On the morning of Thursday, April 19, students sitting in the back row of McCosh 50 found energy drinks attached to the bottom of their seats along with promotional fliers.
Alex Reblando ’18 was waiting for her lecture for PHI 201: Introductory Logic to start when she noticed a can of Red Bull attached to her seat.
“I turned and looked at all the seats, and there was a bunch of Red Bull taped under the desks,” she said. “I thought it was a miracle because I pulled an all-nighter and I was dying.”
She took a Red Bull, and read one of the fliers.
“Q) If you have an 8 a.m. lecture, then an exam at 10 a.m., and a project due by noon, what’s the trick to getting through the morning?” it read. “Check under your seat for the answer.”
According to Red Bull’s website, Student Brand Managers (SBMs) are students at various universities across the globe who are “responsible for driving the brand image on campus, building belief in the product benefits, and ensuring long term loyalty starting with the college experience.”
Red Bull boasts over 4,000 of these “student marketeers.” The company did not respond to request for comment.
This advertising strategy is not new for Red Bull. Steven Lindsey, a student brand manager at Grand Valley State University, uploaded a video in January 2017 that showed how he also put Red Bull cans under tables, and left the same Red Bull advertisements on top.
Others across the country also reported finding the advertisement and the accompanying Red Bull can in packages containing textbooks.
Facebook user Derek N. Tammy Scott posted a charged message on his timeline after finding one of the flyers and a Red Bull can in his son’s textbook order.
“[S]hame on you red bull [sic] for sending free cans of redbull [sic] in our college kids [sic] textbook order saying[,] ‘looking for the right study buddy’…. [U]hhh[,] hell to the poisonous NO!!” the post reads. “Ruthless[.] How about get good rest, exercise & eat healthy!! & send $$ for groceries.”
The company is currently looking to hire SBMs at other Ivy League universities, including Yale and the University of Pennsylvania. Responsibilities include integrating Red Bull products and brand with “Big Moments” on campus, developing relationships with “campus opinion leaders,” helping local sales teams with distribution on campus, and reporting school beverage contracts to company management. Requirements for this position include being a full-time college student and being fluent in English.There is no job listing for the University, or any other college in New Jersey.
The incident in McCosh Hall comes more than a month after a person advertising for Cousins Paintball walked into various lectures on campus and offered heavily discounted prices for paintball tickets.
Hear or see anything about Red Bull on campus? Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.