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.

Want to Shop At Whole Foods?

Whole Foods has always been for me one of those stores that I internally role my eyes at. This is totally unfair of course. I’ve never been into a Whole Foods and my attitude towards the store is based solely on the people I know who shop at the organic specialty foods store. Apparently the negative sentiment towards Whole Foods is spreading. For the first time since the company’s conception Whole Foods will be releasing a national marketing campaign.

The campaign is said to be in response to disappointing sales, which are said to be the result of an increase in competition. With rivals such as Kroger and Walmart starting to sell organic products at much lower prices many of Whole Foods customers are beginning to shop elsewhere. Considering that this is not the first time Whole Foods has been critiqued for its high prices I would say that the overall message of their new campaign is very smart. Stressing the quality of their food and making it a point to say the price of the food is well worth it.

With that said I still doubt that I will ever shop at Whole Foods. I am on a limited income after all. Whether the new ads will make a difference in Whole Food’s sales or not is anyone’s guess.

Be Together. Not the Same.

Think different is the advertising slogan must people still attribute to and associate with Apple. It encouraged consumers to take a chance on a different company and put their faith in Apple’s technology, which to this day is still described as new and innovative. But is this still true. Think about it the next time you walk into a classroom and are greeted with rows upon rows of  illuminated apple silhouettes. Or when you are exchanging numbers for a group projects and can’t help but notice that your partner has the exact same Iphone you do only in a different color. When people buy Apple products are they really purchasing innovative and new tech or are they just buying themselves further and further into a trend? Are we buying simply because Apple is what is in style?

This seems to be the case according to Google’s new Android advertisements. We’ve all seen the phone ads that directly call out the inadequacies of their competitors, but Google does not stoop to this level. For one thing, a competing brand is never actually named, but the implication is enough. Everyone and their mother (mine got hers two years ago) has a damn Iphone. Apple is no longer the new and innovative underdog it once was, but has become a technological juggernaut. Google has decided to capitalize on this Apple hysteria and is using it to advertise their product by seeding a very simple yet effective idea: if you want to be different, don’t own an Iphone. And between you and me, from one Iphone user to another, it’s working.

References

Matyszczyk, C. (2014, October 15). Google’s latest ads depict Apple users as conformists – CNET. Retrieved October 16, 2014, from http://www.cnet.com/news/google-apple-users-are-conformists/

Snaps for Snapchat

One of the largest issues people tend to have with in app advertisements is that they cannot be avoided. On YouTube a predetermined five seconds of time must be dedicated to an advertisement video before the intended video content can be reached. With Facebook there is typically a myriad of distracting ads that hug the borders of the users smartphone screen. Consumers do not like to be forced to watch advertisements. Whenever it is made known that an app is going to start showing paid advertisements there is typically a great deal of user backlash. This may or may not be the case for Snapchat.

Snapchat is photo message social media application that allows the user to send photos or videos known as “snaps” to other users. These snaps can have a lifespan of up to ten seconds before the snap “self destructs”. Another feature is for the user to create a compilation of photos or videos known as “my story”. The my story feature are where the paid advertisements will be displayed. This is good news! For those who are not familiar with the my story feature, they can only be activated or shown if the user wants to see them. They are in complete control of the content and can “cherry pick” what advertisements they would like to see.

Some might say this will mean no one using Snapchat will ever willing click on a My Story for an advertisement. I disagree. If the product or company is relevant to the consumers interests or lifestyle than why wouldn’t they check it out? What Snapchat is doing is giving it’s users room to breathe. Something that is uncommonly rare in the in app advertising game. If you’d like to buff up a bit more on the subject than check out the link below!

http://time.com/3484582/snapchat-ads-mobile-evan-spiegel/

Simple, but effective?

Now I have absolutely zero experience in the advertising field, but if I were a gambling man I’d say that it’s no easy task to differentiate one’s ad firm from the competition. People want to stand out and it’s not always easy to see the best way to do it. Enter West! West is a relatively young advertising agency based in San Francisco (I think) that was founded in 2011 by Allison Johnson, a former Apple executive. Now very little is known about West, which is largely in due to the, let’s call it simplistic, design of their website.

LINK: http://west-sf.com/

As you can seen for yourself there isn’t much you can actually do on West’s website. What’s more surprising is that the website gives absolutely zero information about the company. What do they specialize in? What have they done? Who are they? The only thing you can do on West’s website is click the link on the bottom of the screen which will open your email app addressed to hello@west-sf.com. Kyle Russel, a writer at TechCrunch, believes West’s website to be incredibly pretentious. While I agree with him for the most part, I have to admit that on some degree this website is at least getting the name of the company out there. Russel wrote an article about West’s website on TechCrunch, now I’m writing about it on a blog. Is this just a clever advertising tactic? Or is West hoping that having a former Apple exec will be enough to bring in the customers. To hell with a portfolio or mission statement! Let me know what you think, you ad people. Be sure to check out the West’s website before you read Mr. Russel’s scathing review.

http://techcrunch.com/2014/09/24/jack-dorseys-advertising-agency-couldnt-make-a-more-pretentious-website-if-it-tried/

Go, Go Daddy!

Go Daddy is a computer domain registration company that was founded in 1997. Until recently it was a company that I abhorred with intense dedication. I’ve never used Go Daddy’s services nor have I ever known anyone who has worked for the company so you might wonder what reason I could have for disliking a company I’ve had no contact with. The answer is simple: because of their commercials. If any of you have had the displeasure of watching Go Daddy’s 2013 Superbowl commercial, first,  let me offer you my condolences. Second, let me apologize even further for posting the link below.

Seriously. I’m sorry. The reason I posted…well, whatever you would call THAT is because I wanted make the difference between Go Daddy’s old ad campaign “Sexy Meets Smart” and their new campaign “Provocative with Purpose” all the more apparent.  The new ads, which premiered this past Monday on ESPN, still have an edge which Go Daddy likes to associate themselves with but are much less likely to described as “pornographic”. What more is that these ads are funny and enjoyable to watch. When you have a commercial that consumers can actually sit through I imagine it will be a great boost to the company’s revenue and familiarity with the product. The link to the new ads is listed below, but before I finish I want to bring your attention to how these ads are actually mentioning small businesses, the targeted demographic for Go Daddy.

http://www.azcentral.com/story/money/business/2014/09/15/godaddy-launches-new-advertising-campaign-today/15668913/

Mobile Advertising Killed the Radio Star

When the average person thinks of an advertisement for a product or service it’d be safe to assume that commercials would be one of the first things to come to mind. Which makes sense. The reason commercials are such a popular method of advertisement is largely because they can be broadcasted directly to the consumer across the television and the radio. Until recently these were the two mediums companies could use to get their advertisements closest to the consumer. Since the emergence of the smart phone, however, that is no longer the case.

apple-buying-mobile-ad-network-quattro-for-275-million

Damn near everyone these days has a smart phone that stays by their side throughout the day. It didn’t take long for companies to realize that they could be sending advertisements literally to the palm of potential consumer’s hands. Now that they have the practice down it looks as though mobile advertising is becoming the dominant medium for advertising. Increased spending on mobile advertisements for this year are already set to send the amount of digital revenue in the U.S. to $50 billion. Not only is mobile advertisement better for catching the eyes of the consumer but it is also an incredibly lucrative investment.

With all the money going towards mobile advertisement there’s bond to be some divestment from the other two forms, particularly radio.

http://www.businessinsider.com/mobile-social-drive-us-advertising-2014-9