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5 October, 2006

Student focused

One thing I will say for the new(-ish) commercialised Freshers' Fairs is that the marketers know their targets.

In return for their contact details, the students are being given vouchers, free samples, an-

BALLOONS! Ballooooons! Yay!

Comments

In general it would be a marketeers job to know their target audience; that is after all the job they are paid to do.

In the case of Amnesty International, the RSPCA, NSPCC and countless other charities, marketeers are sought, employed and paid to target groups likely to respond to their product. If Freshers' Fairs seemed like a more idealistic, right-on event in 1990 then I can't help wondering what a postgraduate from 1968 would have made of if (and there are a good number of them at Lancaster) - chances are, they would have bemoaned how much more pure and radical it was in their day...

Freshers' Fairs enjoy a damn sight more courting from the commercial sector now than in the 90's but this is not a bad thing. In the 90's, students were between the demonstrating traditition of students of yore and the internet aware, youtube generation, whose activities via the net using antiwar colation can't be ignored.

If commercial activity at Freshers Fairs is now more prevalent tha it was, it's in no small part because the 18 - 24 group is the single most desirable target group for commercial industry. This is hardly the dumbing down and explotation operation rugged 90's veteran's suspect it of being - consumer pressure, awareness and publicity are now at levels (thanks largely to the web) previous beyond imagining.

Cheers up guys; we might be short of quorum at SWP meeting but we're up a million web pages and a record breaking public demonstration.

Posted by Tim at October 13, 2006 10:02 PM

Hmm. This entry was supposed to be just a light-hearted observation... I am aware of the nature of marketers' jobs, thanks.

If Freshers' Fairs seemed like a more idealistic, right-on event in 1990
Not remotely. Freshers' Fair was where students signed-up to the hiking club, the theatre group, the juggling club, etc. It was about sociaIising, not sociaIism.
I suppose the mainstream political parties had stalls too, but I have no especial memory of them and it certainly wasn't a politicised or 'green' event.

Freshers' Fairs enjoy a damn sight more courting from the commercial sector now than in the 90's but this is not a bad thing.
Yes, it is. It's a very bad thing. As other commenters have reported, Bradford has rightfully considered it necessary to separate the commercial stuff off into a separate event and Manchester has the Alternative Freshers' Fair. I feel Freshers' Fairs are for student societies. Nothing else.

...whose activities via the net using antiwar colation can't be ignored.
Can't say I've had a problem ignoring them. It's easy.

If commercial activity at Freshers Fairs is now more prevalent tha it was, it's in no small part because the 18 - 24 group is the single most desirable target group for commercial industry.
That truism doesn't mean it's okay, and that University/Student Union events should assist it.

This is hardly the dumbing down and explotation operation rugged 90's veteran's suspect it of being
No-one said commerciaIisation was 'dumbing down', or implied anything about depoliticisation/'de-radicalisation' relative to a 1990 event which was about signing-up for activity clubs, not ideology.
Exploitation? Yes, of course it is. It's pushing products at somewhat vulnerable people many of whom have only just left home for the first time and are under-equipped to make rational choices that could stay with them for years.

Cheers up guys; we might be short of quorum at SWP meeting but we're up a million web pages and a record breaking public demonstration.
Who cares? It's certainly not what I was talking about.

Posted by NRT at October 14, 2006 09:21 AM
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