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Red Bull-for-phones helps students focus

By Fu Chao | China Daily | Updated: 2015-06-30 07:23

It's common to see students in class at universities focusing on their smartphones while their professors seem to be talking to the air. Smartphones and social media have changed people's lifestyles, and not all are good changes.

A drinks company has come up with a solution to make such students put away their beloved phones and concentrate on their lesson. Recently, in more than 10 colleges across China, students were able to "trade" the right to use their phones during class for a can of Red Bull.

Replacing a device students seem unable to step away from with a favorite beverage is a new and creative idea.

The company puts an "energy pocket" at the front of the classroom, which looks like a multilayered storage bag, with drinks in each pocket. To buy into the exchange, students take a can of Red Bull and place their phone in the pocket. They can retrieve the phone after the class.

The "trading" has been covered by major media outlets in China and is also a hot topic on social media.

"The post-'90s generation is quite rebellious," said a student from Jinan University in Guangzhou, Guangdong province. "We don't feel happy or comfortable if you come and take away our stuff. But if there is more than one option, if we can choose to trade one thing for another, we will buy that. It is more like an interaction."

The student market is one that fast-moving consumer goods companies compete energetically for. According to mass communications experts, young people, especially those with higher education, are more open to new things and willing to share things they find interesting with their peers, which makes them ideal for word of mouth communication. They are also willing to get involved in creative activities.

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