Freshers Tour 2018

Continuing to build their presence at Freshers Fairs up and down the country, Wilko returned to BAM for the 3rd year running for 2018, attending a total of 35 fairs, which is an increase of 8 locations compared with their 2017 Freshers tour.

After the enormous success of previous years, a similar approach was adopted, simply focusing on addressing and optimising the areas of improvement identified from 2017.

One of the major differences from 2017 was BAM’s ownership of the packing process. Coordinating a team of 30 to organise and pack the entirety of the stock saw BAM pre-pack over 54,000 Wilko goody bags over a duration of 4 days, a significant increase from the 25,000 packed the previous year.  

Taking ownership of this logistical process allowed the onsite promotional staff at the fairs to be more proactive on the stand, speaking to more students and collecting more emails, resulting in an increase in engagement with the average data captured per event rising from 1446 in 2017 to 1522.

BAM taking this hands on approach, combined with working smarter, certainly played a significant part for Wilko in widening their student reach for the year.

Digging deeper into the goody bags themselves, the wooden spoon still remains the firm student favourite! Other items packed included an Original Source shower gel, A Three or Giffgaff Sim Card, Persil Powercap, Comfort Laundry Softener and a Sharpie pen. Some lucky students across the fairs also found a ‘Winning Ticket’ in their bag, entitling them to win the prize of either a Wilko bedding set or a gift card for a number of different retailers including: ASOS, Nandos and iTunes.

A smaller yet significant change implemented in 2018 was the decision to mix up the stand locations to include both inside and outside gazebo spaces across the UK. The outdoor approach was a great addition to the campaign and Wilko were often the first and most prominent brand students saw on arrival, increasing brand impact. In addition to a greater brand presence, it was also clear to see an uplift in sign up rates across the locations where we moved from inside to outside.

During the campaign, a grand total of over 53,000 students signed up to the Wilko mailing database, enabling the brand to continue to engage with them on a year round basis through email sends focused on student and seasonal offers. With this activity contributing to Wilko’s wider marketing goals it allows BAM to continue to provide Wilko with year round communication, something that we love to help with! 

BAM are looking forward to continuing to work with Wilko for their 2019 Freshers Campaign, in addition to growing their year round activity.

It is abundantly clear that this demographic’s appetite for Wilko grows year on year and together we can show that Wilko can be the stand out brand for students all over the country.


‘Once again we partnered with BAM to support the delivery of our University campus tour 2018. It was our third year working with BAM and they are a vital extension of our marketing team at such a busy and critical time for our key University stores. BAM provide key insight and guidance in the planning phase and we know that we can always rely on them to execute the campaign brilliantly. Their work is always faultless and they go above and beyond in everything that they do. They really understand our objectives and most importantly, our customers.’

Senior External Communications Manager, Wilko