16
Sep
11

marketing makes the world go ’round

Did anyone else notice this at the US Open?

An undesirable urge between Games to go out and buy a Mercedes?

Branding, branding everywhere.

The latest: on college campuses. The two noted culprits in a recent NY Times article: American Eagle and Target.

University of North Carolina vice chancellor Winston B. Crisp, commenting on the clothing retailer American Eagle paying people to wear company T-shirts and to “volunteer” to help freshman move into their dorm rooms : “They are not supposed to be using the opportunity to help people move in as a way of forwarding commercial ventures.” This spoken while he’s STANDING NEAR THE CASH REGISTERS AT TARGET while upperclassmen hand out free Vitamin Water and miscellaneous snacks to students who have been BUSED IN FOR FREE  to  a university-sponsored midnight “event” at a local Target store.

One presumes he spoke without irony, although the reporter of the article doesn’t weigh in on that.

In one of the most blatant examples of spin I’ve heard recently, employees such as T-shirt clad movers are referred to as “brand ambassadors.” There are also such jobs available for companies such as HP, where part of your job is to plant yourself in a prominent location with your HP laptop and engage those around you in casual conversation, while working in positive references to your hardware computer equipment.

(Phew. Glad I caught that. For a minute there I sounded like I was talking about Ladies’ Night at the local pub. Or was I. . .?)

And then we have what might be one of the most stupidest naive people left on the planet:  “When you know that the company is not just there to get your money, they’re actually willing to, like, help you as an individual in whatever way possible, it makes you respect them a lot more. . . I’m definitely going to give American Eagle, like, a second thought when I go by next time.” This spoken by 20-year old Kiley Pontrelli, who volunteered along with her sorority to help the American Eagle employees help freshman move in.

Yeah, you’re probably right, Kiley. AE just wants to, like, help.

Sheesh.

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2 Responses to “marketing makes the world go ’round”


  1. September 16, 2011 at 4:22 pm

    I hate that. It’s called brand awareness marketing and it’s got to be increasing the cost of just about everything while visually detracting from just about everything. I’ve even seen Lance Armstrong wannabes cycling around the neighborhood in those dorky tight outfits complete with corporate logos so they feel like real sports people. Don’t get me started.


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