Attack of the Two Foot Ones!!!

The Tab investigates what all those big ‘1’s are doing on campus

You may not have noticed, but in the past few days the sleepy campus of UCL has been been secretly invaded. By giant number ones.

“Giant number ones?!” You ask, spitting you Print Room latte all over something else topical and UCL-based.  Well yes, that’s really only the way we can describe them. Take a look for yourself:


When you see it….


The oversized numerals have caused quite a bit of confusion and general head-scratching in Bloomsbury in the past week:


Is it a weird dating thing like the Library seem to think? Are they filming a considerably lower-budget sequel to Inception? Did an art student go mental and try and make a ‘meta’ interpretation of  Three Dog Night’s “One Is The Loneliest Number?” Or is it all just in The Tab’s head?

Unfortunately, it turns out it’s none of the above. (I know, I really wanted it to be the meta art thing too.) As it transpires, the appearance of “the ones” is in fact UCL’s first guerilla marketing campaign, and it’s all for a good cause.

The giant numbers, around seventy in all, have been intentionally placed around campus in order to promote Medic to Medic‘s ‘give one’ campaign, in conjunction with student-based marketing company FreeHype. The charitable organisation is preparing to ask each student to donate one pound each, with the aim of raising thousands in order to educate new doctors in Malawi.


Could you not have done it in a less unnerving way?!


According to their website, the charity “guarantee the tuition fees for healthcare students who have academic potential, but are in financial need.” The not-for-profit is hoping to raise enough to train several medical professionals out in the impoverished African nation.

Alex Daish, the head of the marketing company responsible for the campaign, and current UCL student, commented on the approach, revealing the need for the type of strategy at our university:

“We new students don’t have much spare cash,” he said.  “So that why we’re asking for just one pound each from everyone. But we need everyone to get their friends to give. Its a huge challenge as we’ve seen even the union and the university struggle to communicate to all the students here.”



FreeHype and Medic to Medic aren’t finished there though:

“We will hope to remind everyone in the next 2 weeks with a huge poster campaign.” Added Mr. Daish.

Let’s just hope the next campaign will be slightly less confusing.