20 Best Giveaways for College Students


 College students are known to be broke, especially if they need to use the money for ramen noodles and textbooks. However, it doesn’t mean that businesses should ignore this type of demographic. Keep in mind that college students are millennials, which means they surpassed the baby boomer as the largest generation. Ignoring that type of audience could only hurt the business.

Businesses have become very strategic when it comes to marketing on a college campus. One of the most successful strategies is to incorporate giveaways for the students. 

Now the question is, “What are the best giveaways for college students to enhance brand awareness?”

Luckily, 1338Tryon has some tips and tricks to help companies maximize their marketing campaign through these specific demographics.

Related: A Quick Guide to Promotional Bags

What is brand activation?

Before we get into the best giveaways for college students, let’s dive into the concept of brand activation. Brand activation refers to the process of making a company’s brand known to people. This is mainly through increasing engagement and awareness through some kind of experience. 

When an individual first starts a business, nobody knows who they are. The brand is basically dead, but incorporating free giveaways in college campuses will spread awareness and engagements, which will bring the brand back to life.

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Why College Students Are a Key Audience

If college students are so broke, then why are they the key audience?

Match Series has estimated that there are 20 million U.S. college students with $44 billion in buying power.

Students tend to be loyal to a specific brand for life. Exposing them to a particular brand will capture their interests and potential loyalty for the future. Once they graduate and get out to the real world to make money, they can start making purchases on that brand they came to know in college. This can lead to a significant profit for the company in the future because the students would stick to that particular brand for a long time.

In addition to that, college students are obsessed with social media. If they love a brand or see it everywhere, they will be most likely to share it on their social media page, leading to likes and engagement.

Ways to Advertise to College Students

college students studying aerial view campus


Here are a variety of ways to market to college students:

College fairs

College fairs are excellent ways to market a campaign. This is mainly because it brings in a very specific target audience. 

For example, if there’s an art fair for college students, this would be a fantastic event to advertise brands that relate to the art industry. After all, students that go to these events are more likely to be interested in potentially making a purchase to a brand that connects to them artistically. 

This is why a college fair is an excellent place to market a company’s brand because of its laser focus target audience.

Student clubs and organization events

Student clubs and organizations are often very interactive and busy. These are college students who are most likely to check out the products and services as well as providing some sort of engagement. Plus, certain clubs and events are highly targeted towards a specific industry, so it’s easier to bring brand awareness to these individuals, especially if the brand relates to that industry.

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Family visit weekends

Even though the students are broke, it doesn’t mean their parents are. This is why marketing a brand during family visit weekends is an excellent idea. This allows students and their parents to engage in the brand actively and have a meaningful discussion about it. If the parents find that this is something valuable and useful for their kids, they can make an immediate purchase. Even if they don’t make a purchase, they can talk to their friends and family about it to spread awareness.

Related: How Promo Products Can Make a Lasting Impression

What to give away

When it comes to giveaways at a college, here are 20 best gifts that can activate a company’s brand.

17 Oz. Thermo Go Bottle w/Travel Case

 17 Oz. Thermo Go Bottle w/Travel Case

This bottle can keep any beverage warm for long hours. This is a wonderful gift, especially for students who are stuck in a long boring lecture that needs hot coffee to keep them awake. 

It’s an insulated stainless vacuum bottle with a lid and a vacuum seal push button with a massive area for the company’s logo.


Powder Coated Hydro-Soul Water Bottle – 17 Oz

This water bottle has a copper lining that keeps the drink cold for up to 24 hours or hot for up to eight hours. This is an excellent portable water bottle that students can take everywhere they go.

It features double-wall, vacuum-insulated construction, along with a full drip-free mouth and a no-drip insulated lid.


Classic Pullover with Custom Hood Lining

Classic Pullover with Custom Hood Lining

The sweatshirt features a pullover fleece with fabric drawstrings in the front. It’s beautiful and warm and has a creative twist with a customizable hood. The hoodie is made of 50% cotton and 50% polyester and comes in various colors.

In addition to that, companies can incorporate their logo on the front part of the sweater. 

Josephine™ Tote Bag (Screen Print)

Josephine™ Tote Bag (Screen Print)

The stylish tote bag has a reasonable feature with a cotton front and back panel with an ample amount of space for the logo. The 10 oz cotton front contains natural colored jute gussets and bottom. It’s a stylish bag that students can use to carry all their stuff as well as showcasing the company’s logo.

Looking for gifts to reward your employees? 1338Tryon can help

Square Fabric Wireless Bluetooth Speaker

 Square Fabric Wireless Bluetooth Speaker

This Bluetooth speaker has a creative dustproof design that is covered with cloth. It has a variety of colorful woven fabric and features a shockproof functionality. It works wonderfully in a range of 10 m and can last for two hours. Students can use this to watch TV or listen to music. Companies can even put their logo on the Bluetooth speaker.

Qi Wireless Charge Pad

Qi Wireless Charge Pad

This is a perfect accessory for smartphone users who always run out of battery. The wireless charging pad can charge the user’s phone without using a cord. All they have to do is place the phone on the pad and watch it charge. 

Plus, it contains a nonslip grip on the top and bottom to keep the iPhone secure. This is an excellent giveaway with a customizable logo on the pad.

Related: 16 Ways Color Affects Your Branding and Marketing


Key West Sunglasses

Key West Sunglasses

These fun and exciting sunglasses come in a variety of styles and colors. Companies can add their logo along with a glossy finish. It has a UV 400 protection which is an excellent giveaway during the summer.

Gildan® Men’s DryBlend® 50 Cotton/50 Poly T-Shirt

Gildan® Men's DryBlend® 50 Cotton/50 Poly T-Shirt

This stylish T-shirt has moisture-wicking property, double-needle sleeves, heat transfer labels, and hem and taped neck. It comes in a variety of colors and sizes, and it’s a great way to implement the company logo.


1″ Standard Round Ring Vinyl Binder

1" Standard Round Ring Vinyl Binder

 This round ring vinyl binder can hold over 200 pages. Add a logo in front of the binder, and it can be a powerful marketing strategy as the student carries it from one classroom to another.

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Cork’n Velvet Coaster

Cork'n Velvet Coaster

This cork top has a soft velvety bottom. It’s made to protect the table and desk from water damage and cup ring. Not only that, but companies can also add their logo on the coaster and create a genius marketing tool that can spread brand awareness when the student decides to throw a big party with a significant number of guests, which requires a coaster to keep their tables clean.

Small Round Bag Clip with Magnet

Small Round Bag Clip with Magnet

This fantastic clip and magnet will keep the documents together as well as stacks of reminders. They are a useful solution for a messy student that needs to keep their stuff organized.

Related: Your Guide to Drinkware

Go & Glow Reflective Beanie With Cuff

Go & Glow Reflective Beanie With Cuff

This one size fits all acrylic beanie can keep anyone’s head warm during the cold season. It’s also stylish and trendy that will make an excellent conversation starter. The front of the beanie is where the logo is placed, which is a fashionable advertisement statement wherever the students go.


Sticky Flag Jotter

Sticky Flag Jotter

Students live a busy life, so they want to jot down notes, reminders, or assignments so they won’t forget. The sticky flag charter comes in five different colors along with a 60 sheets spiral down memo pad. It also has a mini ballpoint pen inserted in the elastic loop.

Notebook with Pen and Sticky Flags

The essential tools to be successful in class are a notebook and a pen. This notebook contains a matching paper barrel pen. It has 70 pages of line memo along with sticky flags in five different colors. The interior can expand into a pocket, therefore, holding the cards. With this powerful combo along with the logo incorporated in the pads, the student will remember the brand that reminds them of success.


1″ Pricebuster Lanyard Maximum Savings

1" Pricebuster Lanyard Maximum Savings

This price buster lanyard is made of high-quality soft and silky polyester material. It includes four different colors and styles that match the student’s style and personality.


Heathered Drawstring Backpack

Heathered Drawstring Backpack

This stylish and portable drawstring backpack is made of gray polyester. It is extra thick and sturdy, but also comfortable along with an adjustable drawstring cord. It’s highly convenient for students who need to carry a smaller load around the campus.

22 Oz. Aluminum Sports Water Bottle w/ Carabiner

22 Oz. Aluminum Sports Water Bottle w/ Carabiner


This water bottle reminds students to stay hydrated throughout the day. The sports bottle is made with aluminum material and has a 22-ounce container with a black twisted top lid. It has a silkscreen imprint area for the logo, and it’s eco- friendly and reusable. 

Related: The Secrets to Attracting Ideal Customers

Multi-Function Charging Cable with MFI Lightning

Multi-Function Charging Cable with MFI Lightning


This 3 cord USB cable can fit any device, which means that students can use their own power sources like a charger, plug, or a computer. The LED light turns on when it’s connected to a power supply.


Anker® PowerWave 7.5W Stand Qi Wireless Charger Black

Anker® PowerWave 7.5W Stand Qi Wireless Charger Black


This device works at high-speed and with most wireless charged phones. It can charge in landscape orientation for watching video or portrait mode for facial recognition. This is a case-friendly device with charging power that can connect directly through the protective case.

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Omega Mobile Power Bank

Omega Mobile Power Bank

This aluminum case rechargeable power bank lithium battery provides significant power back up for any mobile device. All users have to do is plug the device charging cable into the USB port to charge. This is a handy device for college students who are continually using their electronics. As a matter of fact, having a customized logo on the device can be a strategic way of spreading brand awareness.


These college giveaways can help drive traffic and bring significant attention to the company’s brand. Offering free items is the best way to capture the attention of college students. Business owners who want to take it to the next level can visit 1338Tryon for excellent products and services to help spread brand awareness. 

Related: 8 Promo Products That Will Kick Start Your Goals


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