By Courtney Duggan • March 17 2020
When Google made their first foray into the group messaging app market with Allo, they knew that Gen Z would be the keystone of their consumer base. Allo’s competitors had a considerable market share among students who used group messaging apps to text their network of friends and communicate with fellow members of teams, clubs, and other organizations, and Google needed an eye-catching marketing strategy to entice students to switch their conversations to Allo. Enter The Campus Agency.
In the spring of 2017, The Campus Agency ran a test Allo campaign on our home turf in Boston. We organized Allo takeovers at Boston University and Northeastern University, working with 40 campus ambassadors to promote Allo to their fellow students. Enlisting some of Boston’s best-known food trucks, like Cookie Monstah and Boston Frosty, we gave away personalized sweets to students who downloaded Allo, with their Allo group names and photos mouth-wateringly rendered in icing and edible ink.
Our Boston campus takeover culminated in a one-of-a-kind concert by the chart-topping band Bleachers at Royale, one of the city’s most storied music venues. Free to any student who had downloaded Allo, the concert utilized Google’s latest technology to create free, personalized Allo merchandise for the 1200 lucky students admitted.
Energized by the success of our Boston event, Google enlisted The Campus Agency’s help to expand our Allo takeover to the 14 universities in the Big Ten Conference in the fall of 2017. With 20 ambassadors raising Allo’s profile on each campus, we curated our Allo campaign to match each school’s unique personality. At every Big Ten university, we released a branded pedicab onto the streets. Anyone who’d downloaded Allo was given a free ride in the pedicab to anywhere they pleased around campus, with our ambassadors explaining Allo’s unique features and distributing promotional materials along the ride. At student-frequented eateries around each campus, we purchased thousands of popular menu items for anyone who downloaded Allo, with ambassadors in each restaurant tabling for Allo during the promotion.
The Campus Agency made Allo’s Big Ten takeover a fixture of the conference’s sports calendar. Our Allo signage in stadiums and arenas reached tens of thousands of fans in the stands and millions more watching at home. On campus, our Allo tailgate parties, complete with branded cornhole games and catered food giveaways, became a nexus of school spirit each Saturday.
For each Allo campus takeover, we prioritized locally-minded engagement and student-driven experiences. At the University of Wisconsin, we staged an Allo tailgate party in partnership with the Phi Oompa Loompa fraternity, giving away free grilled cheeses from the x food truck. For students camping out to be first in line for season tickets at basketball-crazed Michigan State, Allo delivered free catered meals and blanketed campus dining trucks in branded signage.
The publicity generated by our Allo Big Ten campaign resulted in x downloads and x percent growth in brand awareness. We gave away x dollars of food, merchandise, and rides, and directly engaged x thousand students. In total, The Campus Agency’s Google Allo campaign created x million PR impressions.