• Tessa-May Marr

#DriveThruGrad2020YYC Case Study

Updated: Feb 9

THE BACKGROUND


It was April 2020, and COVID had hit everyone HARD. Personally and professionally, the world was reeling from a sudden and scary new reality. Our clients, e=mc2 events, were of course feeling this, being in the event management industry. We were in close contact with them to ensure we were readjusting their social strategy to reflect their current needs. But on one call that month, they wanted to talk about something different. They wanted to talk about the idea for a drive thru graduation in Calgary that would ensure the Class of 2020 did NOT miss their moment. And they knew they had the right tools, capabilities and a network of willing partners to pull it off.


They invited Marr Media Group to join their task force and handle the social media.


We said, hell yes.


THE PLAN


We quickly put together a strategy that aimed to accomplish a number of different things:

  • We needed to make some noise and get the news of this event out to parents and grads AND QUICK. Schools, parents and grads themselves were already frantically trying to come up with a consolation grad of some kind - some on video, others postponed to next year. We knew we had a better idea… and we needed to make sure they knew in time to participate in it.

  • We needed to explain how it was all going to happen, and answer a TON of questions along the way. Not only was this something people just had not seen before, so were struggling to visualize, but there was added stress with a multitude of new health and safety considerations due to COVID-19. Thanks to videos, images and our team being ultra responsive on social media, we were able to do that.

  • We wanted to engage the media to help us get the word out and promote our partners who were standing up to make this happen for grads.

  • Ultimately, we needed to drive registrations to cover the costs of this event.


We knew that to get the best possible results, implementing a paid strategy would be ideal. That said, everyone was showing up with time and a major change in revenue projections, so no one had the cash to offer up front. So we went with an entirely organic strategy, hoping that the news and excitement and media support would take us to where we needed to go. This was risky, but in this scenario, with the constraints we were facing, it was our best option.


THE OUTCOME


So how did it go? Did we all pull it off?


You bet we did.


Between June 15-27, over 1000 graduates from over 30 different schools showed up, in cap and gown, suits and dresses, and crossed that stage. There were photo booths, speeches, cheering and honking. Grads and their families smiled and cried inside their vehicles (or outside their sunroofs) as they went, one by one, a safe distance apart, up the stairs to realize and commemorate the 13 years of work that brought them to this milestone.


“We could not have done this without Marr. Period. The timeline and pace of this project meant each partner was trusted fully to do their piece. Tessa was extremely responsive and proactive with our social, her knowledge and experience and sensitive communication style built, developed and maintained a great rapport with our audience!” - Keri Miller, Partner & Chief Creative Strategist at e=mc events


It was incredibly emotional.