Campus Pursuit app to bring daily scavenger hunts to Rutgers
Rutgers students now have the opportunity to win free prizes every day.
Campus Pursuit is a new app available to University students that offers scavenger hunts for prizes for brands including Chipotle and KIND Snacks.
The app was launched in 2014 at Binghamton University by roommates Sachar Avraham and Scott Wisotsky. The two wanted to give businesses a new platform for advertising to students, Wisotsky said. Campus Pursuit quickly spread to 15 other universities throughout the Northeast.
The idea came about after the two heard about a millionaire giving out free money to people in New York City simply to put a smile on their faces.
“We wanted to create an advertising platform that students wouldn’t tune out of or skip over, but an app that students would actively desire to tune into every day,” said Wisotsky, one of the app's co-founders, in an e-mail.
The app is new to Rutgers and is looking to hire brand ambassadors that live on campus who can help hide prizes throughout the week.
Lindsay Krieger, a Binghampton University sophomore and recruitment/promotions intern, said brand ambassadors will learn marketing, promotional and networking skills that they can add to their resumes.
Each ambassador will hide one prize per week, and clues indicating where they are hidden can be found on the Campus Pursuit app, she said. Ambassadors are not paid, but receive commission by making sales to local businesses.
“We saw many brands trying to market to college students in outdated, old fashioned ways,” Wisotsky said. “(Avraham) and I wanted to create a fun way for brands to engage with college students. We simply wanted to make advertising ‘fun.’”
Though Campus Pursuit is still growing at Rutgers, it found great success at other universities, he said.
The app spread quickly through its success in reaching students since its kickoff in 2014, he said. Students from around the world are reaching out to Campus Pursuit.
An app like Campus Pursuit could lead to new social events being created, said Michael Bucceri, a School of Arts and Sciences junior. He said he expects more and more students to become interested in the app.
Shreya Chittem, a School of Communication and Information junior, said prizes are hidden around all five Rutgers campuses. They can be hidden anywhere from a classroom to a convenience store, and the hints on the app can range from very precise to very vague.
The app describes the location of a prize but does not provide specific details, she said.
"I found a MeUndies gift card in the Livingston Arcade, but all it said was to look under one of the seats," she said in an email. "When I did that, I looked a little crazy putting my hand under at least 15 to 20 seats but it was definitely worth it in the end!”
There are often prizes hidden within the lounge areas of residence halls as well, which makes some students uncomfortable.
Isabelle Lauredent, a School of Arts and Sciences sophomore, said she thought the prizes should remain hidden in public areas, especially during exam periods when students need to be able to study.
To enter a residence hall, the student must live in that particular building, and generally must swipe their card to unlock the doors, she said. With prizes hidden in the lounges, students must find another way in, which is not always the safest option for the residents.
“I feel like they should be in student buildings and restaurants,” Bucceri said. “Students should be notified about that and have proof that’s what they are there for.”
As more ambassadors join the team, there will be more prizes hidden around the five New Brunswick/Piscataway sub-campuses, giving the students more ground to cover in their scavenger hunt, Krieger said.
“Each ambassador will only be hiding prizes once per week and the hours are extremely flexible,” Krieger said. “Brand ambassadors will be running the scavenger hunts around their own schedules, and they can choose the days and times to hide prizes.”
Ambassadors will have flexible hours, making it easier for every student on campus to have their opportunity to join the scavenger hunt, Kreiger said.
It will also cut down on the number of students trying to find a particular prize all at once, Lauredent said.
Students also believe it would be a good experience for students if the app were to organize events as well, rather than simply hiding prizes every day, she said.
Within time, Campus Pursuit expects Rutgers students will love the scavenger hunts as much as the students at Binghamton University do, Wisotsky said.
“It’s a cute way to involve everyone and to get people to socialize,” Lauredent said.