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NYC experiential stunt asks for biggest regrets

By Joss Davidge

What stands out in your life as your one single biggest regret?

It’s a highly personal question that we’re not often asked. It’s also one that many of us would struggle to answer.  

If you were asked to share your biggest regret in public, would you do it?

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That’s exactly what people in New York were encouraged to do as part of a moving experiential campaign from online college Strayer University.

For the campaign, the University put up a black chalkboard on the gates of a busy park in Brooklyn. The chalkboard was completely bare except for the words: ‘Write your biggest regret’.

Passing pedestrians were encouraged to stop and share their biggest regrets by writing them on the chalkboard for all to see.

Many people were, unsurprisingly, initially hesitant, only stopping to look at the board and take photographs. But after one brave girl took the plunge and wrote ‘Not following my artistic passion’, one person after another stepped up to the board to divulge their biggest regret.

The responses were varied and moving. They ranged from ‘Not saying I love you’, to ‘Not having kids before my Dad passed away’.

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Not pursing further education or developing a skill were the two most common themes, with responses including, ‘Not getting my MBA’, ‘Not pursuing acting’ and ‘Not applying to MED school’.

The chalkboard hung in the park for one whole day and by the evening, the entire board was filled with many colourful answers. The entire stunt was captured in a poignant video where the people participating explained their chosen regret in more detail.

The campaign’s subtle approach, with a lack of obvious branding, really encourages participants to be open with their feelings. Indeed, it is only revealed that the stunt has been orchestrated by Strayer University at the very end of the video, with the University making a clear statement that it’s never too late to make things happen. 

Watch the video for yourself:

The stunt has attracted a lot of attention with the video generating over 4 million views on YouTube to date. Similar to The Organ Donor Foundation’s ‘Reborn to be Alive’ campaign, this shows that a simple but moving stunt can be a powerful way to raise brand awareness.  

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