Syracuse University Students Teach Others About Credit in a Unique Way

By Waldy Diez SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) – If you’re wondering why there has been a grim reaper roaming campus the past two weeks, you’re probably not alone. This character is part of a marketing campaign students from the NewHouse, Syracuse University’s student-run ad agency, are participating in.

A team of six students – Julia Burns, Emma Koziara, David Ondrich, Cori Pavlicko, Katie Weisenburger and Jaznee Wilson – are part of the group called SU Credit Horror Stories.

Account Manager Cori Pavlicko says Syracuse is one of 20 schools nationwide participating in the Credit Karma Campus Challenge.

“[It] challenges students to create an integrated marketing campaign aimed at educating the target market on the value of understanding and managing credit,” Pavlicko said.

Credit Horror Stories is using guerrilla marketing tactics to make students aware of bad credit and credit scores. The group created a “Bad Credit Graveyard” which featured materialistic items students hoped to purchase but couldn’t because of bad credit. The grim reaper character also haunted campus much like bad credit can haunt your life.

Pavlicko says making students think about material items, like cars or houses, they want to purchase in the future is an effective way to make them pay attention to their credit.

“It’s a materialistic view as if you don’t start caring about your credit now, you won’t be able to get what you want in the future,” she said. “I think that’s a more powerful way to express the importance of managing your credit to students.”

The team members agree their approach is very different than the other schools they’ve been tracking, but they promise it’s not a scam.

“We’re trying to help people out as much as we can,” Weisenburger, junior creative copywriter, said. “It’s not a campaign you would think with Credit Karma. It’s definitely a little dangerous. We didn’t play it safe on this one, but we’re happy about it.”

The competition ends Nov. 19. The group gets judged on a variety of criteria, including how many people sign up to use Credit Karma using their unique link.

Even though Credit Horror Stories started the competition about a month late, Pavlicko is very optimistic about the campaign so far.

“I’m really proud and excited of the work we’ve done and the overall message we’re trying to convey because it’s such a different way to look at your credit.”

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