It isn’t unusual for real companies such as the Cooking Channel and Glacier Water to test the pitches of Haas undergraduate students in marketing courses taught by Lecturer Krystal Jalene Thomas. But for the first time, social media has connected an outside firm to a catchy idea from one of Thomas' students, Catherine Limcaco, BS 12.
This fall, Limcaco tweeted a pitch that she crafted during the first week of Thomas' Product Branding and Entertainment (UGBA 167-2) class. The assignment, as Thomas explains, was for students to come up with a pitch for a product they couldn’t live without and marry that with their favorite piece of media. “They were supposed to show how those things come together and show what that says about them,” Thomas says. “Catherine’s was really well received.”
Limcaco’s favorite product is the Sedu flat iron, which she uses to straighten her thick, wavy hair. Her favorite movie is “The Princess Diaries” with Anne Hathaway. So she devised a 30-second elevator pitch: Use Sedu’s flat iron to transform yourself from a “frumpy girl to a sleek woman.”
Then, after class one day, Limcaco opened her first Twitter account. She was so excited about her Sedu pitch that she tweeted the idea: Create a promotional Web series asking real women, “What does your Sedu do for you?”
“I’ve always heard about unique opportunities happening using Twitter,” Limcaco says. “So I wanted to test it myself. But I wasn’t really expecting anything.”
Soon after tweeting, however, Jennifer Nicholson. a member of the Sedu social media team, emailed Limcaco: "Can we test your pitch?" Of course, Limcaco responded. Now, Sedu is asking for feedback on Limcaco’s idea on the company's Facebook page.
“When Catherine’s tweet popped up on our search, we loved that she based her school assignment on Sedu and we just had to hear it!” Sedu spokesman John Wergeles said via email. “We enjoyed her pitch and decided to share it with our fans on Facebook, who all responded positively.”
The company said it is still evaluating whether it will invest in her plan.
No matter what happens with Sedu, Limcaco said any marketing pitch she makes in the future will rely on what she has learned firsthand from the experience: infuse traditional business principles with some creativity. And now, she’ll make sure to tweet about it.