A Spring Break Crash Course on Experiential Marketing
Spring Break is more than just red solo cups and college students frolicking around beach towns. Despite the hard partying connotation, this “holiday” of sorts is a huge opportunity for marketers to connect with millennials and remain relevant to their audience. And the millennials are an important audience for you to capture this spring! In 2009, the college market was responsible for more than $175 billion a year in consumer spending and students have only continued to grow as a source of purchasing power in the years that followed. Spring Break is the perfect time to wrangle in these younger purchasers since they gather in travel hot spots to party with their friends.
So how are the biggest brands utilizing this marketing opportunity? It turns out Spring Break marketing isn’t necessarily about generating revenue directly surrounding Spring Break, but more about becoming a part of the fun college students are having. Experiential marketing is a standout tactic that has brought brands like Hollister and Axe huge successes. Experiential marketing is targeted marketing that encourages the participant to interact with your brand and entices them to share their experience on social media. Let’s check out some examples of awesome Spring Break experiential campaigns to get an idea.
To ensure their brand remained top of mind for Spring Breakers, Axe Body Spray set up tents and a variety of obstacle-course style games to attract the beach partiers. They continued their experiential campaign off the beach by partnering with popular hotels and sponsoring branded items like soap and pillowcases.
You can take a leaf from Axe’s playbook and organize games to entice the millennial spring breakers to interact with your brand. Even if you can’t make a physical presence at a spring break hot spot, try to incorporate gamification into your campaign at any level to help create an experience that recipients will want to share!
Hollister jumped on the Spring Break marketing wagon this year and utilized one of the most popular forms of social media, Snapchat, to create a collaborative campaign with their followers. Instead of having a physical presence at the popular party locations, Hollister crafted a sponsored Snapchat story that featured snaps they’d produced following a narrative of two buddies fighting over the same girl. In between their content, they published user-generated content from party locations around the globe.
This approach helped Spring Breakers feel like Hollister had a presence at all the popular locations. You can take this idea and run a user-generated campaign this Spring Break that encourages them to share their fun and interact with your brand. They’ll create memories of your product and associate it with their fun vacation! Use social media to invite followers to share their fun and come up with some branded hashtags to collect all the free content your followers will produce for you.
Whether your budget allows you to set up a physical campaign like Axe, or if a digital campaign like Hollister’s is more in your price range, be sure to plan something for this Spring Break and avoid missing out on this huge opportunity to connect with millennials. Snagging a portion of their loyalty and spending for your brand will pay out year round, and creating shareable experiences is a great way to grab their attention this Spring Break.