Creative Ways to Engage Students for Back to School

Topics: Millennials + Gen Z, Digital Media, Media + Advertising, Campus Media

Posted by: Barbara Gretsch, CEO

Over the next few weeks, classes will be starting, and college kids will be heading back to campus or stepping foot on campus for the first time. For advertisers, this is a new season to target these students on campuses. According to Nationwide, between part-time jobs and help from parents, the average college student has $1,200 per month to spend, adding up to $417 billion in total spending power each year. The key to a successful campaign is to be creative and step outside the box.

A few brands have done a great job to effectively reach the college audience...


In 2013, L’Oreal wanted to promote its Healthy Look Crème Gloss hair color to college-aged women on campus. They hosted hair-coloring parties and enlisted student street teams to talk about the brand. They encouraged students to share their new hairstyles on social media with the hashtag #HealthLook. Overall, L’Oreal distributed more than 35,000 samples, and 300,000 coupons, with 12,000 students tried the product at events or parties. The campaign also generated nearly 5.2 million social media impressions.


Many brands do college bus tours that make stops at multiple campuses to promote a product or service, which means advertisers must be creative to stand out. Macy’s Campus Tour did just that. Their yearly campaign includes different aspects, including an eye-catching mobile vehicle that stops on campus and allows students to browse through brands and products for sale at the department store. The bus also takes about 200 students to the nearest Macy’s location for a memorable shopping experience with snacks, gifts, makeovers, and musical performances.


Doritos wanted to execute a marketing program on the day of and the day before election day. Choosing a day where many students are allowed to vote for the first time, Doritos wanted to build on the excitement of the day and create a memorable experience. Giving out branded bags of chips and talking to students about voting and the upcoming election, Doritos increased brand awareness and gave out over 252,000 bags of chips to students.


See our complete guide to advertising to university students.




Here at MSSmedia, we’ve been providing Education, Government, Real Estate & Lifestyle clients with succinct, optimized, and successful marketing solutions for more than 15 years. Consider MSSmedia a full-service, one-stop shop for all your Media and Public Relations needs. Your goals are our motivation. And our mission is to propel your message, further and faster, to achieve the outcomes you’re looking for. If you found this blog post helpful, please share!

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