Just Like Jordan – Advertising by Getting Fined

The NFL is not in a good place right now. To add to the strange lack of punishments for domestic violence cases, and the general feeling that the league is in a vulnerable place, they have a sponsorship snafu to deal with as well.

Headphone maker Bose is the official headphone sponsor of the league (yes, you can be a sponsor of headphones). In fact, just about any company can pay for play in the NFL world. Did you know Frito-Lay is the chip of the NFL? Or that NFL players are endorsed by Vicks for their cold needs? My personal favorite is the Castrol sponsorship, because when I think about the NFL, I think “Wow. Those guys must know a lot about cars.”

These sponsorships have stipulations, such as not wearing products of competitors in scenarios that might end up on television. Unfortunately, because this isn’t 1940, and everyone has a camera/camcorder in their pocket, just about any situation can end up on TV.


Image courtesy of BeatsbyDre product information page, Studio Beats

Football players such as Richard Sherman and Colin Kaepernick, two of headphone maker Beats By Dre‘s most visible promoters, have recently run afoul of the NFL’s sponsorship guidelines. Both have been televised wearing pink Beats in support of “Pinktober,” the NFL’s monthlong campaign for breast cancer charities and research.

The NFL has fined Kaepernick and Sherman $10,000 each, which, while still a substantial amount of money, isn’t that much for guys who make $19 million and $14 million per year. To me, this feels a little bit like the infamous Nike vs. the NBA case from 1985.

Nike gave Michael Jordan red and black shoes to match the Bull’s uniform. The shoes were found to violate the NBA’s dress code, so David Stern (then commissioner of the league) fined him. Again, and again, and again. Each time, Nike paid the $5,000 fine, and received publicity, favorable media coverage, and became associated both with Michael Jordan and with a bad boy, competitive attitude that culminated in record sales for the shoes when they hit retail stores. (1)

Beats by Dre has already saturated the market with high-priced, colorful, low audio quality headphones. Nike used that incident to gain their success in the world of basketball shoes. Beats has paid the fines, just as Nike did, and their athletes are continuing to wear the headphones.

Because Beats are associated with Dr. Dre, they already have a brand image, but this coverage is helping to continue the debate about the archaic rules that the NFL operates under. If players like a certain brand, don’t they have a right to use that brand’s products? As long as they aren’t coming out and openly saying “Bose sucks, we prefer Beats,” this seems like an intrusion into the rights of private citizens to do what they want.

Hopefully the NFL can figure out this issue, and get back to things that matter, like playing football, and making sure no one else is a victim of domestic violence or child abuse.



1. Trex, E. (2011, June 2). Why Michael Jordan’s Fancy New Sneakers Cost $5,000 Per Game. Retrieved October 15, 2014.

The Worst People Vote

Getting young people to vote is one of the toughest challengers facing lawmakers and politicians as they scramble to adjust to a rapidly changing environment. Young people, milennials, whatever you call them, don’t think the government is doing anything good (1).  A ton of them, myself included, don’t really plan to vote (2), because they think it doesn’t matter, and the cycle will continue regardless. They might be right. That’s not the point. How can you get the next generation of Americans to ingrain into their minds the fact that political action can do anything?

You go negative. You go very, very, terrifyingly negative.

The group “Rock the Vote” has been around for quite a long time, but they have generally been seen as another political action organization that just spends money and has impassioned pleas. Recently, in partnership with New York Agency Goodby Silverstein & Partners, they have a fresh new campaign.

Their new ads, aimed at pissing people off enough to vote, are part of a strategy called “#CareLikeCrazy.” The ads range from a man talking about voting because, as an arms dealer, he loves war:

to one of the worst types of people talking about upholding the status quo:

to one of the greasiest, most misogynistic ads I’ve ever seen:

Absolutely infuriating to watch. The reason these work so well is because we think people like this do exist. The “average, uninformed American” is a terrifying, but truthful stereotype that we run into everyday. Knowing that these people exist, and taking steps to combat the spread of ignorance and bias is the first step towards creating a better political system. Plus, these ads are funny, in a sad sort of way.

These ads also play into the large debate and discussion among milennials: the people that have come before us have irrevocably screwed things up. From the economy to the environment, we are now having to deal with and fix things that we had no hand in breaking. This sums it up:

Will these ads and PSAs get younger people out to vote?

The next election results will show.



1. Trust in Government Nears Record Low, But Most Federal Agencies Are Viewed Favorably. (2013). Pew Research Center for the People and the Press. Retrieved October 8, 2014, from http://www.people-press.org/2013/10/18/trust-in-government-nears-record-low-but-most-federal-agencies-are-viewed-favorably/

2. Low Midterm Turnout Likely, Conservatives More Enthusiastic, Harvard Youth Poll Finds. (n.d.). Harvard University Politics. Retrieved October 8, 2014, from http://www.iop.harvard.edu/Spring-2014-HarvardIOP-Survey?utm_source=homepage&utm_medium=hero&utm_campaign=2014Surv

Video 1: Rockthevote. 2013, October 2. #CareLikeCrazyAboutWar. Retrieved on 2013, October 8 from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fiJ5_L0dj6E.

Video 2: Rockthevote. 2013, October 2. #CareLikeCrazyAboutVotingRights. Retrieved on 2013, October 8 from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5VlQwQhZaoA.

Video 3: Rockthevote. 2013, October 2. #CareLikeCrazy”That’sJustSexist.” Retrieved on 2013, October 8 from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IM5KGrTHs24.

Color Psychology

Target. Chegg. Forever 21. Starbucks. Shazam. Monster. Each of these brands has chosen a color to represent them. Anyone who has tried to make a logo or a website knows that coming up with a color scheme is one of the most difficult parts. How do companies choose their colors? When building a logo or website, it is important to consider the target audience. Companies also need to consider what message they want to convey through these colors. Consider this pie chart from CreativeBloq. 

Chegg, an online textbook store, uses orange and white. Perhaps they are attempting to get college students excited about their classes. Since orange is considered, “the colour of innovation and modern thinking. It also carries connotations of youth, fun, affordability and approachability.” It would make sense to use orange for a college textbook site because students are often on a tight budget.

The Starbucks logo is green. As seen in the diagram, the color green makes people think of nature, soothing, and affluence. People come to Starbucks for a relaxing environment to talk, work, or study. Monster, a job search company, uses purple in its logo. Perhaps this is to convey that by using their services, you could land a job that makes you as rich as a king!

Companies that want to expand into the global market must consider the connotations of various colors in their target market. For example, in the United States, yellow can be associated with optimism, sunshine, and happiness but just south in Latin America, yellow is the color of death and mourning. In the United States, Forever 21 uses yellow as its dominant color, when moving to Latin America, the company may choose to emphasize black instead.

Target makes a bold move by using red for their logo. Red is a rather risky color. In the United States and Europe, red can mean warmth and passion but on the other hand it can mean violence and danger. On a global scale, red proves to be even more difficult. In Asia, the color red is associated with celebration and luck but move just to the west and red takes on a whole new meaning in the Middle East where red represents evil.

From trust and authority in the West to immortality in the East, blue has many connotations. Ultimately, blue is the safest bet, which is why it is used for so many companies. In order to stand out amongst a sea of blue logos, Shazam, a song and TV show identifier, uses two different shades of blue in their logo.

So what colors would you use in your personal logo?

Christie, M. (2013, August 14). How to choose a colour scheme for your logo design. Retrieved September 3, 2014, from http://www.creativebloq.com/logo-design/choose-colours-8133973

Cousins, C. (2012, June 11). Color and cultural design considerations. Retrieved September 3, 2014, from http://www.webdesignerdepot.com/2012/06/color-and-cultural-design-considerations/

Take a Bow Siri: LinkedIn’s new app predicts the future, and then some

Today, Tuesday, July 15th, LinkedIn, a professional social networking site with 300 million international members from over 200 countries, is launching their new application, Connected that attempts to keep individuals on top of their business tasks by predicting various criteria of details one might need to keep in mind for optimum performance in a meeting. (Olson, 2014)

According to LinkedIn, by providing “access to people, jobs, news, updates, and insights” they are connecting “the world’s professionals to make them more productive and successful.” Certainly, the new app, which is a significant upgrade from the previous version called Contacts. It “uses a card-like interface to show users updates on what’s happening with people in the network. The app is also smarter than its predecessor in a few ways: it can integrate with a smartphone calendar, to learn about forthcoming appointments.” For instance, if you have an upcoming meeting, and it is recorded on LinkedIn, Connected — whether the application is turned On or Off — is made to ping its owner a ‘talking points’ summary relating to individuals s/he is about to encounter. This summary would include the other party’s recent developments; including photos and updates they’ve posted on LinkedIn. Moreover, just like the screenshot (courtesy of LinkedIn) proves, the app goes as far at to suggest: “Remember to ask about her two kids, Holly and Matt.” (Olson, 2014)


LinkedIn’s new Connected app

The app is actually made of six different applications that include a flagship app. This setup allows Connected to analyze and rank an individual’s LinkedIn network; prioritizing who is important, and to what degree. The app would work often with a network spanning over 500 connections per individual.

In addition, to help Connected hone its familiarity with a person’s network, “LinkedIn has built a contextual learning platform called Ropod.” The idea behind this platform is using pre-meeting intelligence, so that the application is proactive and truly helpful and its reactions.

This applications is employing two recent trends in the world of technology:

(1)  Data sharing and ‘talking’ between applications. For instance, the Connected app will have an ongoing dialogue with iCal and Google.

(2)  Anticipatory computing.

Finally, Connected follows the process known as ‘implicit personalization.’ “A sophisticated program learns about a person behind the scenes, for instance by noticing how they refer to certain people in their contacts list as their ‘sister’ or ‘boss,’ and then making decisions about who’s most relevant.” (Olson, 2014)



About Us. (2003, January 1). World’s Largest Professional Network. Retrieved July 14, 2014, from https://www.linkedin.com/about-us?trk=hb_rr_ft_about

Olson, P. (2014, July 10). LinkedIn’s New App Predicts What You Need To Know Before A Meeting. Forbes. Retrieved July 14, 2014, from http://www.forbes.com/sites/parmyolson/2014/07/10/linkedin-connected-app-predictive/




What movie did that come from? Um just the oh so fetch movie mean girls! Mean Girls was the movie that changed the way high school was as we now know it! Who didn’t want to be a plastic? This year marked the 10 year anniversary of the movie and this year on Wednesdays girls across the world wear pink.   images Many people believe mean girls might have just been a teen movie about silly girl drama in high school but it actually shed light on one pressing issue – bullying. I remember always being on the opposite end of the bullying spectrum; I was a mean girl. I was not your Regina George but I was Gretchen Weiners; I was just as guilty by association. I often think about what those people we made fun of are doing now. Are they successful? Are they married with children? Did they go to college? Most of all I think was I was wrong for not being nice to people? Or was it just apart of growing up? The thought that haunts me the most is what we had the choice to bully someone vis the internet? Cyberbullying-–-vs-–-Bullying   The reason why the thought crosses my mind is because so often we see cases on cyber bullying and bullying within the schools. Kids commit suicide or cry themselves to sleep over words that someone else says about them. Studies show that bullying has taken a different turn because of the internet and social media. In mean girls it was just three way phone calls and a burn book; now you can post embarrassing pictures, screenshot text messages and harass someone via social media anonymously (Twitter, Instagram or Facebook). Many high school girls have no way to escape because it is constantly in their face; what someone else things about them, how they look or if everyone saw that picture of them doing who knows what. Cyberbullying-–-vs-–-Bullying   Many of us Gretchen Weiners never saw this an issue because we were not the ones being made fun of but bullying actually touches everyone and cyber bullying touches more kids than we know.   Here are some quick facts that many people may not have know about cyber bullying but may actually changes their views on the act of cyber bullying! 1. Nearly 43% of kids have been bullied online. 1 in 4 has had it happen more than once. 2. 70% of students report seeing frequent bullying online. 3. Over 80% of teens use a cell phone regularly, making it the most common medium for cyber bullying. 4. 68% of teens agree that cyber bullying is a serious problem. 5. 81% of young people think bullying online is easier to get away with than bullying in person. 6. 90% of teens who have seen social-media bullying say they have ignored it. 84% have seen others tell cyber bullies to stop. 7. Only 1 in 10 victims will inform a parent or trusted adult of their abuse. 8. Girls are about twice as likely as boys to be victims and perpetrators of cyber bullying. 9. About 58% of kids admit someone has said mean or hurtful things to them online. More than 4 out 10 say it has happened more than once. 10. Bullying victims are 2 to 9 times more likely to consider committing suicide. 11. About 75% of students admit they have visited a website bashing another student. The scary thing is that it is a trend that we follow unknowingly and have no choice to perpetuate. In this life you are either a bully or Regina George. Bullying extends way beyond high school; it follows you to college and adult life. There are mean girls everywhere! Have we not learned anything from mean girls?

Actually we have; On Wednesdays We Wear Pink!

Sources   11 Facts about Cyber Bullying. (2013, December 31). . Retrieved June 8, 2014, from https://www.dosomething.org/facts/11-facts-about-cyber-bullying Mean Girls. (2014, May 30). Retrieved June 8, 2014, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mean_Girls Donda, V. (2011, January 28). On Wednesdays We Were PInk. . Retrieved June 8, 2014, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6E85eO6lqQ

World’s toughest job seeks applicants

By Matt Gillis

Well, if you thought that advertisers had used every trick up their sleeves to gain the attention of consumers, think again. After learning in every single communications class that the key to reaching modern consumers is via digital platforms, it seems fitting that companies have embraced the art of viral videos. While it may seem like creating a viral video is an objective out of the hands of advertisers, using real people, shock value and human emotion seems to be a sure formula to creating a successful viral advertisement.

On April 14, American Greetings, a greeting card company, released an advertisement via YouTube that has since accumulated over 7.8 million views as of today. So, how has the company achieved viral video status you may ask?


Boston-based agency, Mullen, created a fake job listing for a position titled “director of operations” for a fictional company called Rehtom Inc. They released paid advertisements digitally for the position and received over 2.7 million impressions.

Of those who viewed the job listing advertisements, 24 people inquired about interviewing for the position. They were interviewed via webcam and their real-time reactions were recorded on video and featured in the YouTube advertisement. The video shows the interviewer revealing the position’s job requirements including standing up almost all the time; constantly exerting yourself; working from 135 to unlimited hours per week; degrees in medicine, finance and culinary arts necessary; no vacations; the work load goes up on Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s and other holidays; no time to sleep; and a salary of zero dollars.

After watching the advertisement, viewers understand that the position of “director of operations” is for the position of a mother, whose responsibilities match those listed by the interviewer. At first, the job requirements sound outrageous, but once it is revealed that the advertisement is in promotion of mothers and purchasing cards for Mother’s Day, it becomes an eye-opening message.

This advertisement covers all the bases of a viral video including the use of real people, the revelation of a surprising message and the inclusion of real and relatable human emotions. It’s actually nothing short of genius. I mean, who would have thought that a bunch of fake job interviews could be used to effectively promote a greeting cards company?

So, I guess the moral of the story is that creativity is a skill worth investing in. Not only did American Greetings take a creative chance on this advertisement, but they also blended it flawlessly with their wholesome, caring and loving brand identity.

Reference list:

–       Cardstore Blog. (n.d.). #WorldsToughestJob. Cardstore Blog. Retrieved April 16, 2014, from http://www.cardstore.com/blog/worlds-toughest-job/

–       Nudd, T. (2014, April 14). 24 People Who Applied for the World’s Toughest Job Were In for Quite a Surprise. AdWeek. Retrieved April 16, 2014, from http://www.adweek.com/adfreak/24-people-who-applied-worlds-toughest-job-were-quite-surprise-157028

McDrive Surprise

It took a while for me to realise that it’s April. Do you realise the time is passing so quick!There’s only few more weeks left, and we are off this semester, and there goes our summer break. I hope you all had a blast on April Fool’s Day. As we know, many advertising agencies have started using prank strategies in their advertising campaign. As we’ve seen that this strategy has been growing in these couple of years. Lots of agencies have tried several ways to prank the people in public. For example, the “Carrie” and “The Walking Dead” prank that held in New York City. Many agencies have utilised Youtube as their main sharing platform. They posted these videos on Youtube and boom, the video went viral.

On 1st of April 2014, McDonalds has taken April Fool’s Day Prank to a whole new level. McDonalds in Vienna, Austria, launched their latest April Fool’s Day Campaign by setting up different themes in their McDrive booth. As you watch the clip i shared, the first set up was the “making out in the McDrive counter”. The workers were making out in the booth, and when the customer drove to the booth, most of them were shocked and laughed. They had another booth was set up in a opera style. They hired an opera female singer, where she was supposed to sing while passing the meal to her customers. As we noticed, the customers were all shocked and laughed out loud. The third booth was even more intense. They hired a wrestler to pass the meal to their customers. The wrestler asked his customers  arm wrest with him before he pass his meal to his customers. Next, it was set up in a trip into the space theme. The set up looked completely like they were in a space ship. They hired actor to dress like astronaut and pass the meal to the customer. It followed by another theme, this is one of my favourite one, the Horror theme. The ambience was really scary, and it was set up at night. Actress was hid under the booth, and when customer passed by, the actress would jump up and scared them. The last one they hired a rapper and two hot girls to the booth, and the rapper ended with “McDrive, Swag Life” slogan.

So what do you think of this campaign? I think it’s very funny and creative in a way. DDB Tribal, the advertising agency that handled this campaign has done a great job. This is the strategies that make customers remember their brand.


McDonald’s Austria youtube channel. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EaAcjJIK0rI.