The Advertising Amateur

learning to communicate with images

Spring Break!: A Plethora of Advertising

February 28, 2013 by tsarain · 4 Comments · Uncategorized

Spring break is just around the corner!

As a college student, I can already feel the excitement among the student body at school. Everyone seems to be getting last minute papers, presentations, assignments and interviews done like machines. The idea of finally getting sleep, being able to relax and get some sun is what pulls us through.

While  we’re hitting the books for the last few weeks of school, marketers and brands are working hard for spring break too!

Spring break is like a holiday for brands, because its an opportunity for them to reach large masses of college students (consumers :P).

While this is a great opportunity for marketers and brands, there’s still a challenge for each and every one of them: penetrate the clutter of advertising that is spring break.

In the past, advertising for spring break was done the good old fashion way. Brands would set up tables and tents and handout free samples.

In our new world of Web 2.0, social media, smart gadgets and tablets, college students aren’t responsive to traditional advertisements and strategies.

I feel like this is because college students now were  born into the developing age of technology and aren’t responsive to how advertising is done on webpages on the internet, mobile devices and even commercials on the radio. College students can recognize traditional advertisement forms and styles and automatically are programmed to ignore it. This happens because they’ve already been exposed to similar advertisements over and over again to where sometimes it’s almost like we don’t notice them anymore!

This is where the present day solution for brands and marketers come in. The “trick” is to connect with college students in nontraditional ways, duh!

Creating advertisement campaigns that are experiential and engaging is the answer.

Instead of having ads that just give information through plain words, images, and free samples, marketers are welcoming spring breakers to engage in their advertising. To have engagement means getting consumers to participate in activities planned by brands and giving them opportunity to give feedback ALL while getting the free samples still! This gives college students the ability to learn more about new products through having interaction and a great experience with a brand. I don’t know about you, but when I’m on vacation whether it be christmas break, summer break, spring break, etc. time seems to go by slower because vacations are a time to chill out and relax. Marketers know this and that’s mainly why they come out to the sand and water to play during spring break. It’s a chill, fun, relaxing time that students tend to be more receptive to advertising.

I found a perfect example reading this headline of an experiential and engaging strategy used for this spring break!

In the wonderful city of Austin, TX  is my university (St. Ed’s) and… SXSW!

SXSW is an annual music, film, and interactive conference held every year during spring break. This year, Doritos is literally “setting the stage” with a stage that looks like a giant vending machine where performances and concerts are to be held.

What makes this vending machine stage special, is not only the fact that it looks like a huge snack machine full of Doritos, but apparently attendees can control visuals from the stage, vote for performances, and connect via twitter. Sounds very interactive and engaging to me!


Unfortunately, I won’t be able to witness this huge vending machine stage along with all the SXSW goodness… but I am going back home to The Rio Grande Valley. I’ll be spending a a part of my spring break at South Padre Island for the annual Ultimate Music Experience featuring the best and brightest of electronic music with DJ’s like Calvin Harris, Flux Pavillion, Major Lazer and of course Tiesto.

I’ll be sure to keep my eyes peeled for all the engaging advertisements by brands that will be on South Padre Island–that is, if my skin doesn’t burn and peel first!

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4 Comments so far ↓

  • abehara

    You are right, spring break here in Austin with SXSW in town is filled with advertising campaigns. From snacks and food, to liquors and beer, to television shows – these are all the type of advertising I have seen so far. I have even seen several banners flown by planes just today alone. And I don’t even have a badge to the event! SXSW is a great opportunity for marketers to reach a diverse audience and residents of Austin.

    • tsarain

      YES! I’m sure Austin was filled with campaigns during SXSW. I saw the huge vending machine stage used for SXSW from the highway when I was leaving home for spring break! So I could only imagine everything else.
      Do you ever look at the busses in the city? They usually have some sort of advertisement displayed all over them and they usually change. I’ve always wondered about who changes them, and how they go about it. It’s probably handled by Capital Metro, but during the week of Spring Break, I definitely noticed the Ads on the busses to be bigger, more colorful, and they pretty much covered the whole thing to where they didn’t even look like city busses anymore! 🙂

  • Mia Huey

    I definitely agree with your statement that companies and brands are having to find new and innovative ways of reaching college students since we really have already seen it all. I didn’t get a chance to really look at any of the ad campaigns put on during SXSW but something I did notice was the marketing for the movie Spring Breakers. I thought it was a clever campaign put on the way that the imagery of the bikinis and machine guns were used. Even if the movie itself was terrible. Haha.

    • tsarain

      Thanks for agreeing! We have seen it all. I’ve seen commercials for Spring Breakers 🙂 and I’ve seen the bikinis and machine guns too! You’re not the first to tell me that it was terrible, which is kind of a let down, but at least the marketing is good and entertaining 😛 . I think what markets the film is the actors in it. James Franco, Selena Gomez, and Vanessa Hudgens are well known, so naturally their fans will go and watch it. Even if it’s a terrible film, at least the marketers are doing their job, and persuading the audience to buy movie tickets.

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