retail news in context, analysis with attitude

The New York Times has a story about how, “as students return to campuses,” branded companies are “turning to many of them to promote products right alongside photos of family, friends and the new puppy” on social media accounts such as Instagram and Snapchat.

“For busy students,” the story says, “it is an easy, low-pressure way to make extra money or get free products. For marketers, it is a simple way to reach young people — a supplement to their other social media efforts, including hiring full-time promoters.”

While there isn’t any reliable data about how big this trend is, the Times writes that “interviews with university officials, marketing consultants, brand representatives and students make it clear that the social media platform is big business on campus.” There are even marketing agencies - both on and off campus - that specialize in identifying and hiring appropriate college students to promote products.
KC's View:
I had a student a few years ago at Portland State University who was the on-campus brand ambassador for Subaru. (I’m told that Subaru is the de facto state vehicle in Oregon.) At the time, I had no idea that such a position existed … and it only makes sense that the concept would expand and permeate college campuses.

BTW … my one concern here would be about authenticity. I can see this getting to the point where these endorsements would become both ubiquitous and meaningless.