6 Branding Moments for Spring Break Marketing

6 Branding Moments for Spring Break Marketing

BY Lindsey Champitto

Spring Break is one of the largest and most anticipated events of the school year. It’s also a marketer’s dream—it’s one of the few instances where hundreds of thousands of college students flock to a handful of Spring Break destinations throughout the United States and Mexico. The students who travel to Spring Break are influencers back on campus and online, and this presents an incredible opportunity for brands to reach Gen-Zs via Spring Break marketing.

Formulating an effective branding strategy that breaks through the clutter of Spring Break can be challenging, but when done correctly, can result in a gaining the attention of the collegiate market. With 20+ years of Spring Break marketing experience, we have narrowed down the seven best branding moments.

Interior and Exterior Hotel Branding

As more and more brands join in on branding a Spring Break experience, it can be tough to break through the noise and make a memorable experience. One solution is the use of interior and exterior hotel branding. This allows your brand to be the very first thing that the students see when arriving. By incorporated your brand in every aspect of their trip, you increase the chance of a student recalling your brand long after Spring Break. Some of our favorite hotel branding opportunities include flags, elevator wraps, beach chairs, kabanas, and buses.

In-Room Branding and Product Placement

A student’s hotel room on Spring Break is their hideaway from the madness. This also makes it a great branding space as students will be more receptive to your brand with less outside factors competing for their attention. Ways to incorporate your brand into hotel rooms include key cards, linens, toiletries, mirror clings, beach bags, and hotel TV channel takeovers.

Daytime Beach & Pool

Hello Sunshine! The majority of a student’s Spring Break consists of daytime activities at the beach and pool. Although sunbathing on the beach for hours sounds like a dream, it is not enough to entertain energetic Millennials and Gen-Z students on Spring Break. Instead, they’ll be looking for activities to partake in such as interactive stage contests and games. Offering Spring Breakers brand performances, volleyball, or cornhole allows your brand to be apart of the action.

Additionally, these students want to be the envy of their friends back home. They’ll be capturing and posting to social media the whole time. Correctly branding items will allow for you to be featured in these moments. Better yet, if students are successfully entertained, they’ll likely include your activation into their plans for the week.

Beach Street Teams

Hosting back-to-back beach or pool parties can be expensive and repetitive. Instead of waiting for students to come to you, try guerilla marketing! This allows your brand to create a more personal connection with students. Have a team of brand representatives hit the beach with promo items or travel-sized product to distribute. Ensure that the promotional items are relevant to Spring Break (such as koozies or sunglasses), but most importantly, make sure you’re hired and trained the best brand reps for the job.

Nighttime Events, Concerts, and Parties

When the sun goes down and the beach clears out, students will be ready to party. Hosting a nighttime beach or pool concert is a tried and true way to keep your brand visible. Not only does it allow your brand to draw students in at night, but it also generates excitement during the day when they see the stage set-up in the daylight. Be sure to brand all elements of the stage as well as cups, glow sticks, and other party elements (you’ll be seeing them on social media if you’ve done a good job). If you’re in a location where weather can be a hit or miss, hosting an indoor party at one of the hotel clubs or banquet rooms is a safe bet.

Massive Sampling and Trial Initiatives

Allowing students to sample your product while on Spring Break is a great way to create brand fans. Remember to give out small, travel sized samples so students can bring them on a plane. Giving away samples during the first few days of Spring Break also allows you to gain student feedback.

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How can YMC help?

Whether you have the perfect campaign already conceptualized or you’re considering Spring Break marketing but have more questions, finding the right partner is key. Here at YMC, we’ve been helping brands connect with consumers at Spring Break for two decades and would be happy to share our wealth of knowledge with you.