Marketing to students: experience is everything

Students may be more strapped for cash than ever before, both here in the UK and across the pond in the US, but that doesn’t change the fact that they often make life long brand decisions during these educationally formulative years.

Amble just up the road from FRUKT HQ at midday and you’ll find yourself amidst a throng of young students pouring out of a nearby college. It comes as no great surprise to realise that just opposite where they congregate is a strategically placed billboard. Sometimes its student relevant, but more often than not it isn’t. Today it’s advertising investment banking.

We’ve heard reports this week that suggest that marketing on college campuses in the US is on the rise, with brands such as Chevrolet, Microsoft, HP and Victoria’s Secret all currently active on the student circuit. Naturally, it comes as no big surprise to see that experiential activations are the ones generating the biggest results.

Levi’s ‘Mirror Mirror…what’s my Curve ID?’ promotion is currently touring across US campuses targeting female students, encouraging them to engage in a tailored jeans fitting on site.  Thanks in part to some VIP style pampering and some money back incentives for colleges, it appear to be notching up some impressive turnout figures.

Back on home turf in the UK, Dell has spent the summer aligning itself with influential college leavers at the student focused music festival Beach Break Live, enabling them to get hands on with new product. Again highlighting how brands must bring tangible evidence of their products and benefits to students.

Thinking back to that billboard by the college up the road, a one day experiential activity – such as Heineken’s live music billboard or Gu's drum billboard – could hit hundreds of students emotionally in one day, as opposed to a month long static billboard campaign that says nothing to them about their lives.

Back to Source