Three years ago I began my journey at Mays Business School or as us business majors like to call it, Wehner High. It doesn’t take long and soon you find yourself knowing everyone, attending class with the same 30 people and even forging what I forecast to be lifelong friendships. It’s fair to say I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at Mays, but chuckle when I think about the conversations we, more specifically marketing majors, have during and outside of school. Of course we talk about our weekend plans, things going on in our lives, A&M sports and where we see ourselves in the future….but somewhere in the conversation we always relate the topic back to marketing. No, not to get a better grade (the professor isn’t even present) or to outsmart one another, but simply because marketing is so ingrained in our minds.
It’s actually quite amazing that at this point in our lives it doesn’t take a professor to tell us to pay attention to a certain ad, to watch the Super Bowl for the commercials, or to be in tune with the many marketing mavericks in the industry…..we process all the above on our own whether we consciously realize it or not.
One of the best things I’ve heard thus far is, “I hate how you know how the advertisement is trying to make you feel and you tell yourself I’m not going to fall for it….and yet you still do. It is so frustrating because you have all this knowledge, yet you’re still a consumer”. I certainly agree, you get caught up in the message and then you take a step back and you’re like, wait, wait, wait, I know what they’re trying to do here.
Nonetheless, the beginning of February is a big time for us as that is when the Superbowl is played and the $5 million, 30 second ads are revealed. Most people tune into the commercials because they are some of the best you will see all year, but they also use that time to heat up the queso, check their squares or to go to the bathroom, of course! However, as marketing majors we find ourselves analyzing the commercials’ message, thought process, brand alignment, target audience, content, on and on! By the end of the night not only are we stuffed with guacamole, but we are stuffed with loads of new and exciting talking points to share with our fellow marketing friends! We anticipate sharing our thoughts of the commercials on Monday and by the end of Monday we have relived watching the Super Bowl and have further analyzed every commercial. In fact, I believe it was just a few weeks ago that we finally stopped talking about Super Bowl commercials.
Outside of the Super Bowl, some of my favorite conversations about marketing have happened at Ring Dunks. Yes, Ring Dunks. We find ourselves analyzing the creativity behind the event names such as “White Men Can’t Dunk” or “Dunk it Ags”. Cheesy? Yes. But you’re sure to remember it! 😉 The custom t-shirts and decorations are always an added bonus to our conversations.
In addition to the Super Bowl and Ring Dunks, we pay attention to the banner ads on websites, spend excessive amounts of time crafting the “perfect” social media post, and get excited at the sight of novel and creative ads, but are the first to have an opinion about an advertisement gone bad. We are like the homebuilder who points out all the faults in a home he didn’t build, the electrician who notices a poor wiring job, or the server dining in a restaurant that critiques every mistake of the one serving them.
After all, everyone has a specialty and ours just happens to be marketing! We don’t mean to relate everything back to marketing and halfway through every conversation we take a step back and ask “are we really talking about this right now?” But in reality, it’s kind of hard to avoid because marketing is something that is present in everyone’s lives. In fact, it is often a topic of conversation among ALL people whether you realize it or not. Coworkers, friends, and even acquaintances discuss their favorite Super Bowl commercials (past and present), how annoying the Beggin’ Stripes advertisement with the dog is (“I’d get it myself, but I don’t have thumbs!….mmmm bacon! There’s no time like beggin’ time!”), or how we miss the Etrade babies……AND admit it, you’ve walked into the office on a Wednesday and said, “GUESS WHAT DAY IT IS?????” So it is not just the marketing majors who are fascinated by marketing….we ALL are!