It isn’t the easiest thing in the world to rally college students around something they can’t drink or eat, but how about finding a cause to mix in. That was key as the renegade brand Marc Ecko found a way to take campus ambassadors, a product launch, a viral cause call to action, and some free stuff to score points with millennials during college football season.
Campus Solutions , the country’s largest and most innovative college marketing agency, joined with Parlux Ltd. to promote the US launch of Ecko Unltd. 72—described as a fresh, bold fragrance for men. The campaign included a tour of 11 college campuses, where football-tailgating events featured heavily into promotional efforts during Homecoming weeks. Participating universities included: University of Central Florida, Florida International University, University of Florida, University of Texas Austin, Florida State University, University of Miami, University of San Antonio and Texas A&M. The promotion had a strong social media presence in addition to the on-campus events, where Ecko Unltd. 72 brand ambassadors gave out samples of the new fragrance.
The Ecko Unltd. brand had a goal to successfully fuse music, design, street wear, illustration, video games, sports and more together to catch the young male consumer, and probably that of his gift-giving female admirer as well, and the mix of college football Saturdays big and small made sense.
With college students estimated to spend more than $21.5 billion on food and beverage in one year alone, as well as $21 billion on technology; $10.5 billion on entertainment; $6.5 billion on footwear and apparel; and $6 billion on health and beauty, Ecko Unltd. carefully picked its fall activation point. Campus Solutions has relationships with more than 1,000 universities, student unions and fraternal organizations across the country with clients from the Fortune 500 to upstart brands, so the engagement platform made sense.
Still, how to get the fans away from a drink or two and some food on a fall weekend, especially without a traditional engagement in stadium. Play the cause marketing angle as a draw. Ecko Unltd. is known for its funky logo that includes a cute rhinoceros, so use the logo, and a call to action to support the Rhino, to get attention and create conversation. Now this is not to say there was a huge play for wildlife here; end of the day it was about enhancing a fragrance business. However with tee-shirts and social set up around a “Support the Rhino” theme, the casual consumer in the parking lot was intrigued and engaged, and seeing that the promo was fun, and of course free, the engagement cut through the traditional clutter in and around parking lots on a football Saturday. Was it a bit of a stretch? Sure, but then again that’s what the irreverent brand is known for, and it backed it up by being creative and tongue in cheek. The result was large social engagement, some great viral images, and a low cost seeding of product for an engaged consume base.
Smart and well thought out Ecko, with the support of a college activation company that knows its stuff.