Kendall Jenner was rumored to be on campus at the University of Wisconsin-Madison on Oct. 12 to promote her 818 Tequila brand.
Where did this rumor start? There was speculation that Jenner was going to be in town since she had visited other Midwest university campus bars, such as at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. She started her mini-tour by attending the Forbes 30 Under 30 Summit in Cleveland, Ohio. She then traveled to Indiana, Illinois and Michigan, where she stopped by multiple student spots.
Many UW-Madison students said this is why they believed Jenner was going to visit.
I was gullible enough to believe the rumor that spiraled throughout campus and ended up heading over to Chasers 2.0, where Jenner was rumored to be. A huge bus with tinted windows parked right by Chasers led people to believe Jenner was inside. The word around the block was that she would be at Chasers 2.0 at some point that Thursday night.
Students gathered outside of the mystery bus holding umbrellas, willing to wait in the rain with hopes of getting even a glimpse of Jenner. At one point, a fire truck pulled up in front of the bus, confusing students when paramedics came out with a stretcher to enter the 420 West apartment complex right next to Chasers 2.0. You can only imagine the stress the paramedics were going through trying to do their job when there was a whole crowd of people outside of the complex they were trying to get into.
A combination of unmatched dedication and the mystery around Jenner’s rumored visit to campus prompted students to commit their day to waiting in line. I interviewed a fellow UW-Madison student, Adalyn Rechenberger, and asked her how long she was willing to wait for Jenner.
“I’m willing to wait till 5 [p.m.] when Chasers opens, and it’s about 2 o’clock right now and I’ve been here since 12:30,” Rechenberger said.
As I talked to other people in line during our two-hour wait, one student shared with me that she had tried 818. In her opinion, it wasn’t very good.
Later in the day, it was confirmed that Jenner was not actually on campus.
Many students on campus reached out to 818 Tequila’s Instagram account to ask if the rumors were true. They responded rather quickly, stating, “Kendall’s tour has officially concluded, she will not be making any stops in Wisconsin today.” The Instagram account then said to stay tuned for upcoming events and appearances near the area, saying, “We’ll of course keep you in mind as we plan our future tours.”
Unexpectedly, reaching college students at their local bars was the perfect tactic to promote her tequila. Jenner used a tactic called guerrilla marketing, defined by Investopedia as a promotion that uses surprises and/or unconventional interactions in order to promote a product or service. Ultimately, this was a great business move by Jenner.
Many students were disappointed and couldn’t believe that she wasn’t actually on campus, and I don’t blame them. What else would a big bus with tinted windows be doing in front of Chasers 2.0?
While she didn’t end up visiting UW-Madison, she certainly gained free promotion. And who knows — maybe 818 Tequila will have more Badger fans after her rumored visit.