Dance-rock band DNCE stopped by a Social Media Marketing class on Wednesday morning before the group’s performance at OwlChella, the university spring concert, at 8 p.m.
Ian Aubry, a junior media studies and production major, brought the band to Tuttleman Learning Center as part of a campus marketing campaign for Republic Records, a division of Universal Music Group. Aubry is UMG’s College & Lifestyle Marketing Representative.
“Basically, Republic Records reached out to me to do something fun with DNCE on campus, and as a Joe Jonas love myself, of course I said yes,” Aubry wrote in an email.
Jonas — who is formerly of the 2000’s pop rock band The Jonas Brothers — and other DNCE members Cole Whittle, Jack Lawless and JinJoo Lee sat down in the beginning of the class, pretending they were students. They also joked that they were foreign exchange students.
The students in the class didn’t know about the visit, and were surprised to see the group.
Matthew Ray, an adjunct instructor and co-founer of ChatterBlast Media, a Philadelphia-based communications agency, teaches Social Media Marketing. He said Aubry, one of Ray’s students, reached out to him about organizing the event.
“I thought it would be great for students to see how real world activations and engagements create social buzz because we had celebrities in here and the first thing they started to do was use Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat and it shows a lot about what we talk about in class,” Ray said.
Emily Winshel, a senior communications studies major, said she first didn’t believe that the people walking in were Joe Jonas and the rest of DNCE.
“I was like, ‘no way is that Joe Jonas. It can’t be. He’s probably a student,'” Winshel said. “I wanted to take photos, but I was like, is that weird? It’s such a small room, I didn’t want to be obnoxious.”
Ray added that he thinks it will be a memorable moment for his students.
“I think it’s important that your college experience have fun things,” Ray said. “This celebrity culture is important to social media and it’s important to all forms of marketing. It’s fun to engage with.”
Jenny Choi contributed reporting.
Emily Scott can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @emilyivyscott.