Designing ads used to promote local businesses and gaining real-world marketing experience – for students in Trent’s School of Business, this unique, hands-on learning opportunity became a reality thanks to an innovative pilot project between Trent University, the City of Peterborough, and Strategic Mapping Inc. (SMI), a leading transportation technology firm.
As part of the project, SMI partnered with Peterborough Transit in the pilot launch of the Transit on Board Infotainment (TOBI) system on the Trent Express bus route. SMI developed the system software that includes a location-based feature enabling local businesses to advertise on interactive media screens in an entirely new way. Students in Trent’s Marketing Part II: Advertising course were brought on board when their instructor, Cammie Jaquays, realized the potential for a unique experiential learning experience – to create ads for local businesses featured along the bus route.
The students eagerly rose to the challenge - creating digital still advertisements and accompanying fifteen-second videos for 16 local businesses, which were then featured on the TOBI system.
Fourth-year Business Administration student, Colton Bathe opted to highlight innovation at The Cube, a technology incubator and part of the Greater Peterborough Innovation Cluster (GPIC) which offers services to aspiring entrepreneurs. According to Mr. Bathe, his client was very pleased with the end product. In turn, he was surprised by how much autonomy local businesses gave Trent students.
“They trusted us to brand them, and design an amazing end result,” stated Mr. Bathe. “It was an excellent learning and networking opportunity that provided hands-on, relevant experience to understand the power and importance of advertising.”
The initiative also involved the City of Peterborough, the Downtown Business Improvement Area (DBIA) and 16 Peterborough businesses. According to Prof. Jaquays the dynamic of the players is the key that made this experiential project happen.
“Through business partnerships, creativity and cutting-edge technology, we brought real life into the classroom,” Ms. Jaquays. “Our partners were supportive of the students throughout this challenging project.”