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Bucks New University

Lifting its profile - almost literally!

Lots of agencies talk about partnerships, close relationships and working as an extension of their clients’ organisations.

But when it comes to Penna’s education team  and the marketing professionals at Bucks New University, this really is how things work.  

As an agency we’re constantly inspired by the forward-thinking and pre-emptive approach Bucks takes to student recruitment campaigns. In fact, this may sound strange, but the Bucks team actually talks about recruiting students and not numbers!  

Therefore proactivity is part of our collective DNA with the members of Penna’s Bucks team naturally taking on an internal remit to deliver not just innovation, but also to complement all activity undertaken by their opposite numbers at Bucks.

This is evidenced by the 2018 undergraduate campaign.


The strategy we devised with Bucks included taking the University to the competition – to park our tanks on the competition’s lawns, so to speak. The UK locations we selected were Birmingham, Leicester and Manchester, along with more traditional Bucks recruitment areas of Reading, Uxbridge and Watford.

Our digital strategy was already in place as part  of an ‘always on’ approach that rolls seamlessly across all the cycle touch points, with assets and optimisation tactics changing according to performance and demographics. But now we needed additional firepower and ‘wow’ factor to make a real impact on the competitions’ doorstep.

We came up with something completely different: Adlifts in local shopping centres. Adlifts combine three key elements of an effective media format  – footfall,  dwell time and visibility – robust campaign assets and so were a natural fit.

Adlifts involve wrapping entire lift doors with a series of posters. Since the creative for the  Bucks 2018 campaign was hugely impactful, we were able to deliver its message in the busiest areas of shopping centres within the heart of  
the University’s target markets.


Our messaging reinforced and supported other campaign activity, while really taking the Bucks message to the core of the University’s target markets. Timing was key as the campaign wrapped just prior to the January UCAS deadline in all six regions. We gained maximum impact by kicking  it off in the week leading up to Christmas and continuing it up to and throughout the New Year period, where footfalls escalated in all locations.

Early indicators are that applications from all our targeted markets increased when compared with previous years.