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Examine the expectations and inferences underlying selected job positions. Consider timely topics in career preparation and the struggle for fulfilling employment. Analyze what could be improved in either situation. If this blog reminds you too much of work, then peruse my namesake blog for lighter fare.

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Saturday, March 10, 2012

"TEAM Marketing" Wants Your Soul

Job Title: Brand Influencer

Do you have the passion to live life on your own terms? Are you an individual with a strong sense of identity and preference? Do you find yourself constantly breaking away from the do’s and don’ts of social norms; someone with more of a global perspective to the world? If so, this may be the perfect job for you!

TEAM Enterprises is an experiential marketing company who is looking for a full time Brand Ambassador in Portland, OR with an entrepreneurial spirit that enjoys marketing but avoids the mainstream! The position will begin in April 2012 and end on March 31, 2013. The ideal candidate is well connected in their community and has a passion and knowledge of the local music, art and/or fashion scene.

Our Influencer’s will need to remain true to the brand’s core values and focus on establishing the product within the Creative Class, so consumers feel they have ‘discovered’ the brand. To accomplish this, the Influencer would need to forge relationships with the right independently-minded influencers to build a consumer database which would allow them to build brand loyalty. In addition, this influencer must be well versed in event execution, music, and the arts.

-Primary duties include increasing visibility, availability and acceptability of a brand within key retail accounts, targeting a consumer that actively avoids being marketed to.
-Candidate must uphold the core values of the brand; have a strong self identity and personal definition of cool
-Ability to articulate best practices and trends back to the Client
-Ability to work in a team setting, interacting with key agencies/departments
-Must have the ability to gather information, analyze information and report key insights with recommendations for solutions
-Must be a self-promoter

-Knowledge of networking tools such as Facebook, Twitter, etc.
-Exercises high moral character and social responsibility

Work Experience Requirements:
-Bachelors degree preferred from accredited institution
-Experience in promotional marketing or event execution
-Sales experience a plus
-Bartending experience
-Knowledge of the beverage industry; experience with liquor/spirits a plus
-Typical work week varies from week to week; must be comfortable working nights and weekends consistently"

Considering how the successful applicant will possess both a Bachelor’s degree (preferably entailing marketing internships as part of the coursework) and bartending experience, this “brand ambassador” position is perfect for those unemployed and under-employed college graduates who don’t mind worshiping a brand for a living. Is “worship” too strong of a word? In this context, no: “Uphold(ing) the values of the brand” during “nights and weekends consistently” in exchange for undetermined compensation amounts to selling one’s soul for a brand.

TEAM Marketing tries to avoid this connotation by stating the successful applicant must “have a strong self-identity and personal definition of cool.” Well guess what, if your definition of “cool” does not match the unnamed brand’s values, then you better change yourself to better fit the brand because the brand will not change to fit you! I suppose this awareness is why the job poster does not disclose exactly which brand the successful job applicant will promote or even the industry thereof, lest a deceitful applicant study the brand’s advertising to infer the essential image the brand wishes to convey.

And yet, the prefatory text states this brand ambassador opportunity “may be the perfect job” for someone who “constantly break(s) away from the do’s [sic] and don’t’s [sic] of social norms.” A reasonable person may then infer that the brand to be promoted is at least somewhat unconventional, if not off-the-wall. The hip and trendy call this “fringe,” and that demographic is precisely who the brand ambassador will target: By marketing primarily to local Bohemians, the brand hopes to portray itself as avant-garde and a voice for misfits who enjoy music and the arts. Just like an independent band which finally “sells out” to a major record label, a too-successful niche marketing campaign will make this brand too broadly used outside the fashionable eccentrics and other early adopters of the brand, thereby making it too mainstream to be hip anymore.


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