The two-year deal, struck with Duckworth Finn Grubb Waters, marks the beginning of a huge battle to sell the idea of education to thousands of people not currently involved in learning, and to build brand awareness of the UFI before it becomes fully operational next autumn.
It far exceeds the pound;3 million budget of the Teacher Training Agency's "no one forgets a good teacher" campaign and represents a sizeable chunk of the UFI's annual income of pound;44m.
A UFI spokesman defended it by saying that marketing was "central" to the university's success and would stimulate demand for lifelong learning.
By the time the campaign begins next spring, the UfI will have a new name, to be chosen from a short-list being market-tested, and due to be announced within the next few weeks.
DFGW, the agency behind adverts for household names such as Mothercare and Daewoo, now has the task of making the UFI's brand name just as recognisable.
The agency has won awards for its Health Education Authority anti-drugs campaign and is also involved in a consultancy project with the Government over the launch of individual learning accounts next year.
Michael Finn, chief executive of DFGW, said: "This is a very prestigious and significant win for the agency. We are absolutely delighted to have been given such a major opportunity to help motivate adults to take up learning opportunities."
David Croisdale-Appleby, the UFI's director of marketing and communications, said the campaign would be of a type "never seen before in this country".
"It will act as a catalyst to galvanise adults into taking action to help them realise that they can, and will, benefit personally and professionally from new learning.
"There is a huge task to be done in changing the climate of opinion about learning among adults in this country, in order to achieve the Government's aim of creating a highly skilled, motivated and internationally-competitive workforce."