Virgin Active lets students from Naples plan local communication campaigns

A simulation of a pitch between agencies has put in "creative competition" many students of the University of Naples.

Virgin Active, a brand in the portfolio of Richard Branson’s Virgin Group, has launched in Italy a strategy of expansion by opening new fitness centers.

For the opening in Naples, scheduled for October, Virgin and its communication agency Edelman launched in April a project work for the students of the Faculty of Economics from the Naples’s University Federico II.

The project consists of creation of a non conventional (or at least a little bit) communication plan. Many students participate in this pitch with their ideas and realization of marketing activities aimed at creating engagement, awareness and buzz around the opening of the first Virgin village in South Italy.

Many groups of students unleashed their creativity by organizing guerrilla actions, flash mobs and small events in various areas of Naples, connecting the brand values with the major aspects of the city. It’s a must also the social media marketing: over 20 unofficial Facebook Pages have been created with an average of 400 fans each.

Just like in professional pitches between agencies, the students will present their communication plans to a technical jury composed of: Virgin Active, Edelman and the University Federico II. By July the jury will make a shortlist of the best jobs, which number depend on the quantity and quality of submitted projects.

The students in the shortlist may continue to work on the projects until mid-September improving and enhancing their concept idea or simply focusing on the word of mouth.

In October the official award ceremony will be held at the campus of Monte Sant’Angelo of the University of Naples Federico II, when the winner and a couple of encouraging mentions will be announced in the presence of professors, journalists and bloggers.

The primary goal of the initiative is to connect the students with the business world collaborating directly with the company. Certainly, the winners will also benefit from the visibility that will be given on the media about the event and the opening of the fitness village thanks to the Edelman’s Press Office.

Good luck to all the students participating in the pitch! We can only wait to know the projects that will win!