Posts Tagged ‘commercial’

The Real Deal On Advertising VII

Coca-Cola

Just take it.
Grab an icy, cold glass of Coke.

You know you want to just reach out and drink it.

That moment where the bottle touches your mouth.

It is like a rapid wave of refreshment surging to your lips.

It’s like an arctic breeze coming in on a hot summer day.

It is like a swift, simple, calm wind that clears all your stress away.

That moment you drink it down; it is as if time has completely come to a stop.

Time walks up to you and says, “Take your time, you have all the time to drink this refreshment.”

They call Coca-Cola a refreshment for a good reason too, because it literally leaves you refreshed from a long day.


In Chinese, Coca-Cola means “to make the mouth happy”(1). About 94% of the people in the world have heard of Coca-Cola , that’s almost every person on the planet (2)! Coca-Cola is the shining star of all advertising. It is, and will be, the most well known trademark on the planet, it surpasses all other brand names. It is also the most recognized word on the planet, tagging behind is the word “Okay” in the number two spot (1). Coca-Cola has grown so much since that day in 1886 (1). They have attracted a ton of people over the years to consume their products. In its first year, servings of ‘Coca-Cola’ amounted to less than 10 a day(1). Today one billion servings are consumed every day (1)! That means every second over 10,400 Coca-Cola products are consumed (1). Over the years they have added a ton of other products onto their line. For example, Sprite, Fanta, Diet Coke  along with over 500 other brands (1). There is a wide variety for any kind of taste buds to enjoy.

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If all the Coca-Cola… ever produced were in 6 1/2 oz. bottles and placed end to end they would wrap around the earth more than 11,863 times.

If all the Coca-Cola sold in 1994 were in 8-ounce bottles laid end-to-end, those bottles would reach to the moon and back 76 times.

If all the Coca-Cola vending machines in the U.S. were stacked one on top of each other, the pile would be over 450 miles high.

If all the Coca-Cola ever produced were to erupt from “Old Faithful” at its normal rate of 14,000 gallons per hour, the geyser would flow continually for 1,577 years.

If all the Coca-Cola products sold in 1994 were flowing over Niagara Falls at its normal rate of 1.5 billion gallons per second, the falls would flow for three hours.

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Like stated in the last post in the advertising series, my family is a huge follower of the brand name, Coca-Cola. I have grown up in a household that is centered on the soda. Growing up, my father would collect old posters, banners, and signs advertising for Coca-Cola. I would see it all over the walls in my house, and it was simply unavoidable. All of the wall space in our basement is occupied by my father’s Coca-Cola memorabilia.  When it comes to writing about Coca-Cola, I know how to represent it.

In 2008, I was required to take a class in High School during freshman year that was all speeches. It was probably the hardest class I have ever taken in my life, yet I learned a lot about giving speeches. I first felt shaky and I stumbled on my words in my first speech, which was supposed to be about myself. By the time I was at the final speech, I went up there and I was so confident. The point I am getting at is that the last speech could be any topic. The teacher was very lenient on what people could decide to do a speech on, and what better topic than to discuss Coca-Cola in front of the class? I learned so many facts about how important Coca-Cola plays in our lives. It really is a drink that plays a huge role in the commercial world.

First of all, almost all of the Coca-Cola commercials feature the drink in a glass bottle. It took me a while to notice this, because I am so used to thinking that I can just walk in to a normal supermarket, grab a glass bottle of Coke, and leave. It takes a while to realize that this is not a normal thing to be seeing. There are a couple of reasons why they still choose to show the glass bottle. First of all, it is a tradition for the company, and traditions are very important because too many changes draws the consumers away. Second of all, think about it: a glass bottle. Humans are drawn to objects that are shiny, and glass is the most shiny thing that they could use to hold the drink in. Third, it really shows that the drink is cold, because it magnetizes the drops of condensation on the bottle.

Let’s move on to the Penguins. Penguins, penguins, and more penguins! Well, let’s widen the category to all of Coca-Cola’s winter advertising. Coca-Cola uses a ton of different characters in their winter advertising. They  have their version of Santa Claus, they have the penguins (my personal favorite), and of course, they have the polar bears. All these characters are enjoying the refreshing taste of Coca-Cola in a glass bottle. First, I want to examine this “Santa Claus” figure that has been used repetitively every year. Rumors have it that the modern day image of Santa Claus was invented by Coca-Cola. Well, this was proven false, but that does not mean Coca-Cola didn’t play a single role in its making. In fact, Coca-Cola played a huge part in forming our view of Santa Claus. When the Santa was released to the public in 1931, artist Haddon Sundblom brought all of the characteristics from past versions of Santa, like his cheerful, chubby face and his long white beard. If you have not noticed, Santa Claus is wearing a red and white coat, which of course are the main colors of  Coca-Cola’s logo: red and white.

That video is probably one of my favorite videos in all of Coca-Cola history. The polar bears and the penguins, both on opposite sides of the globe, come together to celebrate with an ice cold bottle of Coca-Cola.  This symbolizes different families coming together from far away for a celebration together. It really is quite comical and peaceful at the same time. The penguins came a little while after the image of Santa Claus. It was introduced in 1962 and has been a popular mascot for Coca-Cola. It may not surprise you to see that they’ve paired Coke with a penguin as the idea of serving Coke ice-cold is one they have strongly promoted over the years. The third, and probably the most popular symbol of all the winter advertisements is the Polar Bear. It is hard to believe that the Polar Bear was only introduced fifteen years ago in 1993. Anyway, it was pretty cute how the artist came up for the idea of using the Polar Bear. The creator, Ken Stewart, got the inspiration for the animal from his Labrador Retriever which had resembled a polar bear as a puppy (3). And soon these arctic creatures became a huge hit for the industry.

Companies have been using the image of polar bears to sell everything from soda to insurance for years. Maybe it’s time for corporate America to consider protecting a species that has been such a profitable sales tool. They say things go better with Coca Cola. For the sake of the penguins and the polar bears, let’s hope so (4).

Cute animals just draw us in for some reason. Although we know that an actual Polar bear can not pick up a glass of Coca-Cola, we still fall for them and go buy the product. Well, another reason we fall for them is that these animals are symbols of showing that the product is “ice-cold,” as we like to drink soda that way. Also, their habitat is like a giant refrigerator, keeping the Coca-Cola cold. On the other side, because the Polar Bear is on the Endangered Species list; caused by the polar ice caps melting, Coca-Cola might have to find a new arctic animal to replace the Polar Bear, because it could be on its way to extinction.

Back in 1927, Coca-Cola’s tagline was “Around The Corner From Everywhere”. Well, once again its name emblazoned into  Time Square over the crossroads of the world. Coca-Cola truly is around the corner from everywhere. Congratulations and let there be light!

This quote by the mayor of New York city, Michael Bloomberg, is stated right before the launch of the new Coca-Cola sign in Times Square. Coca-Cola has been a strong partner with all of New York and they have been advertising there for over 80 years. The sign in New York is one of the largest advertisements signs with some of the latest technology available. It really is a work of art, with flashing colors and a curvy shape to it. The sign is seen in a ton of movies that take place in New York, for example, I remember seeing the sign in the movie, Enchanted, when the dragon at the end had climbed up the sign. I really can not wait to see it during my trip to New York. It really has become a monument for visitors to see, though it may not be as important as the Statue of Liberty or Ground Zero, but it is a monument in advertising history.

Coca- Cola has had many slogans since its creation on May 8th, 1886. One of its most recent slogans created in 2006, The Coke Side Of Life, really sums up the soda brand’s performance on our planet. There really is a Coke side of life, because Coca-Cola is constantly changing the commercial world with all its products.

(1) “Interesting Facts About ‘Coca Cola’.” Coca-Cola: About Coke. 2006. Coca Cola Company. 20 Mar 2009 <http://www.coca-cola.com.au/footer/about_facts.htm&gt;.

(2) Olson, J.. “History Of Coca-Cola.” Jackie’s Coca-Cola Page. 1997. 20 Mar 2009 <http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/4269/history.html&gt;.

(3) Bobby. “Coca-Cola’s Greatest Hits.” Essays and Articles. 2009. 7X. 20 Mar 2009 <http://www.7xpub.com/&gt;.

(4)David, Laurie. “Things Go Better With Coke.” The Huffington Post. 02 Dec 2005. The Huffington Post. 20 Mar 2009 <http://www.huffingtonpost.com/laurie-david/things-go-better-with-cok_b_11560.html&gt;.

(5) Mooney, Phil. “Happy Penguin Day!.” Coca-Cola Conversations. 25 Aug 2008. Coca-Cola Company. 20 Mar 2009 <http://www.coca-colaconversations.com/&gt;.

The Real Deal On Advertising V

Hello! This is Clonez, admin of skydays147 .wordpress .com. Love is in the air this Valentines Day. What better way to impress your loved one than dieting. Who should you trust when it comes to losing weight?

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This time of year is on us again! The holidays have ended, and we are now being thrown all of the diet and weight loss advertisements to juggle into our daily lives. Before January 1st, the dormant health advertisements were out of our way because of the feasting and eating of the holiday season. They were like a big brown bear sleeping during hibernation. And when that clock struck midnight of the new year, those ads for NutriSystem, Weight Watchers, Atkins Diet, Jenny Craig, and Medifast have popped up in all places: on billboards, in magazines, on radio, on television, and have been exploded throughout the world wide web in the place of banner ads and pop-ups.  Just like that bear waking up and making a big loud roar to awaken the surroundings. There’s no question why we fall for these advertisements. This goes back to the previous subject I had hinted on: temporary role models. There is a simple equation that is followed when this happens: see = become. We try to become whatever we see, and if we don’t we suffer from that inner feeling of not fitting in because of weight.

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I used to make fun of diets when I was little. It was a pretty easy thing to make fun of because of the number of ridiculous scams that these companies come up with. There is a pretty easy concept that I learned back in the good-old-days of Health class that almost everyone should follow when they want to go on a diet. This concept is known as Health Literacy, which basically means that you know enough to take care of your body. You know what products are right and safe for you. To me, it is a little thing known as “common sense”. Sometimes this may be a tricky thing to follow, but other times there are scams that you obviously have the common sense to avoid. There was this one weight loss product that I see every single time I go to Walgreens when my parents go to pick up prescriptions: the Hollywood Cookie Diet. Whenever I look at this product, I have to feel bad for the people who buy this and think it is going to make them lose weight. “If the message is too good to be true, then it is probably not true. You need to diet and exercise to lose weight,” Timothy Muris of the Federal Trade Commission chairman. I totally agree, because there are some things that can be part of your imagination. I had talked about this before when I said that you should not let your mind run wild. What you do with this is you replace every single meal that you have during the day with one cookie. Of course, cookies may be a tasty, delectable treats, but they are not something that will make you lose weight. Even if you do lose weight, it isn’t going to be fat you are losing; it is going to be all or mainly muscle, which will get you further and further from obtaining your perfect body. More than half of Americans have a problem with their weight, and the quick idea of taking a pill and not having to do the hard work of diet and exercise lures a lot of people (1). I don’t know anyone who would disagree with this statement. As we all know, the level of obesity in the United States has been going up over the past few years, and people will do anything to lose the pounds and still abstain from any exercise at all.

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Most people do not realize how horrible the free meal programs are. There is a pretty devilish way that those companies make a profit out of you. The first part of this method is when you start out by getting the free meals delivered to your doorstep every day. You become attached to them for the next few weeks, or months. Once you are satisfied with your weight, you decide to get off the diet plan and return back to your usual eating customs. This is where step two comes in: you lose most of your health literacy when you switch back and thus you start to gain weight all over again. Step three would be addiction to the product. You then decide that you want to lose weight again and you realize, “hey! This method actually worked for me!” So you switch back to the free meals and the cycle continues over and over. By doing this you lose money and your health literacy diminishes to almost nothing. There is no wonder why Americans spend $1 billion to 2 billion per year on weight-loss programs (1). People are so tempted to keep spending more and more of their money for the perfect body.

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Probably one of the hardest places that these advertisements have hit is right here on the internet. Everywhere I turn, I see some form of advertising on a web page that has to do with weight loss. Recently I have been seeing a lot of third-party weight loss banner ads. The one I have been seeing the most is “Maria’s Diet Blog,” which is apparently another one of those stories of some persons method to losing weight. There have been ones that I just have to make fun of. I just noticed that they started to put animated banner ads and pop-ups on websites. There is this one where a persons belly is shown, but the fat part of it is jiggling around. It is pretty sad, yet hilarious to watch. How can a person’s jiggly fat draw in people to that weight loss scam? It’s completely ridiculous.

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Before and after pictures are another problem when it comes to diet advertising. They are so easy to fall into because it is like evidence is put right in front of your face about a particular diet program. Before and after pictures have a few other uses, for example showing the results of a pimple cream after use or a wrinkle remover for older people. There is one thing that all of these things have in common: they all lie to you. I heard from reading Made You Look that there is some law that has to be followed when making a before and after picture. The advertisers are allowed to modify the before picture, but not the after picture. This is because the after picture shows the actual results and that is what advertisers have to sell. They aren’t supposed to sell that you have to be obese before doing the particular diet plan. It is just that people choose to show one in order to have some kind of giant leap of change to influence the consumer. They are allowed to modify the image so that the before person is uglier, more overweight, and basically less attractive. One other thing that advertisers do is make the image in black and white to make it seem more depressing. They then have the after picture with all of its vibrant colors. Andrew B. Geier, lead author and a graduate student in Penn’s Department of Psychology, once said, “While highlighting dramatic weight loss, before and after images ignore the reality of dieting and encourage the notion that losing weight is easy” (2). Before and after advertising makes it seem like you can easily control your weight, which is not the reality of the whole process. It should take a really long time to lose actual weight from fat, it really isn’t something that is lost in a week or three.

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When it comes to diet advertising, the best solution you can trust on is not trusting what is put in front of your nose. It can be a cautious move towards hurting your health. If you want to diet, follow your own plan by getting enough excersize and eating healthy foods. Those are the first steps towards changing those bad habits and returning to a healthier weight.

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(1)Stein, Joel. ” Miracle-Diet Ads Lie? Well, Duh!.” TIME. 23 Sep 2003. TIME partners with CNN. 14 Feb 2009 <http://www.time.com/time/columnist/stein/article/0,9565,353736,00.html&gt;.

(2)Scott, Jennifer R.. “Before & After Ads Lead to Bias.” About.com. 10 Nov 2008. About.com. 14 Feb 2009 <http://weightloss.about.com/cs/bodyimage/a/aa040404a.htm&gt;.

Edited By Dublanous1

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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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The Real Deal On Advertising II

Hello everyone! This is Clonez, admin of skydays147 .wordpress .com. I decided to post another one in my series of Real Deal On Advertising. Club Penguin posts are to come back in the New Year.

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I believe I am a pretty creative person, there is no arguing with that. Ever since I was little, I have always loved to draw, paint, build, cook, act, and sing. I was in the Art Club for every year of middle school, I participated in a ceramics class when I was about eight years old, and who could forget my lead role for the play I was in at overnight camp. My mom would tell me to keep going at my dream of being more creative. My drama teacher in high school would see me in the hallway and always encourage me to join the next play that the school was performing. And my art teacher could not stop praising me enough to continue art in the future. You might be confused what I am getting at and why this has to do with advertising.

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Well, I decided last night I would plot the three rules to follow while looking at an advertisement so that you would not fall right into their grasp and buy their product. Those rules turned into only two guidelines, and eventually those two guidelines merged into one massive rule: don’t let your mind run wild. That is a very tricky rule to follow when you are one of the most creative people in the world. Everyone telling you that you should try and be more creative in order to do well in life. Well, that rule does the opposite effect when it is applied to advertising. By letting your mind run wild, you think of the endless possibilities of things to do with some product you see on a billboard, or in a commercial. This is more common among younger children. Young children are not able to distinguish between commercials and TV programs. They do not recognize that commercials are trying to sell something. (1)

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On a regular Sunday morning, my Dad, my sister and I had this daily routine that we would go around to the stores in our hometown and look around. My father would stop at the local Dunkin Donuts for a coffee, we would then go to the Walgreen’s, the Target, or the Michael’s Craft store. When we usually go to Michael’s, it is because my sister needs some project to work on at home. I usually wander around the store and look at the different craft ideas. There is one thing that bothers me though when I walk down the aisle of the different types of clay. There is this modeling clay bag on a hook on the wall. On the package, there are always these great ideas on what to make with the clay, but they are always impractical when you actually sit down to try and make them. When looking at the picture on the bag of clay, the creativity in my mind runs wild. I really think I am able to build something like that turtle, or that fancy car, or that teddy bear. I would then beg and plead to my father to get the clay so that I could make that masterpiece. By the time I got home, I would rush straight for the bag and try and create that impossible figure that only a professional could make; only to end up in tears: not all of the colors were included in the kit, there was too much of one color and too little of another. There’s a flaw with people: they always want something to come out their own way. They want everything to be perfect. Even if I had tried to make something my own way, I would have still ended up in tears because, compared to the photograph on the bag, it is supposed to come out perfect like that. The same thing applies to you builders out there. There was this one commercial I kept seeing on television with these kids playing with these magnetized rods and silver balls. It was called Magnetix. The product showed a group of children building a giant skyscraper, and a scale model of a bridge with these magnetic rods and balls. Watching television, I actually thought I could make something like that. The thing is, the box of magnets didn’t include enough pieces to build that skyscraper. In fact, you probably needed to buy at least 30 others sets of the same thing in order to make it: a waste of time.

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The best example that I can think of for a product that is a total waste of time is a pet rock. Pet Rocks were a popular fad in the 1970’s, and finally people had the common sense to not play with a rock. Who would want to pay for a rock, and what kind of person would pay money for one when they can be found outside?  It’s like a  doll  mixed with  nature.to form a complete disaster. Being creative when looking at an advertisement makes something seem like it is the greatest product in the world; it is making it sound like you absolutely need it. You develop an idea in your head and you try to make it happen through this product. Yet, it completely fails.

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There are some pretty convincing advertisers out there. One of the ones that me and my family fall for a lot is Billy Mays. He is the man who has a large beard, and usually advertises products for home-use. His tactic for advertising is very unique: he yells at the consumers so that they buy a product. I swear, Billy Mays will go to any limit to try and sell a product. It may be one of the craziest products, yet he still advertises it. There are a lot of products out there that can be completely useless, and it is your job as a consumer to find out which of the products aren’t what they seem to be. I remember this one product, which I actually bought; which turned out to be one of the biggest pieces of junk that advertising has to offer. I was watching television when I was little, and I saw this advertisement for some slime that looked like a lot of fun. Without any thought, my mom decided to get it for me. There were so many things wrong with it. The biggest problem was that it stuck to our rug in our old house and we had to replace it. Also, after a few days the slime wasn’t sticky anymore. In fact, there was lint and dust stuck to it, which was impossible to get out. I ended up throwing that slime out in the garbage. Even later in life I still get problems with products that ruin other things in my house. My parents had to throw out their computer and replace it because the computer game I had bought at the store had a huge virus in it and it totally destroyed everything. The sad part of it is, that game turned out to be my favorite computer game of all time. Of course, I wouldn’t want to mention that game on here. My parents banned the game from the house; we aren’t allowed to talk about it. Anyway, there was this book that I have heard of about crazy inventions that ended up being completely useless. It was created by some Japanese group of people.  One of my friends had recommended it for me a long time ago, and I never got to it. These are inventions that, at first, you think are going to be very useful in every day life, yet they turn out to be completely useless when you really think about it. There is one that I see every time I look at the book. It is a t-shirt that you wear, and it has a grid on the back of it. The point of it is that you have to try and tell someone a pair of coordinates on your back and that is the area that they should scratch if you have a hard-to-reach itch. Seriously, what person would want to scratch your back? This is a perfect example of some useless invention.

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I had a couple of ideas for a step two to talk about, yet this mainly goes along with not letting your mind go wild. When you look at that slide at the end of a commercial, there are tiny bits of information that are found, along with some gigantic printed text. When you look at that screen, your mind only focuses on the larger text. The larger text usually consists of a phone number, a price for the product (not the actual price), and of course the name of the product. The reason the advertiser makes certain text bigger is because he or she wants you to think that that is important and the rest is just a jumbled up mess. Yet they have to put the small text in for legal reasons. They really don’t want you to read that. And neither do you: you want to think that that item you see in front of you is a good deal. By doing that, you are letting your mind run wild. So you show your parents just the larger text. “Mommy, mommy, look at that it is only 30 dollars for that fishing pole!” you say. Then mommy gives you a look and decides to buy it, just because she loves you, but she knows in her head that that item actually costs over 100 dollars.  I am just going to focus on that price that they give. There are so many smaller words that will throw the price off: two/three/four payments of, shipping, handling, processing and of course tax. It can be quite tricky to calculate that actual price in your head. They don’t show you have to add tax to that on that information slide. Why would they? So mommy notices that she needs to pay three payments of 30 dollars, and then another 8 dollars for shipping and handling. Then possibly another 2 dollars for tax. Wow, isn’t that fun? By not telling you about it when you are little, it is just one more lesson that needs to be taught in consumer education.

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I like being creative. It really is a skill that you don’t want to lose. I hope you thought I wasn’t saying it was bad. What I really wanted you to get out of this is that you can apply creativity to almost anything, but please don’t apply it to a consumer watching an advertisement.

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(1) “Children And Advertising.” Mediawise. 7/08/02. National Institute on Media and the Family. 30 Dec 2008 <http://www.mediafamily.org/facts/facts_childadv.shtml&gt;.

Edited By Dublanous1

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The Real Deal On Advertising I

Hello everyone! This is Clonez, admin of skydays147 .wordpress .com. I decided that I wanted to give everyone a sample of my real-life writing. I thought this one up in a dream I had, and I was dieing to put it down on paper. I know it isn’t about what I usually talk about, but I hope you enjoy it:

Advertising has always fascinated me when I was little. It is one of those things that are simply unavoidable. They are found on billboards, in magazines, in the form of a commercial, and now they are posted all over the internet.  I used to wake up at six in the morning to watch television before going to school. I would come down in my pajamas and sit in front of the television while I was eating breakfast. It wasn’t just the show that I was watching that I cared about, it was also that five minute commercial in between them. Did you know that the average American child today is exposed to about 40, 000 television commercials a year? That is about 100 commercials a day.(1) This makes me think how crazy it is that one of them does not stick in our heads for the whole day like an engrossing song we hear on the radio.

Anyway, I would then go out to the bus stop; it was about Fifth Grade, and a few kids on the bus would always ask me to recite an entire commercial that I saw. I was literally known on my bus as “Ad Boy” because I had memorized most of the commercials on the television channel that I watched, and the kids were crazy. They wanted to hear ever single one of them, for humor, of course. There was this one song for a commercial that I had memorized for macaroni and cheese, and they would repeatedly ask me to thing that one as a “special request”. Now that I look back on it, no doubt about it, I was wasting my time and looking immature in front of everyone. I might still remember a few little songs to commercials nowadays, but I have mainly moved away from that.

A couple of years later after I had moved away from my recital of commercials, the most fascinating thing had happened to me. It started on a cold, winter morning in Seventh Grade. I came to school early because I was taking Choir, which was almost every day, and there was a sign on the door that said that it was canceled because the teacher was out. Like everyone else who was in Choir, we all went to the library. I decided to wander around, and I supposed that I could check out the nonfiction section for a couple of reading ideas. To my surprise, I had found one of the most moving books I have ever read on advertising. It was called Made You Look and I learned so many new concepts that are used in advertising. I felt like all of the pieces of the puzzle were coming together on why us kids are victims of advertising. In 1983, the amount of money spent on advertising for kids was only $100 million. (2) Now, advertising of kids has jumped up so high that those big, chubby businessmen at the head of the big corporations now spend $15 billion on us. (3)

You probably know someone who is a victim of advertising. What I have always wanted to know is, why do we fall for it? What makes it so that we “have to have it” ? There has to be something that goes on in our brains whenever we look at a billboard, a magazine, or watch a television commercial. That is the one thing that the Made You Look did not get at. I know a couple of my friends who are victims of advertising, especially the ones in commercials. Whenever I go to hang out at my best friend’s house, I notice in his pantry a lot of junk food items that have been advertised on television a massive number of times. They are all brand-name products like Goldfish Crackers, Oreos, Cheese-Its, and Chips Ahoy. One day while he was eating, I asked him, “Why do you only buy snacks that have a brand name?” For some reason, and I am still confused by this, he said, “Because they taste better”. First of all, how can he taste the difference between the no-name brand and the named brand when he hasn’t even tried both foods? Ladies and Gentleman, this is a victim of advertising. It is a person who does not give up their addiction to named product. There are other reasons why people might fall for advertisements. According to a national survey commissioned by the Center for a New American Dream, in 12-13 year-olds, 62% of the people say that eating named-brand products will make he or she feel better about themselves. Remember those days when you were five-years-old and you sat in the front of Mommy’s shopping cart? When you go down that cereal aisle, you say, “Mommy! Mommy! I want the cereal with the tiger on it!” You probably don’t even like Frosted Flakes, you just want it because it makes you feel better about yourself: that cartoon tiger. You scream and pout until you get what you want. When you are a tween, you don’t even bother looking at the generic brand cereal on the bottom self. Why would you want a product that doesn’t have Toucan Sam on it? I learned in Made You Look that there is a reason why they place things in a grocery store on the shelf that they are on. They put all of the brand name products on the shelf at eye-sight level and all of the generic brand products at the top and bottom shelf so that nobody will see them. Try it the next time you are at the grocery store.

There was this one time in Seventh Grade, in Sunday School, our class took a field trip to a grocery store. We were supposed to do this project in which we bought items at the grocery store for a homeless shelter. Each group of five people had to solve the enigma on how to feed a family of 5 people for a week, and under 50 dollars. By instinct, the first shopping items that our group picked out were name brands: bad choice. We went over our quota by a ton of money. The reason we had the instinct to buy named-brand food was because that was the food that we ate in our own household. We had to put everything back and start over from the beginning and choose cost-efficient food items. You probably do not realize it, but name-brand food is drastically over-priced. We do not realize this because normal people do not even bother looking at the price tag on things. Just because something is more expensive does not mean it is better for you. Most of the time, even, there is less food in a package that is advertised. One food that I enjoyed when I was little so much was called Kid Cuisine. It was an individual-sized dinner. On the television, the product looked like it was worth the money to purchase. What I realized when I read Made You Look, was that there are special ways that food advertisers use to make their product look more appealing to the public. For example, in a hamburger advertisement, they might stick a few slabs of Styrofoam in between the bun and the patty to make it look bigger. They also might put a glaze of glue on the bun to make it shinier. Yet the consumer does not realize that the product is fake because we think it is “to good to be true”.

There is one last example that I would like to give from my life. I decided to take a class on Religion this year in high school. In the class, we just started studying about Taoism. The teacher had everyone for homework go home and draw a picture that goes along with a reading that was handed out. It was of an old man fishing in a river between some mountains. (If you want to see my version of it, it is on my other website). Anyway, the next day the teacher taped our drawings up on the board, and right next to it she posted a Chinese landscape painting. There were many differences between them. I felt like in our drawings that it was influenced more by the media world. For example, the old man was in the foreground, signifying that man is more important than nature. The other thing that was different was the mountains in the background. Every mountain in our drawings were almost perfect. They look like an upside-down “U”, which is what we were born into thinking. I mean, I have been to a very rocky area before and I have seen a mountain. I know that mountains don’t look like that, but for some unknown reason, why did I draw that very media-based mountain? It might have been because I had an instinct to do that. The point I am trying to get is that advertising masks everything. What we see on billboards and in magazines is just blocking our vision of nature. The only place where advertising does not exist is in nature. I know when you think of some place like the Himalayas, or the Rocky Mountains, you do not picture all these billboards hanging off the side of the cliff or something. Nor do you see a giant television in the middle of a dense, dark forest.  I remember seeing the commercials for Wal-mart. It always showed these overly-happy people, and as the audience, you are supposed to believe that that is what life really is. The thing is, when you walk into a Wal-Mart, you aren’t going to see smiling cashier-people. You aren’t going to see that cartoon smiley face as their mascot, bouncing around the aisles. We have become over-dependent on advertising to show us what this “real life” is.

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(1) American Psychological Association, “Television Advertising Leads to Unhealthy Habits in Children; Says APA Task Force,” February 23, 2004,www.apa.org/releases/childrenads.html (accessed March 8, 2006).

(2) Juliet Schor, Born to Buy: The Commercialized Child and the New Consumer Culture (New York: Scribner, 2004), 21.

(3)Susan Linn, Consuming Kids: The Hostile Takeover of Childhood (New York: The New Press, 2004), 1.

Edited By Dublanous1