A.C.E. – Your Source for Campus Entertainment

Please nod your head if you have ever taken another route to class pretending to be on your cell phone or completely ignoring someone who was trying to give you an event flyer. If you give your computer screen a nod, we applaud you.  However, if you are like 99% of the student population at UNCW and nodded your head–we understand.

There are over 250 student organizations vying for our attention, membership and time so how do we pick what to attend? Our choices depend on how, or if, we hear about the event and how creative the marketing is. The Association for Campus Entertainment is the university’s student programming board Did you enjoy Hoddie Allen last year? That was ACE. What about when Maci Bookout from Teen Mom was here in the spring? That was ACE too.

In the midst of everything college kids have going on, ACE provides an outlet for free entrainment. But just like every other student organization, they have to compete for your time as well. Integrated Marketing Communication, IMC,  allows us to diversify the means by which we achieve our marketing goals. A public relations campaign? Check. Social media presence? Also check. Cool and engaging advertising? Also IMC.

ACE does this through an array of promotional tools each year, the first being through giveaways what college student doesn’t like free things? This year ACE gave phone wallets, Croakies, car USB adapters and staplers. This may seem like a mishmash of items but each one served a purpose: to be seen and get the ACE name known. Whether it is letting a classmate use the ACE braded stapler, or paying for food in Wag as you pull your OneCard out of your ACE branded phone wallet, ACE is marketing their brand. The goal is to increase the number of times a student sees a brand and how they associate it—hopefully in a positive light.

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There is more to promotions than simply getting a name out; ACE must also promote their events. There are the standard campus marketing methods such as banner, chalking and flyers, but in order to infiltrate the calendars of college students, you must take efforts farther. ACE is a brand that thrives on creative promotions, whether this be acting out a scene from an upcoming movie in the campus theatre or handing out paint brushes across campus for a Cheerwine and Design event. There is always something being passed out.

A successful marketing campaign goes beyond creating and implementing the campaign. The ultimate goal of IMC, is to not only change one’s beliefs, but to change his or her actions. Whether this be successfully convincing students to change their plans and attend an event or sign up for ACE, we want them to act on our suggestions. So how do you think ACE stacks up, do you hear about their events through traditional means of advertising or through creative promotions across campus? Furthermore – how do you prefer to be wooed into coming to an organization’s event or do you organically decide to attend? Let us hear your thoughts and comments blow!

-Amanda, Daniel, Kendall, Meleah and Luke

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16 thoughts on “A.C.E. – Your Source for Campus Entertainment

  1. I personally found this article very interesting. I was one of those students last year that ignored the promotions, through headphones or checking an email on my phone. I enjoy the banners placed out on Chancellor’s, but with the chalk I find that there needs to be a different approach. Mainly because it fades after so many times getting walked on or washed away through by the rain. Personally, I need to be” bought” into coming to an event. Now i do not mean give money or offer free items, all though free in college is nice. But i feel that certain items are lacking the want for people to come out. For instance, it comes out as a choir to get people to come rather then a want. I will applaud the hockey team’s promoting style through rollerblading up and down Chancellor’s walk making loud noise and including everyone in it. If that can be used more often that would be great. Finally, I believe the advertising needs to be all over campus. I walk to class from the Lighthouse so I am never on Chancellor’s. It would be nice to get flyers, poster, or even acts all around the campus to promote big events. Then, in my eyes, I would be bought into events seeing all the work and showing the dedication certain groups have for their events

    • Nick,
      We are so happy that you admitted you were one of ‘those’ students who ignore ACE- it happens! We agree that the chalking across campus can get lost because there is so much going on, what other suggestions, besides chalking, do you have?

  2. I think that this is a very good point. I have always said most of the people handing out the flyers don’t want to be doing it and the students don’t want to be mean so they take the flyer even though both of them know it is going in the first trash can they see. To be honest with you the way that I had heard about the events above was through word of mouth but to me the best way to grab my attention and not be in my face is to have a sign on chancellors somewhere to read.

    • Chase, This is a great point – a lot of college students would prefer not to have marketing thrown in their face. How did those who you heard about the events hear about the event? Th great think about IMC is that there are so many different methods and there is bound to be a marketing method that resonates with each person.

  3. I had never thought about ACE’s marketing strategies until I read this article. I hadn’t even paid attention to anyone’s marketing strategies until reading this article. I do believe that ACE’s ways are more successful than other groups. I feel that their advertising seems more “professional” that simply writing stuff in chalk on down Chancellors. I must admit that with ACE having giveaways, they definitely catch my attention into wanting to attend certain events.

    • Nancy, We totally understand that giveaways are the key to capturing a college student’s heart. Do you think that their professional marketing gives them more credibility?

  4. I just transferred to UNCW this semester so this is the first I have heard about ACE. I love how you captured the attention of the reader. Once you had asked a question almost everyone (including myself) could relate to I was hooked. ACE is an excellent organization. I’ll definitely be sure to keep my ears peeled if I hear more about ACE.

  5. As a Film Studies major as well as a Communication major I appreciate the amount of hard work that goes into running the theater sometimes 3 days a week. That has to be a huge under taking and I commend A.C.E. However, one delta I have for A.C.E. is their lack of community building. What I mean is A.C.E. struggles to incorporate the general UNCW student. I implore that A.C.E. throw events in freshman dorms the first day of arrival and not a day later. Something during the day and exciting like a slip and slide with loud music. Instead of raffling off t-shirts, hand t-shirts out by the box load. Something teal so freshman don’t feel left out on teal Tuesdays – what freshman wants to wear their freshman orientation shirt after freshman orientation. By jumping on the newly accepted students before they can build negative perceptions of A.C.E., one can dictate how students feel about their new school and school pride.

    • Issac, These are some great ideas. We are sure there are some budget constraints with handing out boxes and boxes of shirts. IT would be true IMC if the organization could break any negative perceptions of the organization before it was formed.

  6. Over the past year I’ve been attending UNCW, I’ve spotted advertisements on campus in the form of ACE members handing out flyers on chancellors, signs throughout Fisher, and hearing events from ACE members themselves, who I am friends with. Personally I prefer hearing it from the members since it provides a more reliable source of information, and it doesn’t take much to woo me. I normally attend ACE events without specific advertisement methods because I find them entertaining. Also, I like to attend the events because I am hoping to be a future ACE member myself.

  7. Although I am definitely guilty of taking a different route, in order to avoid promotional handouts or being stopped by various groups along campus, I can definitely appreciate all of the attempts to market upcoming campus events. I feel that the IMC strategies being used by ACE can be a great tool for getting the word out. Using giveaway items such as staplers and phone wallets is a great way to spread the word, as these items are used by students daily. With over 250 student organizations it can be overwhelming how many are fighting for our attention with banners, flyers, emails, and booths on campus. It can be easy to ignore these techniques, but by putting a simple object in our hands with a brand name, we are more likely to remember and retain the information. These promotional handouts also make it easier for us to share the information with peers, which is essential for passing along a message.

    • Elizabeth, We agree that it can be overwhelming to get your voice heard with this many student organization. It’s great that you are able to share the product with friends.

  8. A.C.E. does an incredible job advertising around campus. I always see A.C.E. merchandise laying around campus or being worn by supporters. I work for Chick-Fil-A and one of the biggest things I’ve learned from working there is that the best way to advertise is not commercials or telling people about your product or service, but actually putting that product or service into the consumers hands. A.C.E. does exactly this by creating things for us like the stapler posted above that advertises their services. There are huge posters advertising the upcoming films in the very populated Hawks Nest. Again, A.C.E. does a wonderful job in their advertising and I always know what’s coming up from them.

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