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You probably have heard about the Ultimate Steal before. It’s the offer where students with a .ac.uk email address can buy a copy of Office 2007 Ultimate edition, for £38.95

UK students have some of the highest rates of usage of Microsoft Office in the world, and also one of the highest rates of ‘mis-licensing’.

Okay, that’s me being nice. The research tells us that some students know that ‘borrowing’ software from friends & parents isn’t allowed. And the copy floating around on a blank DVD with a licence key number written on it may not quite be legit.

As we get near the end of the promotion, we’ve created some web banners that colleges can put on their websites, to remind students that the deal is just about to close (at the end of June). This is especially handy for those who are just about to leave you this summer – once they’ve gone, they return to a world where ‘student deals’ disappear, and they will end up paying a lot more for the same things. And that’s true with software too. There’s unlikely to be a better deal available for them.

If you want to tell your students about the deal, especially before they leave you for the big wide world, then you can download any of the banners below and put them onto your student portal.

Download from here, and then link them to The Ultimate Steal website for the UK

But first, some fascinating insights into which ones worked where in the world…

International comparisons of student marketing…


United Kindom

UltimateStealOfferEndsSoon_Banner2_298x95Last year we used this web banner in the UK, and we know that it was pretty successful. For some reason, UK students liked something that was between “dull” and “whacky” – in our research focus groups, they said that if we were too cool, it wouldn’t be right.




United States

UltimateSteal_OO_298x100 Students in the US seemed to respond better to a slightly plainer design. When experimenting with more graphical ones, the response rate dropped off a bit. Perhaps because they were mesmerised by the lovely colours?




Microsoft.com advertising

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On www.microsoft.com, we found that students responded well to the “save 90%” message. But we were never sure if it was just students clicking it, or general visitors to the website. This is because the website is read by all kinds of people, whereas the other banners only went on websites read by students, such as university & college portals.




Australia

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Oz was the interesting one. They found that students responded to something quite different. In fact, the whole marketing campaign in Australia was themed around “It’s not piracy”. And it worked very well.

We’re starting to wonder, if we were able to run a student offer next year, whether this would be a fun idea for UK students.

What do you think?