George Clooney had been a brand ambassador for Nespresso for almost a decade when he appeared in his first American TV commercial for the brand last winter. “I’ve been working with Nespresso internationally for nine years,” Clooney said in a statement around the time of the commercial’s release. “Nespresso and I have a shared commitment to sustainability, most recently helping to rebuild coffee farms in South Sudan. They are an incredibly responsible company, and I am excited to expand my partnership with them into the U.S.” Americans are almost unfamiliar with a certain type of superstar shilling for brands, and Clooney’s ambassadorship for Nespresso offers up a more organic image: Clooney isn’t just doing this for the check, we’re supposed to think, he really believes in this.
Not all brand ambassador programs rely on celebrity cosigns, but at their best, this type of marketing feels natural, like a real person is passionate about a company or a product and is just sharing the news with the world. It’s no surprise then that college campuses are ripe for brands pushing their wares. And as internships have taken hold of the early careers of young people around the country, it’s no surprise that students are willing to work for free. But, similar to internships, brand ambassador programs are good for students too, providing resume-friendly work experience and networking opportunities.
With all that in mind, here are five brand ambassador program examples that would be a great fit for an enterprising college student.
- The Google Student Ambassador Program wants their participants to be dedicated “Google evangelists” to the tune of a 10 hour a month commitment. (Perhaps more stringent and awkwardly, students must be active Google+ users.) In exchange for spreading the gospel, students earn the rare honor of a Google section on their resume.
- If you walk around almost any college campus, you’ll see almost as many Apple products as students, if not more. For this reason it’s no surprise that the tech giant has a commercial-sized footprint on campuses in the form of a successful Apple Campus Rep program. Interested students can expect to conduct a lot of planning and presenting at campus events and to serve as an in-between for different student groupes and organizations.
- Spotify’s Student Brand Manager program is like most others in that it’s meant to flood campuses with organic branding. For Spotify reps that means helping organize brand participation at campus events and through social-friendly marketing campaigns.
- Participants in Microsoft Student Partners program are promised opportunities for leadership experience and exclusive access to tech events and career opportunities. Just as importantly, student partners pad their resumes with professional technology experience and the appeal of having working in some official capacity for a leading tech brand.
- For a crowded industry like sports broadcasting, a college rep program can give participants a necessary career head start. CBS’ Sports Network college rep program is a good fit for students interested in the intersection of sports and broadcasting, namely marketing, communications, and journalism majors. The broadcasting-friendly program gives students hands-on marketing and networking experience.