Student Finance

When you’re at university, the world’s your oyster. Or at least it should be. But with the cost of living on the rise, students are struggling more than ever before to make ends meet. As such, the Welsh Government noticed a steady drop in university applications. To relieve the pressure, Student Finance Wales created a new financial package to help students with their living costs. Our job was to publicise it with a monster campaign.

Ultimately, the Welsh Government needed to drive people to the website and increase the number of people considering going to university. The objectives were clear, but the path to success was less so. We know that students have busy lives with lectures to attend and shots to drink, so we needed something that quickly grabbed their attention. A TV advert that packed a real punch. We wanted to create something that the would-be students could relate to. And so, the Money Monster was born.

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Students endure enough lectures, so the last thing we wanted to do was to lecture them on the intricacies of financial packages and interest rates. We decided that humour was the best way to go about it. Because if you can’t laugh at your obstacles, they end up taking over your life. We saw the Money Monster as a Mighty Boosh inspired character that students could relate to and laugh at rather than something that added to their distress and worries. So that’s what we created.

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The Money Monster is the personification of students’ real-life concerns. A nuisance character who disrupts the students’ day-to-day lives and stops them from enjoying the full university experience. Being able to see their issues as a palpable presence helped the students to relate to and engage with the campaign, which in turn allowed us to present a clear solution in the form of the Welsh Government’s new financial package.

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The initial TV ad quickly grabbed the public’s attention and conveyed a strong message. We were able to further reinforce this with radio, programmatic, search and social campaigns along with a Wales wide bus-side campaign and supporting materials that were distributed around sixth form schools and colleges. We also made headlines in the Telegraph, Money Saving Expert and BBC Radio 4. For students, the Money Monster’s reign of terror was over.

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Social films

As well as the successful TV campaign, we created a series of social media shorts to show how else Student Finance can help keep the Money Monster at bay.

Results

Of course, a campaign is only as successful as its results, and we’re proud to say that the Money Monster delivered. The campaign achieved a total PR reach of 20.5 million and received over 4 million impressions on social media alone. But most importantly, 15% of people said they were more likely to go to university after seeing the advert. And this number rose to 30% in the key 16-24-year-old demographic. We’d call that a success.

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