We live in a media-dominated age. Unless one becomes a hermit and withdraws from society, it is nearly impossible to escape the ever-increasing media presence. Whether it’s for the newest Starbucks drink or the latest Apple product, we see ads everywhere.
At the beginning of this school year, students could not walk into the Brown-Lupton University Union without being attacked by banks, photographers and fashion stores from Fort Worth. These companies tried to get students to sign up for their mailing lists by handing out samples and cards. They do this because, according to marketers, college students are at an impressionable age where they make choices that affect the rest of their lives.
As a result, marketers feel the need to advertise to college students in a variety of ways, from in-person interaction to cell phone contact. Companies also market to students on campus and on their computers via sites like Facebook and Twitter, which many students use daily.
Most of the time you ignore those annoying ads on the side of your Facebook page, but because marketing has changed so much, the ads on your profile are now personalized. We have the ability to interact online with products we use every day. For example on Facebook more than 10 million users “like” Red Bull.
Without question, these ads do their job. Though they may be distracting at times, the personalization behind these ads aims to please and to get people to hear a message. We are a society of consumers, there’s no denying that, and our economy would not run properly without people putting money into it.
Ads and marketers that target college students might seem aggressive, but, to them, it’s all part of the process. We are the next generation of consumers, and major marketers feel we are their best targets. Ads are, have been and will be a part of life for years to come. College students may be targeted more than other groups because we are constantly connected, but that doesn’t mean we have to pay attention.
KC Aransen is a sophomore psychology major from Arlington.