Attracting New Clients:
BA 323 Students Develop Marketing Plans for Tanning Salon Chain
students tackled real world advertising challenges in a unique opportunity
presented them by Classic Tan founders Evona and Don Kermath. As part
of Tiffany Barnett White's BA
323 class in marketing communications, students were briefed on marketing
communications challenges the Champaign-area indoor tanning business faces
and were asked to develop fresh ideas for expanding the indoor tanning
market. For added authenticity, the marketing students presented their
ideas to owner Don Kermath in a conference setting and received immediate
elements were required in the presentation to satisfy the Classic Tan
a well-justified positioning statement and corresponding creative
communication mix recommendations (e.g., advertising, direct
mail, sponsorship, sales promotions) most appropriate for Classic Tan's
marketing challenges, given a limited budget.
teams presented sample tactics such as a storyboard for a TV ad, copy
for a direct mail piece, or a script for a radio ad. Other recommendations
included in their presentation could be described.
the customer base demographics show that women comprise a majority of
Classic Tan's clientele. Consequently, most presentations focused on attracting
more men to one of the several locations the tanning chain maintains.
"Make an emotional appeal to the target audience," said Don
Kermath to one group, "We mostly use logic to justify the emotional
decision we have already made in our heart."
Kermath's information in mind, advertising ideas ran the gamut. There
were clichés and the occasional raised eyebrow as Kermath's skilled
marketing eye sifted through the numerous sales pitches-from mock radio
ads: "Get some fun in the sun for half the trouble at Classic Tan"
to print ads that urged male readers to imagine themselves standing -tanned
and fit - next to an attractive woman (illustrated with a headless male
beside the striking model).
were particularly focused with disproving some myths related to tanning.
"Basically we wanted to shed the stereotypes that tanning is unsafe
and feminine," said a student presenter whose radio script garnered
laughs and a nod from Kermath.
Kermath's hands-on, realistic analysis of their presentations, students
were able to see the negatives and positives of their marketing plans
from a business person's perspective. "I've seen some pretty interesting
ideas here, but you want to make sure that with your advertisements, you
can help justify the emotional decisions we make," noted Kermath.
like White's that include realistic assignments use the integrated learning
approach that incorporates hands-on learning and teamwork in addition
to traditional lectures. The blend of entrepreneurial advice from Class
Tan owner Don Kermath and classroom knowledge proved to be an effective
tool to help students understand some practical aspects of advertising.