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SUTD’s #MugHarderPlayLater – the art to surviving exams

This post is sponsored by SUTD.

SUTD won two awards at Marketing Events Awards 2019: gold for Best Public Sector/Non-Profit; and silver for Best PR/Marketing Stunt.

To motivate and help pre-university students relieve some exam stress, SUTD coined a tongue-in-cheek campaign – #MugHarderPlayLater.

Just like its name, the campaign stemmed from a clear message to motivate students to study (“mug” is the slang for cramming for exams) harder for the exam period, and play after. The campaign also allowed SUTD to have direct contact with the students and place its brand directly in their minds.

#MugHarderPlayLater was an out-of-the-box guerrilla activation where SUTD visited pre-university institutions with exam survival kits containing useful items to help students during this stressful period.

Stress-relieving activities such as designing motivational cards to spur their peers on were also part of this initiative to promote peer support and collaboration.

Similar to the human-centric approach in SUTD’s education and curriculum, empathy with the students and understanding what they were going through were key to this campaign’s success.

To conceptualise this outreach, SUTD gathered insights through interviews with current pre-university students and students from SUTD, sharing from pre-university teachers, and brainstorming sessions between SUTD’s admissions and marketing teams.

Another key trait that made this campaign impactful was the creation of a positive, emotional and memorable personal experience in a setting familiar, and yet stressful to the students.

The school environment has become the place where students spend most of their time with classes, self-revision and co-curricular activities. Coupled with the fact that most school events are typically talks and workshops, which are routine in nature, students look forward to events that are more fun and stress-relieving.

#MugHarderPlayLater addressed this gap and appealed to the students.

In this era, where students enjoy looking at and creating memes, a sense of humour was key for the campaign. The content and items were tastefully crafted and selected, with the fundamental motive to lighten up the students’ mood in a tongue-in-cheek manner.

The campaign helped SUTD to stay relevant with the pre-university students and have a personal touch-point with them in a light-hearted and meaningful manner.

In addition, it also gave students a glimpse of some aspects of SUTD’s education, such as the capabilities of the co-curricular clubs and hands-on curriculum through the on-site activities; and the importance of the angle of humanities, arts and social sciences through the understanding of the students’ psyche.

The effectiveness and impact of the campaign was further substantiated by the fact it was the second highest recalled interaction point by the matriculated students of SUTD.

#MugHarderPlayLater was just one of the many efforts by SUTD to resonate with the ever-changing lingo, culture and ethos of the post-Millennials.

Keep a look out for more awesome and original SUTD happenings here, and see you at our Open House on 22 and 23 Feb 2020!