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.