How does one get a job traveling from city to city promoting such-and-such a product?
August 8, 2004 3:46 PM   Subscribe

I've heard stories about people I don't really know who land these great "event marketing" jobs. How does one go about getting a job where you get to travel from city to city promoting such-and-such a product? (i.e. driving the Red-Bull truck).
posted by TurkishGolds to Work & Money (13 answers total)
Find out what advertising agency handles the product, and contact them.

From having worked on the other end of it a bit, though (i.e. in the office that was keeping track of the event marketing people)...and also having had a girlfriend who did this as her job, I can tell you that those people are worked very hard, and don't make much money. The thrill of driving the red bull truck might wear off after you've handled three events a day for a month.
posted by bingo at 4:31 PM on August 8, 2004

Response by poster: Yeah, that makes sense. Is it possible to get in a situation working for a company where I'd get to go from city to city doing different types of promotions for different things and actually get paid/treated well? If so, how?
posted by TurkishGolds at 4:43 PM on August 8, 2004

I gotta admit that I haven't a clue why you would think this a "great" job. I can't think of any job I'd want less than pimping some product in from a moving billboard.

That said, if you're really keen, I suggest you ask someone who already does it. I'd be willing to bet the turnover rate is huge and that that's the easiest way to find out when/where/how to apply.
posted by dobbs at 4:46 PM on August 8, 2004

I think you'd have to look a little more closely. I've worked in the ad agencies and seen some pretty interesting events. You do travel, but there's no time for sightseeing or checking out the local bar scene.

Claritin hired guys to drive a VW bug and dress as hippies, they then stood on the streets singing songs (rejigged lyrics) and handing out flowers to anyone who didn't shirk them. Couple of guys went from mall to mall praising the delights of some new Sprite product (can't recall which). ALL DAY in the same spot, in front of the Levi's store. Then, onto the next mall.

They like to hire people who are actors, or want to be actors. The reason being that you'll need to fake like you're having an AWESOME time with the camers/soft drink/tire that you're promoting. It'll take a lot of energy, usually pays minimum wage.
posted by Salmonberry at 4:52 PM on August 8, 2004

Response by poster: Well, I really like to talk to people I don't know about random bullshit. But if there's no money and no time to explore the local bars, then I guess I really have no interest.
posted by TurkishGolds at 4:55 PM on August 8, 2004

Response by poster: So, Skallas, yeah that sounds more like what I have in mind. What companies should I look into?
posted by TurkishGolds at 6:03 PM on August 8, 2004

Dude, you really want to be Duff Man? He doesn't seem like a very happy guy.

In real life, I vaguely recall reading an article a few years ago (maybe Salon?) about the guy who was the official "crazy party host" on Bacardi's private island. (At least I think it was Bacardi--it was whatever liquor company bought/leased a tropical island for VIPs and contest winners.) His job was basically just to be "the life of the party"--get people psyched up, doing shots, etc. They rotated new people through every couple of days, so it was like a six-night-a-week gig.

They actually ended up making some commercials using him, but the article made it pretty clear that he wasn't very happy after a while--what he thought was going to be the greatest job in the world turned out to be a grind. Event planning definitely seems a couple of notches higher on the "livability" scale.
posted by LairBob at 8:04 PM on August 8, 2004

The operative phrase here is 'corporate theatre'.

However, if you are an excellent public speaker, look into 'motivational sales training'. It's roughly 1/2 educating salespeople about the product and 1/2 convincing them that the product really is worth the customers' buying. The pinnacle of this career path is 'industry evangelist'.

Oh wait, you just want to drive the truck. UPS is hiring! ;-P
posted by mischief at 8:14 PM on August 8, 2004

(To follow that tangent, driving the truck for UPS is a high-end job. Pays pretty well. Tough to get. They're only hiring for people to move boxes around.)
posted by smackfu at 8:25 PM on August 8, 2004

LairBob: a This American Life episode covered the adventures of the "Cuervo Man," which covered some of the points you mention...
posted by weston at 9:03 PM on August 8, 2004

LairBob is a crackup.
posted by the fire you left me at 9:06 PM on August 8, 2004

Cuervo! That was it...I knew it was one of those. Good call.

I hadn't heard the TAL episode--I'm sure I read it online or in print, since I'm pretty sure I remember seeing pictures of the guy with a plunger on his head, etc. Wouldn't be surprised if the same reporter turned into a print piece for another publication.

On a total tangent, I've just got to say that even though I listen to the local NPR station a lot, that show is just so relentlessly _bleak_. (Swear to God, from "Last Week's Episode" on the "This American Life" site: This week, the story of a child's clever prank that her mother won't forgive her for. And a man finds out the shameful truth about his great grandfather's identity, by going to the local library.) I mean, it's a good show, but I always find myself rolling my eyes at this week's "This American Tragedy", and finding something else to listen to.
posted by LairBob at 9:18 PM on August 8, 2004

Why don't you go to the next "sponsored event" in your area, show up early, and chat up the shills? They'll probably give you a much better POV than anyone here, as well as contact info for whatever company they work for.

(IMHO, those jobs seem really, really shitty. I hope you reconsider.)
posted by mkultra at 6:57 AM on August 9, 2004

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