College Kids Are Such Easy MarksS

For people whose job it is to turn unsuspecting suckers into corporate-advertising zombies, there's no better sight than a bunch of fresh-faced 18 year-olds moving boxes into a dorm room, ready to take on the world. Yeah, take on the world's debt. Don't forget your college-branded credit card and whatnot, suckers young adults!

Sure, college is for acquiring skills and learning about, ah, educational items, and so forth and so on. Completely respect that. But while you're there, why not step over to this folding card table on "the quad" and have a look at this array of attractive branded water bottles, free for you when you fill out this short application on a clipboard wielded by a fetching blond student paid to smile—at you?

Microsoft also has a growing network of more than 500 student reps that promote its products on campus. HP, Zipcar and Victoria's Secret's Pink are just a few of the brands that use student reps. Mr. Britton says the concept is a fast-growing phenomenon as marketers look to capitalize on word-of-mouth and students jump at the chance to add a Fortune 500 company to their résumés.

"Students are realizing right now that they're in college in order to become marketable to corporate America. They have to have more than a job or internship today," Mr. Britton said.

We can't really blame kids these days for being such huge sellouts. Besides the fact that they're just plain dumb, consider the message that kids these days are getting "on campus:" that they're in college "in order to become marketable to corporate America." If the man who uttered those words with a straight face is not immediately punched in the cock by a group of suburban college kids who read The Diary of Che Guevara and started wearing face bandannas, I will have lost all faith in the power of college to transform normal teenagers into extremely temporary revolutionaries. The alternative is transforming them into permanent consumers. Which is much, much worse.

[Ad Age, photo via Facebook]