On the road with VocaLink

On the road with VocaLink

Five universities, five days, 1,486 miles, 41 hours at events, 300 transactions, 9,806 branded giveaways, 38,000 students and one message – that you can top up your mobile phone credit at a cash machine.

We had a call from VocaLink to create a campaign that reinforces the convenient, quick and hassle-free nature of topping up mobile phone credit at a cash machine.

Around 50% of people are aware that they can top up their phone at a cash machine which meant there were still 50% of people that didn’t know you could top up at a cash machines; or didn’t know cash machines had this amazing different capability. This got our creative brains thinking about what other items had a #Surprise2ndUse and how we could make this as a springboard to develop our brief.

Knowing that our target audience was 16-24 year olds, who are most likely to own a PAYG phone we thought, what better time and place is there to let them know how convenient, fast and easy it is to top up at a cash machine than at undoubtedly one of the most fun and exciting weeks in the uni calendar – freshers.

So we topped up and on the go, hitting Bristol (for UWE), Portsmouth, Liverpool, Bristol again (for Bristol Uni) and finally York.

Now what usually happens on tour stays on tour, but on this occasion we’ll break that rule and share with you all that we got up to.

At each freshers fair, we had an awesome and colourful wrapped van that dispensed cash with clear messaging explaining in three steps how easy it is top up. There were other ways in which we grabbed students’ attention to. Literally. We had a grabber machine where students could win items that just like the cash machine had surprise second uses.

All students had to do was grab a branded green ball to win: a pint glass – whilst a first year essential drinking vessel can also be a speaker too. The we had bulldog clips – useful to clip together notes from lectures, but they can be used for propping up beer in the fridge and wrapping your headphones around. We even discovered they work for clipping back together trousers that were cut to make shorts when the Bristol sunshine shone so brightly! We also gave a handout which included a map of the students’ city, pinpointing where they can top up their phones at cash machines.

Amidst the sea of green balls were just a handful of white branded balls. Grab one and students were entered into a prize draw to win either a bar made from pallets, or a sofa that was once a humble bath. Our Ken in Portsmouth won the upcycled bath and as you can see he was absolutely ecstatic with his win:


Now as you can imagine, the queue for the grabber was rather extensive. We had a quaint raffle tombolo, that gave students to chance win life hacks and take these prizes away with them there and then. A tablet with tennis ball to be used as a sound amplifier; a mouse and tin foil which can be used as a AAA battery buffer and noodles with their very own cooking device – a coffee machine.

But just before you top up go, enjoy our video that captures the tour:

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