Graduations were cancelled again this year but Edinburgh Napier University has found an amazingly different way of saying well done to the students who have completed their studies with a huge, innovative advertising campaign.

Driving along the city there are many opportunities for students to catch sight of a billboard or tram with their name on it. The lists of names are a different way of saluting the efforts of the hard work of so many.

The usual graduation ceremonies at Usher Hall have been cancelled again along with the summer and autumn ceremonies last year. The university was determined to find some way of congratulating the graduates for all their hard work, and they are taking over the city in July and August with 18 billboards and 100 bus posters, a tram wrap and a taxi. Each academic school has their own advertisement with the lists of graduate names printed on it underlining the university’s pride and offering congratulations.

Taxi branding for #NapierNames campaign by Edinburgh Napier University, Sat 24 July 2021 (© Andy Catlin

The students can find their own names by using an app to discover their very own billboard which has it printed on it. The #NapierNames hashtag is being used on social media. Students who missed out on the traditional day of celebration at Usher Hall also have the chance to go to the Craiglockhart campus to have gowned-up pictures with family and friends taken by the University’s regular graduation services partner so they have a permanent souvenir. 

Professor Andrea Nolan, Principal & Vice Chancellor of Edinburgh Napier University, said: “The last 16 months have presented students with formidable challenges as they have had to adjust to different ways of learning while coping with all of the disruption the pandemic has caused to our normal way of life. 

“Our graduates have shown enormous resilience and strength of character in completing their studies during this period of upheaval and we wanted to show them just how proud we are of what they have achieved. It’s a huge achievement to graduate and we wanted to give students the same euphoria you get when your names called out on stage.”