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.

Honey Maid endorses homosexuality

By Matt Gillis

The success of a company’s advertising campaign depends on its ability to stand out against the clutter of its competitors. Traditionally, companies use attention-grabbing themes like sex and beauty to garner added publicity. More recently, advertisers have begun incorporating contemporary, controversial topics like sexuality to create media buzz for their clients.

Honey Maid, producer of snack products including graham crackers and Teddy Grahams, released their “This is Wholesome” advertising campaign on March 10 via YouTube. The commercial features several different types of families, including a single dad, an interracial family, a blended family and two gay men as parents.

The advertisement, which recognizes that the reality of family has changed, but the wholesome connections that families share still remains, received over four million views within four days of being uploaded. With 4.5 million views today, Honey Maid says the commercial has received ten times more positive comments than negative ones despite its controversial nature.

However, several large organizations have spoken out about the advertisement, specifically about its message of describing homosexuality families as “wholesome.” One such organization, One Million Moms, a group promoting “biblical truths” and family values, described the commercial as attempting to “normalize sin” and characterized the two gay parents as “sexually perverse.” The group stated that if Honey Maid continues to define these families as “wholesome,” they would boycott the company’s products.

Honey Maid used the negativity surrounding the initial advertisement as an extension of their overall campaign. The company released a response video showing that the number of supporters of Honey Maid’s campaign greatly outweighed those who were against it. The video reads, “But the best part was all the positive messages we received—over ten times as many—proving that only one thing really matters when it comes to family: love.”

I believe this campaign was successful not only because it managed to gain widespread attention due to the use of a controversial topic like homosexuality (which was, no doubt, a strategic decision made by Honey Maid), but also because the company was able to turn the negative publicity into something positive with their “Honey Maid: Love” response video. The company successfully characterized itself as a progressive brand with every family in mind.

Because Honey Maid already had an established brand following before the release of this campaign, the company was able to approach the topic of homosexuality without much backlash. Honey Maid is the top company in its brand category of graham crackers. The company’s loyal customers will probably remain loyal. However, if Honey Maid was not a top competitor in the marketplace, their campaign approach may have cost them their success and longevity.

Reference list:

–       Lee, J. (2014, April 4). Honey Maid responds to antigay backlash with ‘Love’ video. USA Today. Retrieved April 4, 2014, from http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2014/04/04/honey-maid-love-gay-rights/7303481/

–       Nichols, J. (2014, April 3). Honey Maid releases ‘Love’ in response to anti-gay commercial backlash. The Huffington Post. Retrieved April 4, 2014, from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/04/03/honey-maid-love-commercial_n_5086442.htmlComments

Cock in a Sock campaign


If you think shaving your head to support the cancer group/patients is crazy, then you’re wrong. The cancer awareness group has brought these campaign to a whole new level. For those who follow Buzzfeed, i’m pretty sure you’ve read about their latest post about the #cockinasock. #cockinasock is a online campaign run by James Brown and JustGiving (an online fundraising page).The Cock In A Sock campaign was created to spread the awareness of testicular cancer. So what exactly is Cock In A Sock? Why is this a hot topic on social media like Twitter and Instagram especially?

This online campaign is mainly aimed to gain donations from the people on internet for JustGiving, an online fundraising website, and also by supporting this campaign, the creator of this campaign, James Brown encouraged people to take and post a nude picture of themselves, where they cover their penis with sock onto the social media platforms. Within a day, many male social media users took their courages to post their nude with socks covered their penis on social media platforms. The campaign team also came up with hashtag of #cockinasock so people could direct to this topic easily.

The hashtag went viral in a day, and it’s been a hot topic on twitter. And of course, it has brought a huge controversy among the society. To me, i personally think it’s a really good and creative idea to spread the awareness. It’s a new way to educate the society on the testicular cancer. No doubt, the campaign and their official websites didn’t provide sufficient informations about testicular cancer, and many people have been arguing about this campaign is sickly done or whatsoever. But i personally think it has gained the awareness of testicular cancer. As they’ve mentioned, it’s to spread awareness, and now, people have been talking and discussing about this topic. Indirectly, it has successfully gained a lot of support and awareness from the public.

But however, i was really embarrassed to view these photos and related news in public. I was in a cafe, and was curios on this campaign, so i opened the page. When i saw those pictures, i quickly turned it off, as i thought it was kinda inappropriate to view these photos in public. Also, i personally thought awareness isn’t given until something “sensational” comes along. The society are aiming on sex appeal, and no doubt, sex appeal/sex really does sell. There’s no way to deny the fact is real.



Stopera, M. (2014, March 25). Men Are Posting Pictures Of Their Penises In Socks On The Internet For Cancer Awareness And It Is So, So Good. Retrieved from http://www.buzzfeed.com/mjs538/men-are-putting-their-penises-in-socks-on-instagram-for-canc

“Blend it to stand out campaign” by Dermablend

Rico Genest, also known as Rico the Zombie, is a well known fashion model/DJ/artist. He appeared in Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way” music video. And sooner or later, he became a hot topic that everyone was talking about. Because of his unique skeletal tattoo all over his body, many fashion companies had started to notice Rico the Zombie, and invited him to walk for their specific fashion show. He becomes a fashion icon, many youtube artists started to make their own Rico the Zombie’s make up tutorial.

Two years ago, Dermablend Pro Cosmetic had a collaboration with Rico Genest. The campaign was called “Go Beyond the Cover”, as Dermablend Pro demonstrates their well known full coverage concealer and foundation on Rico Genest. It covered every pieces of his tattoo. And Rico Genest was asked to remove the make up in front of the camera. The production team recorded every process of this campaign. The video clip/commercial was posted on Youtube, and it went viral within a week. Sooner or later, Dermablend Pro had increased their sales number.

Two years later, on March 2014, Dermablend came out with their new campaign, called, “Camo Confession” campaign. Where they invited Rico Genest, along with two youtube stars, Cheri Lindsay and Cassandra Bankson, to share their story and show how they used Dermablend to stand out for themselves, but not their flaws. Three of them have different flaws. Rico Genest, as we already know, he has skeletal tattoo all over his body. Cheri Lindsay, shared her vitiligo story through the camera. And lastly, Cassandra Bankson, another Youtube make up artist, shared her acne story and how she used the Dermablend to stand out for who she is.

These individual video has their own story about their skin condition, and they talked about their flaws, and how they overcome their individuals issues. They were all covered up by Dermablend’s foundation and concealer, and in the end of the video, they removed their make up and showed their true skin condition. I was touched by Cassandra’s story, as i find her story is very similar to my personal experiences.

The “Camo Confession” campaign encourage the publics to share their personal flaws, and shared their flaws through video, photo or message by uploading it on their Facebook page. Within 24 hours, the production team will post their messages on the social media. They came out with their unique hashtags like #camoconfessions #blendittostandout #dermablendpro to encourage the publics to spread the awareness of their campaign.

And also for every confession submitted, Dermablend will donate $1 to Look Good Feel Better®, an organisation dedicated to improving the self-esteem and quality of life of woman suffering appearance-related side effects of cancer treatment through beauty sessions.

The campaign got really good feedbacks, and i find their official promotion videos are rather touching and impactful. I thought this campaign can also related to what we learned in class recently. The topic of Storytelling marketing/advertising that Prof.S talked in class.

Tell me what’s your opinion on this campaign? Does it encourage you to share your personal flaws on cam/social media?


Dermablend youtube channel. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/user/DermablendPro

Ellen at the Oscars!

Ellen DeGeneres is a powerful figure in our society today. She has worked her way up through laughter, taking stances, and being downright loveable. Ellen’s hosting of the Oscars was one that I, as well as many many others, looked forward to. I even kept up with her countdown on Instagram!

Ellen brought charisma and energy to the Oscar stage.  Her opening monologue had the whole crowd laughing.

When I looked into this, one of the few critiques I could find was at this point in time. There were some viewers who were upset when Ellen called Liza Minnelli a “sir”. She was throwing fun hits at a number of people and seems to really be a fan of Liza… She later draws attention to her again and takes a “selfie” with her as they joke back and forth.  She continued to lighten moods after serious performances, such as Pink’s performance of “Over the Rainbow” after which Ellen came on stage in a Glinda the Good Witch costume.

Her job, as she pointed out seven years ago at the 2007 Oscars, is ” to relax you. To put your mind at ease and make you forget that this is a make or break night for you” (Degeneres 2007, video).

Ellen did this very well the entire time. The ambiance of sadness and seriousness had its proper moment in the sun, but Ellen never let those feelings fester for too long. She would pop out with a joke or punch-line that would soon have everyone happy again. According to Rolling Stone, Ellen’s Oscar hosting “garnered a six percent increase in viewers over MacFarlane’s” (Grow, 2014, p.1). It was the “best Oscars Ratings in a Decade” (Grow, 2014, p.1). Well done Ellen!



Ellen DeGeneres’ Glinda The Good Witch Costume Brings On The Laughs. (2014, March 3). Retrieved from YouTube website: http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=CZoLM-Z7ubk

Ellen DeGeneres’ Oscar® monologue.(2008, March 21). Retrieved from YouTube website: http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=whgVLNC5KSY

[FULL] Ellen DeGeneres Opening Monologue Oscars Academy Awards 2014. (2014, March 3). Retrieved from YouTube website: http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=TbLI8ElWDWY

Grow, K. (2014, March 3). Ellen DeGeneres Garners Best Oscar Ratings in a Decade. Retrieved from Rolling Stone website: http://www.rollingstone.com/movies/news/ellen-degeneres-garners-best-oscar-ratings-in-a-decade-20140303#ixzz2vv08l1JE

Does Sex Sell?

Sex in advertising has been a controversial and important conversation since the early 1900s. The public wants a product that makes them feel sexy, confident, and wanted – the public wants sex.

The concept broke out in 1911 when Woodbury’s Soap launched an ad campaign with the slogan “A skin you love to touch”. In the next few years, their sales skyrocketed from thousands to millions of dollars. The creative director, Helen Landsdowne Resor had proven that sex can indeed sell.

The extreme sexualization did not commence until Calvin Klein used topless women, unbuckled jeans, and sexual positions in his ads in the 1930s. And while this started the new take on advertising, Calvin Jeans did not become a prime example of controversy and sexualization until the 1980s. At that time, a campaign featuring actress Brooke Shields came out. In the video, Shields is sitting in a sexual position, whistling, and then saying “do you know what comes between me and my Calvin’s – nothing.” The ad was discussed by many critics and banned from many networks. And while that may not seem like an ad that should have risen as much attention as it did, it was the fact that Shields was only 15 years of age at the time of the campaign that did it.

Despite the complaints, Klein continued to produce sexual advertising. In 1987, the designer released his first underwear collection and a few years later, his first perfume, and its respective ads just became more and more sexual. And while it reached a point where stores, networks, and organizations were banning Calvin Klein, sales showed that the target audience was liking the sex and as a result sales had increased to billions of dollars.

A more contemporary example of sexualization in advertising is Abercrombie & Fitch. Founded in 1892, the brand was targeted at outdoorsy men who enjoyed hiking, fishing, and mountain climbing. In 1988, the company was doing poorly, so it was bought by Limited Brands (same company that owns Victoria’s Secret). In the next years, the new company reshaped A&Fitch into what we today know the brand to be. Today, the brand is worth $2.6 billion.

Even sex can sell sex. In Australia, 2010, an ad for erectile dysfunction ran with humor and sex combined. While it raised a lot of controversy, the number on the screen was called by many, and sales rose (literally).

This post has shown several examples of how sex in advertising can help to increase sales. It has not discussed the question if it is right or wrong and if it is okay to go as far as advertisers do today? Are the creative directors coming up with this actually being creative or is sex just the easier route to an increase in sales? What do you think?…

O’Reiley, Terry. Sex in Advertising. Under the Influence. April 21, 2012. Web. 

‘Drive High, Get a DUI’

By Matt Gillis

A new product category has made its way to the advertising world. As several states including Colorado, Washington, and New Jersey legalize recreational or medical use of marijuana, weed is proving itself as a lucrative product with new opportunity for promotion.

However, legalized marijuana has also proven to be a polarizing political issue, causing many to question the safety of its recreational use. Because of this, states allowing citizens to get a legal high are now turning to responsible marijuana use public service announcements to ease the minds of those less gung ho about the drug’s journey to mainstream America.

Beginning March 10 through the week of April 14, the state of Colorado, who legalized the recreational use of marijuana beginning January 1, will air an advertising campaign that cautions recreational marijuana users from getting behind the wheel while high. The advertisements take a more light-hearted approach toward driving under the influence compared to other DUI campaigns such as drinking and driving. The campaign uses humor to reach its target audience, featuring stoners under the influence of marijuana trying and failing to start a grill, play basketball, and install a television.

The campaign titled “Drive High, Get a DUI” was created by four Denver-based agencies including Amelie Company, Explore Communications, Communications Infrastructure Group, and Hispanidad. With an increased DUI advertising budget of $500,000 from their typical $325,000, Colorado’s marijuana campaign will feature print and television advertisements that will be placed in Denver, Boulder, and Grand Junction as well as online.

While many would agree that public service announcements like this one are necessary in educating the public about responsible marijuana use, the humorous approach used by Colorado seems to satirize the issue rather than take it seriously. Because the advertisements fall under the same category as those directed at drinking and drinking, they are obviously subject to comparison. The severity, seriousness, and often gruesome nature of drinking and driving advertisements make the “Drive High, Get a DUI” advertisements seem nothing more than a joke.

The humorous nature of the campaign does little more than to catch each viewer’s attention. The advertisements make fun of their target audience, which are recreational marijuana users, by playing on stereotypes and making them look incompetent, lazy, and annoying. While the goal of the public service campaign was not to vilify marijuana use, the message was communicated at the expense of those engaging in the recreational activity.

Reference list:

–          Sebastian, M. (2014, March 6). Watch the Pot: ‘Drive High, Get a DUI’ Ads Chide Newly Legal Weed Smokers. Advertising Age. Retrieved March 8, 2014, from http://adage.com/article/media/colorado-s-drive-high-a-dui-poke-fun-pot-smokers/292027/

Beach Billboard Brilliance

Perhaps the best form of advertising and giving out samples comes in the form of a New Zealand Brand’s newest advertising strategy. L&P, a New Zealand drink maker has made an interactive advertisement that seems to be a sweeping success in major cities. The tag line of the campaign is to “Hold on to Summer” and the billboards literally make the viewer hold on by giving them summer beach items. Some signage is entirely of flip-flops and people are encouraged to take a pair. The poster is still underneath so that the message is not lost. Other ads include beach towels with the company’s message that can be taken from billboards and are replaced with a sign underneath!

Check out the video below:

The video shows how unique and different this ad strategy is. Notice how excited the pedestrians are when they grab the free L&P merchandise. Do you think this is a successful ad idea, or does it stray from the product, which is a beverage? Personally I think it works because the tag line is “Bit different aye” and this campaign is surely different then anything I’ve ever seen. It also associates a cold drink with summer and the summer items they give away. What do you think about this advertisement? Do you think this could ever work in America, specifically a metropolitan area like Chicago?



Your Private Driver.

A couple days ago, I went to San Francisco to visit my friends. And part of the reason was to avoid the cold in Chicago. I’m more like a sunshine and tropical boy. Anyway, the weather and their lifestyle were pretty chill and a little laid back. Going to somewhere warmer is like the best gift ever. But as you all know, California in general doesn’t provide a good public transport system. Unlike Chicago, we have the CTA and Bus, which makes everything much convenient. The five days i spent in San Francisco, i was having doubts on how to travel to one place to another. As the taxi fare is pretty expensive in San Francisco, surprisingly!

As i was thinking to rent a car in San Francisco, Lyft and Uber came to save my life. My friend suggested the Lyft and Uber applications may help me in saving all the taxi’s fare. To an international student like me, Uber and Lyft sound really new to me. As back then in my country, Malaysia, practically everyone owns a car, and people barely call up for a taxi ride. So what exactly are Lyft and Uber?

Basically, it’s a luxury car service, in which you use your smartphone app like Uber and Lyft to book a ride. These smartphone apps are completely free of charge, except the fact that you have to register an account with your credit/debit card. As they charge the ride fare from your card. Unlike the normal taxi, you have to carry cash or sometimes your card with you to pay for the ride. A tip for those of you who wants to visit California or any other states, install both, Uber and Lyft. As you can compare both price and choose which service to use. As sometimes, either both service has discount, or sometimes, they charge you higher at night, especially to Uber. There was once i wanted to take Uber ride back to my hotel, but they told me they are charging extra at night, so i switched to Lyft where they offered cheaper fare compare to Uber. And one thing about these service is that you get a free ride on your first ride of their service. If you install two app, means that you get two free rides. 😀

Uber provides different variety of ride. If you’re going for a budget trip, they have their Uberx which you get to ride on  private car to your destination. They hire locals with their car to fetch you to your destination. Based on my personal experience, i was pretty impressed by their service. The drivers were extremely friendly, they treated me as if i was their friend. And i was quite surprised by the car they used to fetch me. Most of the drivers that i got was either in Lexus or Toyota. Compare to the normal taxi vehicles, these are way better, as it’s cleaner and luxurious compare to taxi.

Uber even provides SUV and their signature black car service. Which are more luxury than their Uberx service. They use branded luxurious car, but obviously, they are way expensive compare to the Uberx. But, it’s a good choice when you’re going on a date or an event.

As for Lyft, they provide the same service as Uber. They provide private car service, and somewhat, the drivers were more friendly than Uber. I thought their marketing strategy was pretty cute. As compare to Uber, their black and classy theme. Lyft is more like a casual and young theme. I find it easier to recognise a Lyft car, most of their car has a pink moustache attached in their car. And the drivers will shout their slogan once you get into their car.

To be honest, i think the both services are equivalent good. It’s a cheaper way to get a real taxi, as it’s cheaper than the taxi fare. I think it’s a good way to save money while travelling. After all, we are still students, budget is the way it is.