St. Kate’s Activities Team Pen Promo

St. Kate’s Activities Team

One of my jobs at St. Kate’s is one the St. Kate’s Activities Team (SKAT) where I do small event planning. The St. Kate’s Activities Team is in charge of putting on events big and small. Some of the most notable St. Kate’s events we put on are Family Fun Night, Dew Drop Bop, Casino Night, and Charity Ball. We are Katies planning events for Katies. Our motto is life beyond books because we hope to create opportunities to make connections on or off campus outside of the classroom. Our brand is fun, vibrant, and inclusive.

Purple Promo Pen

In addition to marketing our individual events, SKAT always has a promotional item to promote the brand and get people talking about us. For the last three or four years we have had a pen. The pen is very simple but packs a punch. It’s purple because that is the St. Kate’s color. The clip on the pen is green and blue argyle to make it more fun and vibrant. The end of the clicker is a purple sphere with a small smiley face on it. We hand out these pens at our events and when we do tabling. People always think these pens are fun and eye catching.


purple promo pen

A New Promo Pen

Recently, we ran out of these cute purple pens, and we began a process of thinking about what we wanted to do for our next promo item. We thought about flashlights and keychains, but we decided that a pen was a good item for students and was fun so it was not just about doing homework– life beyond books. I also came up with a hashtag for our group then (#lifebeyondbooks) that we decided to put on the pen. Then we started asking ourselves if we wanted a new pen design, and this is where I think we made a big mistake. The pen that was chosen I think is not well thought out, and as much as I fought it, we only agreed to have half of the pens be the new design and half be the old purple pen design. The new pen is a white pen with some pink accents. The base design is simple, but the part I dislike is the peach sphere with a smiley face and pink feathery hair that sits on the end of the clicker. It’s not a white face or a purple face like the other pen; it is a caucasian face. To me this does not convey how inclusive the St. Kate’s Activities Team is. I do not put out these pens at the events I plan because I think they are a little offensive. I think promo items are important, especially when you are a small group and have a small budget, and this was a costly misstep.


new promo pen


One of the VERY FEW Commercials on the New go 96.3

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Never More than 3 Minutes of Commercials

I like the new go 96.3 station. The music is definitely for a young more alternative crowd. For the first month or so the station was completely commercial free, and now they tell you that you are never more than 3 minutes away from music once they go to commercial. This is appealing to me in two ways: I know when the music will be back so I won’t change stations, and I know that the commercials are going to be better because there aren’t going to be a million 411 pain commercials.

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A Local Station Supporting our Local Team

I was listening to go 96.3 this Friday afternoon, and twice while I was listening I heard ads for the Twins game tonight. Part of the appeal of this station is that it is local to the Twin Cities, so you hear Atmosphere and similar local bands more than other stations. The station still also broadcasts and supports the Minnesota Twins MLB team. The DJ advertised the go 96.3 section with food that will be at the game tonight, and there was a separate commercial just to promote the game. The information was simple and straight forward.

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Cut the Clutter

The main reason this ad is so memorable is that there is very little clutter on this station, meaning there are very few ads so those few ads pack a punch. Even on the website for go 96.3, the ads on the page are bright, concise, and meaningful. This station also knows its audience because other commercials are for local comedy clubs, upcoming concerts, and restaurants. Most ads are for local places. When you know your audience, the commercials are more memorable because they are what the listener wants to hear. As part of the target audience, I like going out and doing things in the Twin Cities. I’m sure the next time I go to a Twins game I will look for go 96.3 at the game.


Summer “Share a Coke” Campaign

I first heard about the “Share a Coke” campaign that Coca-Cola did in the summer when my friends posted pictures of their cans on Facebook. If you’re not familiar with the campaign, the “Share a Coke” campaign had cans of Coke with names on them (Hannah, Joseph…) or titles (Sister, Wingman…). People bought them for themselves or friends, posted pictures on social media, and of course enjoyed their personalized Cokes.

Not only was it a social media campaign, “Share a Coke” was international. I was in Ireland the first time I actually saw a personalized can not on social media. I don’t even drink pop, but I bought one that said Mom, Sister, and Dad for my family. When I was buying them, I had to fight through people who were also picking out their cans. This campaign must have increased sales.

What I like most about this campaign is that it isn’t just about ads. Sure there were ads like the video I put in this post, but most of the campaign was spread through word of mouth or social media. Coke made something people liked and were excited about, and the campaign advertised itself!

Another thing to like about this from a marketing side is that it is specific to you (in a way) but only for a short period of time. Even if you’re like me and your name was not on a can, you’re a Sister or a Friend, so pretty much anyone can find a can that fits them. It’s also not just an American thing. In Ireland I saw cans with things like Mate on it. People felt a sense of urgency to buy a coke with their name on it because they knew it wouldn’t be around forever. Now that the campaign is over, I know I am not alone in hoping for it to come back because it was a real day brightener.

RetailMeNot Saves Me Money!

Have you ever been shopping online and thought I wish I knew if there was a coupon out there for this? I have thought that so many times. I have no car and no cash, so online shopping is the way to go for me, but I still want to save money (especially on shipping). One time I was shopping and decided to google coupons plus the website I was shopping on. The first site that came up was RetailMeNot. I clicked on it and found it to be really helpful. RetailMeNot is basically a database of coupons for various stores and websites. I use it all the time when I shop now! Which is probably about once a week or more.Screen Shot 2015-03-13 at 10.51.35 AM

So let’s say I’m shopping on the J. Crew website, and I add a few things to my cart that I like. Then I go to RetailMeNot and search J. Crew in the search bar at the top. RetailMeNot recognizes J. Crew so I can go to a page just for J. Crew.

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Now I know that I can get 25% off full priced items 30% off sale, and it tells me if I need to use a coupon code or not. It also says that some sale items are 50% off, which is not clearly stated on the J. Crew website. I also know if the discount will work because I see how many people have used each discount today, when the discount expires, and when RetailMeNot last verified the discount. It makes it so easy to save money.

I’ve also used RetailMeNot to get discounts on food delivery online. They have a lot of different coupons for things online or in stores. You can either search for a specific store or look through the coupons they recommend. As a poor college student this website has really helped me save money. I think most people want to save money and RetailMeNot helps people find out about discounts. I find the site very easy to use, and now they also have an app! RetailMeNot is so easy to use and saves me money on so many sites, so I can continue my shopping addiction on a college student budget!

A New Opinion of Vans

unnamed (1)Recently, I was reading a magazine before getting my nails done, and I was looking at some of the new spring styles that the magazine was showing. Then I saw this add for Vans. I have always sort of liked Vans but didn’t think they suited my preppy personality. It seemed to me like only people who could skateboard or were “alternative” wore Vans, and I was neither. This add has since changed my mind about these slip on staples.

The words of the ad are very affirming. “It’s ok. We can’t skateboard either.” Even I can wear Vans and not look ridiculous! Vans are for everyone, and the phrase does a good job of reminding me of the skateboard brand, changing my idea, and saying it is so much more. The logo for Vans is still a skateboard shape, so they still are the shoe for skateboarders. This ad shows how the brand has evolved to be a good shoe for other people as well, like the people reading this magazine.

I think the shoe they chose for this ad was perfect too. It is recognizably the Vans slip on shape, but it’s in a fun pink color that appeals to the female reader. Interested in these shoes, I looked on the Vans website and found shoes that fit my style and lifestyle. These chambray lace up casual flats are my kind of Vans.

Vans has certainly done a good job of rebranding in the last few years to be more than just a skater shoe. Overall this ad does a good job of showing that through the image and text. It was perfect for me, the non-skating audience, so much so that I went online and looked at more Vans. I may have to buy the pair that I found!

A Backpack to Love and Last

My Vera Bradley laptop backpack was at the top of my Christmas list a few years ago. I saw my sister’s friends with a lot of Vera Bradley stuff, and I had to have it
unnamed-3too. I loved the Mocha Rouge pattern, and my tired target backpack needed to go. It was my step into nicer things as I moved toward high school. I displayed my love for school and learning but in a cool preppy way. My mom paid a lot of money for it at the time, and it has become a long-term investment. Now as a sophomore in college, it still fits my lifestyle and my personality.

My mom was worried that it wouldn’t be big enough, but I learned that the main pocket expands to be pretty big. I have stretched it to the max with Math and History textbooks and notebooks and folders and all sorts of school supplies. Even when I thought it was so tight, the zipper closed and has never broken. When I only have a few things in the pocket, it is very compact, so I can find many uses for this backpack.

The laptop pocket is probably the coolest pocket though. It’s behind the main pocket on the side. I can easily slide my laptop in there and know it is safe. It is strapped in the velcro and has lots of padding all around. When I first got the backpack, I didn’t have a laptop, but since it has lasted me so long, I am able to use it for my college laptop. It even matched my computer case!

The small pockets in front are always useful too. Sometimes I don’t want to carry a purse around campus, and I know I can always find things in those pockets. They are the perfect spot for pens as well. There is also a clear pocket that I keep my business cards in to give to people. The small pockets keep me organized, so I can focus on other things and not worry about losing my pens or keys.

The color and pattern of the bag have stayed true to my personality over the years. The classic brown and pink floral pattern keeps me feeling young but still looks college sophisticated. I am a very preppy girl, and I wouldn’t have wanted a different pattern. Even in her forties, my mom liked the pattern so much that she got a similar suitcase.

The best part about this backpack by far is how long it has lasted. It has been about six years now, and there is very little wear and tear. I have no doubt this backpack will last through my next two years of college.

I found about this backpack by seeing similar Vera Bradley items and looking at them online. Vera Bradley is very recognizable and has a great website to help you find that print you like. I get regular emails from Vera Bradley as a regular customer, and when they opened a new store in the area I got an email inviting me to come in to their new location. Vera Bradley also has a good social media presence with #VeraBradley and an account on Twitter. I think more could be done on Instagram. I am definitely one of those people who follows stores and stylists that I like and click on the links to buy those things. Maybe I will find my next backpack on social media.

Microsoft is Empowering

I did not watch the Super Bowl this year, but I looked at ads later online and found this Microsoft ad to be particularly empowering. This ad shows Microsoft technology that helps people’s lives, such as the little boy in the video. You see the technology in understandable human terms. I think it does a good job branding because you don’t think about your day to day issues with Microsoft like my paper didn’t save, my slide transitions didn’t work, and I can’t go from a PC to a MAC easily. You have a positive association with the brand, and maybe when you think about buying Microsoft later you’ll think about your money going toward life altering technology for people like the little boy.