Religous Anxiety

On the first day of class I was confronted with the harsh realization that I do not have any Muslim friends. I have had several interactions with Muslims at Loyola and they have always been good ones. My RA from sophomore year was Muslim and even though I’ve forgotten her name I always think fondly of her and wave hello whenever I see her on campus.

Seeing as I don’t have any Muslim friends I wasn’t sure how to go about finding someone to interview. The day before the assignment was due I still hadn’t found anybody. I had seen several girls with Hijabs and thought about asking them, but something stopped. I was afraid to ask about their religion. I am a Catholic, a fairly common religious identification. I never feel threatened or accosted when someone asks me about my religion but that is not the case for everyone. When people are persecuted for their religious beliefs religion becomes a a taboo subject. I didn’t want to give anyone the impression that I was bigoted or hateful. I was afraid that by asking a Muslim if he or she identified as a Muslim they would believe I was asking out of malicious intent. To mark my target, so to speak. There is something very wrong with that.

Lego Empowers Girls

Lego recently released an advertisement that attempted to empower girls. Often Lego is associated with boys and building cars, trucks, or other “male” toys. Emerging companies are beginning to rival Lego’s idea of building blocks so they needed to come up with a counter advertisement. This one outlines the life of a strong girl who defends her decisions and uses Lego to explore her imagination. There is no gender specified Lego product, so they continue to aim their ads at young girls as well as young boys. Nerf guns are also doing the same thing, however they call their guns and arrows the Rebelle brand which is controversial sometimes.

Regardless, Lego is working to end gender stereotypes through their advertisements and products that market to both genders.

They also created a social media campaign with the hashtag #keepbuilding. It’s empowering and effective. Hopefully Lego continues this trend and other toy companies follow suit.

An Apple Holiday

Apple’s holiday ad released over the weekend, “The Song” has already been viewed and scrutinized by the public.  The video, both dynamically shot and creatively thought through will appeal to the viewer’s emotions without a doubt.

Apple has become a leader in the industry and with last year’s holiday commercial, the public had high expectations for the company’s clip.  The idea for the commercial was simple, as it combined generations together with the use of technology.  It was tasteful; Apple did not overload their product throughout the clip.  In fact, they only showed an Apple product once in the 90 seconds that it took to play out.  Instead, they focused their energy on the storyline and the story behind the product.  The choice in placing the emphasis less on the product and more on the plotline promotes Apple’s people-oriented lifestyle and dedication to their customers, which is interesting considering the overall customer satisfaction has greatly decreased as of late.

Placing a commercial out without heavily promoting a product can be risky because the intended message, to shop with said company, is not always reached to the audience.  I really like this advertisement however, as it serves as more of a holiday greeting than promotional ad.  Because Apple is such a powerhouse company, the average consumer is aware with not only the brand name, but the products that it supplies.  This makes it possible for the company to advertise in this way.  Simply telling their audience “Happy Holidays” does not necessarily promote a product, but encourages the viewer to believe that they are cared for by Apple.  This creates a brand identity that consumers gravitate towards.

I think the advertisement is great.  I think it appeals to all generations and is done so in a tasteful and professional way that would be expected from Apple followers.  It really proves that words and flashy products are not necessary to make a successful advertisement.  Do you agree?

The Interview: Comedy or Act of War?

Seth Rogan and Sony Pictures have pushed the envelope when it comes to film production, as their latest movie to be released will not only depict the assassination of a world leader, but will center its theme around an actual leader, Kim Jong-un of North Korea.

Never before has this sort of geopolitical action been taken in the film industry, and Sony executives realized this risk going into production; as the leader of North Korea is alive and well.  Turns out the leader does not share the same comedic taste as Seth Rogan and other producers, as he not only disapproves, but has labeled the film “an act of war” and branded some of those involved with its production as terrorists.

The $40 million film that will be released on Christmas day has stirred up emotions between the nuclear-armed country and those it surrounds as well as the United States.  Sony’s Japanese chief executive has intervened with production of the film in efforts to relieve some of the tensions built up over the matter.  Executives urge producers to scale back the violence in scenes where the ruler is assassinated in emails sent back and forth between them and the producers.  Sony has already been attacked and after being hacked, much of their confidential information has been released.  Though there is speculation as to who did the hacking, there is no real evidence supporting these suspicions.

While poking fun at another country or political system entertains the public, Sony may have gone too far with this film, as it directly involves an unpredictable real life ruler who is upset and has promised disciplinary action against them.  What was supposed to be a cutting edge and innovative production has become a point of conflict, before it has even been released.  Though the intent for sure was to provide incentive to watch the film, Rogan and Sony Pictures may have overstepped their boundaries, as the film may possibly affect Japanese negotiations with North Korea and has absolutely angered a powerful ruler.  However, the hype has definitely spread the word about the production and I’m interested to see the unfolding of events as the film gets released.

How McDonald’s has fought the “gross food” comments

Recently I have seen a lot of videos online about how McDonald’s doesn’t sell food that is eatable for people, or that it is made of bones and nasty materials that people would never consider eating. With this, The company sent a reality show host for Myth Busters, Grant Imahara, to the places that provide McDonald’s with their food. In the two videos I watched they were showing us how they make the McNuggets and the McRib. This is really important for the brand as it combats with the negative feedback that they are getting from the public and pretty much putting it in their face that everything they are selling their customers is eatable and is produced under the right conditions.

This sparked my attention because I think it is a great way for a brand to extend themselves to the public and react to the comments that people are putting out about their food. I think that it is necessary to answer some of these lingering questions that food companies often have when it is fast food and quickly prepared in not the best conditions that are visible to consumers. What do you think? Do you think more companies should do this for their food? Do you think these videos end the idea of “gross food” for some people? It is enough for you?

How A Brand Changes their Ads for the Seasons

I wanted to focus on Coca Cola for this blog because I think they do a great job marketing their product during the different seasons. The two seasons that I decided to focus on was Christmas and Summer! Summer obviously does a great job getting promotion and selling their nice cold and refreshing beverage during the hot summer months. With the classic polar bear cooling off with a cold Coca Cola on the iconic can, Coke has been successful in creating an iconic marketing strategy for their company. Their commercials are usually really striking and tie in old memories that people can make connections with during any season. I have attached below a video of a Coke commercial in the summer. This commercial to me definitely brings back memories of going out and being outside with your friends all summer and jus being kids.

The second season I want to talk about is Christmas. Coca Cola is HUGE for promoting their “ice cold beverage” as a tradition during the holiday season. During this time they wrap  santa claus on the can and completely changes the experience of drinking the product. During this time everyone is gathering together to have fun and enjoy being around loved ones. I think coke does a great job in creating this moment for people through their commercials. Their holiday commercials can easily remind a person what the holiday season is really all about: family, love, and happiness.

I wanted to look at this brand and how I personally thought they were able to transition and use the seasons as huge selling points for their company. I think Coca Cola is an excellent brand for this as I really do believe that they are able to provide the customer with a personal experience no matter what the season. I think they do a create job of changing the appeal of their drink while keeping the purpose of enjoying it with family and loved ones.


I think we all have seen the video I’ve provided above. I Remember seeing this for the first time and I was in complete shock. It definitely brings in a social and relatable component that some commercials leave out. I think the incorporation of these videos that are coming out on YouTube tend to inspire people. I know after watching this I was like wow it must be really interesting to kiss a stranger, on camera, for the purpose of revealing how awkward yet passionate it is to kissing a stranger and have it all recorded.

When I found out this was an ad for a clothing company I am not going to lie I was pretty bummed. The company is called Wren. It is a fashion clothing store who’s CEO created this commercial to showcase her fall collection for’s Video Fashion Week. It started out as a video shared with 21 people, and over night and the following month, the video reached millions of views. Today it has reached around 42 million views and counting.

This commercial was lovely. However I was quite upset when I found out that it was a real video of strangers kissing. Well it was, but it was only create to show a clothing line. I think this is what got a lot of people upset or turned off by the video because it takes away from the original content and turns it into another cheesy advertisement a company has made. Regardless, sales jumped significantly for the company after the video went viral as well as the song, We Might Be Dead Tomorrow sales by Soko. I think this was a great way for companies to really think about how they are reaching their audience. I think more companies need to reflect on the effects of this ad and really think about different create ways that their company can expand their brand awareness.

Arby’s Has Pepsi

“It’s funny. It’s self-deprecating. Better than that, it’s honest.”

After finalizing all of their advertising in October, the popular fast food chain Arby’s realized they made huge mistake. They forgot to include Pepsi in at least two commercials (this is a term in their agreement with the company). So the company teamed up with Fallon, an Ad agency based out of Minneapolis, to create a commercial solely about Pepsi to make up for their blunder. The commercial is simply a glass filled with fizzing Pepsi. In a voice over by Ving Rhames, he say “Arby’s messed up and forgot about the second commercial. So here it is. Pepsi, cool, refreshing, and goes great with Arby’s sandwiches and other Arby’s foods. Arby’s: We have Pepsi.”

This spot will stopped running on December 13. Although the commercial is only airing in Los Angeles, New York, and Minneapolis, it already has over one million views on YouTube. I think the ads honesty is what draws people to it.

Matt Heath, the creative director at Fallon, calls this “brand authenticity.” Simply, this means the company tells it to you straight in the ad and does not lie or sugar coat it. Other examples include Old Spice, Starbucks (people don’t like dark roast, so they made blonde roast), and Nike.

“We don’t think consumers need to be talked down to,” says Heath. “Too often in advertising, brands feel like it’s necessary to hold the hand of the consumer through the messaging. But consumers are smart, intelligent, and savvy. So we have a very straightforward message.”

This commercial helps give a better image of advertisers and ads in general. The profession has a bad reputation for lying and  being deceitful and manipulative, this ad is admitting its fault and coming clean about it. This ad shies away from story telling and just tells the real deal.

So what does everyone think about this new ad? I think it is kind of refreshing to watch this honest ad. I really do not understand how the Arby’s marketing and advertising team could have forgotten such a huge part of their advertising, but it happened. I think what they did helped to make up for it. Pepsi obviously was okay with it too. This ad technique doesn’t work for every company, but Arby’s made it work for them.


Suddath, C. (2014, December 5). Arby’s Made a Commercial for Pepsi, and It’s Great. Retrieved December 15, 2014, from

Couture Fashion Week Joins the Digital Age


New York City is getting ready for Couture Fashion Week. Coming up February 12-15, the event will take place in Times Square and Broadway area. “The billboard is on the exterior of the Crowne Plaza Times Square Manhattan, 1605 Broadway.” These ads will show parts of the fashion shows and also products and services to buy. About 200 companies will be able to display their ads here.

Couture Fashion week founder and producer Andres Aquino said about the billboard, “It makes perfect sense to have our billboard in Times Square. Fashion, entertainment and business reach an average of 330,000 tourists and passersby daily. New York is both the fashion capital and theater capital of the world. We are excited about this concept which we started last season, and are expanding into more days for February 2015.”

There are four different ad options available:

“8 second ad shown 48 times per day (once every 30 minutes): $2,000
16 second ad shown 48 times per day (once every 30 minutes): $4,000
8 second ad shown 96 times per day (once every 15 minutes): $4,000
16 second ad shown 96 times per day (once every 15 minutes): $8,000”

The fashion show started in 2005 and features designers from around the world. Performers at the show include pop signer Brielle and different Broadway actors. Tickets are non-refundable and can range from $50 to $2,000.

I think this Billboard is a great way to get word out about this event. Hundreds of thousands of people walk through Times Square every day. New York City is full of fashionistas, and if I saw an advertisement for a fashion show while walking through the city I would definitely look into it. It is a very smart move to move to digital advertising like this since the world of advertising is continuing to advance further and further. Although this ad technique started last year, they are expanding on it and making it more known this year.

Do you guys think this is a good way to advertise? Should companies spend the money to have their products and services splashed all over Times Square? I think it is a no brainer. Companies would get so much exposure in a big city like New York and in such a populated area like Times Square.


BWW News Desk. (2014, December 14). 2015 Couture Fashion Week New York Offers Times Square Ads. Retrieved December 15, 2014, from

Couture Fashion Week: New York City Fashion Shows – Couture Fashion Week. (n.d.). Retrieved December 15, 2014, from

TIMES SQUARE BILLBOARD. (n.d.). Retrieved December 15, 2014, from

YouTube Rewinds 2014

On December 10, YouTube, the popular video sharing site, released its annual “Rewind” video in which the company highlights the years viral videos in one video. The video, created by Portal A, features many hit songs from the year including “Fancy” by Iggy, Meghan Trainor’s “All About That Bass,” Nikki Minaj’s “Anaconda,” and the hit “Let It Go” from the movie Frozen. The music was made by DJ Earworm, who also does a mashup every year of top songs released. One big section of the video highlights the Ice Bucket Challenge. Videos of people dumping a bucket full of cold water to raise awareness for ALS were huge this year. The video was clever because they had many famous YouTube stars dump water buckets on each other’s heads. Some of these people include Epic Rap Battles of History and Smosh. Conan O’Brien, Steven Colbert, Jimmy Kimmel, and even Big Bird made an appearance. Some recognizable YouTube stars include Jenna Marbles, Tyler Oakley, and Bethany Mato. At the end of the video, there are there are links to all the performers home pages.

The video uses the hashtags #YouTubeRewind to promote this video. This has helped spread the video ever further. Basically, “it’s a giant ad for YouTube—the site wants to remind you it’s where pop culture lives now, big or small, definitely remixed.” Click here to see other videos from years past. Throughout the video is the “rewind” sign. It can be seen on a flying flag, on an ice bucket, and written on the screen with lipstick during the song “Selfie” by Chainsmokers. These “Rewind” videos started in 2010.

I had never heard of these videos until this year. I think it is a very smart move by YouTube because it draws a lot of people to the site.  I am not that into YouTube, but I do recognize some familiar faces. The video reminds you of what YouTube is there for; “be ready to (re)discover what the site is really about—being a total time suck.” I even found myself clicking on some of the links at the end of the video to watch some videos made by people I did not recognize. So what do you think? Is the video as entertaining as I thought it was?


Beltrone, G. (2014, December 10). Ad of the Day: YouTube’s Rewind Takes You on a Crazy Ride Through 2014 Pop Culture. Retrieved December 15, 2014, from


As an International student, I experience homesickness a lot, sometimes every the slightest memory from home makes me nostalgic and I always wanted to bring a piece of home with me so that I can remind me myself of the moments and also because I am afraid that I might forget something from home that I do not wish to forget. So, when I watch this ad from Air Wick about a father who was enlisted in the army and leaving his family and home to serve the country, I somehow can relate the homesickness he felt.

Now that I found out Air Wick has a new product- a scented candles that can remind you of your home by stimulating your sense of smell. The obtain molecules of a scent you want to be reminded of and make it into a candle. When the candle is lighted, you smell home and you feel like home. This is a smart marketing strategy because Air Wick knows that everyone is vulnerable to feeling lonely, away from family and missing the loved ones. Once again, the strategy of pulling the heartstring is used.

I think that this product is very innovative and I am really curious about how the candles smell like. Are the scents accurate and in accordance with your olfactory memory that reminds you of something memorable? Will they smell weird if you chose a scent like your socks? Also, if an individual is being reminded of his or her home too much, wouldn’t he or she be more vulnerable and sad and be prevented from moving on toward his or her mission or goals?


Adweek’s Top 5 Commercials of the Week: Dec. 5-12. (2014, December 12). Retrieved December 14, 2014, from

Please Like Us

A few months ago, when Facebook rolled out its newest messaging app, its users were outraged. The new iPhone and Android app required users to download it in order to continue using Facebook’s messaging service. Facebook’s users were frustrated that the social media powerhouse was making them download a second application onto their phone in order to get as many downloads as possible. It’s possible that Facebook made this switch in order to make their messaging service seem more as a day-to-day messenger, to combat the popularity of WhatsApp, GroupMe, and iMessage. Regardless of the intent, the application made most of its users angry. All of the reviews for this Facebook messenger application average around one star on the Application Store on Apple.

In the middle of this controversy, Facebook has launched a large advertising campaign, pushing their new messaging system. You can see them all around the city of Chicago, on bus stops and traditional billboard types of media. It’s interesting that in the face of all of this controversy, Facebook pushed forward in getting their message out on a mass market. Facebook usually does not resort to this kind of media, there are very few print advertisements displaying Facebook’s social networking service. This approach for Facebook is a new one, using a heavy push of traditional, print media for advertising. Especially in this situation, where their application is already facing negative backlash, it is a new approach for Facebook.

Because Facebook is already having problems with this new application, then this is probably the reason for their change in advertising. Because they are used to having a high satisfactory rates with this customers, Facebook usually does not have to deal with bad press. In a combined public relations and advertising effort, it seems as though Facebook is combating this bad press with their mandatory application through new advertising strategies. This could be the resurgence of Facebook advertisements all over the city, because they have never had to use them before now.

Have a Tiffany Christmas

This holiday season there have been some hit commercials from Dick Sporting Goods, Old Spice and Nike. The one ad I’m focusing on in this blog is Tiffany & Co’s holiday commercial.

Many people are LOVING Tiffany & Co’s eighty second commercial focusing on engagement rings. (The one I posted from YouTube is 30 seconds long.)

This commercial was first released in the United States in November and focus on monumental areas in New York including Central Park and Rockefeller Center. The ads have a Frozen meet Mad Men feel to them which attract consumer’s attention.

The ad is animated by Psyop, which also takes a snapshot of scenes from the commercial and place them into Tiffany’s store windows, including the Tiffany & Co on Michigan Ave. The commercials don’t have a heavy meaning, they are basically fun and full of sparkles from the jewelry and snow.

The song, “Out of the Blue” is by Chauncey Jacks and was only created for the sole purpose of the commercial. Unfortunately, the song cannot be purchased or downloaded.

Tiffany & Co, a luxury jewelry store, makes over 20% of the years revenue just on the holiday season alone. They focus on symbols such as their blue box and love in order to advertise effectively.  Most luxury stores create ads based on nostalgia in the past, while Tiffany & Co instead uses a contemporary display of Christmas in US culture.

While the commercial has been a hit thus far, there are critiques who point out that most of the “people” pictured in the story are primarily white, heterosexual couples, which is far from diverse.

What do you think about Tiffany & Co holiday commercials? Do you find them effective?

References: (Commercial)

Digital Ad Overtaking TV Ads

Thanks to Neflix, Comcast and streaming, it seems like ages ago I sat through an entire television commercial. The only time I look forward to watching commercials is during the Superbowl! How are advertisers able to maintain reaching audiences without the ability to have as much of a reach through television? The answer is Digital Advertising. According to the online site, Advertising Age,  global ad revenue will grow up to 4.8% (which comes out to $536 BILLION) in 2015.  The article also states that digital media will “reach 30% market share globally in 2015, and it’s on track to surpass TV revenue in the US by 2017”.

In 2014, digital media grew to 142 billion (17%) due to new social formats and mobile campaigns. In 2015 its expected to continue to increase by another 15%. Digital media is also affecting other international markets, such as the UK, which is the number one media category over television and magazines. Newspaper ads decreased 4.3% while magazines took a bigger hit, down 7.3%. Surprisingly, out-of-home media grew 3.4% while radio stayed the same.  Mobile ad spending is predicted to be a huge digital revenue by 2016- it’s expected to account for 1/4 of all digital revenues.

TV revenue in the United States is expected to decrease by 1.4% to 169.5 billion in comparison to the increase of digital media. The reason why there was a decrease in television spending was due to the bad weather that affected restaurants, automobile and retail. The main reason was due to consumers “heightened interest in digital”. Since digital is cheaper and more visually appealing than traditional advertisements, it rose in power in comparison to television ads.

Other countries such as India, Japan, Spain, UK and Australia’s advertising revenue grew this year while Russia, China, Brazil, Canada and Germany’s grew slower than expected.

It doesn’t seem to be quite a surprise that digital media will overtake television. In fact, for people of my generation, I feel that it took quite some time for businesses to put more money into digital advertising than television. Newspapers caught on faster that people were acquiring their information from the internet. Thus, online newspaper publications were created. How were advertisers not savvy about focusing more of their ads online when the trend to watch television shows, movies and the news on it? What do you think about digital advertising overtaking television campaigns?


Bruell, A. (2014, December 8). Digital Ad Spending to Pass TV by 2017, Magna Global Says | Agency News – Advertising Age. Retrieved December 13, 2014, from

Farmer’s Fridge

While I was walking back from Christkindmarket this weekend, I discovered an unusual looking vending machine. It was larger than an ordinary vphoto 1ending machine  and it was made of all wood. My friends and I took a closer look and discovered an innovating healthy vending machine called Farmer’s Fridge. Inside this machine were fresh salads all placed in a glass jar. Inside the jar there consisted a variety of salads with fresh ingredients that you selected on a touch screen. The dressing was also located in the machine. What made this machine fascinating was how user-friendly it was. Each image of the salad also showed the nutrition (calories) and ingredients in it. All you had to do was select the salad you want, apply the 20% off coupon that was listed next to the computer and voila! The salad would dispense from the machine and you can eat your healthy meal on the go!

My friends and I loved how creative this idea was! The machine was interactivphoto 2e which brought life into a mundane lunch break. It changes the concept that only vending machines consist of unhealthy foods, which means junk food is easy to get, not healthy foods. At first, I was cautious about the fresh food being placed in a vending machine. Fresh foods go bad quickly because there are no preservatives in it. I was wrong! As I researched the company, I discovered that the food is replaced every day and the packaging is made out of recyclable plastics which have an extremely low oxygen diffusion rate. This allows less oxygen to hit the food making it last longer without the use of artificial ingredients. Every unsold salad after 6 pm is discounted by a $1 and ever unsold are distributed to a local food pantry.

Farmer’s Fridge is changing the way in which people can buy healthy foods. You can buy delicious, healthful foods at affordable cost within minutes. Farmer’s Fridge was able to position their company as an innovative and sustainable company which is photo 5changing the way American’s consume food on the run. The incorporation of a digital kiosk also makes them ahead of other vending machines/fresh food companies.

I’m excited to see how Farmer’s Fridge will do in the future. For now, they are able to incorporate consumer’s time and need for a healthy diet all in one!