York St John Christmas campaign

A fun-packed festive countdown that grabbed the attention of teenagers choosing their university.

Too many of York St John’s students come through clearing. This is unpredictable and stressful. They needed us to spark the interest of prospective students and we added some festive fun.


York St John know it’s not just the university they’re selling, it’s also York. They needed a campaign to shout about the city and university in a way that would interest potential students at an important time for recruitment. There wasn’t a place on their current website to do this so they came to us for ideas.

To tie in with the festive period, we thought an advent calendar would really work. Each day there’d be new things to discover about York and the university. What better way to keep them coming back every day than a prize give-away?

The prize draw had to be headache-free as everyone’s busy this time of year.


Our daily engagement rates are beyond what we expected. Rachel Kirkup, York St John University


Planning the perfect Christmas (campaign)

As with all our projects, the team sat down to throw ideas around. We knew there’d be a daily story but that older stories still needed to be available. Our goal was to keep everything short and snappy to keep the attention of teenagers, with a splash of festive cheer:

  1. We did some magic to give each student a unique code so they’d only need one button to enter.
  2. They’d receive a short e-mail reminder each day so they wouldn’t miss the chance to win.
  3. We used videos, photos and short stories instead of loads of text, knowing teenagers use their phones a lot.
  4. All wrapped up with festive cheer; snow, ribbons and baubles.


With a demanding brief, Plump created a festive countdown with the right balance of fun yet informative content. Rachel Kirkup, York St John University


Wrapping the present

We jumped straight into building an advent timeline to make sure it would work really well on mobile. This was the right move as a whopping 69% of visits were from mobile phones.



It was vital that the website was easy to use and worked across all devices and Plump has certainly achieved this with the Christmas Countdown


Unwrapping the present

At the start of each day the latest story popped up at the top of the timeline. At the end of the day York St John logged in, pressed a button, a winner was picked and announced on the site. How easy is that?!

We built a website that got people in and kept them coming back every day. Our engagement rates were through the roof.


If you are planning a seasonal campaign, come tell us your ideas over a cuppa. Call Rob on 01904 619 268 or email me.