DETROIT, Mich. -- HP, Red Bull and American Eagle are just a few of the hundreds of big brand names looking to break into a very specific demographic: college students. Now one smart phone app is trying to bring the two together, and they thought the best way was to “Go Commando.”
Hundreds of universities and college professors across the United States are all on board with students ‘going commando.’ However, the phrase has a whole different meaning for this new age marketing tool.
“You can get paid to ‘go commando,’” said Mickey Katz, one of the inventors of the new mobile app that's going to be released in September.
“We want people to roll their eyes. We want to attract attention. I think ‘Go Commando’ speaks to the students. They love things that push the envelope,” said Katz.
However, no one is actually going underwear-free.
“In the same respect, our company is called Campus Commandos, and our students are college kids. The one thing we know about college kids is they are constantly moving. They are always on the go, so it only made sense that our students are commandos on the go. So we came up with ‘Go Commandos,’ but we like the double entendre too. It’s fine,” said Katz.
The group that currently makes up Campus Commandos are Katz, Adam Grant and Tiffany Platt. They are based out of Detroit, hunkered down in their office preparing to unleash an app they’ve been working on for years.
“The main way that a lot of clients use us like DSW, HP, Tommy Hilfiger, is for our network of college students across the United States,” said Adam Grant, founder and CEO of Campus Commandos.
Companies spend millions of dollars to market to college students, because they say they’re the future of their brand.
“Often times it’s your first time through a grocery aisle all by yourself, so you’re much more open to a lot of brands that are out there. You don’t have the established buying habits of mom and dad who have been buying the same cereal for years,” said Grant.
They created the application, and are trying to make it as user-friendly as possible. All you have to do is download the application, put in your e-mail, and you’re ready to go.
How it works is even simpler; you wait for big brands like Red Bull to post a “task.” You can either accept the job or not, and you document it with a photo or video. Shortly after, you get paid.
“When DSW comes along, and wants to do a shoe love'rs party, that might be an event that you’re interested in. So what’s great is you can provide a great event for your sorority, but you can also get paid for it.”
Grant, 28, is a bundle of energy, sipping on Kickstart, and getting a few games of foosball in during his ten-hour work days. But he knows his strategy inside and out, and is confident the research shows this application will be a huge success.
Aside from that, he knows from personal experience. He had 10 campus representative jobs in college, and literally paid his way through school.
“So the benefit for the student is they are getting experience with name brands. It’s no longer enough to get a good GPA. You have to have something else to stand out in interviews. This experience is something they can put on their resume. Best of all you’re getting paid, so it’s chipping away at the problem of student debt” said Grant.
It’s a resume builder because it’s a measurable marketing experience, that you can show future employers. Brands can rate how well you did, so big names like L’Oreal might say they want to hire you again, and that’s a plus to get the foot in the door for your first job interview.
Social Media Professor Derrick Mehraban at Michigan State University says he and his students are excited for the application to hit their school in September. He says the best people to market to millennials are millennials.
“So when millennials grow up, and have families, and do all these things they are going to carry that brand with them,” said Mehraban.
Since classes are back in session in the next few weeks, it’s D-Day for big brand names to let students know they are here. Adam and his team say they know their secret weapon can deliver.
This application is only geared toward college students. So far, the developers of the application aren’t saying which big brand names are on board, but they have letters of intent collecting at their office.
To sign up for ‘Go Commando’ or for more information click here