Today, Juniors and Seniors had a “special speaker” that spoke to us about “Making It Count.” She spoke about looking, applying, and financing college. Her presentation was very clear cut, informative, and riddled with advertisements from the program’s “endorsers.” These “endorsers” include: US Navy, The University of Phoenix Online, an American oil company, and many others. The main sponsor of “Making It Count” is Monster Worldwide, parent company of the famous job search engine Monster.
The sales pitch/presentation focused on Monster’s MonsterCampus.com and FastWeb websites and programs. It wouldn’t have bothered me if the packet of information they gave us didn’t include a large, full-page advertisement from each of the “endorsers” and she ended the program with “And I’d like to thank all of our endorsers…”, followed by each of the endorsers and a slogan.
Giving Monster the benefit of the doubt, I visited their MonsterCampus.com. I shouldn’t have. At the top of the page, a link: “Information for Advertisers.” [Wayback Archival].
Put your brand directly into the hands of over 1 million high school and college-bound teens.
You’ll reach a large, targeted, captive teen audience with our guaranteed hand-to-student delivery.
Build your customer database by leveraging highly targeted, qualified leads captured in real-time during the FastWeb registration process.
That’s a sample of the information found for advertisers. By the looks of the Wayback Machine, MonsterCampus.com just a way for Monster to make money, and for advertisers to “reach their target audience.” Just search the Wayback Machine for “www.monstercompus.com” and look at the version for May 27th, 2003. You’ll see what I’m talking about.
If I didn’t know better, many of these member schools have a financial incentive to allow the “Making It Count” program to be presented. It’s no different than drink and snack machines.
Those machines, operated mainly by PepsiCo [our’s is anyway], gives the school a 25-cent kickback. “Oh, twenty-five cents is nothing to be blabbering about commercialism,” you say. Oh? Consider this, it’s estimated that 30% of our students [that’s 240, thanks] purchase either a beverage or a snack daily. That’s $60 a day, $300 a week, $15000 per year. That’s not bad for just allowing PepsiCo to put drink machines [plastered with their name and logo] in our school.
I remember my elementary school years, back 10 years ago, I was intrigued by the sheer majesties of the “Surge” advertisement posted in the “snack building”–a portable shop used to house our drink and snack machines. The bottle was contoured, the drink was energizing and sweet, and the name was just awesome. The advertisement drew me to it. Although, as high schoolers, we’re not as apt to choose a beverage by the look and name, but we’re still vulnerable to such commercialism.
I don’t see the point of commercialism in school. It leads to unnecessary spending of our parents’ money. No matter how necessary it may seem.