Street Attack executed a campus lifestyle outreach to create buzz for StudentUniverse.com on 10 college campuses nationwide. College reps accomplished this goal by infiltrating campuses and seeding creative materials through key outlets and into high-traffic areas using guerilla tactics.
The University of Minnesota at Twin Cities not only provides an extremely large campus to canvas with materials, but there is also an emphasis on the diverse student body, as it is a school largely attended by international students. Consequently the campus was an ideal location for reaching students who often need to travel great distances around holidays and semester breaks.
Posters were hung and re-hung later in the week due to heavy volume of time sensitive posters for upcoming campus Halloween events
Sidewalk chalk was ideal media placement for high volume of walkers. One student noted: “Great idea. People walk everywhere here.”
Ambassadors taping up posters were stopped several times and asked for a handbill
Drop-offs were usually left by newspapers and other material that students took as they entered or left a building.
Old Student Universe tearaways were still up on campus
STA Travel located inside Student Union has advertized their site and location across a footbridge used often by students in the area.
UC Boulder has a sprawling green campus and an eclectic, empowered student body. The ambassador team found that by carrying materials with them everywhere they went during the week they could effectively blast routes and paths of the average UC student. This also allowed them to have conversations about Student Universe on-the-go, while being prepared with accompanying materials.
UC Students are huge about being environmentally friendly, so hand-to-hand distribution was the least popular among students, concerned that it would lead to littering.
Ambassadors felt that chalk stencils and take-away handbills were highly effective for remembering the URL.
Due to UC Boulder’s strict campus poster permit rules, posters were often taken down 24 hours after they’d been placed. Ambassadors handled this by replacing the posters each day and varying locations.
STA Travel is on campus in the Student Union, but presence of another student travel business was unprecedented except for some old Student Universe tearaway signs left from the last promotion.
It was nothing but smooth sailing for our enthusiastic ambassadors at San Francisco State University. They were so proud to be representing Student Universe they held a meeting with the Study Abroad office to introduce all that the site has to offer. Many students are strapped for cash on the SFSU campus, and reactions to the materials were fantastic.
Halloween festivities about campus proved to be advantageous for getting excited students engaged in conversation about the site.
The SFSU campus was one of the easiest of all 10 markets to do guerilla-style canvassing, as there is little to no regulation of advertisements on campus.
Campus is largely populated with international students, proving a great place to reach frequent student travelers.
There was no noted presence of any other student travel brands on campus.
Pennsylvania State University is home to a whopping 43,000+ students and consequently, the extensive campus was an ideal market to reach potential student travelers. Thanks to an interested audience, ambassadors were permitted to get extra creative on placement of stencils and were highly successful in spreading the word throughout the week.
Leaving handbills in the close vicinity to posters proved to be a successful reinforcing method that gave students something to take away.
Strict regulations with expensive fines kept stencils off campus, but were just as eye-catching nearby in front of popular student housing and local eateries just a block away. They gained very popular reactions from curious on-lookers.
STA recently closed its office in the student union building, but students found that September is the most popular time to see ads on campus for Student City, STS, and Sun Splash Tours, as students prefer to book early. Bars in the area have also recently featured a trip giveaway promotion by a similar student travel site.
As one of the largest schools in a city overflowing with students, Boston University’s city campus is a hot bed of well traveled and diverse young people. The campus stretches down several miles of a hopping urban avenue that is frequented by not only BU students, but many students attending nearby Boston schools as well. A streak of good weather made execution even more successful than anticipated.
Highly social BU ambassadors made a point of engaging passing students in conversation about Student Universe, increasing awareness and making a positive, lasting impression.
As a campus that had never been chalk-stenciled before, students were intrigued and engaged by the unconventional medium.
STA has an office on campus in the student union and is known for luring students in with its elaborate window displays and face-to-face customer service. Many pamphlets are available for students looking for travel packages aimed at partying, though none for a discount service or agency.
Though the guerilla execution at University of Texas in Austin was somewhat impeded by strict campus and police regulations, student ambassadors compensated by making their voices heard loud and clear about the benefits of using Student Universe. By adapting a social, conversational attitude ambassadors introduced students to the site while distributing materials. Austin provides an ideal environment for hand-to-hand tactics as the weather is so conducive to outdoor activity.
Ambassadors were escorted from campus due to chalk-stencil restrictions, and when making a second attempt off-campus their stencil materials were confiscated by Austin Police.
Compared to other markets, Austin students had the least previous knowledge of Student Universe, and found the handbills to be an effective takeaway.
Student travel agencies are remembered for having held sponsored events on campus that offer a chance to win a free trip and travel package.
The execution at North Carolina State University was seamless, with a genuinely curious, eager student body that responded graciously to ambassadors spreading the word about Student Universe. Perhaps it is the nice weather or southern charm, but NCSU students were nothing but pleased to receive materials, and many even took extra to pass on.
Spring Break travel is extremely popular at NCSU, and many students wanted to know more about Student Universe for specifically those services.
More students had heard of and used Student Universe previously on the NCSU campus than in any of the other markets.
Ambassadors reported that there are several posters hung that advertise other student travel companies, including iNext, Budget Travel, Geek Travel and Student City, as well as an older Student Universe tear- away poster. However no other company was visible in more than one poster or alternative form of media.
Of all 10 campuses in the program, UC Berkeley seemed to be targeted the least by other travel-related advertisements, and in general there were no other noticeable promotions going on, which made for an especially successful execution. UC Berkeley students were responsive and engaged with the ambassadors, who report that even a professor wants to know if he’s eligible to use the site.
The chalk stencils were quite well received, and a number of students reported having not seen that method used before.
Weather conditions were ideal, and stencils were still visible at the end of the week.
Ambassadors reported no other materials, promotions or visible campaigns on campus by competitors of Student Universe.
Unlike some of the other large, public universities, the UMass Amherst campus was a problem-free market where students were receptive to the materials. Ambassadors found that the popular Greek life on campus was a great tool for spreading the word, and was able to leave and post materials at a number of sorority and fraternity houses where communication is rampant.
Rain early in the week washed stencils away quickly, but ambassadors worked diligently to replace them, doing double the work and doubling the message of Student Universe.
A number of students mentioned using STS Travel, and several times questioned ambassadors about who offers a better deal.
STS Travel is advertised in the Daily Collegian, the school’s newspaper. There were some posters advertising student trips to specific spring break hot spots, but that was the extent of travel ads tailored to students.
Students on the Florida State campus loved the creativity of placement that our Ambassadors employed as a fun tactic. There is no way you could miss the presence of Student Universe at FSU, as ambassadors blasted the campus in a festive, strategic manner, leaving handbills in bike spokes, desks, lecture hall podiums, and inside daily newspapers.
Chalk stenciling seemed to be a positive way to garner attention when done during the day in crowded areas.
One students stopped an ambassador with handbills to say, “I’ve seen you guys everywhere, can I have one?”
An abundance of good weather and newly paved surfaces provided ideal chalking conditions in places were many people spend great amounts of time outdoors.
Previously hung Student Universe tear-away posters were found in several locations on campus. There were little to no other student travel companies present.
Overall Feedback Student Feedback “ I’ll have to check it out.” “ I’ve used Student Universe before and really like it.” “ My roommate is planning a trip, I’ll take one for her.” “ I prefer the face-to-face attention at the STA office.” Student Questions Can international students use Student Universe? Can faculty and professors use Student Universe? Will Student Universe give me as good a deal as STA Travel? If I use Student Universe do I have to book long in advance? How do they confirm that I am a student and is the process tedious?
Learnings & Recommendations -The largest schools, like Penn State and UT Austin, are less receptive to guerilla tactics due to overwhelming amounts of advertisements on campus and strictly enforced regulations. -The timing of the campaign could have inhibited the success of the hand-to-hand distribution of handbills, on account of several possibilities: -On most campuses it was midterm week, and busy, stressed-out students are less likely to stop and talk. -It was election week, and students were inundated with campaigners on campus, thus they were more likely to ignore ambassadors or discard materials. -The stencil should be a bit larger, as the small text was somewhat difficult to decifer on certain surfaces. -Chalk stenciling was the most well received and intriguing mode of advertising among students on all the campuses, and handbills were a second favorite, as it provides a takeaway that reinforces the site URL.