We created and ran Three’s experiential space for its headline sponsor position at Intu shopping centre’s annual Student Night ‘lock in’ across 12 of its locations. Intu own many of the UK’s largest and most popular retail destinations in the UK. The event is targeted around Fresher’s Week and is aimed at students who have either just started, or are about to start university.
Students were an untapped market for Three and this activation was part of the company’s move to capitalise on the previously underserved demographic.
The majority of brands at Intu’s Student Night leverage celebrities to draw in crowds, a tactic we feel carries a large risk of making the brand secondary to the personality hired. Instead, we wanted to do something that would demonstrate Three’s day-to-day benefit to student’s lives.
It was because of this our engagement areas promoted Three’s Go Binge promotion, which lets users stream student ‘essentials’ like Netflix, TV Player, Deezer and Soundcloud without affecting their data allowance. We also offered a one-night-only student SIM offer, which featured unlimited minutes, texts and 30GB of data (Plus Go Binge!) for a discounted £15 a month.
We designed the interactive zone to feel a like a student living room (albeit with less mess…!), with a sofa and comfy chairs and a 4K TV playing Netflix. It was an oasis and a chance for a pit-stop amidst all the shopping. The space had two configurations, a main 5x5, with a smaller 3x3 set-up for events that were held on simultaneous days. We designed signage using Three key art to showcase the Go Binge deal and the prizes on offer during the activation.
Our central attraction was a Cyclone chamber, a nod to the famous closing round in Crystal Maze. This small room is full of lightweight balls kept afloat by small turbines. Students were given 30 seconds in the Cyclone to grab as many Three-branded balls as they can. We added a live leader board which kept the competition heated, with some snatching wins in the last minutes of the day.
The person with the highest score at the end of the day wins the grand prize – an incredible Samsung package worth over £1,000. The package included the flagship Galaxy S8 handset, a VR headset, a 360-degree Camera and a DeX Station, which turns your Android phone into a computer. Also up for grabs at each location were two Amazon Fire TV Sticks and two Google Chromes, which entrants will be entered into a raffle to win.
In addition to our main attractions we also gave away £15 Netflix vouchers, something genuinely appealing and useful to attendees. We also had two pairs of the highly sought after Snapchat Glasses, which visitors could use to record video and take photos for their own Snapchat accounts. Samsung sent ambassadors equipped with its Gear VR to let guests experience VR first hand.
Everything, including the competition, was open to all students, and not just Three customers.
The activations were a huge success. Over 1,850 students took part in the cyclone challenge with thousands more visiting our engagement area. The activation led to a 148% increase in SIM sales compared to the weekly average and a 66% increase in footfall to Intu shopping centres compared to the average. Over the duration of the event, across the 12 locations and on social media, an estimated 3.5 million UK & International students were reached.
It was so successful that Three is using the data to expand its activity towards students in 2018 as well as driving its UK & International comms.
The activation led to an overall increase of 148% in SIM sales, compared to weekly averages. However, in certain locations that increase was dramatically higher. The top three performing sites were:
Nottingham Vic Centre: increase of 460%
Newcastle Douglas Way: increase of 250%
Hanley: Increase of 225%
Every location saw a significant increase in SIM sales.
The event also saw a 66% increase in footfall to Intu shopping centres compared to the average. Again, in certain sites this was much higher:
Newcastle Douglas Way: Increase of 194%
Merry Hill: Increase of 181%
Metro Centre: 167%
Every location saw an increase in footfall.