VU campaign concept

VU Amsterdam has a unifying campaign theme – ‘Unlock Our Potential’ – with a corresponding design, allowing all campaigns to proclaim an unambiguous, distinctive and recognisable message. The campaign theme and design come together in the VU campaign concept. The VU campaign concept does justice to the identity and diversity of VU Amsterdam and offers an inspiring and connecting framework, in which VU Amsterdam’s internal and external target groups can recognise themselves.
Watch the video

On this page you will find a description of the VU campaign concept and how the concept ‘Unlock Our Potential’ and its implementation in various topics, themes topics, campaigns and communication materials work.


It is important to note that both the concept and all communications and elaborations must comply with the following aspects

Broaden your mind
Free thinking 

too little



intrinsic drive
open to each other
with and for each other
thanks to differences

too much

herd behaviour

One concept, two variants

The concept is ‘Unlock Our Potential’, although for activation and recruitment targeting young people, a derivative statement has been chosen, namely ‘Unlock Your Potential’.

In a good campaign concept, or campaign platform, those forms should be secured, making both add up to one recognisable idea that VU Amsterdam stands for.

The concept


VU Amsterdam is working towards a better world.

Driven by intrinsic motivation and thinking collectively.
It is precisely thanks to differences between groups that we make sustainable progress together.
Both in terms of major world problems and on a smaller or individual scale.

Therefore, 'Unlock...'

These times are characterised by several global crises: the corona crisis, the energy crisis, the climate crisis, the refugee crisis. Crises that cannot be captured in a simple solution but require broad cooperation.

VU Amsterdam believes in the power of collaboration.
So that by pooling broad scientific knowledge and research, we can find solutions.
So that we can share responsibility by sharing insights.
So that we recognise that together we are stronger and smarter.

The potential is there.
There is enough food to feed the world. There is enough sunshine to have energy in abundance. There is enough knowledge to solve it.
The will to work together is going to determine whether we can use all our knowledge in time to make the necessary changes. Each from their own perspective, knowledge and interest. And always in conversation with each other.
Let’s unlock that potential, activate it and translate it into lasting impact!


Image concept

Encouraging thinking

Thinking is done with your head
Encouraging thinking is imagined with your head. We put this at the centre of all communications of the campaign concept.
This is how we can develop our own iconic imagery that becomes recognisable for VU Amsterdam. Scientific. Inquisitive. Unique. It depicts the promise of ‘Unlock Our Potential’.

The Trompe-l’oeil is a powerful and recognisable form. It provides the opportunity to develop a visual vocabulary that can embrace all topics at VU Amsterdam.

The visual format offers numerous possibilities, for modern, abrasive, compelling, confrontational, pointed, topical or social concepts.

Campaign unravelled

What is talent, what is ‘unlock’, what does ‘our’ mean?
What is its power?
And what can you do when there is collective potential?

Unlock =

You become who you are. Everything that makes you a good student or scientist is already inside you. VU Amsterdam helps and inspires you to discover and develop this. ‘Unlock’ is based on the intrinsic strength that lies within everyone and is therefore also related to diversity and empowerment.

‘Unlock’ means releasing talent, not only for yourself, but also for society.

Successful talent development is directly related to a ‘shared insight’: Where shared interests and curiosity converge.

Opening the soul and curiously entering the world of science.

Neuwsgierig de wereld van wetenschap betreden.

Expanding the mind and releasing thoughts to share. Open and vital

Our =

It’s not just about you, it’s about all of us.
VU Amsterdam emphasises the collectivity of learning and research, as well as finding solutions to global issues together, with a specific focus on the social side. Not ‘l’etat, c’est moi’ but ‘society, that’s us’. It’s about solutions in which and with which we have to live together. Science is not a distant concept but something of and for everyone.

Not: literally showing groups of people.

Having an opinion together, being a face, standing for something socially, the VU community together.

Addressing for example sustainability issues from different insights and scientific domain.

Potential =

The power that is already in you is great. And the power that is in all of us together is huge. That power is also always there, it just needs to be ‘Unlocked’. That gives confidence and power.
Power is also encouraging each other to be powerful and having a goal for which that potential is needed. Being able to rely on each other’s expertise.
And also; being able to surprise and inspire each other.

samengesteld hoofd mozart

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.

No cliché pictures of how brains work.

Express the feeling what thinking together leads to.

Express the feeling that together can be a whole, everyone from different backgrounds.
Maximum diversity and inclusion!

Using the campaign slogan

Usage/header level/touch

As the only copy on an image or poster where only the sender (VU Amsterdam) is also visible. The image should, together with the slogan, attract attention (touch) and also make clear what it is trying to convey (tell).

The aim is to strengthen VU Amsterdam’s social proposition.

This communication material is only suitable in combination with other communications (e.g. online banners, video and landing page) that tell the whole story. This is also only suitable as a means of communication for triggering or positioning, because there is not enough information on the material to tell a whole (new) story or sell something (sell).


Een sterke openingszin die de gedachte leidt en ontsloten wordt door Unlock.

ai voorbeeld engels
voorbeeld are we who we think we are?

One strong line can be hugely triggering and relate to science with a conscience. The image should fully empower that sentence.

This communication material is suitable for both positioning and more explanatory communications and campaigns.


Headlines can communicate domains with facts/statements that inspire us to (start) working together to unlock and spur our collective brainpower.

In doing so, we communicate opportunities and not doomsday scenarios.
So don’t communicate ‘The world is on fire, we have to act’
instead ‘Together, we have all necessary knowledge to deal with whatever problem may arise’.

The ‘statement’, together with the line ‘Unlock our potential’, should make you think and, above all, inspire that together we can handle anything.

Header examples

There is enough food in the world
to feed everyone.
Unlock Our Potential.

There is enough sunlight to supply the whole world
with clean and renewable energy.
Unlock Our Potential.

Together with AI,
medical care can become more human.
Unlock Our Potential.

When do we use Unlock?

The creators of any campaign should initially ‘Unlock…’ all communication materials as a whole, that is the starting point.
Then it becomes not just a house style element, but a concept of content and direction for VU Amsterdam’s positioning

We therefore deliberately do not include the option to place ‘Unlock….’ next to the logo at all times.
This could lead to laziness or misuse of the statement.

It’s a campaign slogan, not a corporate pay-off!

Inspiration examples​

inspiratievoorbeeld voo rcampagne Unlock our Potential