Promotions on campus range from consumable products such as foods and drinks to non-consumable products; which may include services and raw materials. People tend to react uniquely to different occasions and the promotions on campus are not an exception (Eagly, 2013). This is for the reason that both females and males respond differently to various marketing approaches (Eagly, 2013). The promotions are of different types as above mentioned and therefore one would expect different reactions to the promotions. My specific research question is to discuss the reaction of people on campus promotions. This paper discusses this question using the four-day research I carried out at Carleton University, which is located in the capital of Canada.
During this activity my work was to observe everything that took place at the promotion booth and make notes on the same. I would sit somewhere near the promotion booth, observe every activity, then use my pen and paper to write down my observations under subtopics given my lecturer. I was to be very keen to ensure that the information I gave was accurate some instances, during my second day of research I was not only an observer but also a participant in the promotion process as I actually purchased a cup cake a the booth which was selling these desserts to raise money for the support of education.
On the first day, I started my journey towards the university, specifically toward the Troy building, which was going to be my first research center. Walking in the tunnels leading to the Troy building at around 2:50 pm was not an easy task since I felt anxious and nervous for the reason that I was not sure if there was promotion on this part of campus or whether I was going to waste that particular afternoon. Most of the lecture theaters are located in this building, making it one of the busiest places on campus. Most students will be saturated round the building waiting for lectures or just relaxing after a boring 2-hour lecture.
Apart from the lecture theaters, Troy building is also centrally placed and the most famous building for both students and outsiders. This normally attracts heavy traffic along the tunnel leading to the building as it is from this building that people can connect to other facilities and places within the campus, such as Tim Horton, Starbucks, the bookstore, the food court, Oliver’s Pub, and many more. Due to this high interaction of people at this particular place I found it to be the ideal place to carry out my research as I would be able to make several observations within the 30 minutes of my day one research
Contrary to my expectations, the number of people along the Troy building was not big. Everybody seemed to be in a hurry and this added up to my confusion. I almost gave up, but then I discovered a promotion booth on the third floor. The promoters were on a mission to create awareness about breast cancer and to make people support breast cancer awareness program financially.
I could not get a chair around the booth and therefore I positioned myself a distance away, sitting on the floor where no one would notice me and started jotting down my observations. I was so nervous and despite the fact that I had strategically positioned myself, I felt like everybody was looking at me. My work was to observe the relationship between the promoters and their clients. There were five promoters in the booth using a very powerful public address system to urge people to visit the booth and learn more about breast cancer.
Some loud music was playing in the background and two people dancing in front of the booth to attract people. Apart from the five promoters inside the booth, there were others moving around urging people to visit the booth. During the 30 minutes of my observation, a total of 71 people passed by the promotion booth and 11 of them donated money, including 7 females and 4 males. Out of these 11 people, some of them even took the initiative to donate money before they were asked to. The whole process was an interesting one, especially the reactions between the two parties. I sometime found myself laughing silently.
On the second day of my research, I got into a traffic jam on the way to school and it was so cold outside. At first, I was a bit reluctant to go to school alone to do the observation, especially after the embarrassment I felt the previous day but I could not avoid the work ahead of me. I continued with my journey and on this particular this day I felt a little bit unperturbed. The observation took place between 11:40am and 12:10pm on the fourth floor of a building at the center of the campus, commonly known as the university center, not very far from the Troy building.
The center has six floors and just like the Troy building, it has many lecture theaters and the university offices.it also houses the food court, Starbucks and Tim Horton. Because of these factors, the university center, unlike the Troy building, is not only one of the busiest place on campus, but actually the busiest. The promotion booth in this building was near Starbucks. Unlike the previous day this place had a lot of people lined up to wait for the services of the promoters and, as a result, I could not see clearly what was happening in the booth.
I resolved to stand to have a clear view and it worked out smoothly. I was just like the customers. Thus, no one paid attention to me, and this made me feel more relaxed and less awkward. Some students noticed that I was busy observing and noting something down and they came to inquire what I was doing. I was glad to tell them about my research. By the time my thirty minutes were over, I was extremely famished and I paid $2 for a cupcake at the promotion booth. Today’s promotion also had a theme just like the previous one, the theme of education.
There were several booths on this floor, but I was attracted to this one because it seemed the busiest of them all. There were five promoters in the booth, four males and a female. I also observed exactly what I had observed the previous day; loud music playing in the background. There were many kinds of desserts on the table, such as cupcakes and chocolate bars. The cupcakes were $2 each and the chocolate bars were $1.99 each. The aim of the promoters was to collect money to aid education, especially to support needy children acquire basic education. Out of the people who purchased goods from the booth, around 72% were females and the rest males.
On the third day, I decided I would do my research in the tunnels which connect the university to the outside world. I had seen my colleagues doing their research there and I decided to give it a try. The tunnels were a bit cold, but all in all this was the best day of my research. The tunnel being one of the greatest features of Carleton University was also a busy place. When the weather was not conducive, most students would opt to use the tunnel rather than the cold roads. There were many people walking so quickly along the tunnel.
I was more composed today and felt even more relaxed as no one took notice of me. The place was so crowded and there was nowhere to sit but I managed to sustain myself. I noticed one promotion booth whose occupants were selling flyers and tickets to attendants. I stood there for some time, and the whole thing started to bore me. The promoters had background music from a cell phone, but no one could hear it due to the commotion in the tunnel. Many of the people assumed the promoters, and by the end of my 30 minutes, only three people had purchased the tickets.
On my final day of my research, I spent some time in the residence commons between 11:30am to midday. I arranged to do a joint observation with my friend so that we could share the moment. The residence commons has a cafeteria, classrooms, and Tim Horton, and it is directly connected to some residential buildings. It is usually very quiet except during breakfast, lunch and dinner times, when students would crowd over the cafeteria to get something for their stomachs. Inside the residence commons there is a lobby with very comfortable couches and this is the place where my last day of research took place.
I bought coffee from Tim Horton for both my friend and me and we started our observation. Right across where we sat, there was a promotion booth and the place was quiet with few people, for meal time was not yet. The promotion booth was right beside Tim Horton with 2 female and 2 male staffs. They had many posters and gifts on the table. They were trying to raise awareness about HIV/ AIDS and unlike the other booths, there was no background music. The staff tried as much as they could to talk to the people walking by.
They explained to the people their intentions and asked them some questions. The active passengers would get free gifts depending on how they answered the questions asked by the promoters. At the end of our observation, a total of 67 people passed by, and 12 of them (including 7 female and 5 male students) engaged and answered the questions. Ten out of these 12 people received gifts. There were also three people who took the posters, but did not engage with the staff at all.
From the four observations, I was now ready to compile my research. I learnt many things from the four sessions I had. On the breast cancer awareness, I noticed that women were more concerned than men and that is possibly the reason why more women than men donated money to fund the process of creating breast cancer awareness. In the second observation, I learnt that people paid more attention to things they would use their money to get and not free things. From all the observations, it is clear that females are more social than males for the reason that in all the interactions, the number of females outdid their counterparts. In conclusion, campus promotions are reacted to differently, but females are more reactive to them.
Eagly, A. H. (2013). Sex differences in social behavior: A social-role interpretation. New York, NY: Psychology Press.