Wednesday, April 25, 2007

President of ABC



On February 20, 07 Alex Wallau, the president of ABC, came to speak to my comm. 310 class about Television . Specifically he discussed how much TV programming has evolved and where it is headed. Mainly his focus was on ABC, the number one top rated Network channel. He presented many interesting points about Homosexuality in the media, the coverage of the Iraq War, advertising and other areas of discussion.

Mr.Wallau was questioned about the sexually explicit content on ABC. Specifically, two shows – Brothers and Sisters AND Desperate Housewives. Brothers and Sisters featured two homosexual males engaging in multiple “meaningful” kisses. This is not something the network had agreed with 5-10 years ago. However, Wallau said that the content on their shows is regulated strictly in order to ensure a positive advertising arena. Desperate Housewives has also been criticized lately as being too prevocative. Wallau said that until advertisers start complaining the show would continue as is. He also stated that the show is not at 6 o’clock but at 9oclock and is for an adult audience.

Wallua also talked about the unstable situation in Iraq, which restrains ABC’s ability to report first hand. The network is unable to send reporters there to document the occurrences so they must depend on other sources. However these sources do not provide enough information on the war. This is an area the Network lacks in.

The whole class was very interesting but the most interesting point was in regards to diversity. More than ever, ABC features shows with diverse characters. For example, Lost and Grey’s Anatomy have one of the most diverse castings in network television. An African American wrote Grey’s Anatomy, the number one show on television. Wallau stated that the reason for its diversity is that she wrote the story so that the 1st 2nd and 4th ranking doctors are Black. The show also features Hispanics and Asians. Lost also is a very diverse show. According to Wallau that was because it is so convenient that people with different races and ethnic backgrounds to be on a plane together. Unlike comedies, which Wallau said are the hardest genre to create a diverse cast for.

Overall, the president of ABC, Alex Wallau was a very interesting and informative speaker who related to our class well.

A Letter Addressing The Axe Underwear Commercial




Advertising not only speaks to consumers in a language of desire and need but also sets up people’s perceptions of how things are or should be. In the past decade or so, advertising agencies have become less responsible to consumers by portraying unattainable perfection. As the representatives of a product that has become infiltrated into the lives of our youth, your company must rethink the ad campaign for Axe Underwear. The current ad goes beyond the boundaries of acceptable and moral advertising, by portraying women as sex driven objects, illustrating the male “loser,” and is overall a sexually pervasive ad.
This commercial for Axe underwear made me question how unrealistic gender roles and sexually explicit content could be taken this far in order to increase the financial growth of an already successful company. This commercial is harmfully appealing to its viewers because it deals with what is known as the “Gaze”; which is the relationship between the person looking and the person being looked at. This commercial reveals this “gaze” towards both the male and female characters of the commercial. First, the male is looked upon as a conquest for the female, who is turning circles around him and examining every inch of his body. However, since he is “confronting the gaze” with an “authoritarian pose,” he is not seen as being objectified. When people compare this commercial to other commercials with reverse roles, it is easy to see that the gaze of a man objectifies the women. Although the commercial has reversed the roles of the gaze, it still attempts “to sell products through traditional gender codes, by portraying [the woman] in demure, seductive poses for a possessive male gaze” (90). It is true that the woman is doing the looking, however the effect of the gaze is caused by how the male responds to the gaze. He remains confident, masculine and authoritarian, and still grasps control of the power. Therefore the woman, despite her attempts, is the one who is left powerless to the gaze.
The message that ads send to the youth about gender roles is an important component that often times is disregarded. Some might say that this commercial is representing the woman as the one who is powerful and in control, however this is not the case. “[F]eminism is taken into account, but only to be shown that it is no longer necessary, because there is no exploitation here, there is nothing remotely na├»ve … but it is for her own enjoyment” (McRobbie, 8). This post-feminist view directly applies to the Axe Underwear commercial. People often think that if a commercial is illustrating a woman in a sexually explicit way that it is not being sexist but is illustrating her freedom of choice. Instead, this depiction of so called “freedom of choice” leads most people to assume that women often times ask for “it.” This leads women to believe that they should constantly be sexual and fierce, and consequently leads men to think that all women are always driven by sex. As McRobbie stated, women are entitled to “female pleasure” but do not go around hunting down men, which is often the portrayal of women in Axe advertisements.
Lastly, I believe that this commercial also plays on male insecurities and illustrates what Messner refers to as the “male loser.” Most other underwear commercials focus on the selection of a specific brand in order to increase the size of a man’s most important asset (or so they are told). I understand how the Axe underwear commercial is mocking all other commercials of its genre, by illustrating an illusion of size. However, if this commercial is to play a role in the effect of advertising on society, our male population is in trouble.
At first the “male loser” is portrayed as a confident, authoritative figure whose body is being grazed from his chest to his underwear. However, as her hand goes down beyond the view of the camera, his “loser”-ness becomes apparent. Messner’s “male loser” refers to men who “are publicly being humiliated, either by their own stupidity, by other men or worse, by a beautiful woman” (1887). This specific commercial deals with the worst-case scenario for the “male loser” – being humiliated by this “sexualized fantasy object” (Messner, 1887). The male character in the commercial at first seems confident and sexy. However, as the woman’s hand reaches down, a clip is shown of his underwear being pulled on by the female, to create an illusion of an extremely large erect penis. Up until this point the male figure is portrayed in a dominant, exaggerated way, however what happens afterwards is crucial to the influence of this ad. The underwear is let go of and the “extremely large penis” doesn’t look so large anymore, and the male is left with a look of embarrassment. This scene from the ad emphasizes that these women “sometimes serve to validate men’s masculinity,” but also that “if men get to close, these women will most likely humiliate them” (Messner, 1906). Up until the point that the woman lets go of the underwear she is pulling, his masculinity is being validated. However ironically, as she lets go, his masculinity along with the size of his penis diminishes – he becomes the “male loser”. The female’s shocked reaction to how small his penis is, also adds to the “loser-”ness of the male.
This commercial, along with similar messages in our media lead men to think that if they don’t meet the standards of perfection, then they become a “loser.” Through repeated depictions of male perfection, or the obvious lack thereof, men either realize they can never reach true perfection and begin to settle for less or never realize it and constantly strive to perfect their flaws. Consequently, it creates characteristics of insecurity and unhappiness in men.
It is ultimately the responsibility of large corporate companies such as yourself, to undo this new trend of the promotion of idealized perfection. The Axe underwear commercial is unacceptable and gives our youth unrealistic perceptions of aesthetics, behaviors and an overall idealized lifestyle. I urge you to not only take this commercial off television, but to also consider formulating a new ad campaign for all Axe products.

Reply to Age of Persuasion

http://www.oreillyradio.com/?p=23#comments

I agree…
when a generation is exposed to a brand at a young age, a connection is made. Psychologically and emotionally that group of people builds a connection with the brand. For example, a new division of Disney merchandising, Disney couture, has used this sense of nostalgia to their advantage. People of older age (15-25) can now keep their connection with Disney yet look great with expensive and exclusive clothing. the brand features Disney Characters but is also perceived as being fashionable and trendy. Coca Cola seems to revive itself all the time. I think it is the leader of brand revivals. No one is ever disappointed with the product. Once a Coca Cola fan, always a Coca Cola Fan. It continuously revives its campaign but never loses its connection with its consumers.
Brand revivals often times also occur with Fashion brands. Just as mentioned above the success of A&F does not compare to its invisibility as a brand in the 80s. Nowaday it is so sought after th eprices keep going up day by day.

I think Brand revivals are very important.. and can be an important tool in achieving success.

--AdAge--

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  • Thier formatting of the articles are disorganized and unappealing. I like the idea of having a picture, the title of the article and a small subtitle, however they are all bunched up together for no reason. They could have bee just as easily aligned straight.

     - post by kuiumdjian



















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  • I think this is one of the websites most resourceful tools. It allows people of a particular interest in a particular location to find jobs. I think it is a great addition, wheer people can not only place wanted lists (looking to fill a particular position) but also serves peole to fnd a job.

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Advertising Age - This Week's Issue  Annotated


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April 23, 2007

  • every week ... its section gets listed at the bottom. Alll pages can be accessed and all articles can be read. It also has a picture of what that weeks issue looked like.

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  • The bottom of this page has an enormous amount of clutter. i think they should create a seperate page for their Special reports, their events and their branded content.







     - post by kuiumdjian


Annotations

1. Mary C Martin and Cara Okleshen Peters, “Exploring adolescent girls' identification of beauty types through consumer collages,” Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management 9, no. 4 (2005): 391, http://proquest.umi.com.libproxy.usc.edu/pqdweb?did=930054891&sid=1&Fmt=4&clientId=4676&RQT=309&VName=PQD (accessed February 20, 2007).


In the Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management, Mary Martin and Cara Okleshen Peters wrote and article titled, “Exploring adolescent girls’ identification of Beauty Types Through Consumer Collages.” This 2005 article, engages in a conversation about the impact commercial and popular culture has on their perceptions of valued beauty. The article begins by giving an overall analysis of advertising’s impact on females and the pressures that come along with it. They referece a number of studies dealing with this objective. For example in Posavac et al. women voiced high weight concerns when exposed to media as opposed to neutral images. Then the article outlines the “multidementional” aspect of beauty. Finally the study’s methodology is revealed. The case included females ages seven to thirteen from local or regional organizatons. These participants were give fourty seven photos of models and were asked to sort them out based on similarity. Then they were asked to select the picture they thought would represent their grown up self. The one they thought least represented them. Lastly the girls were asked to create a collage of each model and the way they would live, their style… etc. to do this they were supplied with a list of items. What they found were multiple distinctions between the “pretty” and the “ugly.” They also proved that “socially desirable traits” increased the likeability of the model. Lastly they concluded that today’s youth is more “mature, media-savvy, and culturally experienced than past generations.” This study revealed what girls considered to be beautiful and ugly and were able to differenciate between both categorical lifestyles.

____________________________________________________________________


1. Joyce Y Karpay, “Critical Condition: Feminism at the Turn of the Century / Deadly Persuasion: Why Women and Girls Must Fight the Addictive Power of Advertising,” NWSA Journal 13, no. 1 (Spring 2001): 189, http://proquest.umi.com.libproxy.usc.edu/pqdweb?did=71500707&sid=6&Fmt=3&clientId=4676&RQT=309&VName=PQD (accessed February 20, 2007).


"Critical Condition: Feminism and the Turn of the Century/ Deadly Persuasion: Why Women and Girl Must Fight the Addictive Power of Advertising," written in 2001 by Joyce Karpay was featured in the NWSA Journal. The article reviews the two books referenced in the title to illustrate the harsh truth about advertising's influence on society, specifically girls. The author outlines each book by summarizing some important points and interesting quotes. She informs her readers that one simply attacks the tobacco, food and alcohol industry, where as the other talks about the history of advertising's influence and applies complex theories to her analysis. The first book, written by Susan Gubar analyzes how women from different places, ethnicities or races have different experiences as a woman. Each one deals with different issues and comes to understand her role as a female as something completely different. According to Karapy, she also references her own Jewish Heritage and speaks of her struggles of coming o terms with the male authority. The second book however takes on a different approach. Kilbourne, targets the food, tobacco and alcohol indurtries and reveals how they have created what she refers to as the “toxic culture.” She suggests that these companies unintentionally target children, appeal to them and cause them to consume their products. For example, she backs up that information by saying that 90% of smokers start smoking before the age of 18. she concludes by saying that both books will “prove powerful resources for those teaching feminist issues,” because they are informative in that respect.

In Action

Advertisements play an important role in creating community, whether it be a national one created by “society making” media or a group specific one created by “segment making” media. Turow states that advertisements more than the church or the school “promote images about our place in society” (2). Words such as “society” or “community” are abstractions and change meanings depending on who it applies to. For example, in “society making” media a community may mean a neighborhood or the church community. However, to the new “segment making” media, community will mean a group of people with specific similar interests. For example, grunge, hip-hop or even Nick-at-Nite watchers can be considered a special interest community. Therefore, regardless of the decade or style, advertising has always constructed some form of community in society.
It is hard to tell what the future hold for the media and entertainment world. However, it is certain that change will occur at a rapid pace. Once the nuclear family and the geographical sense of a neighborhood was undone, our media took on a different position advocating individuality, human rights, equal opportunity for women and even recognized teens as an important consumer target. This was the beginning of segmentation. Nowadays we have further segmented these groups into Soap-housewives, Skaters, Fashionistas, and have even created segments such as Emos to represent a certain group of people. Although there are still larger segments that we belong to they do not attract us the same way as individualized groups do. For example a female can consider herself a “fashionista” but also be part of the “women 18-34” segment. However, her appeal to the first one cannot be matched by the insignificance of the second. Being a woman from the ages of 18-34 adds nothing to her own personality, being a “fashionista” on the other hand, tells a story about her. Once this desire for individuality dies off, more society making media will be prevalent. As one trend subsides another one rises, often times the opposite of the trend that faded.
Advertising’s main interest has always been to appeal to a specific audience and influence them by promoting products or ideas. As the audience has changed from generation to generation the style of advertising has also shifted. “Segment making” media has taken the spotlight away from “society making” media. I support Turow’s claim and believe that segment making media appeals to the individualized, technologically savvy generation and therefore makes the advertising society more efficient and profitable. The segmentation in our media has brought about a new meaning to people's lives by creating a set of values and attributes that they identify with. However, we must always be willing to hear even those messages that do not apply to our own particular stories. All messages have a voice to be heard. Therefore our ability to be open-minded will allow all voices in our media to be heard.

Literature Review

There was a time where advertisers aimed at appealing to the main stream, middle class family. “Society making” media strived to bring people closer together by “act[ing] out concerns and connections that people ought to share in the larger national community” (Turow 3). For example, one of Coca Cola’s 1943 advertisements focused on the notion of the “refreshing rest pause” (http://www.gono.com/museum2003/cocacola), also known as taking a break and drinking a coke. This message followed into the 50s with slogans like ”Thirst too, seeks quality” (http://www.gono.com/museum2003/cocacola). These ads focused on universal ideas that everyone could relate to. Everyone gets thirsty and everyone wants to take a break while working. Therefore, these ads were part of society making, where the message related to all and all related to the message. Their strategy was to highlight the importance of the nuclear family, the neighborhood and the country as a whole. However, as our free market economy began to flourish, advertisements cluttered the mainstream and made it impossible for an ad to reach its potential influence. Therefore, advertisers began to shift from a “society making” media to a “segment making” media. According to Turow, their aim “is to package individuals, or groups of people, in ways that make them useful targets for the advertisers of certain products, through certain types of media” (1). For example, Subway and Taco Bell are both considered fast food chains. However, Subway has created and attracted a more health conscious audience to target. Whereas, Taco Bell has attracted the “tastes good, so you feel good” audience. They have segmented the fast food eating population into the health-conscious and the taste-conscious. By having different groups of centralized targets, advertisers can mold their ads to specifically influence that group and therefore increase sales. In essence, “segment making” media has encouraged “small slices of society” to associate with one another, whereas “society making” media unidentify all those “slices” and encourage communication among the whole (Turow 3).
Through the new segment making media, mainstream conformity becomes obsolete. Different groups emerge and create an appealing environment through their selection of media, and the commodity signs they identify with. Turow supports this claim through three different mechanisms. First, new technology, such as cable, satellite, Tivo and the Internet allow people to select what type of media they want to be a part of. Viewers of any type of media are focused with whether or not the medium “reaches people like them, resonates with their personal beliefs and helps them chart their position in the larger world” (Turow 4). The television industry has made attempts to “search out and exploit differences between consumers,” by providing over 400 specialized channels (Turow 4). For example, Nickelodeon, MTV, Food Network or ESPN are all specialized channels that attract a certain type of people. Each group is attracted to a specific type of content, which makes it easier for advertisers to target a specific audience a certain way. Miller Lite can successfully reach their target audience (19-24 yr. old men) through their “Man Law” commercials on ESPN. They create a commodity sign that distinguishes their product with certain values that characterize and attract the right consumer, and alientate other demographics. Therefore, when these consumers buy the beer they also buy with it the label of the young male sports fanatic who hangs out with his buddies and watches sports – the real man.

The second mechanism points out that our media is becoming global, where people all over the world are being influenced by segment making media. People in Japan can be part of the same interest specific audience as those in America. Globalization is creating a broader audience that can be further segmented into smaller “slices”. For example, people watching ESPN sports in America can watch it in English, whereas those in Japan can watch it in Japanese. They are both sports fanatics but the media is altered to adhere to that specific group. Respectively advertisements can also be changed so that the ads we see in America appeal to us and those they see in Japan appeal to them on the same channel. This way differences are highlighted to the benefit of advertisers who want to appeal to a specific audience.
These new interest groups created out of our segmented media are known as the third mechanism, Niche markets. For example, users of social networking website have become an important niche market that advertisers are focusing on. As Abbey Klaassen of AdAge.com noted, there is some value in having a brand or product placed on a Myspace user’s page. Rex Briggs, CEO of Marketing Evolution further stated that real value is created when "I take the brand, put it on my profile page and then all the people would develop a deeper meaning for what [the brand] stands for because of where it stands in my own personal story” (adage.com). Social Networking Websites have not only created a new platform for advertising but also allow each user to inherit a brand. They make a choice to identify with the ad, which tells a story about them. This message is then translated to all their “friends” or “buddies”. These three mechanisms have paved the way for the growth of advertising companies and consumerism as a whole.
Although, many people like the transition from “society making media” to “segmented media”, this transition can result in negative consequences. “Segment making” media is beneficial because it strengthens individual identities and creates a comfortable setting for minorities and many other special interest groups. However, it has been said that each group exists in their own bubble as “self- Indulgent” individuals who are only interested with themselves and not the benefit of society as a whole. There has been a shift in society after the baby boomers, where conformity and the mainstream are no longer attractive or satisfying. Therefore, advertisers had to come up with something to attract the new generation. This generation is interested in being different and unique, and consequently interested in “segment making” media.
Segment-making media has created a new definition for “community,” however some people believe that this new trend has undone our sense of community and has limited our media absorption. Teressa Lezzi of Advertising Age stated that segmented media is “taken as an unalloyed good that we can receive only the messages we've already decided we want to see.” She suggests that people are limited to only the information they chose to receive in advance. I disagree because not only are all messages available to media viewers but also that people are not limited to only one niche, but can be part of multiple segmented groups. Today’s media does a great job of attracting people into certain lifestyles, appeals or other segments. When someone finds a certain message appealing, they automatically become susceptible to that message.
However, different messages are available if someone is interested in counter-messages. For example, even if someone hates watching MTV or does not find fashion magazines appealing, the information is still there. Diverse messages are always available almost simultaneously, whether they be different channels, different magazines or even websites. Therefore, the common belief that our segmented media is limiting our flow of information is invalid.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

My Position... More to Come!

Since the 1950s, advertising and marketing have been considered one of the most important tools of shaping our society and culture. With the launch of the Radio and more importantly the television, advertising picked up speed and hasn’t slowed down since. The main goal of advertising has remained the same, to relate a product to an audience and consequently increase profits through sales. However, according to Joseph Turow, a Communication professor at Penn’s Annenberg School of Communication, the method has shifted from “society making” to “segment making.” Over the past few decades there have been a handful of trends that have dictated the role advertising has taken. However, the most drastic change has been between “Segment making” and “society making.” Segmented media causes people to experience a more individualized type of advertising, whereas “society making” gives people a sense of belonging. Throughout this essay I will explain why “segment making” took over “society making and will illustrate the impact “segment making” media and advertising has taken on our society and even our world.
Advertising has always been about telling a particular story to sway an audience towards a specific product, idea or lifestyle. According to Goldman & Papson, two notable communication scholars, advertisements “boost the value of the commodity brand name by attaching them to images that possess social and cultural values” (81). The result of this formula is a commodity sign, which people use to create or add to their identity. This basic structure has remained the same; however, there has been a shift in the audience focus of advertising – from the mainstream to a more individualized style.

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

The New Bibliography

Remember those days when we would shuffle through library shelves trying to find valid resources… it wasn’t too long ago. It wasn’t fun but there was no other way. not only that but no one even thought of a potential alternative. For decades the library was known as the center for information, books, articles and all literary resources. There was no escaping the library, if you wanted valid information. With the advancements of the Internet however, this situation began to change. Library searches became easier. Instead of pacing through the library, now we could get that information with a few clicks of a button. Newer and newer programs developed and continue to develop that make accessing and annotating information more accessible and easier. Recently, I was introduced to a few applications such as Zotero, Diigo and Del.icio.us, that allow you to make notes on articles and save them in a personal folder as your own resources. These resources can then be accessed by all users of this application.

I find these tools especially effective and useful. Once I started using the applications I realized how much easier my work load for researching became. I also noted that my research was more organized and easily accessible. If I am doing research on women’s role in the media and on a marketing project, I can separate the research I do in separate folders. Besides ease and organization, these programs also assist in the safe sharing of information. Anyone signed up to Diigo can have access to my annotated bibliography as I would to anyone else’s. This brings a whole new point to the concept of Sharing is Caring. Overall, I am very happy to have distanced myself from the library clutter and have transferred myself to a safe, organized and useful arena for research.

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

... Look at Me ...

Do you know how hard it is to catch a viewer’s eye on the Internet? But now that I have yours I would like to discuss the importance of visual attractiveness on the Internet. Reading articles, looking at pictures, shopping, evaluating, watching movies or even chatting with friends all requires a practice of looking. We were all given eyes to look and see. So what makes us want to see certain things and completely avoid others? Visual attraction, or the lack there of.

Especially in the advertising industry, visual appeal is crucial to the success of an ad. If an ad doesn’t stand out through the clutter of pages in a magazine or channels on TV, it limits its potential exposure. Advertising agents understand the capability of this innate skill and try to use it to their advantage. Being use to constant visual appeal, websites relevant to the advertising industry should not lack that same appeal. However, websites such as AdWeek.com compromise their own visual attraction by adding too much clutter. It is important o have a substantial amount of information on the website. It is more important to have that information organized to make it easily accessible to the viewer. AdWeek.com definitely lacks organization.

As a viewer opens the page, the first image noticed is the title “ADWEEK”. That’s great! However, after that point everything is a blur. There are so many great features on this website, but none of them stand out to the viewer. For example, the clutter of advertisement banners is inescapable. The ads encompass the entire page and do not allow the reader to experience the full potential of the website. Advertisements range from the Golden Globe awards to Billboard.com. All readers know that websites commonly make money through advertisements. Therefore having to many ads reduces a website’s credibility and gives it a money–driven reputation. This website has a lot of great information but the ads clutter the page and do not attract readers.

The biggest flaw this website has though is its choice of font color. The article titles are in large black font, however the body is in a light grey small font. Light grey on a white background is distracting and not attractive to the eye. I have 20/20 vision, so if it’s difficult for me to read the font then it must be difficult for most other people too. Not only is the font color a problem but also the size doesn’t help the reader either. One-fourth through the article I get frustrated and stop reading. I strongly believe that this is not the intention of Ad Week, however it is an unintentional mistake they should fix.

Analyzing the different layers of the website is the hardest part. There are multiple menus to select from, and all of them supply different information. They have an “Ad Week Directory,” on the left side of the page. Do not be surprised if you don’t notice it because the 8pt font can be easy to miss. They also have a menu right under that which leads viewers to information regarding industry reports, customer media, FAQ, Contact information… etc. On the top of the page, under the title, there are nine tabs that lead to different areas of advertising such as “creatives” or “print.” Make not of the advertisements you see on the right hand side of these specific pages. Can you honestly say they haven’t over done it? In addition to the tab bar and the sidebar there is also a Nielson Media Marketing & Arts Group ad with a menu with ten selections right underneath it. At first glance I thought the menu was in regards to the Nielson Marketing Group, but skimming through the links I realized that they are unrelated to one another. Why has Ad Week chosen to display it this way? Are they trying to intentionally mislead their readers or is it a lack of organization? I believe once again that they lack organization.

I urge AdWeek.com to spend some time reevaluating their website. This website has a lot of potential but because of its lack or organization and format it becomes unattractive to the viewer. People see what they want to see and no one wants to see clutter. Ad Week has a clutter of ads, which are not getting the exposure they are paying for. Being piled on top of each other and set to the side is not an efficient way to display ads. I think their advertising space should be limited. Instead of having eight ads on the right of the page they should have five ads spaced out. Also, the font color and size need to be more readable. Lastly, their menu selections should be limited and less confusing. Having too much of a selection and scattered all around distracts the reader and doesn’t allow them to focus or find what they are looking for. I think the information this website provides is very useful but I wish it didn’t take me so long to find.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

The Credibility of My Sources

Imagine a day without the Internet… seems impossible doesn’t it? Not only would my writing be invisible to you right now but also I would not even have the resources to write about a topic that interests me. This is just a speck of all the changes that would result if the Internet became obsolete. Fortunately, there are no signs of that ever happening, which means that my resources will always be a credible source of information for my blog posts. Everyday, billions of people use the Internet to access information, take care of their daily chores, and also have a source for entertainment. Resources are vital for all these activities. Just as a reference list or a works cited page highlights all the resources used in a particular essay, the related links bar on my blog highlights all the sources that I find useful for my posts. Since most of my postings are based or related to these links, I would like to spend some time analyzing each source and what it has to offer.

AdAge.com offers information on the newest and up-and-coming ad campaigns. Not only do authors write different columns each week, but also a list of blogs can be accessed for additional information. Most relevant however are the ad campaigns they analyze and discuss. For ecample, did you know that Unilever, the company who owns Dove, declined ther offer to advertise at the Super Bowl? Ad Age did! Without Ad Age or the Internet I would not know of this information as soon as i did.

Ad Hunt also displays recent successful advertising campaigns, but does not analyze each ad campaign like Ad Age does. Ad Hunt illustrates the ads for visual evaluation.For example, the new Mini Cooper campaign is featured on Ad Hunt. As each car drives past interactive digital billboards,personalized messages are displayed based on personal information the customer has provided at the time of his/her purchase. Ad Hunt calls in a “minority Report,” I think its one step closer to our high tech world.

Another interesting resource I have is Ads of the World. This website depicts different advertisements worldwide. Advertising influences people all over the world.Why not get familiar with ads in Japan or Germany along with your own nations? Also, the site makes it easy for you to select a specific region’s advertising campaigns, or to locate ads from a specific industry. This is useful because people can compare and contrast ads for clothing from America with those in China or Australia. In sum, the site illustrates the point that each specific culture has certain appeals that advertisers must appeal to.

Creative Response
, a blog I have evaluated in an earlier posting, focuses on all forms of creative expression. This site includes featured ad campaigns, innovative paintings, new promotional ideas and even talks about issues circulating around the ethics and morals of advertising. It is a good source to access innovative creativity that can be used in future advertisements.

Along with these online resources, I also have a few links to books that are prized in my field of study.For example, Practices of Looking is one of my favorite sources about how advertisements are viewed and what influences they leave on people. Throughout my posts I draw out information from the actual book, Practices of Looking. Therefore, I want my readers to familiarize themselves with the information I am using. The website has many useful tools such as an outline and brief summary of each chapter. Another important source is ERIC. This site offers educational information about various topics, such as advertising. Therefore, the readers of my blog can get a brief understand of how advertising works and what it entails by visiting ERIC.

Another credible source is the blog for the book titled Communities Dominate Brands. Personally, I find the blog more engaging than the actual book because the book was published once and cannot be changed unless a new publication takes place. However, the blog can feature new information just by adding a post. Also, the blog includes comments from readers which ads more material and engages readers.
Lastly, I have listed my wikipedia search for advertisements. Often times people do not consider wikipedia a credible source because anyone can write anything they want about any topic they chose. I disagree. People deserve more credit than that. Also, if I read something I find questionable, or had to believe I can go ahead and do a more thorough search on that particular area. The Internet is not limited to wikipedia, but so long as that resource exists I believe we should all make use of it. Thus far, I have not yet been displeased with the website and until that day I will continue to rely on it for information.

However, related links are not the only important resources on my blog. Here are certain tools such as Diggo, Furl and Del.icio.us that help me clear through the clutter of information by annotating and organizing that information. Also, these sites are a great place for finding additional information on Advertising. For example, i can access peoples bookmarks on Diggo and use annotated pieces of text that apply to topic. The combination of my related links and my tools give me the ability to formulate well written posts for readers of this particular interest to enjoy.

Therefore, I would like to give a special thanks to the Internet for giving my blog a home, my resourceful links for giving me the information to give my blog character, and my tools for sorting through the clutter. Cheers!


Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Evaluation of CR Blog


No more MLA or APA work cited pages! No more citations to interrupt your flow of reading! No more foot notes! The internet has made all of that useless. Now with a click of a button any reader can access a link to my resources and my related links.

The related links section on my blog is useful not only for myself, but also makes it convenient for people interested in this topic to have access to other relevant blogs. One of my related links, Creative Review Blog, has very relevant information regarding the role of advertising in society. This blog is set up and run by multiple writers, who contribute on a daily basis to the postings on the blog. This group of writers regularly creates both visual and written posts about creativity, new forms of advertising and other innovations in our society.

One negative aspect of this blog is that there is no background information about each writer. The audience does not know whether the writer is a professional advertising agent, artist, or a college student much like myself. The lack of information on each author influences the credibility of the blog. CR can solve this problem by creating a new tab that includes information about what the blog is trying to achieve and provide background information on each author. By doing so, readers understands what perspective the writer is seeing the work of art/ advertisement in – as a creator or viewer. More importantly it will build credibility and attract more readers.

Even though this blog lacks credibility through its anonymous writers, the blog postings are interesting and up to date. Writers post on CR Blog multiple times a day with new and interesting ad campaigns and comment on impacts of creativity on society. The posts attract a moderate amount of activity with multiple posts and comments everyday. Also, CR Blog encourages comments. This is important because blogs are seen as part of the new and interactive world. By reinforcing it, the website becomes inviting and people are more likely to comment and interact with the writers of the postings.

This blog is very relevant to my work. It emphasizes the creative component of advertising and also talks about how innovation influences advertising. Although some of the posts are not very thorough or detailed, the visuals are self-explanatory. Most of the postings circulate around how new forms of art, advertising or promotions are coming about. For example, new pairs of jeans feature demos of different bands. A picture of the jeans, the albums cover and how they are displayed and packaged are featured on the post. This is important because as old channels of advertising and promotions close, such as radio and television, new channels are opening. This specific post emphasizes those new channels and displays an example of that through the cross-promotion of the jeans with the band. The information provided in this Blog is interesting and new. People such as myself who are interested in new creativity that can be added to advertising, or new communication channels that are being developed will find this website very fascinating.

I appreciate the work of all the writers, who add to the success of this blog. I also know that most of the information they provide will be used or analyzed throughout my blog. Although CR Blog is relevant to my blog, my blog is different in a few ways. My blog concentrates more on creativity related to communication and advertising where as CR Blog refers to creativity in all forms of art. Also, I have provided information about the focus of my blog and information about myself. Therefore, the readers of my blog know what to expect and know who is writing the postings on the blog. Overall, CR Blog is a great reference to my field of study and I look forward in referencing the postings on this blog in the future.

So, there. Go ahead. Click on all my links, resources and even the pictures you see. Take advatage of this tool that we have been so fortunate in having.

To view CR Blog: http://www.e-cr.co.uk/crblog/?p=449

Monday, January 15, 2007

INTRODUCTION





Norman Douglas said - "You can tell the ideals of a nation by its advertisements." So lets evaluate our nation's ideals based on the ads we see. It is ideal to be super thin, almost invisible. It is also ideal to be sexually motivated all the time. Children strive to look like Barbie and Ken when they get older. For women professionality is ideal, yet they must still be able to cook a full course meal and take care of the kids. For men it is ideal to make enough money to purchase everything.. o and to constantly be seduced by women ( if you are not being seduced something is wrong with you ... FIX IT!).

If Norman Douglas is right, our nation's ideals are highly distorted. And if advertising has the power to reflect a country's ideals then our advertisements need to change... fast!

Traditionally, the word culture entailed all fine arts such as music, theatre, painting and architecture. Culture today is defined as a way of life or a shared practice among a group, where meaning is made out of visual, aural and textual representations. Our society relies on these representations to communicate with one another. Whether we are writing letters to communicate something or taking pictures to remember moments, messages are constantly being encoded and decoded. In essence, communication is based on the ability to convey and understand the meaning of words and also non-verbal images.

Images and messages also have a primary role in the functioning of commerce through advertising. Advertising is the newest and most influential addition to culture. As advertising influences people to make choices about what purchases to make, it also communicates cultural ideas about lifestyle, self-image, instills beliefs and attitudes – in sum causes a mass-audience to think a certain way. Advertisements usually invite consumer into the life of the advertisement, claiming that their lives would be such if only they purchase that specific product.

Most fashion ads use beautiful supermodels and desirable men to advertise their brand. Since the images of these models are paralleled with the brand being advertised, whatever feelings the images create in the viewer is applied directly to the brand as well. Most fashion ads with gorgeous models create feelings of arousal and desire. Consumers, equate the brand with the images they see as desirable and therefore desire the brand as well. For example, when D&G (seen in picture below)illustrate gorgeous models in an ad, people who are attracted by those models automatically associate the brand with the images they see. Therefore, considering the models attractive while they wear D&G clothes, also leads them to consider D&G attractive.

The image of a specific brand relies heavily on advertisers and marketers. Advertising agencies are constantly creating new campaigns to reposition brands closer to their target audience. Through this process messages are created to have a greater appeal to their audience and therefore increase sales. One approach is when advertisers take a concept or ideology that is commonly shared by all and appropriate that concept to mean something else. For example, A Diamond is Forever, a jewelry company that is well known for their catchy slogans in magazines released an interesting ad campaign for their Journey Diamonds (ad illustrated below). This line of diamonds is said to symbolize the growth of a couple’s love and how their unbreakable bond intensifies over time during their unique journey through life together. This "growth of love" is illustrated by the growth of the size of diamonds on the necklace. The slogan says, "Journey Diamond Jewelry - with every step love grows..." This ad, much like all A Diamond is Forever ads, appropriates love to mean diamonds. The consumer is told that the bigger the diamonds are the greater the couples love is for one another. This also relates to Althusser's notion of ideology.

Advertisements or the media, incorporate certain messages that appeal to the audience in order to gain adherence to their ad, and influence consumers to buy. Because of this ad and those of its genre, many women have and will believe that diamonds are true representations of love; and men will feel obliged to purchase bigger and more expensive diamonds in order to prove their love for the women in their lives. It is no wonder why women flaunt their engagement rings, compare sizes with one another and brag about the "3 qt. Rock" they got. By equating the meaning of love – something so prized in our culture – with diamonds, the ad informs its audience that the larger the diamond the larger the love.




We live in a consumer society, which means that buying is a natural daily activity. Within recent years our consumer society has also become our commodity culture, where what we own says something about who we are. On an individual scale this is known as the commodity self. What we buy or use communicates a message about our lifestyle, attitudes and the ideologies we believe in. Concepts such as the commodity self would not exist if it weren’t for advertising. Advertising encourages people to think of a commodity as an encoded message, which others decode to learn about who you are. Advertising gives qualities to products or brands, which they would otherwise not have in and of themselves. These qualities are created in the form of exchange value and not just simply use value. For example, designer clothes such as Cavalli can have the same use value as a piece of cloth – covering bare skin. However, the exchange value differs. The Cavalli (seen below) outfit gives messages of wealth, fashionable taste, and defines a person’s lifestyle a belonging to a particular status. Overall, as the production meaning of an item is undone and filled with a new meaning that mystifies the product – commodity fetishism is created.



Advertising has many strategies that influence people to consume more heavily. People in general like to identify with others and feel as though they belong. Everywhere we go, anywhere we turn we are constantly seeing images of what true beauty is, how women should be, how men should behave, and how we should all function in society. These images create codes of conduct that get infiltrated into our society through repeated exposure. For example, seeing multiple perfume ads, all of which illustrate the same lustrous female who is seductive and mesmerizing – coupled with clothing ads which portray that same supper thin body – and the facial products with their flawless skinned model – give out a certain message. They hail young women into the ad and make them spend countless dollars to become super thin, have flawless skin and maybe then be as desireable as the girl on the 30x24 billboard.

This is why ad campaigns such as Real Beauty by Dove are so important for us to embrace into our advertising culture. Dove portrays real women in their ads. No body sprays to have a flawless tone or photo shopping images to have that perfect Barbie figure. The same potential to increase a person’s sophistication or personality that exists in music or theatre, also exists in advertising. The only exception is that one particular ad has more of an influence on a greater audience than does one song or one play. Therefore, we must understand the capability of this powerful tool and use it for the benefit our society, not for its destruction.


Dove Campaign Commercials:
AD #1
AD#2

post modernism: not just a fun word

Original Article:
http://gemsy18.blogspot.com/2006/11/postmodernism.html

My Response:

I have to disagree in regards to the idea that post modernism is not applicable or real. Post modernism is that stretching of
boundaries. It cannot tell you whether you are right or wrong because post modernism does not distinguish right from wrong
but it deals with being ultra- creative and avoids the traditional route. yes, it does question the existence of ideals such as
rationality or objectivity and allows us to consider new thing. All great ideas or theories were brought about be first
questioning the existing one. Who knows where this trend of post-modernism will lead us.

It takes the traditional, modernism, and classical and extends it to a whole new level. It is applies to architecture, literature,
art, and most interestingly to me advertising. The latest ad campaigns of most designer brands have adopted this "idea" into
their current ads and are very interesting and creative. They attract attention without instilling ideals in them that most
traditional ads have bombarded us with over the decades. They stand out and make an impact.

It is not just a fun word we use because somebody somewhere came up with it but because it is a part of our culture. The
trend has been noted and has been given a name just like the classical era, the renaissance and so on.

Examples of Post Modern work:






This is my first post

This is my first post.