Lily and I entered our Bronco Bookstore campaign titled, “Grad Fair Games 2011” into the NACS Cool Ideas Contest. The winning entry will receive $1,000 to use toward future marketing campaigns.
We chose to enter this campaign because it was particularly something new for us and unique from other campaigns we’ve done in the past. We used social media to promote it, but the campaign itself consisted of various forms of guerrilla marketing and live events.
We’re just finishing the final plans for our 2nd annual Grad Fair Games coming later this April. Until then, take a look at our Cool Ideas Contest entry below that was written by both Lily and myself.
Purpose: One of Bronco Bookstore’s ongoing hurdles in recent years has been generating awareness for Grad Fair. In previous years, some of our students have often overlooked traditional forms of marketing such as print advertising and e-mail blasts, which led them to miss Grad Fair altogether.To overcome this obstacle, Bronco Bookstore took a different approach from traditional marketing to promote Grad Fair 2011 and truly celebrated the “learn by doing” spirit of Cal Poly Pomona.The Grad Fair Games was created to raise awareness for our 2-day Grad Fair by enticing upcoming graduates through participative activities weeks before the big event. The series of hands-on events consisted of two games, along with a guerilla push through our “Grad Walkers.”Our first game, “Sash Shuffle,” invited students to register teams of two through Bronco Bookstore’s Facebook Page. Teams were then pitted against each other on game day with the objective of transferring a graduation sash between each teammate’s shoulders (without the use of hands) in the fastest time. The game was formatted in a tournament style rewarding the winning team with a pair of graduation sashes.The second game was called, “Tassel Tossers.” Students were given a shot at tossing a tassel into a graduation cap. Landing a tassel into the cap would reward the student with a 2011 graduation tassel.Additionally, our “Grad Walkers” guerilla push complimented the Grad Fair Games and directly connected with upcoming graduates about Grad Fair 2011. Bookstore employees, fully dressed in commencement attire, strolled around campus during peak hours in high density areas wearing their cap and gown to hand out flyers and directly communicate with students about Grad Fair 2011.How Idea Was Successful: The Grad Fair Games strengthened awareness by having students participate first-hand in memorable activities leading up to Grad Fair 2011. This untraditional marketing push ultimately translated to an increase in sales figures.Students stopped and observed as participants frantically (and creatively) transferred the graduation sash.Cheers and groans were heard from the observing crowds as participants scored or barely missed a tassel shot.Additionally, the “Grad Walkers” drew in a lot of attention, as it was unusual to see students walking amongst the crowds dressed in a cap and gown a whole two months before commencement. Curious students who approached our “Grad Walkers” got to ask questions and learn more about Grad Fair by speaking with an employee one-on-one.It was this type of unique attention that generated enormous amounts of increased awareness for Grad Fair 2011. This boost of awareness led to a substantial increase in traffic during both days of the event. Our Grad Fair exclusive merchandise pack completely sold out and sales saw an average increase of 22% over the previous year in all areas.