There’s no denying that some brands are smarter than others. Quite simply put: if you want to reach your target, you need to become your target, as in go where they are, do what they do, and speak their language. Basically, you need to drink the koolaid, no matter how bad it may taste. That is what earns loyalty these days.
Major brands are doing just that when it comes to Spring Break. Some have been doing it for years – and very successfully.
Looking beyond the revelry, chaos and pandemonium that Spring Break generates, smart brands are focusing on Spring Break as an opportunity to connect with tens of thousands of college students in a meaningful way – and in the case of Spring Break, that way is by allowing students to experience their brand in a way that directly correlates to what Spring Break is all about: FUN.
Popular brands such as Coca-Cola, Gildan, Axe, Spotify, Four Loko and countless others have all taken advantage of popular Spring Break destinations including Panama City Beach and South Padre Island, connecting with students in a relevant way in the hopes of building long lasting brand loyalty.
Brand activations include concert-style stage set-ups, comfortable beach lounges, product sampling and of course, plenty of music, while hotel pool decks are also decked out with stages, DJ music, and branded booth ‘look and feel’ set-ups.
Brands see Spring Break as a vital contributor to their word-of-mouth success. Activations that are able to engage with students via any form of an experiential tactic are more likely to succeed in having student “influencers” take that brand experience back home to their college friends on campus.
In order to really make an impression, brands are upping the ante, adding in an experience-like dimension to their promotion. Simply handing out a free sample isn’t strong enough to ensure that your product will last in the memory of a student heading back to school in a few days.
Brands that offer more “engagement” and allow for someone to “experience” a product are more likely to succeed. For example, Kickstart Energy Drink not only offers free samples of their new energy beverage, but also encourages students to use their Instagram account for the purpose of winning cool prizes.
If social media isn’t part of the plan, then perhaps allowing students to walk into a ‘brand environment’ is what will work. An example of this is how Coke chose to “hang out” with spring breakers on the beach in 2015. Coke had a very cool concept that really tapped into the whole experiential side of promoting a brand that everyone clearly already knows. Their set-up was comprised of an area that covered approximately 20×20. There was a slip n slide, a lounge with umbrellas, beach games, free giveaways, and of course, plenty of free ice cold coke!
CMG Media Agency has become a leader in the student marketing space and works with brands all year round to help connect them with students. CMG has overseen dozens of major brand activations and event programs over last several years with a purpose to create a fun and memorable atmosphere in which college students can react positively to. The goal is to deliver an authentic message on behalf of our clients in order to have our targeted consumer leaving with an impression that will stretch far beyond Spring Break.
To learn more about CMG Media, please visit their website at www.cmgmediaagency.com.