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Brands Try for ‘Most Likely to Succeed With Gen Z’ Crown [Examples]

It’s graduation season again. Although more ceremonies will happen in real life this year, we look at a few new and successful ways brands are celebrating with their online audiences.

Jostens keeps year-end ritual alive virtually

For the second year, Jostens is inviting its audience to take the traditional yearbook signing ritual online through its Digital Yearbook Signing Pages.

Students who register for a free account can create an online yearbook and personalize it with their name, school, and favorite colors. Then they can send a link inviting friends to view and sign the page. Signers can choose their own fonts and add stickers to their virtual messages.

Jostens says more than 1 million people signed its digital yearbooks in 2020.

WHY IT MATTERS: Jostens smartly brought back this COVID-19 pivot for 2021. It’s a great content marketing tool to respond to the needs of its audience, who might not be able to gather in person, let alone pass around a pen. It also is a good business move for the company, which sells class rings, yearbooks, and other school memorabilia. It raises brand awareness among the right audience while building out its database by collecting email and other contact information during the registration process required to create the pages.

Graduations might happen in person this year, but @Jostens is keeping its Digital Yearbook Signing Pages live. Smart #content move, since not everyone can gather in person (or share pens) says @CMIContent. #WeeklyWrap Click To Tweet

#LulusUnrobed celebrates graduation style

This week, clothing brand Lulus launched #LulusUnrobed with the global female college student network Her Campus. The social media challenge and sweepstakes “invites graduates to reveal their wardrobes under their grad gowns and encourages Gen Z to celebrate their optimism for post-grad life,” according to PR Week.

@lulusit’s time to celebrate, graduate! 👩‍🎓 enter the #lulusunrobed sweeps for a chance to win $1000 to Lulus #lovelulus link in bio for steps to WIN!♬ Caps Off by Lulus – Lulus

The sweepstakes features an original song – Caps Off – which grads can use as the background music for their videos of their graduation fashion. To enter, graduates must follow Lulus and Her Campus accounts and use the hashtags #lulusunrobed and #sweepstakes on Instagram and TikTok posts.

Lulus and Her Campus will select the best-dressed participant, who will win a $1,000 shopping spree at Lulus. Three runners-up earn $500 Lulus gift cards.

WHY IT MATTERS: The risqué hashtag is likely to appeal to the young adults and the reveals in the videos (though we’re a little concerned to see where the audience will take it). And the content is a fresh way to get in front of graduates who have had a less-than-celebratory year. Creating a custom song for the campaign is a nice touch (and prevents any copyright issues, too.)

.@lulusdotcom and @HerCampus launch a #SocialMedia campaign with a risqué hashtag (and even a custom song) that should appeal to fashion- and social-savvy grads, says @CMIContent. #WeeklyWrap Click To Tweet

Throwback to 2020

We’re throwing it back to 2020 to feature a campaign that was too good to ignore.

Last year, Chase Bank launched the TikTok hashtag challenge #ShowMeYourWalk. Graduates (and wanna-be graduates) posted videos of seriously humorous walks to a mashup of the traditional Pomp and Circumstance anthem followed by the modern Walk It Like I Talk It by Migos. (We can only imagine what Edward Elgar would think.) The financial services giant’s campaign attracted more than 7,000 videos and over 600,000 views.

@imkevinhartstill nailing it. Your turn to ##ShowMeYourWalk♬ Show Me Your Walk – Presented by Chase

The TikTok initiative supported the company’s broader Show Me Your Walk campaign, which promoted live commencements for high school and college students on YouTube, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Chase ambassadors Kevin Hart, Serena Williams, and Stephen Curry hosted the first live commencement. More than 40 well-known leaders and celebrities, including Barack Obama, Steve Harvey, and Kevin Hart, participated in the second commencement, which focused on graduates from historically black colleges and universities.

In its nomination for the Shorty Awards, Chase reported that more than 2.1 million people viewed the combined events. It drove more than 90% positive sentiment and sent #ShowMeYourWalk to the top three Twitter trending topics, earning 697,000 social shares and mentions in over 100 media stories. Chase also saw significant increases in traffic to its site’s student pages.

WHY IT MATTERS: Chase used TikTok as a content marketing tool for its larger content marketing initiative – the high-profile virtual commencements. Kudos to the company for realizing TikTok was a good promotional tactic to attract and engage a younger audience for this campaign. Bigger kudos to Chase for recognizing one promotional tactic doesn’t have to lead to a permanent brand presence on the platform. We’ve said this before: Brands find more content success when they don’t try to be everywhere doing everything.

.@Chase #ShowMeYourWalk campaign gave the Class of 2020 a national, virtual commencement – and a chance to have fun on #TikTok. Worth a #throwback nod, says @CMIContent. #WeeklyWrap Click To Tweet
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Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute