Saturday, October 20, 2007

College Kids and Brand Influence

Fifty years ago, I doubt that you would see event flyers posted on walls in residence halls or on bulletin boards around campus. Today, you can't escape them. Recently I've been paying attention to the influence brands have on my friends here at Kansas State University.

Almost all of us are on Facebook and believe it should be added to the dictionary as a noun and an adverb. Unlike Tom on MySpace, Mark Zuckerberg won't allow you to be his friend. If Facebook didn't exist, I wouldn't have been able to make a connection with the moderate similarity of new colors on our hallway with the social networking site.

We visit YouTube at least once a week to find hilarious videos, whether it's for ten seconds or ten minutes -- it needs to captivate some part of us. When something great is found, it will be shared via e-mail, Facebook, or by a friend coming into your room and making you watch the video.

One video on YouTube, in particular, has made a big impact on our floor, which has been deemed "Gregg's Place". Old Gregg is a twisted hermaphroditic merman, featured on the fifth episode in the second season of a British show called The Mighty Boosh. The episode is appropriately named "The Legend of Old Gregg". Old Gregg's character is played by Noel Fielding. Old Gregg quotes, like "It's attached to your rod, mothalicka", and "Do you like me? ... Make an assessment" are fervently repeated up and down the hallway. Shouting "I'm old Gregg!" has been the favorite.

Not only do I live in "Gregg's Place", but our study room is called "The Man Cave", possibly named after Alltel's concept, or possibly because we're all men. If it's the former, that would be pretty cool. Is Alltel getting more reach from the idea?

The residence hall I live in had a Floor Wars last week. Our floor won every event, and after the informal award ceremony, we ran upstairs with balloons and the large flyers that advertised each night's event. Displayed on one of the cabinets is the set of clothing we made for Project Runway. The event wouldn't have happened if it weren't for the TV show.

Pepsi-Cola is the offical carbonated beverage of K-State. Pepsi products are in the dining halls and in the convenience stores on campus; you will not find Coca-Cola products anywhere, until you go off-campus. If requested within a sufficient amount of time, free Pepsi products can be given to distribute out to students for a hall function.

Nike is the official sponsor for our athletic department, covering all varsity sports. Players wear Nike shoes and apparel. This isn't grade school though. We know their shoes don't make them jump higher or run faster, and we know it won't do any good for us either. But we have a relationship with the team. We come to the games alert and aware of what's going on.

Do these brands (and others) involuntarily affect how we think, leading us to purchase a product or recommend them to a friend?


Anonymous said...

steve coogan doesn't play old gregg! noel fielding does!

Joel said...

Noel Fielding plays Vince Noir, and Steve Coogan plays Old Gregg.

Anonymous said...

Noel Fielding plays multiple characters throughout the series, including Old Gregg. Steve Coogan never appears on screen. Check around, it's true.

Joel said...

You're right. For some reason, IMDB has Steve Coogan as Old Gregg; they're usually a reliable source. Other sites say it's Noel Fielding, so, you're right. The edit has been made, thanks.

Anonymous said...

My pleasure, and I'm surprised imdb had it wrong. I've never personally found anything in error there.
It's pretty funny you guys are also doing the "I'm old gregggg" shouts, my son and I break that gem out every couple weeks :D

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License.