Unite Students showcases student life in TikTok style brand film


Unite Students, the UK’s largest purpose-built student accommodation provider, has launched its first ever brand film, highlighting its homes as places to live the best student life.

Devised by creative agency FCB London, “Live. Your. Now.” features real students living in Unite Students accommodation.

As a way of capturing student life authentically, Unite Students and FCB let students shoot their own lives in real-time.

When casting the heroes of the ad, they first approached students who were undertaking university degrees in film and media, but they quickly learned that, thanks to TikTok, this generation of students are all amateur filmmakers.

A diverse cast of four students from four different universities was selected from hundreds of applicants and given a crash course in how to use their devices to create something that reflects their own experience at the desired film quality by director Charlie Coombes from 456 Studios, FCB’s fully integrated global in-house content creation studio.

Over one month, the students sent in clips from their lives in Unite Students’ accommodation, including everything from exciting club nights out to mundane laundry room trips.

From over 10 hours of footage, moments where storytelling and shooting style aligned were picked and became the skeleton of the brand film.

These moments were then used to supplement a traditional film shoot designed to fill out the brand story. The clips have been tied together by high-energy animations to inject a greater sense of youth and create a TikTok-style film to resonate with the 16 to 18-year-old audience.

In addition, the soundtrack was composed by Charlie Baker to work seamlessly with all elements of the visual, including the frantic student living scenarios.

Owen Lee, at FCB London, said: “Creating a film is always a collaboration, but this was on a different scale. This film couldn’t simply have been done without complete stakeholder involvement from the clients to the students, animators, composer and of course the director.

“The result is an authentic, energetic insight into the real lives of students who are living their best lives, thanks to the facilities provided by their student accommodation.”

Shelley Wilde, Head of Brand at Unite Students, said: “Unite Students provides a home for over 70,000 students to grow, find a community, belong and thrive.

“We wanted our first ever brand commercial to capture that and show what student life is really like.

“Who could possibly be better at showcasing this than the students themselves?”

The 30-second hero film will run for 12 weeks across broadcast video on demand and video on demand in the UK.