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What Do Students Keep?

August 20, 2009
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Freshmen move-in at Wash U was today. My organization had a table on campus in the midst of all the students, and so as we planned for this day, we were faced with the challenge of distributing relevant materials in the form of something they wouldn’t promptly throw away.

When I was a student, I remember being inundated by keychains and pamphlets and lanyards and cheap water bottles. Stuff that I promptly threw away.

I had a few ideas of things that students wouldn’t throw away. Not all are ideal for disseminating detailed information, but we have a website for that. The key functions of this item is (a) to get the student to keep it, (b) make sure the student connects the item with my organization, and (c) make sure it’s affordable en masse.

My thoughts about what students keep:

  • Flash drives
  • Canvas grocery bags
  • Plants

The latter is an idea I got from a priest over at Ohio State’s Newman Center. They gave away tiny, growing plants one year. Added a little green to students’ rooms.

In this day and age, what else do students keep?

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8 Comments leave one →
  1. August 20, 2009 10:31 pm

    I remember back when I was at the University of Colorado. I was given a little laundry bag which I found really handy – so handy that it went traveling with me a few years later, and I still have to this day. It means I can keep my dirty washing out of the way in a drawer or something when I’m away.

    It was sponsored by EveryStudent.com but I have only just gone there to see what they actually do based on me writing this. So, I kept their promotional item, but never visited their site when I was a student. Perhaps a laundry bag then… but maybe with some incentive on there as well as a URL?

  2. August 20, 2009 10:45 pm

    A little laundry bag–that’s a great idea. And it makes me think of those cheap little backpacks, the really small ones with the strings as straps. I actually really like that size of bag for soccer stuff.

    You make a great point about caring much more about the function of the item than the logo itself. It would be easy to cross-tie a promotion–for a laundry bag, if you go to the site, they’ll give you a t-shirt (laundry) to go in the bag–but that would cost the company even more.

  3. T-Mac permalink
    August 21, 2009 6:52 am

    If I were a freshman, I’d also keep a nontraditional map of St. Louis that highlighted interesting activities (city museum, Wash. Ave, zoo, etc)…as well as your beloved CSC. It’d have to be a pretty darn good/interesting map though–maybe one side would show the city and the other side would show a close-up of Wash. U.

  4. Honest Abe permalink
    August 21, 2009 6:54 am

    As a male freshman, I might (realistically) keep a poster of a hot woman. If you handed those out and slapped, “I’ll see you at the Catholic Student Center” across the bottom, I might actually go to the CSC to check it out. This is probably highly antithetical to the CSC’s morals and message, and it panders to the wrong crowd, but if you want to fill seats, I think this would work. Replace Father Gary and his robes with a Giselle look-alike in a swimsuit, and I bet you’ll not only have the most well-attended campus masses, but those attending will pay attention too.

  5. Bryce permalink
    August 22, 2009 8:40 am

    Dude, I think the flash drive makes a lot of sense. Its totally useful, you can put your logo on the outside and you can fill the drive with info about your org and you can put a link to the website. The kids might actually look at it before they delete it. (and you could put pictures of hot girls without having to print posters)

    • August 26, 2009 10:49 am

      I want to add a comment here just so I remember…I bet students would keep floss.

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