Sunday, April 29, 2012

Decisions, Decisions, Decisions: Picking Which Advertisements You View Online

As media has progressed, so has advertising. Such progress and technology has made options a new part of advertising.

I was watching a TV show on Hulu today when I noticed that each time an advertisement came on screen, there was a box at the top reading "is that ad relevant to you?" I was then given the option to press yes or no.

I decided the tab was interesting and played around with it a little. The first advertisement I viewed was about a car. Since I am not in the market for a car any time soon, I checked the "no" button. On the next commercial break, I was shown advertisements for Scott Walker and Hulu. Being a student in Wisconsin who uses Hulu on a weekly basis, both advertisements were extremely relevant to me.

The ability to view a variety of advertisements and choose which ones you would like to see again enhances the commercial viewing experience. As a viewer, I am more likely to watch an advertisement that is relevant to me. Furthermore, if the majority of the advertisements appearing on my computer are tailored specifically to me, I am in turn more likely to view all advertisements, catching some new ones that I may not have chosen.

I see this as a brilliant advertising move making both producers and consumers happy. Consumers are only viewing the ads they want to while producers are increasing their chances to make a sale by targeting consumers interested in their goods.

Do you think all ads shown on the computer should come with the option for you to state whether or not the ad is relevant to you?

A Commercial at Work

Sitting in my living room just the other day my friend and I were in the midst of watching the Cubs game but after the inning ended, the commercials came on. One of the commercials that came on was a McDonalds commercial. It grabbed the attention of both my friend Andy and I. The commercial showed people eating McDonald's and being happy and there was music in the background and just lots of things going on. When the commercial ended my friend Andy and I were talking about how diverse the commercial was. I think that's what really grabbed our attention the most. McDonald's has more diversity in their commercial's than most other companies I have ever seen. I guess they almost have to though because of the diversity of their customers. Anyways, when the game we were watching turned back on Andy and I got hungry and the top restaurant in mind... McDonald's. The commercial we just saw was not only on our minds, but had just entered out stomachs. All in all, we made the trip to drive thru McDonald's. On our way we saw an advertisement for the Shamrock Shake, so we bought those too. Today McDonald's was two for two in their advertising towards my friend and I. My question is... are all companies as good as McDonald's is at advertising and it's just my personal preference that wanted McDonald's, or is McDonald's really better than most other companies at advertising?

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

I found this article while browsing and it struck me. The article compares advertising and talks of  some positive and negative points. It begins by talking about the future of advertising and advertising profesional named Brian Wong who has been named to many lists including Top 5 Young Entrepreneur's To Watch. His secret with advertising is that when most people are concerned about impressions, he looks for moments. He has been hired by many huge companies to work in their promotions including Sephora and American Apparel. It continues to talk about how people dont have to loathe ads as the missed conception but can actually love ads.

Check out the article...What do you think about the future of advertising?


This week for class we read a lot about Facebook and people's online identities in "The Face of Facebook".  Mark Zuckerberg claims that the invention of Facebook will make the world we live in more transparent.  He also says all of our worlds/ identities are beginning to mesh on Facebook because there is nowhere to hide.  I 100% disagree.  I feel that Facebook allows the user to shape and mold a profile that appeals to everyone even if it is not true.  For example, people are allowed to tag and untag every picture they are tagged in.  They can delete things they have said that they might regret. The user can control who sees what, and everything else on their profile.  Also, you can control who you are and are not friends with.  Facebook gives complete control to the user and allows them to form and mold an online persona that is not transparent in the slightest.  You 100% manage almost every aspect of your life and you can make it look however you want.  I think these facts are important to consider while looking at other profiles on Facebook.  Especially when receiving friend requests.  I also find it questionable that so many employers rely on Facebook to hire employees.  How can anyone be certain of what a person is like simply based on their profile?  They cant because the user has all the control to make themselves appear however they want.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Can you say Lifestyle marketing?

A while back this commercial was pretty popular and Old Spice was getting a lot attention because of it. In fact this commercial is STILL getting a lot of attention the views and comments still rolling in on YouTube. The latest comment was posted an hour ago and the video itself was posted over two years ago. (The video also well over 40 million views.)

So what is so appealing about this commercial. Someone in the Old Spice Offices is clearly doing something right. They put an attractive guy next to there product, somethings women love, and they know men love women. So what did they do over at Old Spice? They told men that if they wore Old spice wonderfully impossible things would happen to them, and oh yeah girls would eat it up.

The interesting thing about this commercial is that there is nothing subtle about it. Old Spice is not even attempting to mask their obvious lifestyle marketing with this ad. Lifestyle marketing is when advertiser exploit the values (or even create them) of a culture for the purpose of profit.

Because of this one commercial telling women what the want, and men what they need the guy in the video was able to launch his acting career and no doubt Old Spice made a little bit of extra cash on the side. This commercial also makes statements about masculinity and what it means to be masculine.

This commercial has become so popular that even sesame street did a parody of it. Here is the link. Sesame Street isn't the only one either What does this translate into for Old Spice? Free publicity, thats right! This is especially true thanks to youtube and social media.

But what do we think is worse Lifestyle Marketing that is subtle perhaps undetectable or overt use of the strategy? LEAVE YOUR COMMENTS BELOW...

Consumerism and Facebook

A lot of times us Facebook users (i.e. virtually everyone on the planet) too often thing of Facebook in the realm of things we produce online. We're always thinking about this we put online and that's mostly the side of Facebook we talk about in school, work, and among friends. However in our participation in FB we are consuming a lot more than we are producing. And this consumption is not just by the overstated consumption of things Facebook the Company have put online for us (Apps, access to advertisers, etc.); it is also our consumption of things our FB friends put online.

We might consider being more critically of the things we see on Facebook. Just because someone has over 1,000 friends on Facebook that doesn't mean they are personable or have many friends in real life. (Yes I'm aware that sometimes they are personable and have a lot of friends but we should consider that sometimes they are not.) I'm not judging all I'm saying is what people but on FB is what they want you to see not necessarily the truth. We here a lot about how you can tell so much about a person from their FB profile and you can, but we should consider this with a grain of salt. Someone's online persona can be quite different from their persona in real life.

Photos can often me misleading often times they are photoshopped. And have you notice that need people   now have to photographically document every moment in their life, thanks to FB. People feel the need to make their life seem more exciting on their profiles. Pre-FB I could hang out with people hung out without taking pictures every time someone blinked. Facebook users have this "look at me" tendency. Now people are constantly snapping photographs to put on FB. In extreme cases with people whom they don't know very well, or just met just to increase the headcount. Had it not been for Facebook they might not have asked.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Product Placement: from E.T. to Entourage

This weekend I watched the movie, The Truman Show, for the first time. One of the things that makes the viewer very aware of the fact that Truman is the star of a TV show is the constant on screen advertising. In the movie, it seems cheesy and ineffective because the advertising is so obvious, yet in other movies, this is not the case.

Movies and TV shows are meant to seem as real as possible, and therefore have brand name products of many kinds in them. Brands are all over the place, and though we may not notice them, specific brands are chosen very carefully to appear in media. Though not all products are placed, many companies pay movies and TV shows to feature their product to much success. For example, who suddenly wanted to drink Avion after they saw it on Entourage?

Or eat Reese's Pieces after watching E.T.?

Or put their "new white Nike's to the test" after hearing Aaron's Party? (2:28)

Product placement is a part of new media. Though it has come a long way since E.T.'s blatant advertisement of the product, it still has a great power in determining what people purchase. Sales of all three of the previously mentioned items increased after they were featured in the media.

The biggest increase in sales tends to occur with new products, which is why new products are likely to pay money to be placed in movies, TV shows, or music videos. Reese's Pieces were introduced in 1978 and were not particularly popular. After E.T. aired in 1982, sales increased dramatically. 

Avion Tequila, a product written into the script of Entourage's 7th season, launched just before it appeared on HBO. Once consumers and distributors found of Avion was a real brand, Avion could not produce enough tequila to meet demand.

Even when product placement is subtle and unmentioned, the viewer sees the product and becomes familiar with it. For example, if all of the characters on my favorite TV show drink Coke instead of Pepsi, and I do not know the difference between the two products, when a water asks me whether I would like to drink Coke or Pepsi, I will answer Coke because that is what is familiar to me.

Do you find product placement to be successful or obnoxious? Have you ever been influenced by product placement?

Speaking of Facebook...

All this reading and assignments on how amazing Facebook is had my brain stirring these past couple days. Yes, I am an avid Facebook user, yes, I think it's an amazing invention and even a better social network, and yes, Mark Zuckerberg is a genius. All these incredible things about Facebook are true... but is there really no downside? You mean to tell me that all these hundreds of millions of people that use this one website to basically put their life on it has no negatives to it at all? Well let me be the first to say, there has to be some consequences. Ever since the beginning of Facebook this social network has just gotten bigger and bigger. Just in the past year it decided to go public and just a couple weeks ago spent a billion dollars on Instagram. Well, there are a couple problems I am having with Facebook; though they are not problematic enough to keep me from going on there multiple times every day, they are still considered a problem to me. First things first, in a way Facebook is becoming a monopoly. There is literally no other website that can do the things Facebook can, not to mention there are zero other social networks near as advanced as Facebook. What that all means is... they are taking over! My next issue with Facebook is knowing how much information they have about the people of this planet. They have more information about more people on this planet than anybody else. Is that legal? Well, yes, I don't think they would be doing something so big if it were illegal. With all that information they could become the advertising monopoly of the world. Anyways, just some things to think about when reading up on how amazing Facebook is. I am all for Facebook and have no negative attitude towards it, I just like thinking about the opposite side. What do you guys think?

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Facebook Breaking Bad

This week in class, we have been discussing Facebook.  For the time being, the nation and Facebook users everywhere freely and effortlessly peruse the pages of the huge social networking icon.  However, I always fear that one day I will wake up to see that Facebook has malfunctioned and everyones personal messages and other information that hides behind "the wall" will be disclosed to the entire world to see.  Hopefully this never happens.
I finally realized that there is a cure for this fear.  Facebook should be used more responsibly, and users should be conscious of who they allow to become their friends.  I personally freaked out this week because I came to the realization that i have a potpourri of 1,708 friends on Facebook, and of those, I would say I am actually friends with about 500 of them.  Looks like it might her time for some spring cleaning, or possibly a fresh start on the social network of social networks.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

New Media vs. Old School Advertising

Remember advertising before social media? Computers? Television? Me neither.

As new technology increasingly seems to be the way to go in terms of advertising, consumers and business owners begin to forget about the old, and not entirely bad, ways.

I spoke with a small business owner from my town back home. A little over a year ago, she opened a personal training studio and immediately began advertising. She got herself on local TV shows, appeared regularly on the radio, sent out mass text messages to clients, and created a website, blog, Twitter, and Facebook page.

According to the business owner only about 20% of her clients come from all the above media combined. She built her clientele through the use of billboards. She claims over 30% of her clients have come from just two billboards, displayed at two different times in two different locations.

Though billboards are not always fancy and high-tech, they are still highly effective. A giant sign attracting the eyes of nearly every driver day after day cannot help but gain attention. Roughly 30,000 people drive by her billboard every day. Most of them pass it on their way home or to work, so they are bombarded by the sign day after day, reminding them to sign up with a trainer. Eventually, this is effective.

My question to our readers is whether or not you think this is a rare case. Can billboards be more effective than social media? And is the modern day business owner not giving enough credit to the old ways of advertising?
The other day while riding the bus I noticed a misspelling on the board outside of McDonalds. The word "night" was spelt wrong. As I thought about this, I felt like it related to advertising because McDonalds advertise through that board to try and get customers to eat there. When there are misspellings, it reflects horribly on the management of the restaurant. I think advertising can be looked at in a variety of ways. In some regards, we are advertising ourselves through job applications, resumes, etc. Restaurants and businesses advertise in ways other than just commercials, coupons, ads. In a world this competitive, it is imperative to advertise properly thus meaning spelling and speaking correctly. Has anyone else noticed misspellings like this one? What did you think when you noticed?
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Wednesday, April 11, 2012

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This week, we read about online communities and how people conduct themselves differently when online.  I was wondering if anyone agrees with this.  Do you act differently or feel more passionately about certain topics when online.  Does the presence of others that share your same opinion affect this?

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Bud Selig in Madison

For those of you who don't know who Bud Selig is, he is the commissioner of Major League Baseball, America's past time. He has held this position for a while now. Well, he came to Madison today and I went to see him speak. What a great speaker he is. He talked about the general issues and concerns surrounding major league baseball as well as take some questions. What I thought was most interesting in his speech was when he discussed how important the media is to baseball. He is a huge advocate for the media being heavily involved with the MLB and its actions. This is an excellent choice by him because he can clearly see that the only way fans can connect with their teams is if the media gets them involved. Bud Selig comes to Madison about once every year to talk in front of a crowd of people. He does this because he loves Madison. Not only did he go to school here, but Wisconsin is his home state.

The reason why a large part of his speech was dedicated toward talking about the media's involvement in the MLB is because his visit was advertised/sponsored by the Wisconsin School of Journalism. Rather than sponsored, because he was not paid to come speak, he was invited by them. What's so crazy is that somebody as high profile as Commissioner Selig visiting campus was not well known at all. People had no idea that he was coming. I guess that since it was a free event it was important the word wasn't spread. If it were spread, the crowd would have been way larger. The only advertising I saw for this event was on the Wisconsin School of Journalism website. The event was located in the back room of the Pyle Center overlooking the lake. It's not like the room was small, but there was no chance it would fit the amount of people that would've came if it were advertised. Did anybody else attend this and have any feedback? I would like to know what you guys thought on not only how this was advertised, but also what you thought of the conference itself?

Monday, April 9, 2012

Blackboard Advertising: A Bust for Blogs

I have some unfortunate news. My first experiement conducted for this class was a failure. Each day I returned to the lecture hall I had written our blog's URL, the words had been erased. It is unclear whether this was done by the professors, the cleaning staff, or students. Either way, my blackboard advertising did not stick in large lecture halls.

However, in the small Van Hise classroom, the advertisement remained on the board for the entire experiment. Unfortunately, I do not think it directed much traffic to our blog.

According to our analytics, throughout the time the advertisement was posted on the board there were no new traffic trends. This means all our blog's viewers continued to come from our class blog or directly typing in the URL. Though it is possible some of these URL views were students responding to the advertisement, it is unlikely considering the numbers remained relatively the same as before. Had students been responding, there would have been an increase.

Therefore, my stance remains on blackboard advertising. I think it is great for clubs, student orgs, and promoting events or a name, yet it is not particularly helpful if you are using blackboard advertising to initiate action. I think most students read the signs, and eventually have the name in the back of their head, but that is all. I feel at most a handful of very interested students will act according to the blackboard advertising.

That being said, I still support blackboard advertising as getting a name out there where students can see it and advertisers don't have to pay any money is a great idea.