Nova Schin’s Use of Offensive Advertising

I was looking online at different advertisements when I stumbled upon one that really caught my attention.  The company being promoted in this advertisement is Nova Schin.  They are known for their non-alcoholic Brazilian beer.  This ad was displayed in Canadian magazinesPic 55 before making its way to North American Web sites.

There are so many elements that contribute to the offensiveness of this advertisement.  I have decided to write a letter to the company explaining why I am so angered by the messages in this ad, and why this media outlet should choose not to disseminate this ad.

Letter to the Company and the Media Outlet

4a Brook Road, Fallowfield

Manchester, M14 6UH

Dear Nova Schin and Canadian Magazines,

I was online when I came across the advertisement’s you have been using to sell non-alcoholic beer.  The advertisement I am referring to shows a pregnant woman holding a large glass of Nova Schin beer, while wearing revealing clothing.  Many aspects of this ad contribute to the offensive messages presented to viewers.

First, the use of a pregnant woman to sell non-alcoholic beer is repulsive.  By just looking at the picture in this ad, most viewers will think she is holding a regular alcoholic beer.  That is what I thought when I first observed the advertisement.  The bottom line is whether the product is non-alcoholic or not, it is sending the wrong message.

Second, this pregnant woman is wearing very revealing clothing.  This is a clear example of “sex sells”.  Nova Schin has airbrushed the stretch marks off this models belly.  Mass media is sending the same message as always: women need to be thin and perfect, whether we are pregnant or not.

Third, the facial expressions made by the model in this advertisement are very suggestive.  Most men that view this advertisement will view her as a hot sexy woman.  They will overlook the fact that she is pregnant.

I am asking Nova Schin to reconsider the use of pregnant models in their advertisements.  The product you are selling can be sold without the use of sex, suggestive poses, and a pregnant woman.  I seriously believe this will have a negative impact on your company name.  Choose to be an honorable ethical company and change your advertisements. 

The Canadian magazines that have displayed this offensive advertisement should reconsider their business relationship with Nova Schin.  They should remove these advertisements from their magazines immediately.  Many people with varying age, class, race, and sex read your magazines.  This type of medium can be viewed by a wide audience range, which is why you should reconsider the message you are sending to the public.

This advertisement will have a negative impact on your company name.  Individuals that take offense to this advertisement might stop reading your magazine.  These are some topics to consider when you choose to place an offensive advertisement, such as the one created by Nova Schin, in your magazine.

Sincerely,

Marisa Palilla

Pic 57Nova Schin’s Additional Ads

Some of Nova Schin’s other advertisements that do not include images of women, are still not very pleasant.  One of the additional advertisements I found says “Her body’s beautiful, but her face is horrible.”  Later, once the non-alcoholic beer is empty the advertisement says “Yep, her face is horrible.”  This ad portrays that individuals do not lose their perception after drinking a Nova Schin because they do not become intoxicated.

Nova Schin’s additional advertisements are not as offensive as the ad discussed in the letter I wrote, but they are still not sending a positive message.  Nova Shcin should consider re-branding themselves before they lose any customers.

Advertisements
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Chick-fil-A Same Sex Marriage Controversy

Pic 51American fast-food chain Chick-fil-A was the focus of a controversy following comments made in June 2102 by chief operating officer (COO) Dan Cathy opposing same-sex marriage.  While on the radio talk show, The Ken Coleman Show, Dan Cathy said,

Pic 53“I think we are inviting God’s judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at Him and say, ‘we know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage’.  I pray God’s mercy on our generation that has such a prideful, arrogant attitude to think that we have the audacity to define what marriage is about.”

The following month, in an interview with Biblical Recorder, Dan Cathy was asked about opposition to his company’s support of the traditional family. He replied,

“We are very much supportive of the family— the biblical definition of the family unit.  We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives.  We give God thanks for that…We intend to stay the course.  We know that it might not be popular with everyone, but thank the Lord, we live in a country where we can share our values and operate on biblical principles.”

These two statements by Dan Cathy led to the negative publicity Chick-fil-A received last summer.  Following these statements, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) rights activists called for protests and boycotts of the chain, while counter-protestors rallied in support by eating at the restaurants.

Public Relations Campaign

I have created a public relations campaign to reverse the negative publicity placed on Chick-fil-A.

Pic 54Using the communication technique, Dan Cathy needs to make a public apology to the LGBT community.  Many individuals were hurt by this comment and will never eat at Chick-fil-A again, if he does not make amends.

Chick-fil-A should invite Ellen Degeneres to make a public appearance at their restaurant.  If she agreed to come, this would make a powerful statement.  Chick-fil-A should also invite the LGBT community to attend and listen to Dan Cathy give a public apology and Ellen Degeneres could give a speech as well.

Using the advertising technique, Chick-fil-A needs to issue flyers and ads that mention their respect for the LGBT community.  They do not need to support same sex marriage, but at the very least Chick-fil-A needs to recognize what they did was wrong so it does not happen in the future.

After reading the “Ethical Guidance for Public Relations Practitioners”, these practices and techniques will meet the standards of accuracy, fairness, and responsibility to the public.

The Backlash

Pic 52All of these public relations practices and techniques could backfire on the company.  The individuals who are against same sex marriage might become upset once Chick-fil-A apologizes to the LGBT community.  These people might choose to stop eating at Chick-fil-A, which would decrease sales.

Overall, I think it is ironic that Dan Cathy said “thank the Lord we live in a country where we can share our values”.  If that is true then same sex marriage couples have every right to share their values and beliefs.  They have every right to openly love and marry their partners, just like heterosexual couples.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Sex And The City’s Use of Product Placement

Sex and the City is an American television comedy-drama series that broadcasted from 1998-2004.  The show follows four women, three in their mid-thirties and one in her forties, living in New York City.

Pic 63The Four Female Characters Include:

1.    Carrie Bradshaw: writes a weekly column “Sex and the City”, known for her unique fashion sense

2.    Samantha Jones: independent businesswoman with a career in public relations, most sexually confident of the four

3.    Charlotte York Goldenblatt: works in an art gallery, places the most emphasis on emotional love as opposed to lust

4.    Miranda Hobbes: career minded lawyer with cynical views on relationships and men

Sex and the City the Movie

Pic 60Four years after the show ended they created Sex and the City the Movie.  The film starts with a narration from Carrie who says “year after year twenty-something women come to New York in search of the two L’s: labels and love.”  Since Carrie understands, appreciates, and owns many different labels, she is concentrated on her search for love.

In this film Carrie and her boyfriend Mr. Big decide to get married.  The wedding starts out with Carrie planning to wear a label-less wedding dress and invite 75 guests.  Quickly the event turns into a huge ordeal.  Carrie gets a spread in Vogue documenting the event, 200 guests are invited, and she is wearing a dress made by famous designer Vivienne Westwood.

Meanwhile, Miranda and Steve are having marital problems.  The night of the rehearsal dinner, Miranda tells Mr. Big that marriage ruins everything.  The next day, Mr. Big calls off the wedding leaving Carrie in the church.  Carrie is mortified and goes on her honeymoon with her three best friends, Samantha, Charlotte, and Miranda.  When they return from Mexico, the film follows their lives in New York City. 

In the end, Carrie marries Mr. Big in a label-less dress in city hall.  The film ends with a narration from Carrie who says “maybe when we label people bride and groom, we forget to look past the label to the person.  Love is the one label that never goes out of style.”

Product Placement

Many different products were placed strategically throughout this movie.  There were many famous designers and brands shown in Sex and the City because the plot is centered on fashion and labels.

Pic 64In one scene, Carrie is photographed wearing different wedding dresses for her spread in Vogue magazine.  The dresses were the main focal point of this scene.  Carrie’s hair and makeup was done to accentuate the already beautiful dresses.  Diamond and pearl accessories were also added.  The designers included, Vera Wang, Carolina Herrera, Christian Lacroix, Dior, Oscar de la Renta, and Vivienne Westwood.

A pair of sky-high blue heels made by Manolo Blahnik play a big role in Sex and the City the Movie.  These satin blue Malono’s were custom-made for the film.  They are involved in a glass-slipper plot twist in the film.  They received a lot of attention from viewers, and can be purchased for a staggering $885.Pic 67

Starbucks made a few appearances in this film.  They showed the Starbucks logo on coffee cups the characters were drinking.  Also, two scenes take place in a Starbucks café.  You can see the baristas in the background wearing green aprons and making coffee.

Some remaining designers were shown throughout the movie, when the four women embark on different shopping trips.  These designers include: Dior, Chanel, Diane Von Furstenberg, Louis Vuitton, Escada, Gucci, and Versace.

The next time you watch a movie, think about the product placement.  Which brands were the most recognized and why?  After watching Sex and the City, I know Starbucks and Manolo Blahnik did not go unnoticed throughout the film.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

A Picture (Including An Advertisement) Is Worth A Thousand Words

Who enjoys skimming through magazines while waiting in checkout lines?  I always do this, and occasionally I will purchase the magazine so I can finish reading the featured articles.  I am drawn to the magazines about celebrity gossip, such as In Touch, People, and US Weekly.

Pic 35I recently read an In Touch magazine about greedy Kris Jenner demanding her daughters to make her more money.  What is more exciting that an article about the extremely entertaining Kardashian family!

While reading through this magazine you cannot escape the many different advertisements.  I found five advertisements in this magazine that shared the theme of what women can do to stay young, beautiful, and thin.  I am going to provide a myth analysis for each advertisement, explaining the story it tells and how these ads work on a cultural level.

Advertisement #1: Maybelline Clean Express Makeup Removers

Pic 41This advertisement showcases a young woman with flawless skin and the slogan reads, “Go From Fierce…To Fresh-Faced-Fast!”  This advertisement is promoting Maybelline makeup remover that will leave your face fresh, clean, and beautiful after a night on the town in makeup.

On a cultural level women are told to use products to make their skin beautiful even when they are not wearing makeup.  Ironically, the woman in the ad is still wearing makeup in the picture showing a fresh clean face.

Advertisement #2: Garnier Fructis Sleek Finish 5-In-1 Serum Spray

Pic 44Garnier Fructis products are known for their catchy green bottles.  This company has advertisements on television, radio, and magazines.  This particular advertisement shows a young woman with long shiny straight hair.  The viewer is told she can achieve this look with the use of Garnier Fructis Sleek Finish Spray.

This spray is made with argan oil that will fight frizz, flyaways, and humidity while staying ultra-smooth and shiny.  On a cultural level young girls are sent the message to always have smooth, shiny, non-frizzy hair.  What happened to the all-natural look?

Advertisement #3: Olay Total Effects CC Cream

Pic 46Olay focuses most of their products to the older female generation.  This ad reads, AA(Anti-Aging) + BB(Beauty Balm) = CC(Color and Correction).  There is an image of a woman biting a pencil because Total Effect CC Cream is a simple equation that fights the seven signs of aging to create a beautiful and instantly flawless-looking skin tone.

This advertisement is telling woman to use this product to fight the natural effects of aging.  The woman shown in the ad is not a day over 25, and she has perfect flawless skin.  They should have used a woman in her mid-forties.  It would better display the generation they are targeting with this ad.

Advertisement #4: Crystal Light Liquid

Pic 37Crystal Light has created a new liquid that comes in six different flavors and is zero calories!  They are targeting women who want flavored water with no additional calories.  You know this advertisement is for woman because it is a woman’s hand shown squeezing the crystal light liquid into a glass of water.  On a cultural level, Crystal Light is telling women they can stay skinny by consuming this product and avoiding additional calories.

Advertisement #5: ResVitále Weight Loss Formula

Pic 47I had never heard of ResVitále until now.  The advertisement shows a females midriff in a bikini on the beach, with the slogan “Burn Baby Burn!”  You cannot see the woman’s face only her body.  ResVitále is using sex appeal to sell a weight loss formula.

Advertisements will never stop using women’s face and bodies to sell products.  The question becomes, what will they use women to sell next?

The next time you pick up a magazine while waiting in a checkout line, instead of reading about Kim Kardashian’s growing baby bump, look at the advertisements.  Think to yourself, what is this ad saying and who are they targeting?  If you are the targeted audience, do you agree with message being sent and would you purchase this product?

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Disney’s Negative Influence on Young Innocent Minds

The single word “Disney” has many different meanings for people.  When individuals hear this word they reflect on the movies, merchandise, and theme parks.  We were all exposed to Disney culture at a very young age.  After all, Walt Disney World is trademarked as a magical place where people go to remember their childhood.

Pic 11Most of us view Disney as a family friendly company that creates moral filled entertainment for children.  Disney appears harmless on the surface, but what if we uncover the true Disney meaning overshadowed by pink and princesses?

Think about the movie “Tangled” which showcases Princess Rapunzel, a young girl who does not leave her tower until a handsome man arrives to protect her and guide her to the lights she has been dreaming about.  This storyline makes young girls think they need a man to protect them.  Disney movies never highlight the idea of a strong independent woman.

There are only two other female characters in the movie Tangled.  One is an evil old witch that stole Rapunzel as a baby and kept her hidden from the outside world.  The other female character was Rapunzel’s birth mom, whom remained sad throughout the entire movie until Rapunzel returned.  She was portrayed as a mute that never spoke.

Pic 29Most Disney princesses are seen as beautiful, skinny girls that conquer one hardship to find their prince charming and live happily ever after.  In real life this is not how true love is formed between couples.  A relationship has many ups and downs, and young girls need to understand that prince charming is not going to appear at their doorstep and sweep them off their feet.

Disney characters (both male and female) have body frames that are humanly impossible to emulate.  When is the last time you saw a curvy princess?  All of the princesses have tiny waists, a perfect bone structure, and really small feet!

Pic 15We wonder why more young girls are developing eating disorders and undergoing plastic surgery.  They want to look like a princess.  They grow up thinking they will never find their prince if they do not look like these Disney characters.

Race is also an issue throughout Disney movies.  The company started introducing ethnic minority princesses after receiving criticism from the media years ago.  Disney created movies including Pocahontas, Aladdin, Mulan, and Princess and the Frog.

However, the ethnic princesses in these movies are exotic and hyper sexualized.  For example, in the movie Aladdin, Princess Jasmine performs a seductive act to distract Jafar while Aladdin tries to steal the magical lamp.  This scene influences young girls to think they can use their body to get what they want in life.  They need to learn the dangers associated with exploiting their bodies.

Pic 13The princes in Disney movies are shown as strong, masculine, protectors of all women.  They never cry, express feelings, or accept the response: no!  Beauty and the Beast is a perfect representation of these factors.  The Beast kept Belle prisoner in his mansion and expressed extreme anger when she refused his authority.  For example, he demanded she eat dinner with him even when she declined.  This portrays male dominance over women as a normalcy.

Belle eventually falls in love with the Beast.  She forgives his anger and rage to see the good in him.  From a psychology perspective, this represents Stockholm syndrome, which is a phenomenon in which hostages express empathy and positive feeling towards their captors.  Many critics have debated over this, but I believe Stockholm syndrome is one of the main themes portrayed in Beauty and the Beast.

Disney has to be aware of the messages they are sending young girls and boys that grow up with Disney products and movies.  A few months ago, I asked my younger cousin what she wanted to be when she grows up.  I was expecting a response such as teacher, veterinarian, or maybe even police woman.  She looked me straight in the face and replied, “I want to be a princess!”  I tried to explain that was not a profession, but I am not sure she understood.

Pic 12Children are immersed in these themes everywhere they go.  One female journalist named Peggy Orenstein wrote a book titled Cinderella Ate My Daughter. Orenstein became known after she published an article in the New York Times, “What’s Wrong with Cinderella?”  It received a lot of positive reviews from hundreds of women and mothers.  Orenstein explains, Cinderella Ate My Daughter “offers an exploration of the burgeoning girlie-girl culture and what it could mean for our daughters’ identities and their future.”

I plan to read this novel and uncover what the future holds for young girls.  I believe Disney has a huge impact on children’s view of the world and their role in society.  Hopefully the next time you sit in the movie theaters with a bucket of popcorn waiting for the latest Disney film to start playing, you will think of these hidden meanings and themes.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Social Media Technologies Enter the Classroom

The article titled “The Case for Social Media in Schools” discusses six reasons why schools should incorporate social media into their curriculum.  Elizabeth Delmatoff, a seventh grade teacher from Portland, Oregon, provides insight into how the social media program in her classroom increased student’s knowledge.

Pic 18She has cited statistics that “20% of students school-wide were completing extra assignments for no credit, grades had gone up more than 50%, and chronic absenteeism was reduced by more than a third.”  This shows the emergence of social media in classrooms has educational benefits.

Most educators are afraid to use social media technologies in schools because of exposure to inappropriate material, predators, and bullying from peers.  However, teachers like Ms. Delmatoff argue the education benefits of social media outweigh the risks.

There are six reasons why schools should follow Ms. Delmatoff’s lead, and start to incorporate social media into the curriculum.

1.    Social Media in Not Going Away

Many students already have social media profiles they use on a daily basis.  They are checking their friend’s statuses, viewing pictures, writing comments, and liking as many things as possible.  Now is the time to incorporate social media into the classroom, so students can learn how to use social media for good.  They can learn how to blog and comment on educational topics such as the election, global warming, etc.

Pic 19Ms. Delmatoff stated her opinion on recent social media bans in schools.  She said, “Don’t fight a losing battle. We’re going to get there anyway, so it’s better to be in the cutting edge, and be moving with the kids, rather than moving against them.”  This highlights the fact that social media is not going anywhere.  We must find a way to incorporate social media into classrooms, so students can expand their knowledge on the subject.

2.    When Kids Are Engaged, They Learn Better

Everyone knows that people retain more knowledge when they are having fun.  With the use of blogs, students are doing just that.  They are learning and having fun at the same time.  Ms. Delmatoff said her students enjoyed the blogging activities so much, they worried they might “get into trouble for playing.”  They also arrived at school early to use the social media program.

3.    Safe Social Media Tools Are Available – And They Are Free

Pic 20Kidblog.org was created by a teacher that wanted to use blogs to teach, but avoid the dangers associated with social media sites.  After developing kidblog.org, Mr. Hardy was able to monitor the children’s blog posts, and they were never exposed to inappropriate advertising.

Teachers can use platforms such as Kidblog.org, Edmodo, and Edublogs for free!  All they need is a few computers and a classroom full of students with an open mind to learn.

4.    Replace Online Procrastination with Social Education

Research from a Nielson study revealed that between 2004 and 2009, time spent online for 2 through 11 year old’s increased 63%.  This study does not account for recent data from 2010 to 2013, which probably includes a greater increase of online activity.  With the use of social media in classrooms, school work could capture some of this time.

For example, Delmatoff created extra assignments her students could complete after school.  They included activities such as commenting on one of President Obama’s speeches.  About 100 students participated in the assignments, resulting in fewer hours spent on Facebook and MySpace.

5.    Social Media Encourages Collaboration Instead of Cliques

TeamworkSchool can be a scary place for shy and timid individuals.  However, when social media is used as a teaching tool, everyone is excited to provide input and contribute to the conversation.

The ability to collaborate is an important skill to have, especially when you start your career.  The workforce is filled with team projects, group meetings, and many other activities where collaboration is the key to success.

6.    Cell Phones Are Not the Enemy

Cell phones are banned in almost every school.  My high school had a strict policy that prohibited the use of any electronic devices during school hours.  This included cell phones, laptops, and iPods.

Pic 26Instead of banning cell phones, Ms. Delmatoff’s school decided to collect the student’s cell phone numbers.  She would text students that were chronically late to school.  This policy is completely harmless, but I think it could cause problems in the future if parents complain.

Social media technologies will never be a thing of the past, which is why schools around the world need to modify their curriculum to include social media.  The knowledge these students gain will be critical both now and in the future.  Many companies are looking for individuals who know how to use social media to increase sales, brand awareness, etc.  We might have the next Mark Zuckerberg among us.

For more information on what other schools are doing to incorporate social media into the classroom, watch this video titled “Digital Media Empower Youth,” created by Edutopia.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Technology’s Impact on the World in 2035

Pic 22Technology and media are everywhere around us.  There is no way to escape it completely.  Take a moment and imagine we are in year 2035.  Technology changes every year, so imagine the developments possible 22 years from now.  Society will be impacted both positively and negatively from these technology changes.  Therefore, try to picture the utopian and dystopian vision explained below.

Utopian Vision

Engineers are currently working on flying cars that will be sold to any brave souls ready to fly to work (literally).  Computers and phones can now read your thoughts and perform commands instantaneously.  This is possible because people have a computer chip implanted in their head that transmits signals directly to their computer and cell phone.

Pic 30Commuting to the office in the morning is no longer a boring task.  Humans can now get work done behind the wheel of a car.  We can write emails, schedule meetings, and prepare memos in our mind.  These are then stored on our computers and available when we arrive at the office.

The information technology infrastructure has become so vast and enormous that all information is stored in one single location.  This location holds security information that is guarded 24 hours.  It warehouses the 16 digit security code on every person’s computer chip linked to their cell phone and computer.

This one single location provides many benefits to our society.  When important information needs to be spread to the public quickly, this hub provides the solution.  The information technology system has the power to transmit the information to every individual in the world in a matter of minutes.

Dystopian Vision

Researchers have identified a few cases where the computer chips implanted in people’s heads are malfunctioning.  They are causing severe migraines, cancer, blood clots leading to strokes, and in some cases death!  While computer chips make life easy because they can read your thoughts, individuals are not willing to take the risks.

Pic 32Some companies will only hire individuals who have computer chips implanted in their heads.  This is the newest form of discrimination we have experienced as a society.

There is no longer a strong need for the media industry.  The information technology system can transmit important facts and messages to society at a quicker pace.  Because all technology is stored in this single location, when individuals search the Internet they are navigating through this infrastructure.

The information technology infrastructure was recently hacked into and millions of computer chip numbers were stolen.  This has led to widespread panic across the world.  The government has been working around the clock to catch the hacker and retrieve the data, but the question still remains what they will do with these numbers?

How My Life Would Change

I have been working for the same company for 20 years and I love my job.  However, I was recently laid off because I refused to get a computer chip implanted in my head.  My brother is a doctor and has warned me about the dangerous side effects.  He works at a local hospital and sees terrible cases every day that are caused by these new computer chips.

Pic 34I am without a job, health care, and a means to support my family.  I never thought I would graduate from college with a Business Administration degree and end up unemployed at the age of 43.  I have three children to support.  Luckily, my husband still has a job, so we must find a way to survive on one salary.

I never thought technology could have such a negative impact on my life.  I wish I could go back to 2013 when I was a senior in college looking forward to May 22nd 2013, the day I graduate and become a Towson alumni.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment