Welcoming the next generation of change makers

University of Winchester - Clearing campaign

Clearing is a hugely important system for both universities and potential students. For universities, it enables them to fill course places that haven’t been taken up. For students, it’s an opportunity for late applicants, or those not receiving initial and/or suitable offers, to be accepted for a place in a course that interests them. For many, it’s a second chance; a vital lifeline for getting into university. Bell were briefed to conceive and produce a campaign to welcome new students who received Clearing acceptances.

Our response

Focusing on providing new students with something memorable to mark the day they were accepted into university, whilst projecting the Winchester community and values, we developed a direct marketing-led campaign with an objective of generating native social media exposure from new students.

Leading with “Wow, you’re in!”, playing on the similarities between Wow and UoW, we developed a direct mail folder for delivery on the day of acceptance, welcoming them to the university and containing a number of playful, positive stickers such as UoWoW! And #Hello Winch, amongst others. Twenty-one stickers in total were made into animated gifs and shared on the University’s GIPHY channel. Concurrently, we ran a four-page wrap on that day’s Metro in
South East regions.


Immediately, many happy new students took to social media, using these stickers as a means of announcing to the world that they had been accepted for a place at Winchester. There was a groundswell on the day: by the end of the week in question, our gifs were ranked number 1 for “clearing” and “results day” for plays for higher education institutions in GIPHY – in a week where every university in the UK offered Clearing places. They remained top of the GIPHY charts until the end of August, and many of the students in question brought these stickers with them to ‘Freshers Week’, where the entire social media cycle turned over again. From August to October 2019, the stickers had been viewed on GIPHY 2,308,684 times.