UK student company ‘Splash Marketing’ helps Lex nightlife

By Hope Smith

Sometimes the best ideas come to you during that last sip of an ice-cold beer while you’re sitting on the couch waiting for a cab to take you downtown on a Friday night – just ask the guys at Splash Marketing.

“Friends often sit around before going out to the bars thinking ‘who has the best specials tonight?’ but no one ever knows,” Aaron Bonne, Splash Marketing co-owner, said. “So we thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be great if we could find this out with a quick text?’”

Splash Marketing, a young company that strives to connect college students with local bars and businesses, is currently adding users and businesses to its list. As the list grows, the company’s mobile marketing technique will continue to reach more individuals.

The plan is to encourage interested students to text the word “splash” to the number “69302” to enroll their phone number in the marketing list.

Once that text is processed, students will receive a thank-you message, followed by nightly specials, discounts and happenings as they surface.

After the initial enrollment, students can contact Splash for specials, but can also be contacted by local bars and restaurants through Splash. The service will be completely free to students, paid for by local businesses and managed by Splash Marketing.

The three owners, all 21-year-old UK students, want clients and participants to know that Splash is “lead by college students and for college students” and “based on intimate contacts,” Bonne said.

“We’re still a pretty young company, but we’re really going to hit the ground running this semester and grow our client list,” Michael Ward, another co-owner said.

According to Thurston Booth, the third Splash co-owner, only one other local company offers a service similar to this one. However, the problem, Booth said, is that company does not target college students who are typically highly interested in money-saving deals and discounts.

“We want to pick up some of the slack where they left off,” Booth said.

The three owners have been marketing their company mainly through word of mouth since its official start about six months ago, but will pass out their first flyers next week.

Once Splash takes off in Lexington, the plan is to take the service to surrounding cities and college campuses.

“We want Splash to be as big as we can handle,” Bonne said. “I want to take over the Midwest as soon as possible.”