There are nearly 20 million college students in the US, primarily made up of Gen Z and Millennials. This group is especially influential because they possess over $540 billion in spending power and marketing to such a significant group can create lifelong customers for brands.

Most college students are influenced by a brand’s authenticity more than their advertising, partly because of their use of ad-free streaming services and ad blockers while online. Smart brands will consider newer ways of reaching these young consumers like social media, the use of student ambassadors and useful promotional items.

Promos that relate to what is trendy with college students can be a great way for brands to appeal to this influential group. College is often the place they are forming their brand preferences for the first time in their adult lives so brands that make a good impression can earn lifetime customers. Plus, once a student leaves college they are estimated to make over $1 million more than non-college peers so these brand relationships are high-value. (1)

Student life revolves around pop culture trends, so that is a good place to start If your clients are looking to make an impact with the college crowd. Here is a list of ideas for promos to impress the college crowd.


Streaming services are the go-to for students’ favorite movies and shows that drive pop culture trends. Promos that tie-in to some of today’s top binge-watching picks are sure to be a hit with students.


#16013 Expandable Packing Cubes – Embrace the konmari method even while on the road with expandable packing cubes that keep luggage tidy and organized. Marie Kondo would be so proud!

#26130 IN & OUT Sunglasses – Documentaries on the notorious Fyre Festival were some of the most popular shows on streaming services this year, especially with students. These BPA-free sunglasses come in a variety of colors, including a Fyre orange shade, perfect for festivals that actually happen.


#32286 Desktop Toss Game – Students are moving on from older 90’s sitcoms to binge-watching The Office on Netflix. This desktop game would have been a great event alongside Flonkerton in the “Office Olympics” episode and looked even better next to Michael’s famous coffee mug.

#26156 Peerless Umbrella The Hotel – Based on a comic book series of the same name, The Umbrella Academy was a big hit with students in 2019. The sophisticated and retro design of this classic automatic-open umbrella would be a hit with anyone in the Hargreeves family, even Sir Reginald.

Music On-the-Go

Students are adopting new music technology like the Rockbot app quickly and spreading the word about trendy portable audio-related products. Promos that provide access to their favorite tunes wherever they go are sure to make a brand stand out with students.


#32311 Marley Positive Vibrations Bluetooth® Headphones – Perfect for walks to class or studying at the library, these over-ear headphones have big drivers and soft ear cushions with precision sound for up to 10-12 hours of wireless play time.

#32270 Jam® Chill Out Bluetooth® Speaker – Don’t let its small size fool you! This mini speaker delivers massive, crisp sound that will liven up any party. IP67 rated so its durable, waterproof, and a great option for college students.

#32331 COBY® True Wireless Earbuds – Designed to be as versatile as the people who rely on them. Whether the morning commute to campus or an invigorating workout with friends, these earbuds enhance every moment with the power of COBY audio, free from tangles and cords.

De-stress Events

College campuses are taking proactive steps toward helping students relax and avoid burnout, especially during finals week. Many creative student affairs professionals have implemented fun and clever ideas to help students relieve tension – and these events are a hot trend with students in 2019. (2)


#41088 HoMedics® Personal Portable Aroma Diffuser – Ideal for relaxation, this diffuser comes with essential oils and pads to release scent while a gentle glow helps create a peaceful environment. The compact size and imprinted pouch for storage make this a great fit for crowded dorm rooms.

#41069 Round Massage Ball – Use your own body weight and gravity to help relieve muscle knots and tension with this high-density massage ball.

#8201 Adult Coloring Book Planner, Academic – Take a break from class and relax with these delightful designs. A useful item for keeping schedules organized and reducing stress while studying. Includes a 14-month academic calendar.

Charity Involvement

92% of hiring managers view volunteer activities as building leadership skills and believe students who were involved with charitable campus groups to be more positively engaged in the workplace. (3) Students see volunteerism as a way to build real-world skills and make professional connections while helping improve their local and global communities. Promotional products remind students of the causes they care about while helping spread the word about organizations’ missions.


#65221 Silicone Awareness Wrist Band – Continue to show support for a cause outside of events with this wrist band. Available with screen print or deboss imprint.

#45823 Koozie® Collapsible Eco Can Kooler – Great for environmental organizations, 10% of this can kooler foam is made from renewable resources for a classic promo that students love with an eco-friendly twist.

#30915 256 MB Folding USB Flash Drive – Charitable organizations can provide information, event details or volunteer information right on this USB. Available in a variety of colors to coordinate with the organization, campus club or school colors.

Visit to see more products that appeal to what’s trending for students in 2019.

Koozie® is a registered trademark of BIC Graphic North America. ©2019 BIC Graphic North America, Clearwater, FL.


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