Birthing a National Brand with Apple Co-Founder Steve Wozniak

In the 1970s, Steve Wozniak co-founded Apple Inc. and helped launch the personal computing revolution. Forty years later, the tech icon again stood at the edge of a new frontier.

“Woz” this time wanted to revolutionize education in the tech industry, introducing “Woz U” saying, “My entire life I have worked to build, develop and create a better world through technology.”

Woz U turned to OH Partners, and we knew the agency had to make the most of our unique opportunity to leverage the Apple co-founder. We also knew a few things about Woz:
• He always viewed technology as a means to an end
• He always wanted technology to increase accessibility
• He views technology as empowerment for all – a great equalizer and diversifier
• He believes curiosity breeds innovation, and passion leads to success
• He did not just want to improve education; he wants to reinvent the entire learning model
• He believes technology and tech education should be available to the underserved

The Challenge

OH helped bring Woz U to life through a comprehensive national and integrated campaign. First, we had to create the logo and the look for the brand itself from scratch, creating the face for the brand that would come to life on T-shirts, the website, social media channels, and more.

Early on, we also were charged with creating a video that captured the essence of Woz U. The key was that Wozniak didn’t want to create just another tech education program. He was looking for people who wanted to get into tech fields “to change the world.” We went from video concept to execution over the course of a single weekend. That rough concept video so perfectly embraced the spirit of Woz U – tech education focused on innovation, not limitations – that the unchanged video ended up becoming the exclamation point of the launch of Woz U at a public gala.

The Work

Our PR and media relations team worked to develop a special execution that would help capture the attention of top national media. The execution, sent without prior notice to top influencers, had to have the right look and feel, the right elements and tone, and capture the essence of the launch. The special “Woz Box” delivered, landed the attention of top targets including Mashable, The Verge, Business Insider, and Inside Higher Education.

Social media content was focused on the “tease” of Woz U. In the weeks leading up to launch date, content was fed across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn. This content helped set the digital foundation of the message that Woz dreamed of for Woz U, designed to inspire, educate and lead the next generation of the tech work force.

The Results

Part of our assignment was to help drive lead generation. We believe in producing “work that works”.

And did it ever. Leads for Woz U went from zero to more than 22,000 in 48 hours after launch.

During launch week alone, we secured 45 media hits for Woz U landing $2,113,148 in earned media. Hits included Business Insider, MSN, the Wall Street Journal, Inc., CNET, Tech Crunch, Fox Business, and more. The national media wave continued for days, supported by a nationally-issued press release that added tens of thousands of added views.

And social media was buzzing. The campaign hashtag #WelcomeToWozU reached over 750,000 people within 24 hours of launch. Mentions of Woz U reached over 11 million people worldwide.

With the successful national brand launch, Woz U was well on its way, with the Woz following suit – waving as he zipped out of the launch event ballroom on his signature Segway.