How brands engage college goers in India


After a year of lectures, exams and presentations, college festivals are eagerly awaited by one and all. Brands are now taking advantage of this platform to incorporate experiential marketing initiatives to connect with the young demographic. The youth is handicapped with relatively shorter attention spans, all thanks to the myriad of available options in a cluttered market. Read how brands have incorporated innovative campaigns to grab the attention of this segment in recent times-

1. Mood Indigo, IIT Bombay

Mood Indigo, better known as MoodI, is the annual cultural festival of Indian Institute of Technology Bombay. The latest edition of the event which was spread over four-days witnessed a footfall of over 88,000 students from colleges all across the country. The festival encompasses several art, music and theater competitions along with performances by celebrated Indian and International artists. The mood and emotions throughout a culturally rich event like this are extremely diverse and that is translated to the brand which is at the centre of it. The main sponsor of the 42nd edition of MoodI was Oreo and co-sponsors included Spykar and Eureka Mobile Advertising. Wild Stone, Nokia, Coca Cola and Reliance 3G were also some of brands on board. The brands had incorporated a number of innovative techniques to engage the students. Nokia had installed a photobooth and called upon students to click pictures and upload them live on their social networks. Another experiential marketing activity was conducted by the title sponsors Oreo which attempted the Guinness world record for ‘Most People Dunking Cookies’ and successfully broke the record with 1796 enthusiastic participants. The record is featured on the official Guinness World Record website as well as the Oreo India Facebook page.

2. Rendezvous, IIT Delhi

Rendezvous, which is the annual cultural festival of Indian Institute of Technology Delhi is held at the end of October every year and attracts 50,000 students from over 350 colleges across India. Pepsi, Bose, Hyundai, MTS and Nokia were some of the big names associated with the latest edition of this festival. The event was an amalgamation of culture and events including, dance, drama, fashion and art, during which these brands incorporated several engaging activities on the ground. Nokia displayed their latest range of products for students to explore and organized an impromptu fashion walk with strategic company branding around the ramp set up for the activity. Such kinds of experiential marketing initiative are targeted at the large crowd of students who are present at these events and brands aim to engage them simultaneously on a common platform.

3. Channel V Nokia India Fest

The Channel V Nokia India Fest which is held in a number of cities across the nation draws large number students from colleges throughout India. A number of competitions in categories ranging from music, dance, theater, sports and fashion, attract thousands of participants. The Facebook page of the event boats of 3.7 million likes which shows that it has widespread appeal. Initiated by Channel V, the title sponsor of the fest is Nokia with Honda, Woodland, Fogg deodorant,Moserbear and Airtel as some of its associate sponsors. As part of the promotion of its latest smartphone Nokia Lumia 1020, the brand organized a ‘Zoom In to Win’ contest at the fests in all the cities. The photographer of the winning picture was promised a ‘Nokia Golden Ticket’ to attend the grand finale of the fest which was held in Goa. Through this initiative the brand successfully engaged the students during the event and after it when the chosen pictures were uploaded on their official website and users were invited to vote. In extension to their ‘Explore More’ campaign, Woodland organized a wild card entry which invited students to capture their most adventurous video and share them to win tickets for the finale of the fest. At the event the brands offered internships, scholarships and prizes to the winners, who also stood a chance to land a career with Star India Pvt. Ltd. and be picked by Director/Producer Rohan Sippy as talent for his next movie.

4. Malhar, St. Xavier’s College Mumbai

Some of the other cultural festivals that the brands associate themselves with in order to target college students are Malhar, which is the inter-collegiate youth festival of St. Xavier’s College in Mumbai. The latest edition of the fest had BlackBerry at its main sponsor. The brand used this platform to launch its Q5 smartphone. The associate sponsors included Pepsi, Espirit, Nescafe and Reliance 3G.

5. Antaragini, IIT Kanpur

Antaragini, the annual inter-college cultural festival of IIT Kanpur attracts around 30,000 students every year. The previous season of the event had Pepsi along with other big brands including TATA Steel, VH1 and Hyundai as its sponsors. An interesting partnership was also seen with BMW as ‘Celebrity Transport Partner’ of the event.

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