How Billy Blue achieved 109% enrolment target by creating an AR prospectus

5 min read
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How Billy Blue achieved 109% enrolment target by creating an AR prospectus

Blog Author
5 min read
Billy Blue College of Design exceeded their enrolment targets by creating an AR experience as an alternative to their prospectus. Users immersed themselves in the different subject areas to experience the course and the college in a new innovative way.

Key Outcomes

  • An industry first in digital course guides - a prospectus viewed through an AR experience
  • Experiences launched through a combination of TikTok posts, out-of-home experiences and print medium
  • 13 million views on TikTok & >50,000 likes (Australian TikTok record at the time)
  • 20% year-on-year growth in enrollments
  • 109% above enrolment targets

 

The Challenge

Billy Blue College of Design wanted to create a digital prospectus to engage and inspire Gen Z during the pandemic. Both Gen Z’s attention span of only 8 seconds and the effects of the pandemic created a challenging environment for recruiting new students. They needed an experience to bring the prospectus to life in a ‘show me don’t tell me’ way, capturing the hearts and minds of prospective students visually, and engaging them in an instant.

Billy Blue wanted to connect with its audience in a fresh, unexpected, and exciting way. They also wanted to position the college as a great place to study design and creative technology. The experience also needed to showcase the depth of thier industry connections and the talent of our students and alumni from across the globe.

The goals of this experience were to:

  • To showcase the tech capabilities of Billy Blue College of Design
  • Hero real student work and let the talent at the college speak for itself
  • Make it interactive by giving people the ability to choose their own path in the experience

 

 

The Solution

To create a solution to this brief, Unbnd and VCCP Sydney created an immersive WebAR experience for the digital prospectus. They created a working group combining strategists, technologists, current students, alumni, and the Torrens University marketing team. This team then created and shortlisted more than 20 potential creative routes that they wanted to showcase within the WebAR experience.

The creative strategy centred around students choosing their path and ‘starting their adventure’ into creative technology and design. As the university was now teaching these new immersive technology courses, it made sense to showcase the technology itself as part of the advertising to show students what could be achieved and inspire them.

Using ZapWorks UAR - ThreeJS, the team built an AR experience to showcase several of the courses available. They visualised five 3D abstract worlds, each depicting a new creative technology or design course area. These were:

  • Interior Design
  • Creative Technology
  • Digital Media Design
  • Branded Fashion Design
  • Communication & Graphic Design

 

Each world was inspired by the named discipline and also showcased work created or inspired by current or previous students. Students could explore the courses through a world-tracked or image-tracked AR experience and interact with the courses and example projects.  Each world had clickable buttons on pieces of art for users to explore and learn more about.

This allowed the next student cohort to gain an understanding of what Billy Blue College of Design had to offer while giving users an exciting taste of what they could create in the future.

To reach the next generation of Australian designers and artists, Billy Blue made this experience available on multiple different channels. They ran a campaign on TikTok and created a series of out-of-home placements and bus shelters around Australia which would launch the AR experience. They also made use of the traditional approach to student recruitment, turning the prospectus into an image-tracked experience.

They also built a dedicated campaign microsite to give students more information and detail on the student's work and get a behind-the-scenes look at how the experience was created.

As the pandemic restrictions eased, they created a physical installation on three campuses for the open days.

 

The Results

The roll-out of this experience had great success, especially considering the difficult climate created by Covid-19. The prospectus AR experience received an incredible amount of interaction and exposure, exceeding expectations.

  • Over 1,100 scans of the OOH campaign with users returning up to 15 times to continue exploring the AR worlds.
  • The TikTok campaign was viewed 13 million times
  • There were over 30,000 activations of the experience (6 times the average amount of PDF course guide downloads received in the same period)
  • Over 50,000 TikTok likes (a TikTok Australia paid advertising record)
  • Average in-experience dwell time of 4 mins 28 secs 
  • These contributed to a 20% year-on-year growth in enrollments.
  • This was 109% above enrolment targets

The activity generated the highest number of impressions from a single Torrens campaign ever - driving them to not only hit but exceed the February 2021 enrolment target at 120% - growing overall by 20% YoY - with the creative technology courses among the top-performing new products of the year.

Awards and recognition

  • Best Use of AR/VR - B&T Awards 2021
  • Pinnacle Award for Design Effectiveness - AGDA 2021
  • Distinction Award Best In Show - AGDA 2021
  • Distinction Award Best Use of AR/VR - AGDA 2021
  • Grand Prix - Effective Mobile Marketing Awards 2021
  • Most Effective TikTok Campaign - Effective Mobile Marketing Awards 2021
  • Most Effective AR/VR Campaign - Effective Mobile Marketing Awards 2021

 


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