Breakfast Challenge

Cereal companies are seeing a of decline in sales, a trend that “Euromonitor International stat that shows the category has dropped by nearly $4 billion since 2000.”  Now, they are trying to use nostalgia as a way of brining back customers.   Companies are trying to focus their ads on Gen-X and Baby Boomers with ads such as these that have recently debuted:

It has never been new that “breakfast is the most important meal of the day,” but a lot of millennials are always in such a hurry they don’t have time to sit down and eat breakfast in the morning.  Most just “grab and go” on the way out the door.

Let’s face it, we all know now the most delicious cereals are seriously bad for us.  (Hello Lucky Charms, Fruit Loops, Cap’n Crunch…I’ve missed you.)  When you’ve grown up with the idea of cereal being a sugary treat, it is difficult to switch out the frosted flakes for a hearty bowl of Kashi Go-Lean Oat Squares.  Some companies such as General Mills, have lowered their sugar levels in recent years with the popularity of high-protein and gluten-free diets, but the sales figures still do not prove the stratigies to be working.  General Mills has reported that their yogurt sales, on the other hand, have risen over recent years.

Americans have become very health conscious in the recent decade.  Even McDonalds changed the beloved Happy Meal to include a smaller “small fry” and includes a packet of apple slices.  That is certainly not the Happy Meal I knew and loved.  So, it is not surprising with their high sugar content, that cereal companies are struggling today.  In my opinion, unless they find a way to make Lucky Charms “healthy” and still taste great, cereal companies will continue to struggle in sales.

Rudy, M. (2014, September 11). Cereal Sales Keep Declining, So Some Brands Try Nostalgia. Retrieved September 14, 2014, from

“Kellogg’s® Cereal and Milk.” YouTube. YouTube, n.d. Web. 14 Sept. 2014. <;.

“Lucky Charms Pentatonix commercial.”YouTube. YouTube, n.d. Web. 14 Sept. 2014. <;.

A tale of two tragedies: 9/11 and Branding Mistakes

From spoof ads to reality, brands struggle on how to cope with 9/11. September 11th is a day in America’s history in which the twin towers in New York were attacked by terrorists. This terrorist attack catalyzed both unrest and war, and is still one of the iconic days in the year in which Americans reflect on their patriotism and passion for their country.

Personal social media pages often include remembrances, dedications, and candid memories of the day and where they were when the attack occurred. Brands and P.R. professionals have taken to social media and promotion but have not found the perfect marriage between sentiment and marketing. The answer perhaps? There is none.

Let us look at Applebee’s most recent 9/11 post- it is a dirty, worn American flag adorned with the text, “We will never forget. 9.11.01.” It does not contain any marketing or promotional strategy but was still not received well. Numerous replies and retweets with remarks chastising the brand about using 9/11 on their social media signify that the message was not well received. In this particular case study, 9/11 is such a touchy subject that many brands should rather gloss over.


(source: PR Daily)


(source: The Onion)

Another problem for many big brands includes Internet spoofs and editing. I would like to call to your attention a faulty Subway ad, found on the Internet. The ad, which was created a few weeks ago, features two-foot longs representing the twin towers. The special, which would be $9.11, included two-foot long sandwiches. This ad, although created for Internet trolling, misrepresents Subway. This ad was later copied onto hundreds of other websites and the authenticity was called into question. Although it could be confirmed that the ad is indeed a spoof, the ad may have had severe repercussions for the brand Subway.

Today AT&T posted a simple gray scale photo to twitter with the text “Never forget. 9.11.01.” The tweet was considered to be somber and non-promotional, which is a contrast to their promo that ran on 9/11 of the previous year.

After providing you with these examples, many questions remain unanswered. How can a brand best approach national crises and include them in their marketing mix? Is it best to leave tragedies unaddressed- or, rather, to include them in marketing mixes to appeal to the emotional and patriotic American? Ad campaigns and marketing campaigns should proceed with caution when dealing with traumatic crises: especially if these crises are deeply rooted in American patriotism.

New Subway Promotion To Honor Subtember 11. (2013, September 6). The Onion. Retrieved September 11, 2014, from,33768/

Wilson, M. (2014, September 11). Have brands learned their lesson about mixing tragedy with marketing?. PR Daily News: Public Relations news and marketing in the age of social media. Retrieved September 11, 2014, from

What if you could control your dreams?


“What if you could dream without limits?”
I like to believe that everyone dreams at night, but some people say that isn’t true. My response when I hear that is that those who think they don’t dream probably just don’t remember, so it seems like they didn’t dream.
Check out this new innovative concept for dreamers in the video below:

Danny Schoonover and Andrew Smiley have created a new concept of a dream-enhancing headband that plays special lights and sounds during the REM cycle to help you become aware that you are dreaming, while you stay asleep. This then allows you to take control of your dreams.
What many people don’t understand about dreams is the power that you can train yourself to have over them. I know several people who hate when they dream because they always have these terrible nightmares. So what if you could change a nightmare into a really exhilarating or enlightening dream? There are different techniques and methods that many people practice in order to train themselves on how to take control of their dreams. (See video below for details on this) A website called spirit science ( also has a few posts on this and “Lucid Dreams.”
In order to take control of your dream, you have to realize during a dream that you are in fact dreaming. Once this happens you are able to open doors to a whole new creative land. I have always been really intrigued by the concept of dreams because I have always had really vivid dreams my entire life. There have also been two occasions where I’ve had a dream at night, and then the very next day everything that happened was exactly the same as it was like in my dream. It was pretty intense, and I knew from the moment I woke up that it was going to be like that because I just had this weird unexplainable “Déjà vu” type feeling. Another dream that I had about a year ago I realized in my dream that I was dreaming, so I was able to start controlling the dream and I decided to start flying around and it was the most amazing dream ever. I felt so free and it felt so real. It was like being on a roller coaster but even better. When I woke up from that I felt almost enlightened because the experience was so surreal.
So over all I think this headband concept is pretty cool, and I like that they have actually done research and tested out the product and feel ensured that it really works. I like that they have used new technology and incorporated a smart phone app with it as well. However I don’t know if this would be very comfortable to sleep in. What do you think of this? Do you wish you could control your dreams?

Lastly, I have a blog that I keep where I post all the dreams that I remember. So if you feel like checking that out here is the link:

For more on Lucid Dreaming see the video below:

For more on the concept of controlling your dreams see the link below:


Be The Creator of Your Dreams. (n.d.). Retrieved September 11, 2014, from the creator of your dreams

Iwinks. 2013, Dec 14. The Aurora Dream Enhancing Headbacnd (Official Kickstarter Video)
Retrieved from

AsapScience. 2012, Oct 10. The Science of Lucid Dreaming.
Retrieved from


MTV and Trojan. Ethical?

The Trojan condoms brand has teamed up with MTV for its commercial campaign on the MTV network. Trojan condoms commercials have appeared on the network before and even nabbed a prime spot during the MTV Video Music Awards. Although Trojan has appeared on the network before, airtime for condoms remains a sensitive topic.

MTV began the “It’s Your (Sex) Life” campaign in 1997. It is a public information campaign to educate and empower viewers to be in control of their sexual health. The “It’s Your (Sex) Life” campaign reaches people through the MTV network, an informative website, and social media. MTV has produced numerous series that reinforce it’s “It’s Your (Sex) Life” campaign, e.g., 16 and Pregnant.

It's your sex life

Both companies share a similar target audience, young millennials. According to The New York Times, the ad campaign takes a conversational approach to condom use. It follows a young couple’s decision to move into the “condom-zone”. I think this approach will be much more effective and accepted than the typical in-your-face Trojan ads that are all about the pleasure the user will receive from the product.

This year, the commercials will be produced by MTV. Three commercials will be released on the MTV network following the couple’s story to move into the “condom-zone”. MTV’s decision to produce the commercials internally will give the campaign more credibility and hopefully produce a more relatable storyline that encourages safe sex.

Does MTV need Trojan to carry out the campaign? I support MTV’s message of safe sex, but feel it could do without the backing of Trojan. Trojan’s name in bold at the end of the commercial may make viewers question the objective of the ad. Only time will tell! The commercial will not be aired until later tonight.

Is it ethical for MTV to broadcast a condom commercial? MTV’s goal for the campaign is to promote safe sex. Does that justify advertising condoms in a sex-sensitive society?



About IYSL. (n.d.). Retrieved September 11, 2014, from

Elliot, S. (2014, September 9). Trojan Teams Up with MTV Again to Promote Condom Use, and Brand. The New York Times. Retrieved September 11, 2014, from

Ralph Lauren 4D: Fashion Future or Fizzling Fad

New York Fashion Week. It never fails to impress. With hundreds of new designs and styles making their debut for Spring 2015, Ralph Lauren Polo for Women decided to make things interesting. On Monday night, the brand created a whole new dimension for fashion week. While the many designers, shows and styles for fashion week are all very unique the format is generally the same. They all have a venue decorated creatively to encompass the theme for their collection and models walking the runway displaying the clothes to the audience. But Ralph Lauren Polo decided to break tradition, they held their show out in central park and rather than having real life models display the collection, they decided to take on a new dimension. This year the collection was displayed via hologram projected onto shooting water fountains much like the World of Color show featured at Disneyland.

In this new format the brand was able to do something no traditional fashion show could do. The show was able to feature changing, and life like New York backdrops such as Central Park, the Brooklyn Bridge, and the High Line among others. Some other benefits to the new format include the 4-story tall models making the outfits easy to see and the ability to see them from many angles rather than just from your seat at a traditional show. Another unique feature was that the show was completely open to the public. The brand’s ability to engage a wider audience than just the select few who can afford the seats of a normal show is another innovation all on its own.  The entire show was just under 10 minutes was fun, creative, engaging and the truly one of a kind setting itself apart from all the other standard shows but, the question then arises, is this the fashion future or just another fad?

While many praise the show for its innovation and creativity, providing a “breath of fresh air” (Fisher) from the standard show some are still skeptical. explains “The problem was that the models and clothes were hard to make out: Because the video was projected onto a fountain and there was a slight breeze, the images were blurred. You could make out a neon pant or a diagonally striped skirt, but you couldn’t tell what fabric it was made out of or who was wearing it. (Indvik). With these problems presented I realized maybe there is a traditional show for a reason. While technologically advanced and fun to see it really is not the best way to see the clothes. With the screen like format one cannot see the true nature of the outfits, like fabric, texture or flow that one can see when viewing the clothes themselves like the traditional shows do. So while I like the theory of the new format it does not quite work out in practice so I don’t see the fad to be the future of fashion shows, but rather a fun experience to enjoy. So while the Polo show was effective in terms of brand experience, true fashionistas that care more about the clothes than the presentation will not be impressed. A risky move for the debut of the line but only time will tell if it will pay off in the end.


Indvik, L. (n.d.). RALPH LAUREN’S ‘4D’ WATER SHOW FAILS TO IMPRESS. Retrieved September 11, 2014, from

Fisher, L. (2014, September 9). Polo Ralph Lauren Takes Fashion Week To The Future. Retrieved September 11, 2014, from

Ralph Lauren. (2014, September 9). THE OFFICIAL RALPH LAUREN 4D HOLOGRAPHIC WATER PROJECTION. Retrieved September 11, 2014, from