OAK BROOK, IL, May 17, 2011 – Two seniors from Georgia State University decided to take a different approach to finding a job post-graduation. Barron Biros and Andrew Mailloux set their sights on winning Follett Higher Education Group’s Marketing Genius Competition by creating the best million-dollar marketing campaign for the company’s network of more than 900 campus bookstores.
Follett’s first-ever Marketing Genius Competition provided students the chance to build their own campaign to highlight the many affordable choices Follett offers students, including new, used, rental and digital textbooks. The winners of the competition were awarded paid summer internships and fully paid, furnished housing. More than 480 teams totaling more than 600 students registered for the competition, which was open to students at colleges served by Follett in the United States and Canada. Three finalist teams were chosen to present their ideas to the company.
The teams were flown to Chicago and treated to limo service, a hotel stay and a reception with Follett’s marketing team to network and learn more about the company. The next day, the finalists presented their campaigns to a panel of Follett and marketing agency executives. Shortly afterwards, Biros and Mailloux, competing as Team Limitless, were awarded the title of Follett’s 2011 Marketing Geniuses.
“The Marketing Genius program is a great way for us to connect with the college students we serve,” said David Hainline, senior vice president, e-commerce and business development. “Andrew and Barron bring a lot of ideas, and they will become vital members of our marketing team.”
To secure their title as Marketing Geniuses, Biros, a graphic design major, and Mailloux, a marketing and public relations major, spent hundreds of hours creating an integrated marketing campaign that would reach college students in unique ways. The team created a campaign that focused on common college mistakes.
“We all make mistakes in college and our campaign uses those mistakes in a humorous, yet truthful way,” said Biros and Mailloux after winning the title of Marketing Genius. “We wanted students to know that Follett offers lots of choices like rental and digital textbooks - so they don’t have to make the mistake of paying too much.”
During their pitch, the Georgia State students demonstrated how the campaign could be used in a variety of channels that reach students, including using QR codes and unique urban billboards. The team also produced a short commercial titled “The Freshman 15,” which they recommended the company run on Hulu, an online video service popular with college students.
“The college we are going through is different now. It’s a different era and we wanted to show new and innovative marketing techniques that would resonate with students today,” said Biros.
The recent graduates packed their bags and moved to their new apartment in Chicago this week. Biros and Mailloux will be tweeting and blogging about their experience as interns @FollettMKGenius and http://www.rent-a-text.com/marketing-genius.php.
“I am most excited about the connections I will make at Follett,” said Mailloux. “I’ve fallen in love with the company culture. The Follett team really inspires and motivates you and I can’t wait to start work.”
The finalists of Follett’s Marketing Genius competition included Wade Austad of team Chaos ROI from Snow College, as well as Erica Dufour and Danielle Giroux of team Design Diagnosis from St. Clair College. Each finalist received a $250 gift card to their campus bookstore in recognition of the quality of their entries.
For more information about Follett’s Marketing Genius Competition, visit http://www.rent-a-text.com/marketing-genius.php. Check back often as Follett will be releasing more information about next year’s internship in the fall.
About Follett Higher Education Group
Follett Higher Education Group of Oak Brook, Illinois, is the leading provider of bookstore services and the foremost supplier of used books in North America. Follett services five million students and over 400,000 faculty members through more than 850 stores. Follett also services more than 1,600 independent campus stores with its wholesale services, and has the most visited ecommerce collegiate website, efollett.com, that provides services and products through a network of more than 900 campus stores.
About Follett Corporation
Follett Corporation is a $2.7 billion, privately-held company that provides products, services and solutions to the educational marketplace. Follett Corporation was founded in 1873, and today is headquartered in River Grove, Illinois.
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