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Don’t Let Your Future Scare You: Adventures in Social Media and Experiential Marketing

Name: Tony Botelho

Organization: Simon Fraser University Career Services (Burnaby, BC)

Summary: We can’t change public perceptions without first getting attention. So to build widespread awareness, we propose a series of experiential marketing campaigns with strong viral social media aspects. Activities combine promotion with education. Our ‘Don’t Let Your Future Scare You’ stunt will create an initial buzz nationwide. Subsequent campaigns will further enhance visibility and spark dialogue.

Project Description:

A) Awareness

As Phase 1 of a larger strategy, SFU’s ‘Don’t Let Your Future Scare You’ stunt targeting post-secondary students (view: goo.gl/d6cCQz) can be replicated at institutions across Canada. SFU will provide support to ensure success and a quick turnaround of 2-4 weeks. Possible partner: Canadian Association of Career Educators and Employers (CACEE). Successive experiential campaigns, such as interactive events, will target broader audiences. View example approaches by ‘My Loud Speaker,’ a marketing firm and possible partner: sfu.ca/career/ceric

B) Education

Other key elements are the supporting education and interactions with career practitioners, which can be accomplished through parallel activities (possibly other submissions). E.g. Following SFU’s prank, Career Advisors chatted with students to provide relevant information, and the video included links to key resources. Similarly, all activities will have built-in support, and videos can direct people to a CERIC portal.          

Perceived Impact: At the crux of this perception gap is a need to build widespread public awareness. By connecting with people in memorable ways, these campaigns are a catalyst for sparking interest in who we are and what we do. As some might say, we’re supporting behaviour change by moving people from ‘pre-contemplation’ towards ‘contemplation, preparation and action’ (DiClemente et al., 1991).

Viral social campaigns can deliver unparalleled reach and position us as game changers. SFU’s video alone has over 10,000 views, which speaks to the larger opportunities to engage Canadians coast to coast.

6 Responses

  • 1

    Well said, Tony.

    An idea that focuses on attention-getting and sensationalism will definitely stand out – I love how you back it up with a robust and supportive framework of education.

    Nicely done, SFU Team!

    • 2

      Thanks for the kind words and validation, Mr Horn. We’ve already witnessed a lot of benefits from these approaches and we’d love to see if they could be used more broadly.

  • 1

    I love this video! Using humor to get a message across makes the message stick. Now… how does one actually vote on this site?