Aug 212005
Authors: Nicole Barrett

For advertisers, college campuses are a gold mine.

Numbering in the thousands. college students are a desirable target for advertisers, and advertisers and marketing directors know that.

Dr. O.C. Ferrell, chair of the marketing department at CSU , said college students are at a unique place in their lives and could form habits that will possibly continue later in life.

"College students are a large market for many different types of product categories," Ferrell said. "Product categories include shoes, beverages, cars, and any other type of product that college students are likely to purchase."

Ernest Chavez, chair of the psychology department on campus, agreed.

"College students are more likely to buy certain kinds of products, like alcohol and clothes," Chavez said.

Advertising targets all groups and varieties of people, not just college students. However they are a popular market for advertisers, especially to promote new product trial, Ferrell said.

"Advertisers have said that (college students) are an important audience to attract because (they are) responsible for starting trends," said Scot Bondlow, the northwest advertising director for Sports Illustrated.

The Collegian periodically inserts Sports Illustrated on Campus into the paper.

"Advertisers view college students as opinion leaders – a demographic group that will hopefully continue habits later in life," Ferrell said. "College Students are just one more target market for advertisers."

Chavez also acknowledges the mindset of advertisers to see college students as potential high-income consumers.

"Advertisers want to catch consumers early and make a product indispensable, (this way) once students start earning more money they will continue using the product," Chavez said.

Advertisers see potential for sales in college-aged students, especially for products like Powerbar and Nike, Bondlow said.

Chavez said that advertising does not necessarily bring new consumers as much as redistributes them.

"For example, beer advertising changes the market share, like Coors is doing with Budweiser," Chavez said.

There are several advantages of advertising; one of them is that large numbers of people can be reached at the lowest cost per person, Ferrell said.

"Advertising works to inform, persuade to try a product, and try to let people know of a brand alternative," Ferrell said, "Advertising in general creates awareness and stimulates demand."

However, students may view advertising differently than the advertisers hope.

"I don't think that it's that important," said Mandi Credle, sophomore English major.

In magazines like Sports Illustrated, advertisers choose the publication because they indicated it is important to reach the 18-24 demographic groups, Bondlow said.

"The 18-24 demographic segment is extremely popular right now for advertisers," he said.

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