When offering promotions, retailers usually focus on how they can draw in the majority of their customers. But, in the case of college stores, that means some students’ interests or activities aren’t often represented. So, this year, Morehead State University Bookstore decided to make an extra effort to focus their attention on the various disciplines within their campus. They recently launched the first in a series of activities aimed at getting involved with departments who may not be marketed to regularly with the Fall 2013 Eagle Face-Off Student Makeup Competition.
“A lot of our marketing initiatives are geared toward sororities, fraternities and other socially active groups and that’s great because they’re such a large population on our campus,” explained Rebecca Holbrook, merchandise manager. “But, we really want to bring some PR to other groups as well by sponsoring more activities and building traditions with those students.”
Holbrook, who graduated with a degree in theater from Morehead State, got the ball rolling with one of her former classmates, Denise Watkins.
“She’s a professor in the Theater department now and teaches a course on theatrical and media makeup design and application,” she explained. “When our director, Cheryl Farmer, and I brought the idea of a contest up to her, she was on board right away.”
Modeled after the costume makeup show FACEOFF on the SyFy channel, the store challenged students currently enrolled in Watkins class to create their own original interpretation of the school’s mascot, Beaker, in a timed competition. Participants could prep their hair and any prosthetics they planned to use ahead of time; however, they had to complete all application within the 45 minute time frame.
“Denise even built the competition into her class as an assignment,” Holbrook added. “Students were really excited; they definitely got into it!” A crowd of nearly 30 other theater students and several faculty members gathered to watch the class of 15 compete.
“It was a more intimate crowd, which was nice,” she described. “The participants were free to create their own interpretation of an eagle, and we were all eager to see what they came up with.”
The competitors didn’t disappoint; everyone in attendance was amazed by the intricate and unique results.
“Many of them had really great explanations about why they chose the look that they did,” Holbrook explained. “
It was interesting because you got a very insightful glimpse into their thought process.” Although all of the attendees were awarded $10 gift certificates for their participation, a panel of three judges narrowed the group down to four finalists.
“We were supposed to have a top three, but they were all so good, we decided we had to have four,” she said.
The store then left the decision up to their fans. They posted pictures to their Facebook and Twitter pages, giving fans and followers the chance to vote for their favorite entry. The winners will receive gift cards in varying amounts, starting with the first place prize of $100.
“In less than 24 hours, we generated over 3000 views, 400 votes and counting!” Holbrook added. “It’s been such a great way for us to not only get to know students that we don’t typically come in contact with, but also to generate some exposure for their program. We’re already brainstorming our next contest, which will focus on the art department.”
In the meantime, Holbrook encourages everyone to check out their entries and vote for their favorite. “We’ll take all the votes we can get!” she said.