Monday, March 5, 2012

25. Well, I did it

Even though my computer crashed and I was cutting it close I did it. The library closes at 12 every night, so after I came home I waited until my roommate was done studying for her midterm and asleep to borrow her computer at 1:30.  See, I am not inconveniencing anyone but myself.  It was fun making my own website and trying out all the different layouts.  I changed mine at least 15 times and will continue to tinker with it. I hope to even include a little coding of my own on my website.  Instead of looking at Pinterest or Facebook this will be my new obsession. There is something about having something of your own, that you created. It's satisfying and I kind of want to show my mom..

Welp, here it is! This may not look like much but give it time. It will get there.

24. Things I learned

Creative Strategies has taught me a lot about .......

  • Back up all of your files at least once a week, it will save you a lot of pain.
  • Don't leave everything to the last minute because your hard drive will decide to stop working at the beginning of the weekend.
  • Let the Mac techs handle EVERYTHING. Again, it will save you a lot of pain.
  • Do more independent projects, things that interest you.
  • Be aware of the world around you and all it has to offer.
  • Read the newspaper.
  • Blog at least once a week
  • Don't be boring 

23.What Makes a Book Good?

Recently, the trilogy Hunger Games has become a phenomenon.  The books have been popular all over and my old high school even assigned every grade to read them over the summer.  They tell the story of human decisions that could be life threatening and really make you think about if you were placed in the Hunger Games.  Would you sacrifice yourself to save another? Would you kill another person to survive and maybe win?  This horrible display of Capital control changes adolescents into blood thirsty monsters.  It is hard to imagine a world like that where we would have to resort to violence in an arena, where 20 + children die every year.  Reading this book I was done in 8 hours and had finished the next two  within 3 days.  I had to figure out what happens next! Good books are the kind you can't put down and don't know what to do when you finish.

Here is a preview for what comes out in March!

22. All Time Favorites

I can remember some of my favorite commercials growing up. The ones that really stick with you through the years. My dad can still recite full commercials from when he was a kid. Here are some of my favorites:

I like the Pepsi commercials because they play to a younger audience and use a lot of celebrities for a fresher look. Coca Cola is more classic and timeless. If you asked me what kind of soda I liked better I'd go with Coke 100% of the time.

Then there are the seasonal commercials you look forward to each year. I love the M&M commercials and how they mix it up so its never the same scenario.

Then you have the classic sing along commercials you can't get out of your head at all, like this one:

I used to sing this alllll the time. These commercials I can always remember for their songs, use of celebrities or if I think its just a good advertisement.

21. Ellen is the $h!t

I love watching the Ellen show. I watch endless Ellen clips online of her interviews and die laughing.  She once came to University of Oregon to give away tickets to the BCS Championship game to whoever was the best dressed for a fiesta. Although it just turned out to be her camera crew, I still went and dressed up just in case I saw her. I'm the one in the middle.

I love how she's not afraid to be herself and starts every show off dancing. She finds internet sensations and makes them famous. Greyson Chance and Sophia Grace are the two most prominent examples. I was even Sophia Grace for Halloween!

 When you watch her show, you can't help but laugh and feel good. She knows how to address her audience and always makes her show memorable.  If Ellen had a cause she stood for she would have so much support for it through her fan base.  Her fight against bullying especially those targeting sexual orientations is especially important. Her emotional message talks about how there is hope and to not let ignorance get in the way of a person's happiness. With Ellen showing her support against cyber bullying she is taking a stand and will inspire others to do the same. Not only is Ellen hilarious, but she is also courageous.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

20. Constant Movement

Going across the country to attend college did not seem all that drastic to me.  I welcomed the move, because I was getting antsy staying in one place for too long. My dad is in the Navy so I have moved 9 times and been to 10 different schools. I am used to the constant change and unfamiliar places. Staying in Virginia for 6 years to finish high school in one place was making me a little stir crazy.  My friends thought I was insane for going 3,000 miles away from my comfort zone, and to Oregon, a place they knew nothing about.  For me, it was about a new experience and going somewhere unexpected.  I knew I wanted a football team, a small campus and my two potential majors to be offered and I'd be satisfied.

 Check, check anddddddddd check.

Now all that made me a little uneasy was the bipolar weather Oregon offered. Luckily I visited the school on the rare day sun comes out in Eugene.

I'm glad I made the decision to come experience Oregon and be closer to my family on the west coast. Living on two opposite coasts I can fully appreciate the difference in culture and still find the similarities.

 After college I hope to move again to an entirely new place. Whether it be San Fransisco or abroad I welcome the change.  I hope to continue this nomadic lifestyle to get as many points of view possible and to experience new things.

19. Mustache March

I first started noticing mustaches on people a couple weeks ago. Not real ones but the kind that are really bold and outlandish and look like part of a costume. I didn't really think anything of it, I just thought it was another trend like planking. Unfortunately I am guilty of being a planker..

But then March 1st rolls around and I finally caught on. It's Mustache March. All the mustaches I had been seeing was an ad campaign to raise money for charity.  Money raised goes to the MACC funds and will benefit medical research funds to fight childhood cancer. Instead of the traditional route like bake sales, this movement is strictly mustaches.  Creating a new, different way to raise money is refreshing and much more likely to receive donations.  This campaign is similar to "Livestrong" and was actually the start of  the "Temporary Cultural Movement for the Benefit of Charity."  This small campaign can spread awareness through subliminal mustaches and creative strategies. The quirky, sarcastic website is also appealing to viewers and potential participants because of its call to action.

18. #Pinning

Pinterest has taken over as the biggest time waster on the internet.  It is the new StumbleUpon and the upcoming trend. I see more people on Pinterest than Facebook in class and I am guilty of spending time on it when I should really be doing something else. 

Why is it so popular? Because it provides the viewer with so many different options to look at. So many different categories to peruse and imagine what it would be like to have that, do that, be that.  Pinterest can be inspirational, motivating and even become addicting. For me, I get inspired for possible decorating ideas, new recipes to try and what my next online shopping binge will include.  Companies have started to advertise their products on the site as well including the prices of items and where to buy them.  This newest trend is even trending on twitter!

17. Brand Karma

As I mentioned in a previous post, advertising agencies should use their superhuman powers for good.  If you don't, brand karma will smack you in the face.

"Companies should do good for the sake of doing good."

Many companies have charities they donate too and even foundations of their own. While researching for another project I came across a couple I really liked.

Baja Fresh has a program that helps build schools. 200 schools for 200 restaurants is their campaign to help schools raise funds for much needed educational supplies, equipment, or programs by donating 15% of total fundraiser sales back to the schools.This incentive process is not only a good motivator but good advertising for its company.  Baja Fresh was able to communicate a functional benefit along with promoting its own franchise.

Mini Coopers also have good brand karma. Their ads focus on having a carbon footprint on the world and to encourage others to buy minis to extend the carbon footprint. To help they have a program called Carfun Offset.  After purchasing a Mini Cooper, the costumer has the option to donate to 3 different charities that support sustainability and renewable energy. Mini Cooper will match your donation and send you a carbon footprint badge to display on your car to encourage others and raise awareness.

These companies are not only benefiting themselves but are also building more than just a piece of the whole.
Brand Karma not only puts the company in a positive light, it also can prevent the demise of a well known and trusted company.  Consumers will remember the positive campaigns and the work the company was involved in even if their new product is a failure or has to be recalled.

16. 100 Dollar Day

Another computer update!

I went in for my appointment at 3pm with the mac geniuses and don't cha know it, its not an easy fix. My computer would have to be confiscated for at least 3 days so they could figure out what was wrong and if they had to reset my whole computer. Which meant losing files. And I was not about to let that happen.
So I had 2 options.

Option 1: Pay $99 to let them transfer files for me onto my external hard drive and then turn my computer over

Option 2: Pay $40 if I used a friends computer to transfer my files onto my external hard drive.

I went with option 2. I thought I was being smart and saving money. Wrong. I ended up wasting more time. Just let the experts do it. Always. I managed to transfer half my files but on certain files, like my Documents folder did not make the transition. So I went back 2 hours later and asked them to do it and get all my files.

Then another techie who called himself a "boy genius" came up and offered to run my hard drive instead of making me wait 3 days. I said yes of course and I started to calm down a little. Yes, I could finally just have my computer back and wouldn't have the hassle of going to the library to get internet access and worrying about how loud I was typing.

Ehhhhhh no.

I now am the owner of Apple Care, to ensure they will back up my files and out $86 dollars. They did give me the student discount though which I appreciated. The boy genius was able to restart my computer no problem, after I had struggled and looked up every possible scenario to make it work on my iPhone. My internet browser connected and I was feeling good. To reward myself I bought myself and my friend dinner at Chipotle bringing my total spending for the day up to $101.70. I get home and everything is fine for about an hour. Then everything shuts down and refuses to open again.

I needed a fucking drink.

Mac store again today and maybe I'll see it in a week. I'm stressed out, frustrated and annoyed after this whole process but determined to finish everything. It was just one of those $100 dollar days.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

15. Effective Advertising

Again and again Volkswagen hits home with its advertising.

Their ad from 1960, "Think Small,"  courtesy of Bill Bernach, was a huge success.

Why? Because it was a different approach to the luxury of other automobiles and instead showed the simplicity of the car. The minimalistic approach to this ad campaign was successful because consumers wanted a car that was simple, affordable and durable.  These ads helped build brand loyalty and a positive connection to the brand.

Earlier in one of my blog posts I talked about Volkswagen's superbowl "Darth Vader" commercials.  Those commercials were successful because Volkswagen used an iconic movie that would appeal to multiple generations.  By creating a positive connection to Star Wars and Volkswagen, people will be more likely to purchase a car in the future.  Volkswagen plays off of its consumers and what they like.

Other simplistic ads include: "Big Truck" and "Wedding."

This ad focuses again on the simplicity of Volkswagen cars and their affordability.  With the bride and groom blurred out, it calls the attention to the background where a double decker bus has a Volkswagen advertisement on it.  The simple wedding advertisement is eye catching and conveys a simple message. Volkswagen always has ads that are to the point and find interesting ways to advertise it.

While other auto industries advertise the car and all its new features Volkswagen advertises the everyday experience of owning the car and gives consumers a little "slice of life."  By doing commercials or ads that show everyday experiences, Volkswagen is letting the consumers imagine what their lives would be like with its products.  Volkswagen knows how to connect with the consumer and make lasting impressions.


Before my computer decided to stop working, I had been watching an old episode of Grey's Anatomy on Netflix. I've seen every episode at least three times but I still keep going back to watch them. Why? Because its comforting. Its familiar. Its my fallback show, something to do when I am bored.  Certain episodes trigger memories of the days I first watched them.  I associate Grey's Anatomy with positive thoughts, like some people do with brands.

Without realizing it, brands make up a significant portion of our lives. We buy the brands we know and trust. Usually these are the brands from our childhood as well. As a broke college student, I usually buy whatever is on sale at the store or the generic brand because it is cheaper.  But with certain items, I'll stick with the brands I know and trust. For example JIF peanut butter.

Growing up I had peanut butter every single day for lunch. I was a notoriously picky eater but would always eat a PB&J so my mom didn't question it. JIF peanut butter I associate with my childhood and all the good memories with it. Making peanut butter cookies and adding pretzels to them to look like honey bees.  Sitting on my front steps with a spoonful of peanut butter in the middle of summer.  If people connect brands to good memories they will continue to buy the products. In their mind, it is the best product and have associated it with great things.

13. Really? Of course this would happen..

With the end of the term rapidly approaching and all my projects are computer based, this would be the perfect time to get a computer virus. But hey, thats life and maybe it will make a good story...later.  Right now I am going into "crisis" mode and adjusting my schedule so I can easily fix things.  Are glitches like this supposed to happen? Yes. Its how you handle it that matters. Currently I am writing out my blogs on paper while looking over at my computer with my disappointed face.  I've made the first available appointment at the Mac store today and am praying to God its some error computer illiterate people like me are oblivious to.  I'm at the library right now because its my best bet to internet connection.

I'm using this as an example for versatility. In the advertising world, your amazing idea may not be what the company is looking for. You will have to have back up plans, be able to go with the flow and expect major catastrophes. Now my problem right now may not be a catastrophe but until I have no other options left I am not going to freak out.  Just deal with whatever comes my way and let the apple employees work their magic.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

12. Some Much Needed Inspiration

Sitting in Creative Strategies class, I always feel overwhelmed by the end of the period. Like a chicken with its head cut off. There are so many different directions to take in advertising, I don't know where to start. I am in my third year of college and I still have no idea what I want to be when I grow up. Fortunately I have narrowed down what field I want to go into, so I got that going for me..

When Scott Bedbury came to guest lecture our class, it reaffirmed that I was on the right track.  Recently I had read his book, A New Brand World, and was blown away by how he revolutionized some of today's most well known brands.  To see him stand in front of our class and give us advice was unreal.

One of his slideshow quotes that I thought was memorable was:

“You will make mistakes. Make smart ones, learn from every single one of them, take risks, think big, start small, fail fast. Then scale like a madman.”

Bedbury recalled his time at Nike and how he utilized every mistake to  grow and make the company what it is today. With encouragement from his wife he went on to work at Starbucks and is now one of the most prominent in advertising.   

From the very beginning I wanted to do something that made an impact, something that people would react to, not just sell products to people. If you have great ideas, use them. A quote that definitely stood out was:

"Use your superhuman powers for good."

Why not leave an impact on the world?  Advertisers need to build up goodwill and use their abilities to help start movements rather than encourage materialism. Nike sells their products but believes 100% in them to be the best for their consumers. With their campaigns you not only want to buy their products but they inspire you to go out and be active. I want to encourage people to go out and be active in what they do, whether it be a sport or a support a cause they believe in. 

Bedbury's motivational talk gave me new insight to what I eventually want to become. I'm still figuring out my whole career path, but I know I want people to be inspired by the ads I will one day create.

11. Dove vs. Axe

Dove started a campaign a couple years ago that is similar to the one Nike is currently promoting. The campaign "Real Beauty" promotes healthy body images and a broader definition of beauty.  Dove challenges the beauty stereotypes and celebrates curves and imperfections.  I have always loved Dove commercials and their campaign is largely supported.  My favorite commercial Dove made would probably have to be this one:

I like the message they are sending and how they are trying to discourage young girls to have negative images of themselves.  Growing up I definitely had an awkward stage and I wish I would have seen something like this earlier.

What I don't understand is how Unilever, Dove's owner, can create this campaign but also support Axe. Axe focuses its commercial on the idea that "sex sells" and if you use Axe products, all the hot girls will immediately flock to you. Does that really happen? Probably not but sex is money and it is inevitably going to sell well. It just makes it harder for us to overcome the beauty standards.

10. Fast Food Trending

Anybody watch the Grammy's and see Chipotle's new ad?? Well if not, here it is:

For me, this commercial was so different than the rest of the commercials I usually see. I love the use of  animation to convey the message.  This commercial is longer than the usual 30 seconds but in the two minutes the viewer sees how most restaurants get their food products and how the animals are treated. Chipotle started trending on twitter minutes after the commercial aired. Soon it was catching like wildfire. Consumers like to know where their food comes from and see that it is raised humanely without hormones or the maltreatment of animals. In the same week, McDonald's pledged to get rid of its gestation crates for their livestock.  Because this commercial produced such a powerful reaction from consumers restaurants will continue to change how they acquire their food supply.  Advertising has such a powerful impact and can really shape what our society is capable of. Messages that create a positive movement can help us create a better environment to live in.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

9. Too Much??

Yep. Pretty much sums it up. If you think about it, do you really need all these social media forms? Is it really necessary to tell someone you are eating a donut then show a video of you eating it? No, probably not. Out of all the social media listed, I have 6 accounts out of the 9. Although some of these are purely superficial, some of these forms are also currently trending in the advertising world and are beneficial for the job market.  In class, we talk about tweeting and making connections via tweets.  Although it is not as formal or as standard as an email, it is a way to make a connection, show that you are interested in their work and it makes an impression. So while some think it is unnecessary to have so many different forms of social media, its beneficial to stay connected with all the other forms of communication besides email.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

8. Motivating Campaigns

Nike has recently come out with new advertisements that are focused on women. The advertisements highlight different parts of the body that most women are self conscious about.  Each ad contains a little blurb about the body part and why they should not be ashamed of how it looks. One of these ads features broad shoulders on a woman. She takes pride in her shoulders because of how she got them because she was doing what she loved: swimming.

 These ads are meant to empower women and embrace their bodies, whatever shape they are.  They also encourage fitness at the same time which doubles as not only a women’s health campaign but also for the brand itself and its workout gear.  Some people took offense to the ads because of the sassy commentary included with the ad. Some women did not think having a big butt or thunder thighs was something to be proud of and did not encourage the right response from consumers. Dove’s Real Beauty campaign also encourages women to embrace their beauty no matter what they look like because women come in all shapes and sizes. 

While I think Dove does a better job of explaining and promoting their campaign, I still admire Nike’s approach.  To me, I thought the sassy text with the pictures of women’s body parts were funny and edgy. The women who have thunder thighs and big butts should own their assets. Even though I have some body issues, just like every other woman, I don’t think Nike comes across as offensive. Maybe the point they are trying to make is effective but their visual advertisements need to be reworked to connect to more consumers.

7. Superbowl

Superbowl Sunday. Some consider this a holiday, whether your team is playing or not, you still watch. This year for the 2012 Superbowl, I heard mixed reviews about the commercials. Twitter was trending certain #hashtags regarding the best and worst commercials. Don't even get me started on the halftime show..

We all remember Volkswagon's commercial with the little kid dressed as Darth Vader using his imagination to make things happen. Volkswagon decided to continue with the theme this year. "The Force" was followed by the "The Dog Strikes Back."

Because the first commercial was so successful, viewers welcomed the idea of another Star Wars related commercial. Star Wars is multi-generational and can resonate with a multitude of viewers.

This was my favorite commercial of the superbowl because it showed how the product had been there through the decades. Seeing a brand develop and grow over time creates a lasting memory with the viewer that the brand is worth buying.

6. Let's Do This

With so many things going on, I have not touched my blog in over two weeks. With that being said, it is due in five days.

Am I freaking out? Hyperventilating? Not yet, but I am doing what journalism students do best: procrastinating.

Procrastination is actually what they taught us in Gateway to get the best possible story and wait until the last minute to write so you don't forget any information. In other J classes it is not the most ideal situation but we like to give ourselves a run for our money.

20 blog posts, create a website and upload a resume by Thursday. In the words of Barney Stinson, "Challenge Accepted."

And, in the J world in the words of Deb Morrison, "Let's Do This."

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

5. Got Milk?

This commercial for the "Got Milk?" campaign was successful because it appealed to a mass amount of viewers.  Everyone can relate to eating a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and craving something to wash it down with.  By creating a scene that viewers can identify with, "Got Milk" is generating interest from the public. "Got Milk" was created because the sales in milk products were decreasing because it wasn't considered 'cool.'  This campaign changed how consumers viewed milk. A series of ads came out with visuals of things like a piece of chocolate cake or a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with the simple catch phrase, "Got Milk?"  These ads were effective because the consumer can envision the scenario happening to them.

Advertisements began to branch out and include celebrities as well with a milk mustache and the phrase "Got Milk." 

The simplicity of the campaign while using celebrities created a massive influx of celebrity campaigning.  People were influenced by celebrities who also endorsed drinking milk. The sales for milk rose dramatically and the campaign that started over ten years ago is one of the most recognized in the world.  

Sunday, February 5, 2012

4. Checkmate

Lately Facebook has not just been posts to your friends and uploading pictures and updating people on your life. It recently started to let users share beliefs, opinions or political views through pictures other people have put up and wanted to share with the world. Recently I came across this gem:

Audi first put up the billboard to promote its new model. BMW came back with an even bigger, better billboard.  The location of BMW's billboard is the perfect response to Audi's campaign. By leaving such an open ended statement, Audi gave BMW the advantage to create an even better advertisement. In my opinion, this is hysterical. It played off another campaign and definitely sparked interest to those below on the street.

Saturday, February 4, 2012


I depend on Wikipedia for everything I look up. If I am researching a topic for a paper or how old Eminem is I wiki it. And yes, I have looked up how old Eminem is: he's 39.  I know, not what I expected either. But on January 18, 2012 Wikipedia along with Google had a blackout in protest of SOPA. The "Stop Online Privacy Act" could affect the way we use the internet and interfere with what websites we look at. Censorship of certain websites is a violation of the first Amendment and will limit our use of the internet. I understand why record companies are so determined to pass the new laws but is it really best for society? We live in a country where we should have the freedom to search the web freely unlike countries like China. In doing this public protest, Wikipedia received over 160 million views, which generated a lot of hype over the whole situation. In raising awareness, more people will be protesting their right to their freedom on the internet and hopefully the bill will not pass.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

2. Social Media: Embrace it

I first saw a video similar to this my freshman year at University of Oregon in Media and Society.

My mind was blown.

How could something so small take over our daily lives? How could it have so much control but then be restricted?

At first, social media was where people could go to maybe stay in touch with people, see what they're doing and share ideas and interests. Now its almost too much with Twitter, Tumblr, Google+, Myspace, LinkedIn, and Facebook. Almost everyone and their mother has a Facebook page including my grandma!  It has become such a common tool in everyday life that we now have a term called "Facebook stalking." Whether we like it or not, social media impacts our choices every day.

And because social media impacts our choices every day it can be influential as well as informative. We share Youtube videos, articles, Pinterest ideas, etc.  The way we are being educated is changing to accompany new forms of media and technology.  One of the quotes that stuck out to me in the video was from Erik Qualman. He said,

"We don't have a choice on whether we DO social media, the question is how well we DO it."

This quote can be applied to effective advertising for products, marketing, as well as using social media to the best of our abilities to send an influential message.

Here is an example of how social media can be used to send an influential message.

In spring of 2009, one of my neighbors fell victim to dating abuse and was killed by her boyfriend. It was a true tragedy that her life had been taken and in such a brutal way but in her memory her parents started a foundation called DASH, or Dating Abuse Stops Here. It has received 844 likes on Facebook and offers resources such as hotlines, advice for parents and signs of early abuse. By using social media DASH was able to reach a larger number of people and is working to prevent further cases of abuse. DASH utilized its social media connections and illustrated how to use social media to the best of its abilities.

1. Let's Blog About It

First, an introductory blog post to establish who I am and why I am blogging in the first place. 

I've always admired bloggers, just because they put themselves out there for the world to read their posts and opinions. I first started following blogs my senior year of high school when a classmate of mine started one about all the crazy things his mom would do. It wasn't long before his mom found out and shut it down, but it was well written and insanely funny. He even started to get paid for it.

I never thought about writing one myself until now, when it was a class requirement. A blog beats a paper any day so no complaints here. I am excited to get the creative juices flowing and am hoping my blog posts will help inspire me.  

Now a little about me:

  • I have been to 10 different schools and have moved 9 times. Although it seems like a lot, it keeps things interesting.
  • I will never turn down a hamburger, but if its a cheeseburger I won't touch it.
  • I started reading Harry Potter in 2nd grade. I was actually sad when my letter to Hogwarts didn't come in the mail when I turned eleven.
  • I took an advertising class over the summer and fell in love. My ultimate goal is to create advertisements that inspire people and have a call to action.
  • I love my ducks, I love my school but the weather I could do without.
  • My grandma is a clown and she's trying to recruit the rest of my family to start a circus.
  • I'm very protective of my younger sister. She's growing up too fast and is determined to succeed in life. So proud of her.
  • Life will always throw curve balls at you, and its up to you to determine how to handle it.
These are only a couple trivia points but they are the ones worth knowing for now. 

In the words of Deb Morrison, "Let's Do This." Let's blog about it.