Friday, 11 October 2013

You've been Pranked ! Undergraduate disrupts Marketing Management lecture with clever stunt

It isn't often that a student asks to be sprayed with their own shaving foam, having made a "surprise" (and particularly loud) entrance to a half-way through lecture.
 
But first I need to back up a bit and give you some context.  To emphasise the life skill of being on time for meetings I asked late arriving students not to come through the main doors, but to enter quietly at the back. There are probably rules about preventing late joiners and clearly securing doors would be in breach of health and safety rules. This is the 21st Century, after all.  I wrote and asked the small and intimate class of 250 odd over email and reinforced this on Moodle, our virtual learning environment. I challenged anyone arriving after :05 and invited them to present themselves to the whole class using the microphone. Quirky, jokey - but hopefully putting across a serious and important message in a way that will not cause any lasting harm or upset.
 
So this week Philip (pictured below) fulfilled his promise to a friend on being gifted a formula one driving suit to use it in some way with big impact. He pranked his class mates by bursting through the doors I am so precious about and shocked the living daylights out of everyone.  Me included.  Just two minutes before I'd remembered that the stunt was going to happen, but then in full flow I'd forgotten and was genuinely taken aback by the particularly lion like roar that Philip produced.  No acting was required (I'm lame..so a good thing) as the gobsmacked audience watched on.  I was told afterwards by a few students that at the point when I got the shaving foam out and started blasting this, the penny dropped for many.   
 
The lecture was on the topic of positioning and rather fortuitously we had been considering advertising's need to create a differentiated position in the minds of the consumer using creative, entertaining, highly memorable (meh-mor-able) impressions. 
 
I go to bed tonight a happy marketer, that was certainly a lecture that Royal Holloway BSc Management students will remember for a long time.........
Lecturer foams student during lecture prank