Swinburne University runs gamified virtual open day

Swinburne University of Technology’s virtual open day has taken shape as a gamified open world, resembling the video game Animal Crossing.

The announcement:

Swinburne University of Technology is re-defining the traditional university Open Day experience with a successful launch of a gamified, virtual campus in the form of an “open world” experience called Swintopia – a virtual university world accessible to all prospective students, anytime and anywhere.

With more students across the country, and particularly in Victoria, now moving to online learning, Swinburne saw an opportunity to create a holistic online experience to engage students in their new normal, whilst also helping to bridge geographical divides by providing them with unlimited access to all of the information and experiences they need to help them make an informed decision about their future.

Inspired by the popularity of video-games, Swinburne’s innovative virtual campus experience, Swintopia, is a first of its kind for an Australian university, and takes its cues from popular video gaming conventions such as Animal Crossing, giving prospective students the opportunity to experience Swinburne’s environment in a fun and engaging way.

Developed in partnership with Isobar, Swintopia showcases what Swinburne has to offer by guiding virtual visitors through an interactive tour of Swinburne’s Hawthorn campus – along the way users can build their own itinerary and experience life at Swinburne from courses to clubs, state-of-the-art labs and facilities, student life highlights, neighbourly hangouts and more.

Carolyn Bendall, Swinburne University of Technology, Chief Marketing Officer said: Now, perhaps more than ever, it is still very important for anyone considering going to university to immerse themselves in the university environment just as they would when attending a physical Open Day.

“With traditional Open Day not possible in 2020, for us it is important to evolve our approach to ensure we give prospective students an engaging, exciting and interactive experience – just in a virtual environment.

“Known for being a leader in innovation and technology – and one of a few universities in Australia to offer a range of gaming courses – Swinburne is delighted to be at the forefront of digitally-led experiences, overturning the idea of Open Day being a one-day event and changing what it means to get a taste of the university experience,” said Ms Bendall.

Swintopia leverages the capability of Adobe Marketing Cloud technology to deliver a personalised and relevant experience. While the front end integrates with various Adobe technology products, behind the scenes is a sophisticated data and analytics engine proactively providing students with further information relevant to their interests. This result is a smart, connected, and modern platform designed to help students make the most informed choices about their education.

Erik Hallander, CEO of Isobar, commented: “Swintopia exists to help prospective students make an informed decision about where to study, which is a really big decision for most. It allows the academic prowess and the student experience of Swinburne to be on display in a fun and engaging way.

“This was a really exciting project for Isobar to work on with Swinburne, blending our technical and creative capabilities to bring to life a really unique experience for students. Swintopia clearly demonstrates the innovative and forward-thinking approaches Swinburne takes to attract and connect with students,” said Hallander.

“Going from initial ideation process with our brand agency partner, 50 Crates, to working alongside Isobar in conceptualising and brining the finished product to fruition in less than three months, Swintopia is a template for strong cross-functional efforts in working with agency partners to bring the new-look Open Day experience to life,” added Ms Bendall.

Agency partners involved in the roll-out of Swinburne’s Open Day experience include, 50 Crates, concept ideation, campaign creative and execution; Isobar, platform design and development; Initiative, implementation of a full-service media strategy, planning & buying and integration of Swinburne’s existing partnership with the Richmond Football Club; and Bastion Effect campaign amplification through strategic PR and communications.

Swinburne’s new virtual campus, Swintopia, launched on Wednesday 12 August.

To explore Swintopia visit www.swinburne.edu.au/swintopia.


Carolyn Bendall – Chief Marketing Officer
Amy Whitehead – Deputy Director, Marketing (Project Lead)
Rachel Bennett – Event Specialist (Project Coordinator)
Lisa Bugg – Digital Operations Manager
May Ling Yong – Creative Manager
Laura Iakovidis – Brand and Campaign Manager
Jordan Capp – Head of Digital Marketing
Nishan Bandaranayke – Head of Domestic and Direct Recruitment
John Sinistaj – Swinburne IT

Agency partners
Isobar – Platform design and development
50 Crates – Brand and campaign creative
Initiative Media – Media planning and buying
Bastion Effect – PR and communication

Source: Bastion press release


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