Wagamama targets students with experiential campaign

Wagamama, the Asian restaurant chain, is launching a digital and experiential campaign to build engagement with students.


The campaign aims to build relationships with new customers and provide the foundation of future CRM activity to develop targeted communications.

The “incentive-based” campaign is a departure from Wagamama’s traditionally promotion and discount-based marketing and has been developed by integrated agency start-up Albert.

In the first phase of the campaign the restaurant brand will visit 12 UK university campuses and serve more than 8,000 portions of Wagamama noodles on site.

In a bid to drive traffic to local restaurants, Wagamama is also offering customers prizes that can only be redeemed in store.

Wagamama could later extend the campaign to further locations such as festivals.

Wagamama is also using smartphone technology and QR codes within the experiential activity to drive interaction with the brand.

The experiential activity will be supported and promoted by a social media push on Facebook and Twitter.

Wagamama’s owner Lion Capital is reported to be in talks to sell the chain to Duke Street Capital for £215m - more than double what it paid for the chain.

Readers' comments (4)

  • It is great to see businesses and brands really using the correct channels to really engage students with their campaigns.

    The student market is undeniably a lucrative one, having an average spending power of approximately £10billion a year, and, although the market is often misjudged as being impossible to capture, Wagamama's have rightly seen the benefit in going directly to students through the official student organisation media channels.

    At BAM Student Marketing, the exclusive media booking agent for over 45 student organisations, we have seen a dramatic increase in the number of brands choosing to undertake experiential campaigns as many they opt for more inventive marketing and audience-engaging campaigns to capture the interest of the student market. This is a trend that we will continue to increase, especially in the run up to the new academic year in September.

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  • another tragic example of a start up flogging themselves silly

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  • It will be interesting to see the outcome considering that this agency has no proven track record in any of these disciplines and therefore is potentially looking at a big fall should they not deliver on KPI.

    Also interesting to see upon further digging the manner in which they have used (or not) social media. It appears that there are fractures in the communication channels and there lacks consistency in terms of messaging. I was intrigued to see that especially when you consider the recall value of the Wagamama brand, surely brand identity and consistency of brand representation across all channels is an imperative!

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  • This activity visited my university in Cardiff and I thought it was brilliant. There were gigantic queues for the tasters and their use of social network sites was very effective, regular status updates encouraging students to answer a question or undergo a 'dare' on the day in order to win a £20 voucher. There was a big buzz on campus about it all day - well done wagamama I say! Genius. Must have been high cost, but in my opinion worth it, by the end of that day everyone knew exactly who and what Wagamama's was!

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