meet the stars of DMU's new TV advert
A glimpse behind the scenes of DMU's new TV advert
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"Absolutely phenomenal" - that's how Fashion MA graduate Raabia Arif described her experience filming the Be The Change scene.
"It means a lot to be a representative of the university in such a high-scale advert," said Raabia, who is moving to Amsterdam to work as a womenswear designer for Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger.
PhD student and DMU Gospel Choir member Shingi Kandi thinks the advert "represents what it's like to be a student at DMU".
"Filming at the prison, where we've performed before, made it extra special and the experience was exciting," he said.
Drama graduate Calum Harris, who was part of the Curve theatre scene, believes it will help his career.
He said: "It was an excellent opportunity, as I got to see how a professional company works, which will itself benefit me hugely in the future as I want to be an actor."
Naimah Kasem, who has just graduated in Human Resource Management, "loved every moment" of being filmed on campus and in New York.
"It 100 per cent lived up to my expectations of being in an advert," she said. "I was so happy and proud to represent the university because I genuinely love DMU."
Posted on Saturday 11th August 2018