- Her Campus, a digital magazine for women in college, is hosting a virtual commencement ceremony to celebrate this year's graduates whose ceremonies have been canceled or postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the company announced in a press release. Procter & Gamble's Aussie Hair Care brand is sponsoring the event.
- The "I'm Still Graduating" ceremony will feature yet-to-be-announced politicians, CEOs, athletes and authors as speakers, as well as musical performances from celebrities and students. Students can apply by April 23 to speak or perform at the event, which will feature two student participants. The event will be held on May 15 at 12 p.m. ET on ImStillGraduating.com.
- The event also includes a "Roo Crew Business Plan Competition" to award grants to 20 young women and support their startup ideas and passion projects.
Her Campus' digital commencement aims to build good will and inspire college seniors at a time when nearly all graduation ceremonies across the country have been canceled or postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. Because public gathering spaces have been closed until further notice, the public health crisis is robbing most college seniors of celebrating their successes with their wider communities in the traditional style.
Her Campus aims to give students access to these celebrations with inspiring stories of commencement speakers from the comfort of their own living rooms. The event can also engage the audience by giving young women the chance to speak or perform at the event, an ambitious endeavor to help keep their minds on work as they are stuck at home in lockdown mode.
By sponsoring the virtual event, P&G's Aussie haircare brand can get in front of a potentially large group of consumers interested in purchasing from brands that encourage positive messaging during crises. A recent survey by the 4A's found that 43% of consumers find it reassuring to hear from brands they know and trust during these uncertain times.
Meanwhile, this year's graduates face one of the most difficult labor markets in decades, as unemployment skyrockets under the shutdowns. Many new graduates may struggle to find jobs to apply for, especially as they are not allowed to leave the house. The Roo Crew Business Plan Competition puts a positive spin on this situation by encouraging young women to spend their time at home developing business plans, which can be executed later in the year with funding from Her Campus.
Her Campus is not the only company hosting a virtual graduation ceremony this year. Anheuser-Busch beer brand Natural Light is hosting a digital commencement on Facebook Live to drum up brand awareness among its core college-aged consumer. By providing this experience to young folks during unprecedented times, the brand could position itself in a positive light and nurture a loyal following of beer drinkers.