In the dynamic world of marketing, capturing the attention of Generation Z requires innovative approaches that resonate with their unique preferences and lifestyles. One such avenue is Refuel’s groundbreaking in-school advertising strategy, designed to place brands directly in the line of sight of high school students. Refuel’s proprietary High-School Source™ and Middle-School Source™, featuring 4’x6′ back-lit boards with programmable LED messaging, provide an unparalleled opportunity to engage with this influential demographic. 

In this blog post, we will explore the potential of in-school advertising in high schools, shedding light on how this strategic approach can significantly impact brand awareness, intent to purchase, and overall engagement with Generation Z.

Read next: Your Ultimate Guide to Reaching, Influencing, + Winning Over Gen Z

Understanding your teen target audience

Before you can successfully launch your high school marketing campaigns, you need to understand your target audience at a deep level—who they are, what they care about, what makes them tick, how they engage with media, and what their lifestyles look like. 

At Refuel, we believe research is at the very core of our success, and we use proprietary insights from our Gen Z Explorer Series™ to ensure we understand how to market to Gen Z and that our campaigns make an impact. 

So who is the Gen Z audience and how can you influence them? Gen Z teens are pragmatic, diverse, and independent. While their Millennial counterparts are much more keen on oversharing, Gen Z manages their social media presence much more like a brand—curated and privacy-oriented. Gen Z are accustomed to being marketed to, so they expect brands to merge seamlessly into their lives, support their values, and to communicate the way that they do. 

In particular, Gen Z teens are at the forefront of trends, constantly scouting for new products, online personalities, and technology. Marketing manager Sarah Walter advises, “Take time to research what’s cool and what’s not, and use that knowledge to boost activities. Leverage this information to get ahead of your competition.” CEO Kevin Miller chimes in, saying, “Young people are focused on what’s popular and relevant now and in the present moment, so it’s important to use current references and platforms to properly engage with them.”

1. In-School Advertising: A Captive Audience

Refuel’s in-school advertising leverages the unique environment of high schools, where students spend a significant portion of their day. With no competing media or marketing units, the 4’x6′ back-lit boards strategically placed in hallways and locker rooms become prime real estate for capturing the attention of Gen Z. This captive audience ensures that your brand remains front and center in the daily lives of high school students, fostering a continuous and impactful presence.

Read next: 10 Tips for Back-to-School Advertising Campaigns That Get Results

2. Customization for Targeted Impact

The High-School Source™ and Middle-School Source™ boards offer a level of customization that aligns with the diverse preferences of Gen Z. Brands can tailor campaigns based on specific markets, target age groups, gender, and campaign duration. This flexibility allows for precision in messaging, ensuring that advertisements resonate with the intended audience. Whether promoting a back-to-school sale, highlighting a new product, or driving engagement with a social cause, the customizable nature of these boards ensures relevance and impact.

Read next: Marketing to High School Students: 4 Strategies That Make an Impact

3. Integration with Online and Social Media

In-school advertising is most effective when seamlessly integrated with the digital landscapes where Gen Z thrives. Refuel’s strategy often involves pairing in-school campaigns with online and social media initiatives. This integration creates a holistic brand experience, as students encounter consistent messaging both offline and online. By bridging the gap between physical and digital spaces, brands can amplify their reach and impact, maximizing the effectiveness of their marketing efforts.

4. Third-Party Studies Validate Success

The efficacy of Refuel’s in-school advertising strategy is not anecdotal; it’s backed by dozens of third-party studies. These studies consistently demonstrate significant increases in brand awareness, intent to purchase, and actual purchase or action. The immersive nature of in-school advertising, coupled with the ability to tailor messages to specific demographics, positions brands for success in influencing the behavior and preferences of Generation Z.

Read next: 6 Examples of Brands That Got Gen Z Marketing Right

5. Strategic Impact on Gen Z

Understanding the habits and preferences of Gen Z is crucial for any marketing strategy. This demographic values authenticity, customization, and experiences. Refuel’s in-school advertising aligns with these preferences by providing an authentic and uninterrupted space for brands to connect with high school students. The strategic placement of back-lit boards in high-visibility areas ensures that campaigns are not just seen but also remembered, creating a lasting impact on brand perception.

6. SEO Optimization for Maximum Visibility

To maximize the reach and visibility of in-school advertising targeting Gen Z, it’s crucial to align these efforts with a robust online presence. Implementing SEO strategies ensures that relevant keywords associated with the campaign are optimized for search engines. This allows the campaign to extend beyond the physical confines of the school, reaching parents, influencers, and the broader online community interested in the products or messages targeted at Gen Z.

Refuel’s in-school advertising emerges as a powerful tool for brands seeking to connect with Generation Z in a meaningful and impactful way. By strategically placing back-lit boards in high-visibility locations within schools, brands can capture the attention of a captive audience, fostering brand awareness and influencing purchasing decisions. 

The customization options, integration with online and social media, and the validation from third-party studies underscore the strategic impact of in-school advertising. As brands navigate the dynamic landscape of marketing to Gen Z, Refuel’s innovative approach provides a valuable avenue for building lasting connections with the next generation of consumers.

Christina O'Toole

Christina is a data-driven, full stack marketer with over 20 years success leading marketing in technology, higher ed and publishing industries. Christina has developed hundreds of marketing campaigns and built all facets of programs including lifecycle journeys, creative direction and lead generation. She now heads corporate marketing at Refuel Agency.