Archive for January, 2009

The Real Deal On Advertising IV

Hello everyone! This is Clonez, administrator of skydays147 .wordpress .com. Today’s segment is on the different role models that advertising provides along with who to listen to and who to ignore!

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Whenever you are feeling down; whenever you feel like you are about to give up and return back to where you came from, there is always one person that you have in mind to follow; to guide you in life. There are those times where things just do not turn out the way you want them to. You just want to hang up the skates and go home, but you don’t; because there is an urge that you have to keep going and tough things out in society. This urge may be because of an adult figure, like parents. In Religions class in school my class started learning about Confucianism, which is a belief system that declares that the adult figures guide you when you are young, and that they are the foundation of the tree trunk of society. It may be from a famous movie star or someone who you believe has achieved their potential. There must have been a time in everyone’s life when some biography in English class really sparks some light into your own life. You become inspired to follow the same steps of this person to guide you. This person: this parent, movie star, athlete, politician, is your role model.  Everyone has a role model. This role model maybe not exactly be defined in bold print. Must people don’t go around wearing a sticker that says, “Hello, my role model is *so-and-so*” because it may just be a personal connection between your role model that is private. But most definitely, there is always a time in your life where you have a temporary role model without even knowing it. In advertising, role models play an essential part in drawing you to buy a product. Because role models are people who you follow in life, you may be attached to whatever product that person appears to enjoy on a billboard, magazine, movie, or television program. And this leads on to our main topic: role models and advertising. There are two types of ways that the role model is used to convey thoughts about a product. This can be done with permanent role models or temporary role models.

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Permanent role models are usually conveyed in movies or in television shows that contain many well known actors and actresses. Brands don’t even have to be mentioned by the character like regular commercials or billboards. Research shows that consumers want to identify with the characters they watch on television and that seeing real products helps them to do that. Instead, there is a much more clever way that movie or television productions introduce products; and this process is known as product placement. Product placement is the practice of intentionally placing a specific brand or product as a prop into filmed entertainment (1). It is very rare to see if happen by accident. You might not even notice that a product is utilized in the movie or television program until you pay close attention to it. Possibly the most famous example of the use of product placement is in the television show American Idol. The companies American Idol and Coca-Cola have developed a strong bond to each other. They both help each other to gain a profit using product integration, which is when a company funds a program and in return their product is integrated into a show (1). This is an example of a visual placement; occurring when a product, service, or logo can simply be observed. If you did not notice, the judges of American Idol are always shown drinking out of a Coca-Cola glass. Although the cup does not get much of attention, the cost of placing it there is pretty high. A few seconds of exposure on a popular drama or comedy series can be worth as much as $500,000, based on the cost of a 30-second commercial(1). There have been other events where Coca-Cola appears in American Idol. The “green room” in the show was renamed to the “Coca-Cola Red Room” and special taped segments of the featured contestants became known as “Coca-Cola Moments” (1).  This product placement is used because the judges might be your role model; they are well-known people. And if they are your role model, then the television show and the Coca-Cola company profit from it because you go out to buy some of the soda. If you already drink the soda, all this advertisement does is make sure that the bond between you and the company is strong so that you will not switch to buying a different brand (they surely don’t want your spending to go to Pepsi).

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There are some good things and bad things about using product placement. The good thing is that the consumer has someone to associate the product with. The bad thing is that the consumer has someone to associate the product with. How can this be a good thing and a bad thing? Well, let us take for example the advertisement in which Britney Spears is seen with a bottle of Pepsi. There are an ad in a magazine with Britney Spears with the can; and now people who had Spears as their role model could associate her with Pepsi and start drinking it. Back when it was released to the public in early 00’s Britney Spears was a popular singer for that time and now times have changed and Britney had her own problems with life like driving drunk and shaving her head bald. Now anyone who saw that advertisement would not feel right associating Pepsi with her. The people who had her as a role model would not only dump the role model but also the drink that she was associated with. There are some instances that have worked over the years and still continue to be seen nowadays.

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The famous “Got Milk?” advertisement features famous people and characters all with the milk mustache. There are plenty of role models that are shown in the Got Milk advertisements and there is always one that you are compare with. Although the milk product hasn’t been given much praise lately, other companies are starting to follow on to the trend. Recently, the company that makes M&M’s has started to show advertisements featuring famous stars in the shape of an M&M to try and promote their product.

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The second type of role model used in advertising is the temporary role model. These role models are not famous at all, yet they do things that make you wish you were in their shoes. These advertisements have people in them that are relaxing and enjoying themselves when using the product. I had stated before in another post that Wal-Mart commercials make your mind run wild with ideas. Well, they also contain temporary role models. A mother might look at the mother in this commercial and see everything orderly and enjoyable and that is her temporary role model until the commercial is over. A child might look at the group of kids playing in the sprinkler in the summer with his or her friends and eating ice cream. This person is the child’s temporary role model until the commercial is over. You look up to this person because you want to be just like this person: enjoyable, relaxed, and fun. This is what makes you want to buy products at Wal-Mart. There are some ways in which this kind of advertising can be a bad thing– when it attracts the wrong kind of crowd. What I am talking about are advertisements for alcohol, cigarettes and other drugs. There advertisements almost always utilize this temporary role model concept, in which people are shown having a good time with these drugs. Most of the time, the product isn’t even shown in the ad. For example a tobacco advertisement will just show a group of people having fun in the forest around a campfire.  You feel like you need to smoke in order to have fun like this group of people, and so they become your temporary role models. What is really being sold is the desire to be around friends who enjoy being together. The real truth is that  tobacco isn’t the reason why the people are enjoying the campfire. The same thing applies to alcohol advertisements. An ad may show a beach scene with some nice, attractive looking people playing volleyball. It makes you feel like you need to drink beer because that person becomes your temporary role model. You feel that the beer is the reason you have fun with your friends. The truth is that the picture is staged. In fact, drinking alcohol impairs coordination, this, the ability to play volleyball would be affected. The two examples can drastically affect your health if you follow the temporary role models.

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Although having a role model helps you get on with your life, mixed messages are played when looking at the role models of advertising. It is important to figure out who you should follow and not to be blown away by the advertisers who are trying to hurt you with staged clips or scenes.

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(1)Kinney. Lance. “Product Placement,” 24 Jan 2009 <http://comm2.fsu.edu/faculty/comm/sapolsky/research/ProductPlacement.doc&gt;

Edited By Dublanous1

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WE ARE SKYDAYS147.COM

Hello everyone! This is Clonez, admin. of skydays147 .com. I am proud to announce that we have changed the name of this website: the thing that I was hoping for ever since I started this blog about one and a half years ago.  It is now short, simple, and sweet, and most importantly it is easy to access.

Why Skydays147, you may ask? Well, Skydays147 has been my internet name for such a long time. Almost all of my usernames for logins include that nickname and I have used it for over five years; ever since I first signed up for America Online (which is almost extinct but only a couple of people use it still). I wanted something unknown to people and private. I wanted something that was completely random and could not be decoded and skydays147 was the first thing that popped into my head.

Also, our worker Dublanous1 is setting up an email system for a couple of reasons. One is because we want you guys to send us emails if you have any questions or comments that are too personal or private that you have about any of the topics that we are posted about. It could be related to anything. Two is so that you can subscribe to new posts when one is published on this website. You can ask to be added to the email list and an email will be sent automatically once it is published so that you will be notified and can read the post. I hope you guys sign up for that! It is located at the bottom of the page; there is a button that you can press that says Subscribe to The Clonez Enquirer by Email. I just want to say that I am glad that everyone enjoys reading from this website and if it wasn’t for you, this blog would not have been so motivated to keep on writing. To see the emails, click on the page “Ask/Contact” at the top. AND BE SURE TO ANSWER THE POLL AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS POST!!

To see the emails, click on the ask/contact page at the top

For those of you that are here for the Club Penguin news, there are a couple of things going on. First of all, the new play came out yesterday, Blue Team returns. Of course, it is a repeat of the one that was brought back in the past. There isn’t anything added on to it, but for anyone who missed the play the first time, it is a chance to check it out again! And as you probably all know, The puffle party is coming the 20th; I had made a predictions about this about a year and a half ago, and I still can not believe that it is coming true!  If you want to read my other predictions, click here.  There is also a lot of construction going on all over the island for the party that is coming up. The newest Pin came out on Friday. It is a bag of puffle food and it is located in the mine shack.

(Click on images to make them larger)

The puffle party is supposed to have different places for the different puffles, I’m thinking that means that if the puffle has a wild attitude they might be in the pizza parlor or the stage.

Thanks,

Dublanous1 & Clonez (and connor)

P.S. Scroll down to make a comment, click on “comment”

And PLEASE VOTE ON THE POLL BELOW, WE ARE DECIDING WHAT KIND OF WEBSITE WE SHOULD MAKE!!!


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The Real Deal On Advertising III

Hello everyone, this is Clonez, admin of skydays147 .wordpress .com. I know people say that the sequels are always worse than the original.  But at least give me an A for effort. ;D

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Using the computer is one thing that I can not go a day without. There are many websites that I just have the need to visit, including this website, my other website, Youtube, Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Google. There are emails that I just need to check. If you did not know, I have four email accounts that I need to check regularly. And there is homework that has to get typed. If I were to be stranded on a desert island, one of the things I would bring is my laptop with internet connection. At home, I would zoom right up to my laptop as soon as I woke up and check to see if anything changed. Because of my love for computers and laptops, I decided that today’s post be focused on internet advertising.

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No matter where you look, you are always going to see one form of internet advertising every day. It may be the smallest thing, but it is on the page. In 2007, the total amount of money spent on internet advertising was nearly 17 billion dollars. (1) Although it takes up only 6% of all of the advertising (1) , most of it is seen by people who have access to the web.

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I have heard that advertising on websites changes as it gets to know you more. There is a thing called a “cookies” on your computer. Dictionary.com defines it as a message, or segment of data, containing information about a user, sent by a Web server to a browser and sent back to the server each time the browser requests a Web page. And what it does is store information about you, which can be a good thing if you have a little bit, because you wont have to retype in login information or something. But if you have too much, it can be very dangerous because too much personal information is given away. Anyway, what it does is see what kind of websites you visit, and on those websites it will show advertisements that match who you are in order to make you want to click there. This is only accurate when you allow your computer to accept all cookies, which many people don’t choose. I actually think that this is a pretty good method of advertising. I am not into sports websites at all, so I feel comfortable that I do not have to see any sports related ads. The smallest piece of information can change a lot. There was this one Youtube video I watched that contained the classic Duck Hunt game by Nintendo, and when I went to look at Facebook, there was a Duck Hunt advertisement on almost every page. For all of you Club Penguin users, you probably see a lot of advertisements for multiplayer games online, like the frequent IMVU pop-up that I see almost every time I go on my piczo website.

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Speaking of pop-ups, there is one type of advertisement on the web that annoys people the most. You may know of this kind of advertisement as the “You’ve been selected to receive a free iPod Nano!” or “Answer this question correctly and you’ve just won a free gift card to any restaurant of your choice!” Don’t you just hate those? It actually looks pretty convincing. So you look for any details, and of course, there are none. Oh wait, what is this? Do I see a little asterisk right at the end of the sentence? That little asterisk means a lot in advertising. It can be the difference between an excellent deal and the biggest mistake of your life. So you decide not to trust the ad. Has there ever been a time where you actually tried it out?  So you decide to click one, I mean, you have to do it at least once in your lifetime to see what it is like, and you fill out all of the information with a fake name, fake address, basically fake everything. And that email you put, that fake one which someone on the other side of the world has, will be totally spammed forever. And there is this point in the process, there is this long list of different restaurants and stores, and an endless number of pages. This is the point where you reach your impasse. You become so frustrated and there is no way to continue. The point of this advertisement is to make the advertiser money. There is a concept in internet advertising called cost-per-action, and first the page wants to obtain as many views as possible by drawing in an endless number of people to click it. Then, if the consumer does one of the following specifically defined actions listed on the page, then the advertiser is paid, and you just end up closing the window because of the deadlock.

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Pop-ups are the most annoying of them all, they are like little pesky bugs that keep coming back for more. Yet, we have found ways to get around them by creating pop-up blockers to make sure that we never see them again. There are some cases where we need to turn the pop-up blocker off for a certain website, and that is only used if we need to see an important window that can only come up as a pop-up window. That is when the real ones start tumbling on to your screen. We all know the classic pop-up ads. There are the ones for classmates.com, which bothers me so much. It says, “try and find your old class from when you graduated!” Who even needs to do that nowadays? There are social networking websites like Myspace or Facebook where you can stay in contact with people. It might have been different when our parents were around, but technology has changed, and that is why this pop-up bothers me. There are also ones that I see a lot for “mortgage rates are low!” and there is a dancing cartoon person next to it or something. More recently, pop-ups have been found in other forms of annoyance to people who even have pop-up blockers. They are found to pop up at the bottom of videos on YouTube. It is quite annoying to keep closing them every time you try to watch a video. Other video websites contain pop-up advertisements, such as MSN Video and Hulu.com. MSN Video has them at the beginning of almost all of the videos you try to watch. Hulu.com has a 30 second commercial break pop-up several times in a full length show. So no matter where you go to get videos, there will always be a way for advertisers to get to you. Most of the time you can’t avoid them like commercials on television. My grandparents always mute the television and do something productive during the 5 minute commercial period. But during that 30 seconds online, it is almost like you are forced to watch it, waiting patiently for your feature presentation to come back on because you can’t do anything else in those 30 seconds.

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There was this website that one of my friends showed me: Uncyclopedia. It was supposed to be a joke website of Wikipedia, and I just thought the content was hilarious. There was this one search page for the internet, and it showed it just like the layers of the ocean. There was the shore, which were websites like Google, Yahoo, AOL, and  Youtube. And the further you progressed into the ocean, the darker and more frightening the websites would get. At the bottom of that deep trench were websites that people would not dare to visit because of how absurd they are. Well, I thought to myself, and I believe that advertising is the same way. On the shore would be websites that have no advertising at all: Google, Wikipedia, Ask, and even Club Penguin could fit in. These websites are very well off; they have many visitors, and people enjoy the fact that they are advertising free. As you go deeper, the advertising starts to get pretty out of hand. Small clickable banners for advertisements start appearing. Then, pop-Ups start emerging, and finally you get to the point where it starts to feel pretty uncomfortable. There are websites that, no matter what you are trying to accomplish on the website, advertisements get literally in the way of everything. These websites are chock full o’ viruses. And you know what virus websites do, right? They work to find out your personal information and then mess with your computer. One thing they would do is use your email to send spam. Of course, that isn’t the only way spam occurs. It also happens when you fill out one of those email address blanks in advertisements. It is a way of them saying, “Thanks for visiting, but I have to make your life miserable by sending spam to your email forever.” Those spam messages can be pretty random at times. I know me and my friends get a lot of spam from some Irish Lottery that keeps contacting us to say that we have won. There is one spam email chain that I love to hate: the Bank of Africa one. There was a video on Youtube that made fun of this piece of spam by re-enacting it, and I could not agree more. I had such empathy for it because I was also a victim. Of course, these advertisements may be a pain, but it is pretty fun to make it a joke. You don’t have to take internet advertising so seriously sometimes. Instead, make it welcome, because those spam messages are going to keep coming for the rest of your life.

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If you are a player of Club Penguin, you may wonder why the prices are so much higher than other multiplayer game websites. Well, the reason is because it really costs a lot of make a website advertisement free. A large amount of the money is used to pay for the website to keep it standing up straight, and so Club Penguin uses memberships to pay for that. Other important websites that are standing up, like Runescape, have advertisements on the homepage of the websites, which means their member prices are a lot lower than Club Penguins. Don’t think that Club Penguin’s member prices upset you, because if there were advertisements, it would probably be the same price as all of the other multiplayer games.

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(1)”Industry Facts.” Thinking Forward. 2008. Performics. 4 Jan 2009 <http://www.performics.com/think-tank/industry-facts&gt;

Edited By Dublanous1

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