During times of crisis, marketing teams are forced to rethink strategies. In this series, we examine how brand leaders are responding to new consumer patterns in the education industry – and quickly shifting social strategies to connect and engage students and constituents around the world.


YouTube: #DearClassof2020

YouTube is airing a graduation ceremony on June 6 at 12 p.m. PDT –featuring former President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama. “Dear Class of 2020” will also feature announcements from Lady Gaga, Alphabet and Google CEO Sundar Pichai, and Malala Yousafzai. The boy band, BTS, will perform at a virtual after-party, where celebrities – including Alicia Keys and Kelly Rowland – will make appearances.

The graduation will stream on YouTube Originals channel and YouTube’s Learn@Home site. Graduates can sign up to receive a shoutout during the ceremony.

YouTube is partnering with Michelle Obama’s Reach Higher Initiative, Born This Way Foundation, Malala Fund, NBC’s “Today,” and Ideas United to share student stories and a user-generated commencement speech.


Instagram: #InstaProm

Instagram introduced new stickers to their Stories along with augmented reality (AR) effects via the hashtag #InstaProm. The social media platform is also sharing influencers tips to create a successful at-home prom.


University of Michigan Health: #HailToTheFrontLine

University of Michigan Health is recognizing stories of brave, essential workers in their #HailtoTheFrontLine campaign – inviting the community to share notes of encouragement. The university launched other initiatives, including wellness resources and a virtual care program to give people access to care from the comfort of home. 


Chamberlain University: #CareForCaregivers

Chamberlain University launched a social wall of gratitude to honor caregivers, offering an outlet for their community to share love and support by posting a picture or video with a note of encouragement with #CareForCaregivers.


JanSport: #UnpackThatChallenge

JanSport, heritage backpack brand, is donating 10,000 “packs” of food to the World Central Kitchen to feed underprivileged students who cannot get free meals due to school closures. JanSport is encouraging students to create TikTok videos as they unpack their at-home desks, and share them to #UnpackThatChallenge. The hashtag has garnered over 8.7 million views. 


Varsity Tutors:

Varsity Tutors – an online marketplace that connects students and families with over 40,000 company-screened tutors for one-on-one lessons – is looking to fill the gap of remote learning.

The company’s team is mainly distributed, so closures didn’t affect its operations. Instead, they are leveraging virtual school day and virtual summer camps to boost awareness, expose parents and students to the platform, and remain top of mind for paid users in the future.

The company organically promotes free live, interactive streaming classes for K-12 grades on social media, including Algebra, Spanish – and more time-relevant topics like the Science of Pandemics.


Natural Light: #NattyCommencement

Beer brand, Natural Light, is sponsoring a Facebook Live “Worldwide Commencement” for graduating college seniors. Special guests – including Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, sports commentator Stephen A. Smith, and other celebrities – will be hosting and sharing motivational speeches during the event. Natural Light is asking students to sign up via a microsite, where they will also be entered into a sweepstakes for a chance to be one of fifty winners featured during the #NattyCommencement. 


We will update this list as the future unfolds. If you spot a campaign worth mentioning below, please share it with us on social or via e-mail at futureofmarketing@tintup.com.

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