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Audience Insight - Advertising to Students

Market Summary - Advertising to Students

Audience Update:

Advertising to Students


QTR 2 2019


UCAS Media
Advertising to Students - UCAS Media Student Insight

At a Glance

 The UCAS Media student lifestyle report for 2018 is a single snapshot of students’ views on everything from buying tech, to booking travel, and the influences of parents and others on key product and service purchase decisions.

UCAS Media recognises the importance of understanding the whole student, and what it means to them to start university or college. For any brand wanting to engage with a new student, being able to align to their decision-making process during what is often a significant period of change in their lives, is what defines success and delivers results.

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Advertising to students - Audience facts and figures

Students are comfortable with advertising and tell us it helped their decision-making. But they felt most positive about brands when offers were personalised to them, and understood what they were interested in. A third also appreciate an obviously well thought out message.


Brand loyalty was most prevalent for tech items. However, 50% of students either currently use more than one brand or were likely to use different brands in the near future, meaning there is still a considerable market opportunity here.


Fashion brands used by students varied the most – 80% either regularly use more than one brand already or were likely to do so over the next 12 months.

Understanding brand loyalty


Buying habits leading up to Uni


Students spent more than double in freshers’ week compared to a typical week at university. Clothes and nights out are a high priority throughout uni, whereas books and homeware were purchased early on. Perhaps surprisingly, students spent more on clothes and books than they did on nights out and alcohol.

The most significant differences in spend, however, were between university regions. Students studying in London spent around 50% more on average than those studying in the south west and Wales during a typical week at uni. During freshers’ week, it was those studying in the East Midlands who spent the most on nights out.


Key influencers

Early engagement

We can get your brand in front of students early – from the moment they’re accepted at uni. That, for over 100k students, is in July – and from that moment, they’re looking for the products and services that will support their new lifestyle. Make sure you’re at the front of their minds, by building awareness of your brand in advance.


UCAS is the only organisation that can reach this critical audience, in those moments that matter. We can align your brand with their UCAS application status, so you’ll only be seen

by those with a confirmed place at university or college. What better way to increase your impact and relevance?

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