Orientation 2010 Review: Marketing to students - A lost art?
ORIENTATION 2010 REVIEW Marketing to students – A Lost Art?
<ul><li>// WHAT DOES “STUDENT” LOOK LIKE // </li></ul><ul><li>Students are a rather diverse bunch, despite media (and some marketers’) attempts to reduce them to stereotypes such as: </li></ul><ul><li>Couch-burning taxpayer funded bludgers; </li></ul><ul><li>Naïve left-wing wannabe activists; or </li></ul><ul><li>Tomorrow’s future leaders </li></ul><ul><li>Regardless of such misguided labels, there is little doubt that students are a significant demographic, particularly for marketers with an eye (or two) on the youth market. The numbers, in media terms REACH, speak for themselves… </li></ul>Uni’s - 170,000 60% = 18 – 24 102,000 Gen Y’s / Millennials who we know where they live and where they hang out Tech’s - 197,000 34% = 18 – 24 67,000 Gen Y’s / Millennials The commercially ‘ unloved’ of the Tertiary Gen Ys 169,000 Captive Gen Y’ers
// WHAT DOES STUDENT MARKETING LOOK LIKE // The main banks cut a significant and sometimes solitary role when it came to on-campus activity. The BRANDSpanking team have been involved in student marketing in some form for over a decade and, with the exception of Otago (more on that later), the commercial world seems to have deserted this really powerful property. Student marketing is NOT just about O’Week, although some see it as peak time… If this is peak time then this property could currently best be describe as ‘roomy with huge potential’
// WHAT DOES GOOD STUDENT MARKETING LOOK LIKE // Whether it be because it was a two horse race for nationwide presence, consistency and commitment to the target audience, or because it was a decent campaign, we are not sure but Westpac beats ASB to the best on show award. Reasons: Nationwide campaign with consistent activity Obvious investment with branded old vehicles, on-site cool sign up process with funky technology and staff numbers Quality well trained promo staff (note – not bank staff) Quality and lots of giveaways (Temp tattoo / Bottles of Ginger Beer / Beer Mats) Size matters, so does noise – they had both SUMMARY: They took the campaign investment seriously but had plenty of fun with the campaign Yeah, they also had a good (but not original) offer ($40 giveaway) but that’s not the point……..
// OTHER GOOD STUDENT MARKETING // ASB – Consistent and ever present across all the campuses. Great branding, although light on noise and originality. However, best use of media utilising adshels, magazines and online. Studentlife – Coolest prize = Branded Jandals in all sizes Frucor and Coke. Two different approaches to lunchtime integration with consumers – Otago’s Frankly Sandwiches demonstrates a complete integrated branding and functional alignment for the ‘Frank’ brand whereas the similar exercise at Auckland Uni with Coke seems more like a brand maximisation and product sales exercise. Which is more successful in terms of sales revenue however would be interesting….
// HISTORICALLY SPEAKING.. // Orientation festivals go back further than most of our memories and raucous, drunken behaviour was evident then as it now….or not! In recent years we’ve seen a ‘push back’, in part driven by institutional responses to bad publicity generated by events such as the Toga parade and Undie 500. Conspicuous by its absence is the maverick behaviour that brands once saved for this arena. This used to be the place where brands could take their brand values and push them to the limit. Giving their agencies a chance to express themselves in a confined environment made this property appealing…right now O’Week has all the danger and uniqueness of a school fete sausage sizzle. ..in the past not so long ago….. 2010…
// SO WHAT’S HAPPENED….// The global economic downturn seems to get blamed for everything but we’re going to bypass this excuse for the apparent ‘downturn’ in student or tertiary marketing that seems to have happened over the last 3 years. The downturn started well before everyone had heard of sub prime mortgages. Two factors come to mind; Firstly, we got lazy! Back in the day student marketing was largely about O’Week. This in itself was flawed but it worked to a degree because lots of people got involved and it was fun for everyone for 4 weeks. Now, aside from banks and a bunch of Dunedin retailers, the evidence of O’Week 2010 suggests that students have escaped marketers collective consciousness. Students are still on campus, they still spend the same (if not more), they still want to have fun, and you won’t earn their true friendship just by being on Facebook. THERE IS A LACK OF CONVERSATION……….. All present and active during Otago – Westpac / ASB / National / ANZ / BNZ / Bond and Bond / Harvey Norman / Grabaseat / R&R Sports / Mountain Dew / Mother Energy / Night and Day / Student IT / Farmers Market / Jesus / plus a plethora of local small businesses and churches /
// SO WHAT’S HAPPENED….// Secondly, the experts got old (or distracted). It’s as if the old guard of student and tertiary marketing found proper jobs and moved in to grown up positions. The Varsity crew, studentz team, old school StudentCard gang, Cow TV's maverick approach, Lucid Magazine and even some of the old crazy marketers grew up. // WHAT HASN’T CHANGED ? //
THEY STILL BEHAVE AND DO THE SAME STUFF YOU DID….
// WHAT HASN’T CHANGED ? // 5 Hardcoded Youth Communication Guidelines An Authentic Story – Why are you talking to them, what’s your story. Westpac took the piss and gave away $40 – simple story. The Captain Cook Tavern uses a great byline “The place where your Dad first made out with yer Mum” The story here is heritage and that this pub is could be part of your history. Be Accessible – You turn up once a year with a good looking promo girl and sod off before the Warehouse start selling Easter eggs? The tertiary year is 7 months in duration, not 4 weeks. They are still there and love distraction. If you hooked ‘em during O’Week, how are you going reel in that loyalty. Facilitate Conversation – Being on Facebook doesn’t mean you’re having conversation, being authentic and utilising Twitter / FB / Bebo is great but what’s your conversation about? Deliver Value – With real value comes real trust, which leads to your brand being sought out and shared. Young people can quickly see when you are delivering meaning to their life and when you’re not. Value doesn’t mean cheap, sure it helps but there's a lot more to it. Laugh. Seriously, have fun!
// SPECIAL MENTIONS // UNITEC // Provided a very unique spin on Orientation Week festivities and managed to create a mini music festival in West Auckland fully equipped with market stalls, games, beer tent / area and cool artists. Brands present seemed to benefit from the festival atmosphere although the dark side of festivals with alcohol consumption and pot smoking meant that the festivities became less commercially viable post 4pm and the scene became less O’Week and more Westie festival…which is cool, to a point. MAXX // Generated the biggest queue at Auckland, necessity overrides free stuff anyday! CADBURY PICNIC // – Present at Unitec, what a set up, brilliant inflatable and so brand and product relevant….would have looked great at BDO and the like. CHRISTIANITY // – Recent reports out of the US say Gen Y is less religious than the previous Generation, would be interested to explore this fact in NZ as across the country Jesus was pushed at a lot of campuses, very well. Whether the queues for sausage sizzles, free jandals, welcoming couches with bearded friendly faces or guerilla marketing techniques handing out Bibles worked in terms of recruitment or not is an interesting question but for pure coverage and persistence both at O’Week and other summer festivals the marketing is certainly ON THE COOK TAVERN // - Firstly for providing a decent beer after a country long O’Week tour but mostly for maintaining what can now be coined “Old Skool” youth and student marketing values of authenticity, delivering good value, facilitating engagement and having a bloody good laugh while doing it. Easy for a pub, yes, but the marketing strategy, tone and execution, like Parachute, remain great examples regardless of the property.
// FINALLY // For further Insights, Consultancy and Prompt Responses to RFP’s across both Youthful Research and Interactive Experiential Marketing or Speaking Engagements Contact Spencer Willis 09 377 4110 [email_address] 0276 628853 Lastly, we are gauging interest in doing accompanied immersions with clients. Brand Spanking will accompany you and your management teams to University and Tech Campuses / Retail / Music Festivals or other environments along with a brand or company research objective to capture youth thoughts and feelings towards you and your brands. If you're interested, let us know...it's an amazing way to interact with your target market - we can set you up with all the tools you need and give you a rare insight into your target market.