MU campus brand representative program stretches deeper than promotion for members

Women empowerment and a unified student body define what it means to be a brand ambassador on campus for these two students.
Alaina Vacante (top) is a brand ambassador for Coca-Cola, while Skylar Williams (bottom) is an ambassador for PINK. | Photos courtesy of Alaina Vacante and Skylar Williams.

A young girl sits with her mother in Atlanta, both with Coca-Cola bottles in their hands, smiles on their faces as they celebrate the child’s birthday.

Today, Coke bottles define Alaina Vacante’s happiest memories as she sits in the Kappa Alpha Theta house at MU and recalls why she decided to become a campus representative for the brand.

“I really like the company and what they do and there’s so much joy and happiness around it,” Vacante said. “It’s such a simple, everyday thing but it’s so much more than that because it’s [a part of] all the major events in your life.”

Several years later, the young girl from Georgia represents the face of Coca-Cola at MU. She hands out samples of new products to students, posts on social media accounts about the brand and attends various on campus events.

Representing the soda company on campus, Vacante hopes to foster more than just the consumption of the beverage, but strong relationships with students and the university. The students make up the targeted demographic, with hopes that the same joy the soda company brought Vacante will fill the students.

“I really just hope it puts a smile on their face more than anything,” Vacante said.

As a campus representative, Vacante also gets professional experience for her future job. As a strategic communication major, attending events such as the Coca-Cola ambassador training in the summer gives representatives the opportunity to learn more about the brand they’re promoting. Students made connections with other ambassadors, staff at the company and had plenty of opportunities to drink various coke beverages from vending machines scattered throughout the building.

Vacante also has the opportunity to make more connections with people in the University and looks forward to interviewing UM System President Mun Choi in the future about Coke’s potential involvement with MU.

Coca-Cola shares MU’s campus promotion with many other brands, though, such as PINK Nation. As a senior in high school, Skylar Williams scrolled through Instagram and came across the application to become a PINK Campus Representative. It sparked her interest but did not come up again until her sophomore year at MU when she knew she needed to apply.

“Honestly, I just grew up just loving PINK’s brand and values and the message that they send to women,” Williams said. “PINK just really values girl power, being comfortable in your own skin and just chasing your dreams and it’s overall encouraging women to support each other.”

VS PINK appealed to Williams because of its values and the commitment to her own dreams. Since she wants to work at Victoria Secret one day in marketing, her strategic communication major led her to the campus representative program to further her skills.

Marketing is at the core of her responsibilities as a representative as she hosts a plethora of events each semester to promote the brand on campus. Her work includes planning and hosting various events such as an upcoming “Galentine’s Day” event which will have snacks, a photo station and time for girls to meet new people. Williams also keeps all social media platforms up to date with announcements about events and various challenges with other universities like a competition to see who could best style a new pair of leggings.

But Williams’s role on campus extends further than clothing promotion — a lot of the work aligns with empowering the women on MU’s campus.

“PINK really is all about girl power,” Williams said. “Overall, I feel like my goal at the end of the day is to make girls on campus feel comfortable and confident in their own skin.”

Edited by Alex Fulton | afulton@themaneater.com

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