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East Lansing Puzzle Campaign

This campaign was created as a project to fulfill an Honors College degree requirement at Michigan State University (MSU). I completed this project in MSU's ADV326: Advanced Creative: Media I class.

Puzzle Box

The first step of this marketing campaign was to create the product I'd be marketing. I decided I wanted to design + market a puzzle. The puzzle I created is part of a fictional "college town puzzle series" by PuzzleYou. The puzzle I designed in particular is the East Lansing (Michigan State University) edition.

The puzzle design is featured on the front of the puzzle box. It consists of different iconic MSU landmarks, including Beaumont Tower, Spartan Stadium, the Sparty Statue, Broad Art Museum, a Big Ten Championship banner, and a "Welcome to East Lansing" sign.

The puzzle box design is rather minimal. The Spartan-green panels on the sides and back of the box feature a subtle pattern commonly used by MSU athletics. The back of the box also mentions the opportunity to "get the puzzle for free" — the primary appeal of my marketing campaign.

Marketing Campaign

The marketing campaign for this East Lansing puzzle was inspired by the increased usage of QR codes in 2020 following the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as by the public's desire for COVID-safe activities— like outdoor virtual scavenger hunts. Plus, what college student doesn't run towards the word "free"?!

The opportunity to "unlock" this East Lansing puzzle for free was (fictionally) advertised via PuzzleYou's social media, on an A-frame sign displayed outside of the retailer's storefront, and on the puzzle box itself. 

To unlock the free puzzle, community members would follow clues posted on PuzzleYou's Instagram to find three QR code stickers hidden around East Lansing. Upon finding and scanning each of the three hidden QR codes, participants would receive a personal discount code that they could then show their cashier at checkout to receive the puzzle free of charge.

Ideally, this campaign would naturally expand to include word-of-mouth advertising as the hype about a free puzzle spread throughout the community during a time marked by isolation and increased interest in trying new hobbies.

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