The Tourist Development Council approved moving forward with MTVu for promoting Spring Break 2009. I guess at this point, it is too late to “go back to the drawing board.”
Here is the evolution of how it all went down.
The original MTVu proposal included a 10 day village with 8 concerts over 4 days, 300 30 second TV ad spots, 10 million online impressions, a database by which to collect user contact info (mobile numbers, email addresses, etc.), and a few more things.
The whole proposal was discussed during a marketing committee meeting and overall a motion was made to approve moving forward, but with the stipulation that the TDC wanted the price to be lowered to $200,000 (stemmed from what some believe as an effort to come up with less co-op money).
When MTVu heard about this, they weren’t that happy and came back with a proposal that was just more than half of their initial proposal for 20% less money. Of course, that wasn’t gonna work for the TDC. After calming MTVu down, Dan Rowe, et.al. was able to negotiate 250 30 second TV ad spots, 10 million online impressions, database collection, a 10 campus kick-off tour featuring Panama City Beach as a spring break vacation destination, featured premium placement on the MTVu hub page (what does that mean??), and a link back to the micro site (from where???).
Dan explained that some of the benefits of working with MTVu include that they are regulated by the FCC, they have a brand to protect, that they do NOT advertising any alcoholic products, will not publish any film/pictures of alcoholic related activity or drunk students, and that they are good for our image and our initiative to vacation responsibility.
The board stressed their desire to not spend more than $150,000, and that the rest MUST come from co-op sponsors. Staff (Dan and co.) have so far received commitments for co-op in the amount of $50,500 and anticipates that number to grow as we come closer to spring break. All additional funds generated will go first to operational costs associated (costs can be up to $90,000 above and beyond the $150,000 – someone correct me if I’m wrong here), then go to paying the TDC back for the initial $150,000 investment.
This year, compared to last year, there are actually three categories for co-op sponsors:
- Lodging – hotels, condos, resorts, etc.
- There will be two levels of sponsorship opportunities, premium and all the others. Premium will be limited to 6 advertisers and will have premium placement on the main lodging page, and all the others will be on a page linked to through an “all offers”, or “all other offers” text or graphic link from the main lodging page.
- Food/entertainment – restaurants, bars, clubs, etc. For this category, there are unlimited opportunities available, for premium and otherwise. The premium sponsors will have the opportunity to have their specials, etc. broadcasted to the TDC database via text messages (that is supposed to be geo-targeted).
- Retail/attractions – the new element (can’t beleive this never existed before), includes retails stores or services such as Victoria Secrets or California Cycles. This category will have the same premium “text message” opportunity as the food/entertainment category.
There are a lot of cool things that can be done with text messaging marketing. I’m not sure the geo-targeting aspects are all they are cracked up to be as they require to user to have an application up and running on their phone in order to receive messages, and I’m not sure that students will be walking around with their phones open and an app running, or if they’d even start the app in the first place.
Also, with doing just plain text message advertisements are still limited to 160 characters per messasge, which can get used up pretty quick.
Can this be done without MTVu, I’m sure of it. However, at this point, what are the alternatives? I don’t know, and neither does the TDC. I’m sure they would be open to suggestions of anyone that could come in, set up a whole online marketing campaign with millions of impressions, put on a fairly large scale show with several concerts, incorporating a variety of web and tv posibilities and do it all for a package price. Anyone?Print Story