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

2. Low Midterm Turnout Likely, Conservatives More Enthusiastic, Harvard Youth Poll Finds. (n.d.). Harvard University Politics. Retrieved October 8, 2014, from

Video 1: Rockthevote. 2013, October 2. #CareLikeCrazyAboutWar. Retrieved on 2013, October 8 from

Video 2: Rockthevote. 2013, October 2. #CareLikeCrazyAboutVotingRights. Retrieved on 2013, October 8 from

Video 3: Rockthevote. 2013, October 2. #CareLikeCrazy”That’sJustSexist.” Retrieved on 2013, October 8 from

Product Placement in Music Videos

Has anyone ever noticed how some music videos seem more like commercials? For example, in Travie McCoy’s “Billionaire” music video, he spends half the time in a Mini Cooper and the other half riding a Vespa. The video features Bruno Mars who rides in the Mini Cooper with Travie while they sing and smile driving down a sunny California highway with the top down. Later Travie gives this vehicle to a delighted stranger who is seen throughout the video wearing a Dakine backpack while searching for a ride. Another example is Ke$ha’s music video for “We R Who We R”. The music video includes various shots of Ke$ha and her glamourous friends drinking from a distinct blue bottle of Revolucion tequila. The video also features a shot of Ke$ha’s pink and black Baby-G watch (I do not know about you but I do not think I have worn a Baby-G watch since about the third grade). The most obvious promotion in the music video was for a dating website called, the video shows Ke$ha scrolling though profiles of potentials in multiple shots which the web address prominently displayed at the top.

Another way that artists promote products is to include them in the very lyrics of the song. Many rap artists include Patron tequila in their songs. Is this because Patron is an easy word to rhyme or are the rappers actually endorsing the product? Some artists actually have the name of the product in the chorus! For example, Patron is featured in the chorus of “My Drink n’ My 2 Step” by American hip hop artist Cassidy. Hip hop singer and rapper Lil Mama clearly promotes MAC and L’Oreal cosmetics in her song (and music video) “Lip Gloss”.

Personally, I think some of these product placements are tasteless and tacky. It is very obvious to me that the artist is trying to sell something to the viewers and I find it to be annoying. I understand that the artists needs to raise money to create these music videos and it would be okay if artists could be more subtle with the promotion. I would even compromise and say that Katy Perry’s endorsement of the Nokia phone in her music video for the song “Roar” was tolerable. Product placement just tends to get out of hand and ruin the potential for the musician to create an interesting artistic music video. An example of product endorsement going too far is Lady GaGa’s nine-minute music video for her song “Telephone” featuring Beyoncé. In the comments below try to name all the products featured in the music video.

Instagram: Marketing Strategy for Businesses

In 2010, a new exciting social media medium became available to all apple iPhone, iPod and  iTouch products. Instagram quickly gained momentum and popularity. As an exclusive, picture sharing app, no one ever imagined it would reach the potential it has today. Today, Instagram is available on all smartphones, tablets, macs and PC’s. Instagram has more than 150 million monthly active users worldwide.  Instagram is not only one of the top social media tools around but it is also becoming one of the biggest marketing tools for businesses. 



Through Instagram, many companies are now able to connect directly and effectively with their consumers. The reason for this is that they are now able to communicate with their audience directly by sharing photos, likes, and comments. Through this segway, consumers feel that they have a personal connection with their favorite brands. Therefore brand awareness and  sales increase. The way  companies can establish and spread awareness to their brand is by using this new innovative tool properly to their advantage. 

Brands can use their Instagram feed with content their personal content in two ways: by creating original brand content and curating customer content. They can make their images and videos unique to them and capture the attention of more consumers. When brands and companies are being original about what they post, they have the opportunity to be authentic, and “in the moment”, which works best at connecting with consumers than traditional ads. 

Brands can really take advantage of Instagram by maximizing the success of non-traditional media advertising and marketing. In doing so, they put customers at the center of the experience and really engage with their consumers and target audience. 


Because of this unique way in which Instagram is beneficial to businesses, it has become more than just a social media tool. It has reached a point where all of the social media sites before it have strived to achieve such as Twitter and Facebook. Instagram growth is accelerating and so are the devices in which users can have access to the site. With technology at an all time rise, businesses can definitely take advantage of this new, innovative tool to maximize their company success and reach consumers at a more personal level. 



Gladwell, M. (2013, November 4). The Year of the Instagram Strategy. The Huffington Post. Retrieved April 30, 2014, from


Instagram as a Growing Business. (n.d.). – Instagram Blog. Retrieved April 30, 2014, from


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

–       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

News Is Going Native

Last week there was a story online about an Apple delivery truck died in the middle of the street in Chicago and was blocking traffic. The street was one way and was causing huge backup which was delaying some other important city traffic, but an amazing neighbor who is now a local hero is being praised for their quick response because tow trucks could not get to the truck to help. The neighbor heard the shouts and immediately came out with a can of BP gasoline. He poured it in the gas tank and the car began moving which helped traffic resume and all deliveries was made for the day. Remember that article? Yeah, me neither, but it could be the start of a growing trend.


The Guardian, an online newspaper, announced last month that it was making a “branded content and innovation agency” which is partnered with Unilever (Kutsch, 2014). The Guardian is engaging in what is known as native advertising. Native advertising is a blurring of the lines of journalism and advertising. It’s essentially the print version of an infomercial.


What’s really blurring the lines here is that unlike traditional advertising, which uses outside companies to write and pay for ads, the ads are written by in house reporters who produce content for outside companies (Kutsch, 2014). This is a cause for concern because the lines between what an editorial are and what an advertisement are may be delineated only through the notifications that what you’re reading is an advertisement and those notifications are typically small or not as highlighted. For a profession which is supposed to be objective, they are now employees of the advertising business.


The reason for moving to native advertising is because news media sources are struggling to replace a decline in print with digital sales and while digital sales have risen, only about 12% of Americans and 9% of Brits say they’ve paid for digital news (Kutsch, 2014). Many companies and advertisers see native advertising as a more effective way to generate attention from online customers than through traditional banner advertisements (Kutsch, 2014). As long as the ads are clearly marked as ads, I can see these being effective and more fun to read, but if not then I could foresee lawsuits against many of these journalists or advertisers for purposely deceiving the general public.


The FTC, which usually regulates this type of stuff, is currently working on a policy for native advertising (Kutsch, 2014). However, until this is established, advertisers currently have free reign for this sort of business. This can be a boon for the consumer who will see typically objective professionals writing for advertisers who may not know their profession as well.


Here’s just one example of a type of native advertising:


(Image courtesy of

How do you feel about this? Let me know in the comments!





Kutsch, T. (2014, March 08). The blurred lines of native advertising. AlJazeera America. Retrieved from

Gillette Gets Creative to Get Men to Shave

Let’s face it: beards are in. What once only men like hipsters, lumberjacks, and wise men donned, is now a mainstream trend. Beards can be seen everywhere, personally, when I notice more and more bearded men around me I just attributed it to college lifestyle. But apparently, this is a nationwide trend to the point that sales of razors have plummeted.

According to the New York Post, several things have contributed to the beard trend and the lack of razor sales. First off, is the Movember movement (or as I know it, No Shave November), which raises awareness for prostate cancer. This month long movement caused a huge financial drop in Procter and Gamble’s fourth quarter. Similarly, movements like Decembeard further encourage men to don beards. However, the economy on the whole has contributed, causing more men to buy cheaper brands and simply stop needing to shave due to unemployment. Ads for middle-class retailers like Target and JCPenney only fueled the flame of the trend by including bearded men.

So what’s a company with a large razor division to do? Procter and Gamble, the company that owns Gillette, decided to get creative and encourage men to shave other parts of their body. They released the video posted below and continue to promote it. The video features Kate Upton, a prominent model who posed for Sports Illustrated and more, saying that she would not date a guy who did not shave down there. The video, unfortunately for Procter and Gamble, currently only has about 250,000 views, which would not be consider “viral” by any means. They also made a second, longer, video with two other models, which has fewer views.

In theory, I think that this is a great idea: if people aren’t using your product, then convince them to use it in a different way. I’ll be interested to see how Procter and Gamble continue to increase razor sales in the future. What do you think?



Covert, J. (2014, January 25). Beard craze hits procter & gamble razor sales. Retrieved


Wade, L. (2014, February 20). Gillette, stymied by beards, heads south. Retrieved from

(2013). Retrieved from

Project Runway is Selling Out

TV shows of all genres have the common goal to make money off their shows. For most programs, the show is written with commercial breaks in mind. A more invasive form of advertising which has become more commonplace is product placement and sponsorship. Product placement is the strategic positioning of consumer goods in television shows and some shows go even farther and have the product be the pivotal point in the plot. And if you thought that this was limited to fictional programming think again. Even Reality TV shows can get sponsored.

It’s difficult to miss the obvious Coca-Cola cups on the Judges table of American Idol or the Starbucks cups on this season of The Voice. Reality competitions are a special opportunities for companies to get exposure and celebrity endorsement at the same time. Usually product placement and sponsorships don’t bother me that much, but lately these reality TV show competitions have been saturated with more commercial message than program content. This is especially annoying when it comes to this season’s Project Runway. This long running fashion-focused design competition was one of my favorite reality TV shows and I was excited to see that this season had a new twist of adding a mentoring aspect to it. The revamped show, Project Runway: Under the Gunn, is different than the typical structure of the show but has a TON more sponsors than I have ever seen in any reality show competition.

Even in the past few seasons they featured sponsors. This show has so many sponsors like magazine, makeup, automobile, and fashion accessory companies that I probably can’t name all of them off the top of my head. It annoyed me a little when the challenges the designers faced were focused on certain brands, but this season so far it’s like every single challenge revolved around a movie or some completely random product.

Accessory wall to accompany designs

Accessory wall to accompany designs

Sure I can tolerate Francesca’s providing the accessories or Benefit providing the makeup, but when completely unrelated products suddenly become the emphasis of the show, that’s when I get annoyed and start to get that sellout vibe. It seems that every challenge now is prompted for cross-promotional purposes rather than inciting inspiration for the designers. It’s hard to tell whether or not this is a competition show or the longest Vampire Academy commercial you have ever seen.

Designers get ready for the Lexus challenge

Designers get ready for the Lexus challenge

In the past seasons I’ve even seen ridiculous challenges that promoted Glade scented plugins or the challenge to see who could channel Lexus the best in their design. At this level of advertising overload, it’s impossible to avoid the commercial message because the show is a commercial message. At what point does it become too much?


Turnquist, K. (2014, February 20). TV Tonight: ‘American Idol,’ 2014 Winter Olympics, ‘The Taste,’ ‘Project Runway. Retrieved from

Pritchard, C. (2014, March 01). Retail therapy: Jewelry store proves it’s a gem. Retrieved from

Pros and Cons of Big Data

As big data becomes a bigger and bigger part of the internet, we cannot help but wonder the impact that it will have on advertising, from both a consumer and agency standpoint. The issue of privacy and net neutrality also have become a heated topic that even has Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg talking. Today he released a statement expressing his frustration with the government’s lack of urgency when it comes to surveillance reform. He stated that he and his colleagues at Facebook work hard to keep their users’ information private and believes that the government should be just as concerned with protecting its citizens against the dangers of the open web. I found it to be interesting that Zuckerberg is so against big data when Facebook is filled with targeted ads that can only be made possible by big data. Another interesting article that I read explored the other side of big data and spoke about the advertising industry’s feelings towards it. Most of these agencies are for the use of big data because they all them to target ads to the right people, at the right time and to the right devices. In this article by Katy Bachman, it is explained that big data is being collected in a non-obtrusive way. Yes, the data is being collected but it is nothing that you couldn’t learn about a person yourself if you looked through their browser history. People are afraid that big data will “spy” on them and find out extremely personal information, which will then be used to hurt them. Obviously, no one wants to be taken advantage of, and that is not the advertisers’ intentions. The article explains that big data and surveillance does not seek out individuals, but demographics. It wants to know search patterns and what kind of audiences are responding to and purchasing goods and services. A clip with Jeff Kelly, Principle Research Contributor at Wikibon, explains the pros and cons of big data and its role in the advertising world very well in his interview for SiliconANGLE. He starts by talking about the Publicis/ Omnicom merger and why it happened. Advertising companies have to grow in size and power to compete with digital based advertising, such as  Google and Facebook. They need to deliver advertising with new methods because the traditional form of advertising is changing rapidly with the increased use of digital media. Big data allows advertising groups to figure out the best way, place, time and demographic to place ads and helps them to understand their consumers.




Bachman, K. (2014, March 13). Advertising community head to the white house to talk big data and    privacy. Retrieved from

Bachman, K. (2014, March 13). Zuckerberg says u.s. government is a threat to the internet. Retrieved from

How big datas will ad us the future of targeted advertising. (2013, july 30). SiliconABGLE. [Video podcast]. Retrieved from


‘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

Google vs. Apple Ad

Today’s technology companies have to try really hard to convince the public that they’re products are a part of the human experience. The goal is to make sure that people don’t associate their products with cold mechanism, but a friendly companion to human creativity. Both Apple and Google are corporations that have been on top of their game when it comes to making commercials that showcase their products in a positive light. The two companies aim to inspire creativity by connecting their products as essential tools. In a recent Forbes article, the question of which ad is more effective despite Apple and Google both being advertising big wigs.

This first ad came from Apple’s campaign for the iPad air. This is definitely epic and the audience can feel something. In my opinion the ad provides a call to action and leaves the viewers marveling.

This next ad is a part of Google’s search on campaign which encourages people to use Google as their search engine of choice. Google really takes their search engine to the next level and emphasizes the unlimited possibilities with their product.

While both ads are pretty excellent by my standards, one ad seems a lot more connected to the audience. In the battle advertisements, Apple vs. Google, I rule in favor of Google. The two ads both astound the public and sustain a connection with the audience, but Apple puts their product on a pedestal that the average citizen just doesn’t reach. As mentioned in the Forbes article, Apple doesn’t quite prompt that attainability where Google does (Burns 2014). Apple provides a call to action, but as a consumer, I’m almost intimidated to purchase an iPad Air. The repetition of “You may contribute a verse” really puts pressure on the consumer. At least that’s what I felt when I heard it. The whole epic feel of the ad was powerful and scary. I hope that my verse is good enough even if I don’t have an iPad. On the flip side, you have Google whose strategy was to show a bunch of people attempting to learn about the process of building a story. For me Google’s ad made me feel a lot better about myself and how my capabilities could be expanded by simply typing into a search engine. I usually fall in love with Apple ads and admire them for their genius and fresh approaches, but the similarities between the ads are too close not to compare and declare Google the winner. Apple’s ad feels a little overbearing while Google’s is approachable. However in the end, they are both jobs well done.


Burns, W. (2014, March 06). Google beats apple at it’s own game: Advertising. Retrieved from


To everyone reading this, you’re just a science project. You’re an experiment.

Every day we log onto social media to chat with our friends, to express inner opinions, to look at the new movie coming out, or even to “like” a new program. What you probably don’t know is that you’re part of a science experiment which is using everything you do, on your free to use social media platform, to create a profile for who you are and how you think. Ever write a status update on Facebook just to see your ads to change immediately to whatever you just typed about? That’s exactly what I’m talking about here.

In a PBS post by Angela Washeck, she quoted Douglas Rushkoff as saying that impressionable teens today have replaced their habit of plastering their personal stuff on their bedroom walls with now moved on to inhabiting social media and sharing their personality through there, but don’t realize how this is benefiting trends and brands (Washeck, 2014). Rushkoff’s newest Frontline documentary “Generation Like” explores how young adults are providing social marketing and advertising with treasure troves of information through their online interactions. Some, like Tyler Oakley, are getting “free” stuff in order to promote certain brands to their friends and/or followers (Washeck, 2014).

What we have perceived as “organic” viral trends are actually meticulously planned marketing strategies (Washeck, 2014). Do we really like these things or are we just monkeys running through the course in order to try and score “free” stuff and fame? While some are being given things for free, they really aren’t free. As these items or brands become popular, their publicity does the work for them. A couple of freebies handed out to some carefully placed popular online identities can turn into millions or billions of revenue for companies, so in a sense, they pay for themselves.

One of the questions being raised is whether or not this is exploitation. Not only have advertising pros learned exactly how young people share, but they’ve also learned just what drives them to share (Washeck, 2014). We, as consumers, are providing free data for marketers and advertisers without even realizing we’re doing it. Some may actually realize it though, and they’re profiting off of your shares and retweets. There is definitely more public relations work being done through this, but there is a lot of behind the scenes advertising as well. We, the consumers, are doing all the leg work without much benefit, unless you feel that the products you’re knowledgeable about now is your payment. According to Washeck, Rushkoff said, ““Over time, there will be a reaction against it…I’m kind of hopeful we’ll have another burst of awareness” (Washeck, 2014).

Knowing how we’re all essentially being manipulated through observation, how do you feel about this? Does this make you think twice about “liking” or re-tweeting something?


Washek, A. (2014, February 19). [Web log message]. Retrieved from

Twitter and Oreos, a few of my favorite things

By Matt Gillis

It is no doubt that Twitter is taking the advertising world by storm. Essentially, the social media tool is an advertiser’s greatest gift, allowing companies to converse with their target publics, send out messages in real time, and monitor audience receptivity.

Most recently, Twitter became a more-than-successful advertising platform for one such brand, Samsung. On Sunday night during the broadcast of the 86th Annual Academy Awards, Ellen DeGeneres’s now infamous selfie with Oscar-nominated celebrities including Jennifer Lawrence, Brad Pitt, and Meryl Streep, was taken with a Samsung phone and posted via Twitter. The picture became the most retweeted picture in the social media site’s history, a record that was previously held by a picture posted by President Obama of him and Michelle celebrating after his reelection in 2012.

The selfie, which has 3,311,786 retweets and counting, shows the extent to which brands like Samsung can reach potential consumers. Companies now have the opportunity to capitalize on Twitter’s successful use of interactivity by combining the advertising medium with real-world promotional tactics to reach an optimal consumer audience.

Another brand hoping for advertising success via Twitter is Oreo. After garnering widespread attention from their successful Super Bowl XLVII advertisement released on Twitter in response to the game’s blackout, Oreo is hoping to receive comparable publicity for their latest Twitter promotion.


The cookie brand is employing vending machines that will use trending Twitter conversations to create 3D custom-printed Oreo cookies. The vending machines, which were created by technology design and innovation firm Maya Design, will be featured at the South by Southwest (SXSW) Interactive Festival in the Oreo Trending Vending Lounge.


Using each machine’s touch screen, users will be able to browse and choose from the trending Twitter flavors that include a variety of 12 cremes and colors. The user will then be able to watch as the edible cookie is built in front of their eyes in less than two minutes. Twitter users interested in the promotion can follow the Oreo conversation using #eatthetweet.

Oreo has managed to stay ahead of the advertising trends and create an innovative advertising experience that allows for ultimate consumer interactivity with the brand. Consumers are involved in creating the Twitter conversations that influence the Oreo flavors, they are able to choose the actual cookie to be created, and they can engage in conversation using the promoted hashtag.

This promotion definitely wins my personal award for best advertisement because it combines my two favorite things, Twitter and Oreos.

Reference list:

–       Lukovitz, K. (2014, March 6). Twitter-Powered Vending Machine Creates 3D Oreos. MediaPost. Retrieved March 6, 2014, from

–       Sloane, G. (2014, March 6). Oreo Uses Twitter to Make 3-D Cookies at SXSW. AdWeek. Retrieved March 6, 2014, from

Cue student junk food withdrawals

By Matt Gillis

Advertising to children has always been a point of controversy in the marketing industry. Consumers under the age of 18 are more susceptible to the manipulative and persuasive nature of advertisements. Previously, most of those advertisements in question dealt with sexualizing women, portraying unattainable standards of beauty or promoting alcohol or drug use. However, a category of brands that has traditionally banked on the sale of their products to young consumers has recently been added to the controversial list of those not allowed to advertise to children.

As part of her Let’s Move! initiative to solve the challenge of childhood obesity facing the United States, first lady Michelle Obama proposed Wednesday to ban the advertisement of sugary snacks and drinks on school campuses for later this year. If put into effect, the proposal would ban companies including Pepsi and Coca-Cola from advertising their “unhealthy” products on school grounds via vending machines or cafeterias. Company logos used as sponsorship of school scoreboards or event programs would also be banned under the proposed plan.

Obama believes the initiative, which comes in celebration of Let’s Move!’s fourth anniversary, will sustain the work parents are doing at home to promote healthy eating. “Our classrooms should be healthy places where kids are not bombarded with ads for junk food,” she said. “[Parents’] good efforts shouldn’t be undermined when they send their kids off to school.”

Michelle Obama junk food announcement

The American Beverage Association, which is led in part by Pepsi and Coca-Cola, surprisingly supports Obama’s proposal. The backing from the two soda companies may stem from their production of healthier drinks including bottled water, which would still be allowed for promotion in schools once the ban is initiated.

From an advertising perspective, this ban is a major challenge for companies selling “unhealthy” products. With children being the number one consumers of sugary snacks and beverages, this proposal has the potential to put several of the companies selling these products at risk.

Pepsi and Coca-Cola will have to put more effort into developing healthier beverage options in order to compete with companies that have the right to advertise to students in school, an environment these younger consumers spend the majority of their day in for five days a week. With companies spending over 149 million dollars a year on advertising in schools, losing this advertising platform will require these companies to develop creative solutions to make up for the lost brand exposure.

I guess the saving grace for these companies is that younger consumers are almost always digitally connected. This gives companies the ability to advertise to children via online platforms, which they are usually connected to throughout the day while at school, and inadvertently make the junk food advertising ban pointless.

Reference list:

–       Associated Press. (2014, February 25). Michelle Obama announces new rules for advertising junk food at schools. NY Daily News. Retrieved February 27, 2014, from

–       Let’s Move!. (2014). Learn The Facts. Retrieved February 27, 2014, from

–       People. (2014, February 26). Michelle Obama proposes ban on junk food advertising in schools. People. Retrieved February 27, 2014, from

Captain Obvious is the New Face of

It’s 2014 and it’s become essential for brands to change, revitalize, and evolve to meet the demands of the market. Storytelling in advertising has become even more important today than ever before because of ad-saturated media. It’s easy to forget simple and generic ads, so agencies are pushing to create those memorable characters that make consumers stop and watch. sought to capture the public’s attention by doing just this. While Progressive has Flo, Allstate has Mayhem, Geico has that Gecko, and Dos Equis has the Most Interesting Man in the World, aims to make its mark with Captain Obvious.

Phrases including Captain Obvious have been a part of our society’s language for a very long time, so this creative pitch is something immediately recognizable for the consumer. The concept of the ad is to say that booking hotels with is the obvious choice. The advertisers didn’t want their character to be perceived as dumb, but as simply stating what is apparent to most people. They hoped to craft a character that was both original and interesting. Check the television commercial out right here:

I found the commercial to be humorous and charming. I really like the concept of the advertisement and thought that it was clever. While I appreciate’s attempt to create a really dynamic character, there is something missing for me with the storytelling aspect of the ad. I liked the look of the character, but the fast-paced changing scenery made it a little difficult for me to create a relationship with the character and the actor seemed to be like a normal guy dressed as a captain of a ship saying obvious things. I don’t know if the character felt unique or really memorable. Like many other characters in other commercials, there is a certain aspect of their personalities that seemed kooky or weird or awesome. With Captain Obvious, I didn’t quite get that. However the ad did make me chuckle and it was quite entertaining so there is a certain success to the ad overall. I personally feel that the character lacked a certain punch. If this ad’s goal was to be memorable with a character, I feel that it fell short despite the raw idea. However it is important to note that this ad did try to relate to the audience and keeps your attention.


Elliott, S. (2014, February 25). For’s Campaign, the Answer was Obvious. Retrieved from