During campus tours the admissions staff often encourages prospective students to make use of all their senses – whether it is to taste the food, hear from staff and faculty, touch lucky statues, see the beautiful quads, or smell the freshly cut grass on the campus lawns. Now, colleges are trying to take these to another platform and see how many of those senses they can fit into a different marketing tactic- their mailings.
Many colleges use glossy brochures filled with pictures of laughing students studying, residence hall rooms neatly decorated, or crowds cheering at sporting events in order to evoke interest and applications. Now, one college is going beyond just the see sense and attempting to use the smell sense in their brochures and touch in an accompanying gift of purple cotton gloves and moisturizing cream.
A recent post in the Chronicle of Higher Education, explains that to attract student’s attention Agnes Scott College is using a scented brochure to send to their accepted applicants. The article explains that the idea is to convey the experience of strolling through campus, especially for those students who have not yet had a chance to visit. They are also sending gloves and moisturizing lotion developed by an alumna in hopes to set themselves apart from other colleges and universities.
Creative marketing campaigns are not new to college admissions but it is always interesting to see new strategies. Prospective students face the challenge of sorting through all of the brochures and emails and figuring out which college best suits them. In some cases, these strategies may be appealing and for others they may not mean much. No matter what, as you consider a college make sure you are choosing it for the right reasons. Don’t let one marketing tactic sway you over the other pieces that are important such as their academic and social fit.
However, keep in mind that it is okay to have a little fun along the way and maybe stop to smell the roses (literally) in a college brochure.
image credit: http://tech.dcboces.org/~oneill/fivesenses.html