Reko says: 'Get the future you deserve at Milton Keynes College'

Wed 21 Aug 2013

So did you see him?  Did you meet the mysterious tall pale man from the future who trailed the streets of Milton Keynes and set the social media scene alight?  His name is ‘Reko Tao Zion’, also known as the Time Traveller, and he popped up all over the place handing out strangely oblique cards with the date 21 08 2063 leading people to a microsite with a strange countdown timer. He even made bizarre pronouncements about ‘making dreams a reality’ on local radio station, MKFM.

Well today the truth can be told.  The exciting and entertaining saga of his appearances has been part of an elaborate and original guerrilla marketing campaign by Milton Keynes College in collaboration with local marketing agency, The Fuel Agency, to encourage young people to think about enrolling to get the future they deserve.  The Time Traveller’s mission was put together by a team lead by the College’s Head of Marketing & Communications, Kate Raclawski.  “The Time Traveller is part of our wider campaign to reach people aged 16-19 and to encourage them to really think about their future,” she says.  “The 21st August is significant as it is the day before GCSE results are announced when many 16 year olds will be making decisions that will impact on the rest of their lives. On the 22nd, 23rd and 27th August we are holding open events at the College for people to come in and talk 1-1 with our expert tutors who will support them in discovering their own career path.”

The results of Reko Tao Zion’s appearances around the city were beyond Kate’s wildest dreams.  The  microsite which Google searchers were led to when inputting his name gave little or no information but had still received a staggering 200,000 hits a full three days before his true identity was finally revealed.  Social Media exploded with thousands of people trying to identify the reason behind his appearences.  Kate says “I am thrilled that the people of Milton Keynes and beyond have been so captivated by Reko and his mission. The thousands of comments, videos, blogs and artwork people have posted online shows what a truly open-minded town we live in. We may have been behind it but it’s the people of Milton Keynes that have really made the adventure come to life.” 

The Time Traveller activity coincided with a series of pop-up careers clinics in the local community.  These were set up in Xscape, Stadium MK and the Hub, and were all about giving advice on courses available designed to lead to further education or into work.  The results have been positive with significant increases in requests for information, visits to the College website and applications.

“We’d reached the stage where we wanted to try something innovative, fun and that would capture people’s imagination.   Together with our very supportive marketing agency (The Fuel Agency from Stony Stratford) we brainstormed all sorts of ideas for a guerilla marketing campaign.  Eventually we hit upon the Time Traveller bringing his cleverly coded message from the future advising young people to think carefully as they only get one future and to make the right choices.”

Milton Keynes College’s visitor from the future certainly caused a stir during his brief visit to our time.  Hopefully those potential students whose curiosity was aroused by his appearance will realise that to take charge of their own futures, they should come to one of the College Open Days at the Chaffron Way Campus on Thursday 22nd August (GCSE results day, 10am-8pm, Friday 23rd August (9am-5pm) or Tuesday 27th August, (9am-5pm).  If Reko Tao Zion had one message for them it was head to Milton Keynes College for the future you deserve.

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