Following up on 2013’s launch of the Ask a Librarian Superhero promotion (the superhero in question now dubbed “Ask Girl”), McMaster University Libraries rolled out a new campaign in November 2014. This campaign (like last year’s) is meant to raise awareness of the Ask a Librarian Virtual Chat Reference service that McMaster Libraries participates in. The campaign consists of two components, a social-media driven contest encouraging students to locate the life-sized Ask Girl standup on campus, and the display of a series of digital and print posters featuring the Ask Girl photographed on-location in the city and on campus.
For the Ask Girl hide-n-seek, students were asked to “take a selfie with AskGirl and tweet your photo using the #findaskgirl hashtag for a chance to win one of five $25 gift cards to the Campus Store.” ((Balch, 2014)) The location of the Ask Girl was posted to social media on each day of the week (running Nov. 10-14, 2014), and students could then go find the standup during a particular time. The initial response from students was underwhelming, leading to only one or two Ask Girl selfies in the first few days. Later in the week, Ask Girl was left on location for a longer time, allowing for more selfie potential. Even then, though, submissions remained low.
The poster campaign consists of two sets of posters, one designed for digital displays, and the other destined for smaller format print posters. The digital images went into rotation on a variety of library screens (digital ‘signs’ in the various campus libraries and desktop computer wallpapers). These images featured the actual Ask Girl cardboard standup in iconic Hamilton, Ontario locations, such as the waterfront, the Football museum and other downtown locations. The print posters were placed in the rotation in Zoom Media frames (mostly in washrooms!) and posted in campus residences. These latter images, due to their smaller formatting, featured a ‘simulated’ on-location look.
Editor’s Note: Since the campaign is running this week (as of Nov. 10th, I will update the post if there are further details that develop during the week.
Institution: McMaster University Libraries
Creators: A. Colgoni, A. Erasmi, A. Plessl, E. Balch, and M. Sharp along with members of the Library Marketing Team