Pot Noodle hosts gaming experience for virtual freshers' fairs

Unilever’s Pot Noodle will be connecting with new students virtually by hosting a gaming experience as part of a digital freshers’ week. Freshers’ fairs for several UK universities will be reimagined as digital events that will take place on replicas of each university’s campus and feature key landmarks. “The Digital Welcome” will provide an interactive platform for the institutions to allow students to sign up to societies and sports teams, connect with local businesses and access brand partner content. Pot Noodle will be building on its “Cook less, live more” messaging with a game in which students have to escape the perils of a “9-5 lifestyle” to win prizes.

Connie Stovell, assistant brand manager at Pot Noodle, said: “The Digital Welcome provides a truly interactive and immersive way to introduce new students to the brand. “We would have loved to have brought Pot Noodle to life physically on campus during freshers’ week, but instead, this digitised platform presents a great opportunity for us and other brands now and in the future.” Twitch will be creating an official University Twitch channel that will include live streams throughout freshers’ week including training with the University rugby team, performances from the music society and cooking lessons from the food society.

Twitch is also live-streaming a DJ set from a freshers’ club to create a virtual night out. Domino’s is hosting a funfair at which students can play Wheel of Fortune or Plinko with the chance to win free pizza.

Tinder, meanwhile, has developed a digitised version of Swipe Night with a virtual Tinder Truck. A university-specific daily schedule of activities will be sent to students with details of where to find different activities. Each digital campus building will be accessible with brands and activities placed according to the real-world use of the building, for example, sports and fitness brands will be in the fitness centre.

The first “The Digital Welcome” event will be held from 14 September for the University of Chester. Imperial College London, the University of Birmingham, University of East Anglia, Northumbria University, University of Sussex, University College Cork and University of Exeter will also each be hosting digital fairs.  Students will be taken to their personalised campus based on their university-specific email address, which will be required to gain access to the experience. The events will sit on each participating university’s website and be available on desktop and mobile.

Lori Henebury, media and marketing co-ordinator at the University of Birmingham Guild of Students, said: “It is really important that new students get to understand what their universities offer outside of just their courses and The Digital Welcome is a brilliant platform which does just that in these unprecedented times.”

Student marketing agency Raptor is delivering the project.

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