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Johns Hopkins University Opens its Newest Home in Washington, D.C.

After more than three years of planning, renovation, and coordination between nine divisions and schools, Johns Hopkins University’s newest home in D.C. opens to the public, launching their School of Government and Policy along with it. Positioned on America’s Main Street between the White House and the U.S. Capitol, this historic site has observed many historic events. The Johns Hopkins University building at 555 Pennsylvania Avenue NW will serve as a convening space for students, faculty, academic experts, leaders, and policymakers.

In support of this monumental achievement, Mission was tasked with developing a unique identity, website, and marketing strategy underscoring and amplifying JHU’s mission to strengthen democracy through research, education, dialogue, and public service.

A sample newspaper advertisement for Johns Hopkins University's newest D.C. location including an image of the building. The text reads: 'A New Space for Hopkins Impact, Bloomberg Center, 555 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, D.C.'

A newspaper ad for JHU’s newest building.

Building On a Brand

As America’s first research university, Hopkins is a well-known global academic brand for good reason. So when it came time to build a unique identity around this new facility, we wanted to pay homage to both Hopkins and this new prominent location. Using sharply defined design elements and bold typefaces, we developed a look and feel suited to D.C. Stars, stripes, and bold figures evoke the historic architecture along Pennsylvania Avenue and other pillars of our democracy. The identity as a whole represents the impact Hopkins makes here in the U.S. and around the world.

The Website for the Actual Site

Most people will end up on the website before they visit the building. A custom-developed website that evokes the architecture and experience you’ll encounter at 555 Pennsylvania Avenue NW was key to a seamless experience. Showcasing the impact of JHU’s evidence-based research has always been a top priority. In designing a website for this new location, we consciously included highly visible features dedicated to research, the latest building updates, and conversations between some of the most influential names in international politics.

A sample advertisement in a Washington, D.C. Metro Station. Commuters are walking hurriedly past an ad that reads 'Greater Reach. Global Impact.'

A metro station advertisement.

What’s a Marketing Strategy Without Ads?

In an unprecedented ad buy, we made a bold statement by taking over some of the busiest transit hubs in Washington, D.C. with messaging about JHU’s mission with this new location. Displays, banners, and posters across airports, bus stops, and transit buses created an ad-based journey for commuters. A complete takeover of three of D.C.’s prime metro stations included floor graphics banners, column wraps, and larger-than-life posters. If your day starts or ends at Union Station, Metro Center, Capitol South, Dulles International, or Reagan National Airport, you won’t miss this striking campaign. This entire strategy was developed for a physical place, so we wanted to make a strong statement using physical signage within and along thoroughfares that guide students, faculty, policymakers, and the community to 555 Pennsylvania Avenue NW. A secondary digital advertising campaign will reinforce key messaging and expand our reach well beyond D.C. proper.

The genesis of this initiative was, to put it simply, a brand new building; a physical place where remarkable things will happen. And while in 2023, the digital world is impossible to ignore, a physical advertising campaign that connected people and place was important. Because it’s the people; the students, faculty, and policymakers, that make this building come to life.

In a long hallway, commuters carrying luggage walk across a giant floor decal advertisement for Johns Hopkins University that includes a line-drawn map of Washington, D.C. The ad reads 'A New Space for Hopkins Impact.' In the background, there's a poster that reads 'Greater Reach. Global Impact.'

A large-format floor graphic and poster.

At Dulles Airport, passengers are lined up at a security checkpoint with luggage in tow. A small digital advertising display on the wall, close to the ceiling, reads 'A New Space for Hopkins Impact.'

A screen-based banner ad in Dulles Airport.

A tall man in a suit approaches a Metro Bus on a sidewalk in Washington, D.C. The advertisement on the side of the bus includes a picture of Johns Hopkins University

A banner advertisement on the side of one of D.C.’s transit buses.

A digital poster in the main corridor of a train station reads 'Greater Reach. Global Impact.' Commuters walk past the ad with backpacks and suitcases.

A digital poster advertisement.