Robinhood’s fall marketing blitz will zero in on college students – Morning Brew

Robinhood is going to college. The gamified trading app is hoping to corner the same audience that drinks Natty Light and skips 8am classes, as its new nationwide campaign is aimed specifically toward college students.

  • Robinhood will give students who create a Robinhood brokerage account using their school email address $15 to trade. Students who do so will be entered into a giveaway that’ll give five students $20,000 toward college tuition, per a company blog post.
  • According to the company, Robinhood already has nearly 3.8 million student customers, of some 20 million across the US.

There are obvious synergies for the brand. If you’re going to try and “democratize finance” —Robinhood’s purported mission—you need to reach people who likely don’t have a brokerage account in the first place, Derek Stubbs, a marketing analyst at Gartner, told Marketing Brew.

“Naturally, you’re thinking younger. You’re also thinking, ‘Well, if they’re college students, they at least have enough money to go to college,’” Stubbs told us. “There’s a liquidity opportunity…It’s a well-worn path for major brands to go onto college campuses and find new consumers.”

Plus, the campaign could help benefit Robinhood in the long run, if people keep using the app once they’ve thrown their caps. A financial investment tool might have more staying power for people than say, Rolling Rock, a beer that might not ever be bought again after graduation. 

“This is not going to be something consumers outgrow,” said Stubbs. “If you graduate college, you’ll have more money than other people—you’re going to continue to invest.”

Related, unrelated: Though Robinhood can pitch brokerage accounts, credit card companies must stay 1,000 feet away from a college campus if they’re going to offer gifts to students for completing an application thanks to the Credit Card Act of 2009 👀.—RB