Christian Borges is the VP of Marketing at Mr. Youth, the agency known for its innovation, fresh thinking, and awesome atmosphere. He’s spent a good chunk of his career immersed in the world of communications and experiential marketing, creating cutting-edge strategies that engage consumes both online and in the physical world. His resume boasts names such as Deep Focus, Weber Shandwick, Ogilvy PR, and Fleishman-Hillard, and we couldn’t be more pleased to have him as part of our SMW NYC Advisory Board.
During SMW12, Christian and his colleague David Yarus, Marketing Manager, are hosting The New College Orientation: How Social Media Has Revolutionized Back-to-School. This not-to-be-missed event at IAB‘s NYC Headquarters will take participants back to their glory days, leading them through the world of those first magical days of university life. Their format is such an interesting take on the freshman experience, we had to learn more.
Tell us more about your event!
We’ve been studying the impact of Social Media on the college consumer for years, and this year we’re revealing some of our most powerful findings to date. Essentially, back-to-school and the college orientation experience has changed dramatically as a result of social media. As soon as students receive acceptance letters in March, they immediately turn to Facebook and create online communities with their incoming class. These hyper-active communities are transforming what was once a week-long orientation in August into an extended journey, where students connect with one another and gather important information online.
By studying the conversations and overall activity across two hundred of the largest Class-of-2015 Facebook communities, we have decoded the back-to-school experience post-by-post. Our analysis reveals an unprecedented understanding of the journey through the lens, lives, and keystrokes of the students themselves. Our event features an immersive sensory experience and in-depth conversation around the findings of this study.
What inspired you?
We wanted to move away from the typical panel and create something exciting for SMW NYC attendees. We challenged ourselves to break out of the mold and change the game. By collaborating with the IAB and students from around the world, we’ve developed an even that brings the modern back-to-school journey to life.
How many students helped you with your concept?
Ten students from around the globe met weekly for the past month through Google+ Hangouts to collaborate and concept the various builds. There are eight core conversations woven through the six month journey and our team of student creatives developed each conversation into an installation piece. That said, since this data was collected from over 54,000 threads written by over 50,000 students, we’d like to think they helped develop the concept as well.
How has school orientation changed?
Graduating high school represents one of the most formative moments of these students lives. After living under the authority of their parents, students are finally the drivers of their own car: decisions, lifestyle, and their future is up to them. When transitioning to college, students are given the opportunity to redefine who they are and can reshape the identity and reputation they’ve previously developed.
Whether this is for the better or worse is hard to say, but one thing is for certain, as soon as they arrive at school these students are free to make entirely independent purchasing decisions. They form buying patterns and brand loyalties they’ll take with them throughout life. This presents brand marketers an incredible opportunity to add value to the back-to-school journey and maintain relevance to students at the most important time in their lives.
How is the modern high school graduate student unique?
These students grew up on Facebook (since Grade 7)! They tweet, type, and text in the blink of an eye. The world has always been at their fingertips. They don’t want your logo plastered across their chest, they pride themselves on individuality. They demand authenticity and they’re immune to ad-speak. They do their homework while watching TV, chatting online, texting, and playing Words With Friends — all at the same time. Social media is part of their DNA. The question isn’t how is the modern high school student unique, but rather what elements of our own “outdated high school experience” is still applicable today?
Register online for The New College Orientation: How Social Media Has Revolutionized Back-to-School, or send a tweet to Christian or David for more information.