Why College Brand Ambassadorships Aren’t All They Promise

The ever-growing trend of brand ambassador’s has taken over college campuses. Companies have started targeting college students as the prime candidates for marketing their company name. However, what seems to look good on paper has turned into nothing but free advertising for brands.

Companies ranging from food products to clothing lines promote the position of brand ambassador as a hands-on look into the realm of marketing. College students flock to the opportunity of gaining this title in the hopes of getting excellent real world experience. Why would a student not want to take this amazing opportunity and become a brand ambassador? It fits in with your hectic daily life and looks great on a resume, right? The truth is, what seems to be a fantastic opportunity is nothing more than free advertising and guerilla marketing for the company.

The NY Times article, At Colleges, the Marketers Are Everywhere highlights the growing trend of brand ambassadors. They place a heavy emphasis on the fact that college’s has become one big commercial. Product placement is everywhere you turn. It almost seems as though the title of “ Brand Ambassador” means free advertiser. Companies aren’t on campus to enrich student’s lives and teach them the ins-and-outs of marketing. They are employing students to advocate on behalf of their brand, without the paycheck.

While some companies pay their campus brand ambassadors, many don’t, claiming that getting the hands on marketing experience is enough payment for the tedious hours students work. Putting the title of brand ambassador may seem like a great addition to your resume, but it’s really the only thing student’s earn as they serve as a liaison between corporations and universities. Students essentially act, as free advertising and brand placement for companies, making the title “brand ambassador” mean nothing more than free labor.

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