The Post-it Brand Tweet Machine, which looked like a vending machine, dispensed sample packs of Post-it Notes to students who tweeted how they use the sticky notes.
“It’s a demographic we haven’t maybe spent as much time on in the past,” says Erin Craven-Patrick, 3M Canada’s director of marketing.
But, 3M now recognizes it can build awareness with students in a way that bridges their analog and digital worlds, she says.
The campaign, considered a pilot project, ran from late August to early October at Western University, Fanshawe College, Wilfrid Laurier University, Brock University, Queen’s University and University of Ottawa.
The Tweet Machine spent nine days at each campus. Students were encouraged to leave messages written on Post-it Notes at a live wall next to the machine.
“It gave us the opportunity for students to share how they use Post-it Notes to stay organized,” Craven-Patrick says. “Students told us over and over again that they use Post-it Notes heavily for studying and for exam prep.”
Participating students also received coupons worth $2 off any Post-it products worth $10 or redeemable at campus bookstores. Post-it Notes products retail from $2.99 to $20.
On-site student “ambassadors” encouraged participation and provided samples to students who are not on Twitter.
Digital marketing was used to promote 3M Canada’s campus visits to students because “that’s where they live,” Craven-Patrick says. Geo-targeted tweets were sent two weeks prior to each campus event.
Craven-Patrick says the campaign exceeded 3M’s interactions goal by more than 1.5 times, with more than 4,000 tweets and samples given out. It also received well over 2 million impressions, four times more than the goal, Craven-Patrick says.
There was also a strong engagement with Twitter with a 37% increase in followers for 3M Canada. There was no drop-off in followers after the event, which “is really great,” she says. “These are students now that we continue to engage with.”
3M Canada is exploring whether the Tweet Machine will appear on other campuses next year, Craven-Patrick says.
Hill+Knowlton Strategies is 3M Canada’s PR agency of record and conducted media relations for the Tweet Machine campaign, while Intercept Group led the campaign’s execution.