Hillel International #OwnYourStar

Company Bio

Hillel International is a non-profit organization that encourages young adults to celebrate Jewish learning and living, pursue social justice, and connect to their peers and the global Jewish people.

Hillel works with students at more than 550 colleges and universities across North America and around the world and creates lasting connections with students, inspiring and training them to become leaders and build their own communities.


  • Industry: Non-profit
  • Location: Washington, D.C.

Awards & Mentions

  • Finalist: 2022 DigiDay Media Buying & Planning Awards
  • Finalist: 2022 MediaPost Creative Media Awards
  • 2021 Ava Digital Gold Awards
  • 2021 MarCom Gold Awards


The Ask

ESM launched the #OwnYourStar social media campaign to encourage Jewish students, community members, and allies to express their Jewish pride amid the rise of anti-semitism.

The ultimate goal of the campaign was to create solidarity and comfort among Jewish college students who are confronting anti-semitism on campus through use of a media plan designed to promote user generated content using the hashtag #OwnYourStar.

The Challenge

Knowing that Hillel’s primary audience consisted of Gen Z college students, we assessed the media consumption habits of those users to inform the campaign’s channel selection and our audience development.

The campaign plan was structured around the ability to test social media channels, custom audiences, creative assets, and tactical approaches against one another.

Why it Worked

The Approach

We approached this campaign by evaluating two key factors:

  1. Device Consumption
  • When examining the client audiences at a national level, we saw that opportunity within mobile devices, game consoles, and PCs.

      2. Media Consumption

  • The audience segments over-index the highest when it comes to multi-tasking the following activities often or very often: Talk on Mobile Phone, Text on Mobile Phone, Visit Websites on Computer, Visit Websites on Mobile Phone, and Watch Videos on Computer.

The Solution

We then used this information to inform our channel planning and recommendation.

The final media recommendation included both engagement and conversion oriented social tactics across Tik Tok, Snapchat, Instagram, and Facebook. 

The remaining portion of the budget supported mid- to upper-funnel branding channels, including Digital Display (Retargeting) and YouTube.


Campaign Results

This campaign was overly successful at achieving Hillel International’s goals. In the span of just five weeks, the campaign generated over 4.8 million impressions and reach over 2.8 million users.  Mostly importantly, there were over 2,000 user generate posts that shared the hashtag #OwnYourStar with their unique stories and experiences. Not only did these metrics far exceed our estimates for the campaign, but we were able to really connect and resonate with Gen-Z college students, and encourage them to feel and share why they are proud to be Jewish.




Users Reached


SnapChat Swipe Ups


Users Generated Posts with #OwnYourStar


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