College ambassador programs have worked wonders as a tool for several marketers, and JetBlue hopes its new initiative will follow suit.
JetBlue recently hired a team of 19 student ambassadors, known as CrewBlue, from Boston area colleges and universities to promote JetBlue through a variety of guerilla marketing tactics, events and word of mouth activities on their respective campuses. Marketing activities will focus on educating students on the benefits of flying JetBlue and on the 10 destinations flown nonstop daily? from Boston’s Logan International Airport.
“Much of our brand has been built on word of mouth story telling and that is a very important tool for us,” JetBlue spokesman Brandon Hamm said. “We know students look for value when traveling and many have experienced JetBlue before. We know that the students will be our number one ‘marketers’ of our brand by just sharing their own JetBlue story.”
The airline will give CrewBlue a variety of resources to creatively bring the JetBlue brand to its campus, including guerilla tactics like street chalking, posters and flyers.
The student ambassadors will help host events on their campuses in partnership with local student groups or establishments. Events will serve to educate students on a particular destinations that JetBlue flies to out of Boston. Events will also feature the airline’s signature Terra Blue potato chips, premium giveaways and chances to win free travel on JetBlue.
JetBlue’s Airstream mobile marketing vehicle, BlueBetty, will be make its rounds on Boston campuses this fall allowing students to hop on board and experience JetBlue travel first hand, according to the company.
CrewBlue will also distribute a pocket sized guide called “The Lil’ Blue Book” at its events. The travel planning guides tell the target audience where to eat, hang out and what to see at JetBlue destination cities.
Boston is an important student market because there are more than 80 colleges and universities in the region, the company says, adding that research shows that one in five people who live in the city are either students or employees at a college, Hamm said.
The New York-based agency Mr. Youth is handling the program despite the firm’s Big Apple roots. Co-founders Matt Bitton and Paul Tedeschi both founded marketing companies targeting college students in the 1990s while they were enrolled at Boston University.
College ambassador programs have worked well for brands like Cartoon Network, which uses them on 30 college campuses to educate students about its late-night Adult Swim lineup, says the cable network. In the program, student reps host viewing parties off-campus at bars or restaurants and in some cases on-campus. Some of the party-goers are diehard fans of Adult Swim shows like Family Guy and Aqua Teen Hunger Force, but most are not familiar with the block.
Adult Swim is a popular hangout for students. Its shows are regularly among the top-rated on cable among the age group, according to Nielsen Media Research. Family Guy has proven to be a breakout hit as it has often earned larger ratings than broadcast television shows in the same time slot.