Marketing students were recently put through the paces of creating an advertising campaign and protective packaging for in-class projects with real-world impact.
Honors students in the College of Business put guerrilla-marketing tactics to work to create an on-campus buzz around smoking cessation. Thanks to a $5,250 grant from the North Carolina Health and Wellness Trust Fund, the group had a chance to define a strategy and launch a marketing campaign targeting classmates.
Under the direction of assistant professor Jay Schafer, students worked with a Charlotte marketing research firm to conduct focus groups, and an ad agency to create signage for the campaign. Book bag buttons with an insignia that read "IM . . . RU?" were worn by non-smokers and kept the initiative highly visible. A student campus prize patrol handed out more than 120 gifts to those wearing the buttons who were able to answer the question of the week regarding smoking. Prizes included iPods and a variety of gift certificates for restaurants and stores frequented by students.
"This was a great way to experience real marketing and better prepare us for a career after college," said Donald Rouse, a senior marketing major.
An Internet blog encouraged student involvement and included helpful non-smoking facts and articles as well as photos and progress of the campaign.