Best Student Marketing Campaigns 2019/20

Over the last 12 months, there have been some incredibly creative marketing campaigns brands have used to target a younger demographic. Whilst these brands may not have directly targeted STUDENTS with these campaigns, their success amongst young people indirectly helped these adverts to become hits with the student population. 

KFC x Pizza Hut

One of the more recent campaigns, but still one of our finger-lickin’ favorites, is the collaboration between KFC and Pizza Hut. This time, they brought us the
‘Popcorn Chicken Pizza’, a crazy Pizza Hut pizza made of KFC gravy base, and
topped with KFC popcorn chicken and corn.

Brand collaborations are a great marketing technique, as they bring together audiences of both brands, and the Popcorn Chicken Pizza was no different. It trended #1 on Twitter, and was discussed on numerous Facebook pages, newspapers, and magazines. If you can trend on social media, you know you’ve developed a successful student marketing campaign!


Dorito’s Another Level

The Dorito’s ‘Another Level’ campaign was an interesting one, and was targeted specially at Generation Z. The younger generation are well known for being less-trusting of adverts, so Dorito’s made an ‘Anti-Ad’ just
for them.

On their social media, a video ad, and a billboard, Dorito’s removed all their logos, and didn’t mention their brand name once in the ad. Instead, they promoted a ‘Blue’ and ‘Red’ bag of potato chips in the shape of a triangle. Everyone knew it was a Dorito ad, but the fact that it was different made it so much more memorable, and Gen Z will have appreciated the non-branding aspect.


Paddy Power x Huddersfield

Another marketing campaign that trended #1 on Twitter and other social media for days was the Paddy Power ad in collaboration with Huddersfield Town. In July, Paddy Power and Huddersfield released an image of the new Huddersfield Town football shirt. It was ridiculously over-the-top, with a huge Paddy Power image emblazoned across the entire shirt.

Football fans across the country were outraged, and the FA even contacted Huddersfield to ask for an explanation. However, it was later revealed to be a hoax, with Paddy Power introducing a ‘Save Our Shirt’ campaign to try and stop the excessive shirt sponsorships which take place in the UK. The campaign led to numerous social media memes and discussions, and was a great success amongst young people.



Honeypot was a relatively unknown dating app until August this year, when its buzz/viral marketing campaign thrust the app into the limelight. What did they do? They simply wrote on a whiteboard: “To my cheating boyfriend @George.Rawlings don’t bother coming home tonight. Enjoy seeing this on Instagram, the same way I saw you and that girl on the weekend…oh the irony! P.S You’re deluded if you think Honeypot is the next Hinge”.

The whiteboard was help up outside Liverpool Street Station, and was photographed and shared across social media. Just like Paddy Power however, it was soon revealed to be a fake, with the app’s founder, George Rawlings, wanting to get the word out about his new app Honeypot. This was a huge success, and dramatically increased brand awareness of the app, especially amongst younger people on social media.

Dracula Billboard

We couldn’t talk about 2019/20 marketing without mentioning the Dracula Billboard! Made for the new BBC Drama, the billboard looked like a bunch of random stakes during the day. But in the evening, the shadow created an incredible Dracula face. A timelapse video of the billboard went viral on social media, helping dramatically raise the profile of BBC’s Dracula series amongst young people.

Vagabond Prosecco ATM

At Freshers Festival, we are passionate about face-to-face marketing. That is why we loved Vagabond’s face-to-face or ‘face-to-ATM’ marketing campaign in January. What did they do? Well, they made a free vending machine that dispenses glasses of Prosecco to passers-by. The machine went (unsurprisingly) viral on social media, trending on Twitter and Instagram. Forbes Magazine even posted about it.

We encourage all brands to take their face-to-face marketing to the next level, and cool activations such as this are one of the best ways a brand can be shared across social media and go viral amongst students. If you want to learn more about face-to-face marketing, download our free E-book here.




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