Taking Advantage of Your Target Demo Status

Did you know being a college student comes with tons of perks? Companies want to give you free stuff to try because you fall into what is known as their "targeted demo." This is why you probably see a ton of big name brands hanging out on your campus all the time passing out free stuff. They figure if you try it now, you'll eventually become a life-long consumer, so it's worth all the crazy tactics they often take to grab your attention.

In a recent Huffington Post article, I broke down this recent trend and looked at some of the biggest campaigns creating buzz with college students. Here's a list of some  that you might not know about:

On Campus Promotions

Kentucky Fried Chicken: Annually, the Colonel’s Scholar program awards one student with a 20,000 scholarship to attend a public in-state college or university. However, KFC recently conducted a scholarship contest using twitter- the candidate with the best tweet explaining why they demonstrate strong academic and philanthropic qualities (including the hashtag #KFCScholar) would receive $20,000 in scholarship money.

Office Depot: Hosting a back-to-school initiative, Office Depot raided over 55 college campuses, distributing free notebooks with the school’s logo, campus maps for new students, and coupons for school supplies at Office Depot. Recognizing the costliness of back-to-school shopping, Office Depot's aim was to make the return to a new school year more affordable and accessible.

MTV: MTV Scratch partnered with the Dr. Pepper Snapple Group to promote a new drink, Sun Drop. From repackaging and designing to samples and promotional events, the drink will be featured in popular MTV shows watched by College Students, including MTV's college network’s "The mtvU Woodie Awards. Furthermore, a nationwide brand awareness campaign across college campuses is planned.

Original Penguin: The popular sportswear brand has created a combined promotional and philanthropic effort. By bringing a “pop-up” retail store to 20 college campuses, the company hoped to raise awareness for a local charity as well as highlight a variety of fashion trends. Brand representatives spread themselves around campus, distributing gift cards, free items, and coupons.

The sandwish chain organized  street team promotions on college campuses throughout the Midwest to promote Subway’s new “Brinner” (breakfast right through dinner) campaign and  to drive store traffic and trial of their new breakfast menu items. During the morning hours, energetic street team staff, wearing “Ask Me About Bacon”  T-shirts, distributed thousands of Subway coupon cards to students over two days.


By Erin Cunningham, George Washington University

Head on over to 1,000 Dreams Fund to learn how to get funding for your dreams!