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Sparked by the suggestion and sustained through the support of our Lurie Children’s Hospital Advisor, Maci Hanson, the Valparaiso University Dance Marathon leadership team launched its first-ever campaign. The following responses outline the goals, content, and achievements of our Be the Light campaign.

This was Valpo DM’s first experience running a dedicated and personalized social media campaign, so the overall goals were to build awareness of our program while highlighting the unique factors, people, and programs that set Valpo DM apart. An additional hope for the campaign was to uplift the campus community in support of a meaningful and deserving cause.

The leadership team feels that the activation of our Be the Light campaign unified the Valpo DM community in a completely new way. It also elevated the team itself and amplified our strategy—we constantly thought of ways to tie the theme into activities and programs, and it strengthened our teamwork, cohesion, and commonality.

The leadership team brainstormed the “Be the Light” name for the campaign due to inspiration from the university motto: in lucem tua videmus lucem (in thy light we see light). After challenging and heartbreaking months caused by the pandemic, Valpo DM aimed to be a source of light for the community. To make the brand recognizable, the Public Relations team created brand guidelines, using the same sunshine-inspired colors, consistent fonts, and a similar voice in all messaging.

The campaign was predominantly carried out via social media—most notably, on the Valpo DM Instagram page. The campaign can be viewed between the months of September 2020 and April 2021:

A newsletter was established using the “Be the Light” messaging and brand guidelines and was emailed to registered dancers each month.

Finally, all merch created throughout the year incorporated the “Be the Light” campaign, so everyone wearing these clothes essentially served as an ambassador or representative of the campaign.