Daina’s Blog

…the thoughts of a modern day marketing student

Infiltrating Advertising into Schools December 20, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — dkazmaier @ 3:45 am
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Advertisements penetrate nearly every minute of our lives, and sometimes I wonder just howmdconalds-baby much children should be exposed to commercialization. McDonald’s has been advertising on report cards, offering the incentive of a free happy meal to those children who succeed in the areas of their grades, behavior and attendance.

The Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, which really goes against the advertising world as a whole, came down hard on this method of advertising simply because of the association with good grades and bad food. “This promotion takes in-school marketing to a new low… it bypasses parents and targets children directly with the message that doing well in school should be rewarded by a Happy Meal” (Susan Linn 2007). Parents should be able to control what affects their children’s lives, and this type of advertising overlooks that choice.

Children are very susceptible to advertising tactics, and this is a market that IMC professionals need to be very careful with. Schools are supposed to be safe havens for children, and I don’t believe it is appropriate to plaster report cards with ads no matter where the money goes.

“Research shows that children under the age of eight are unable to critically comprehend televised advertising messages and are prone to accept advertiser messages as truthful, accurate and unbiased. This can lead to unhealthy eating habits as evidenced by today’s youth obesity epidemic” (APA 2004). Ethics come into play once again, and rather than marketing for monetary purposes only, IMC professionals should think about the consequences of ads that appeal to younger generations.

http://commercialfreechildhood.org/pressreleases/reportcard.htm

http://www.apa.org/releases/childrenads.html  

 

Is it Appropriate to Stereotype in Advertising? December 16, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — dkazmaier @ 2:44 am
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I think we all do it – no matter what nationality, gender, whatever you are… stereotyping is so common in everyday life, we hardly notice we’re doing it. It’s unfortunate, but it is what it is. Since it happens daily, is it appropriate to use in advertising? Will stereotypes actually draw in the target audience through some sort of subliminal understanding?

An article posted on Media Awareness Network speaks of this issue: “Media stereotypes are inevitable, especially in the advertising, entertainment and news industries, which need as wide an audience as possible to quickly understand information. Stereotypes act like codes that give audiences a quick, common understanding of a person or group of people – usually relating to their class, ethnicity or race, gender, sexual orientation, social role or occupation” (Media Awareness Network n.d.). A very strong definition – but in what ways are stereotyping negative? The article goes on to note that stereotypes are very general – which is absolutely true – and it is not fair to generalize any group of people.

Consider ads done by companies such as McDonalds and KFC. A somewhat recent television spot promoting Kentucky Fried Chicken features a black family gathering around a kitchen table to enjoy their hot meal – minus a father. What is this trying to say… are single mothers common in this culture? I think that this commercial is extremely stereotypical and could be viewed as inappropriate; yes, I’m sure this case is true in many African American households…. JUST as it is true in white, Hispanic, Asian, etc. households.

Another article, “Who’s responsible for the racist stereotypes in advertising?”, posted on Racialicious.com (love the name), speaks of the images that relate to certain races. “The stereotypical images were not always stereotypical. In fact, the multicultural agencies invented most of them. When minority representation in the media was virtually non-existent, the multicultural shops unleashed relevant and authentic depictions of fill-in-the-minority life” (racialicious.com 2007). The article speaks of walking a fine line between being able to capture the targeted audience’s attention rather than just diving into the closed-minded stereotypes. This doesn’t necessarily just deal with race alone – it also relates to gender, age and virtually any other category that can be created. I suppose it’s a part of human nature to place people in such groups, but as a marketing professional, it is important to be able to take in the big picture – a well-rounded idea may have the best chance of capturing the attention of the targeted audience… and then some.

http://www.media-awareness.ca/english/issues/stereotyping/

http://www.racialicious.com/2007/10/03/whos-responsible-for-the-racist-stereotypes-in-advertising/

 

Marketing to Minorities is a Major Deal

Filed under: Uncategorized — dkazmaier @ 2:17 am
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Marketing to minorities is an essential element that every prmenthol02ofessional needs to consider; at a glance, “America’s Hispanic population is poised to become the single largest minority in the nation; there are 41.3 million Hispanics in the United States – or one in every seven people” (Hass 2007). Being bilingual is nearly a necessity in certain areas of the country, and as a marketing professional, it is ideal if all tactics appealed to a wide range of audiences. However, sometimes it is just as important to focus on one group in order to get the best possible message across.

After pondering how companies best market to minorities, the issue of ethics once again crossed my mind. It must be my conscience coming forth, but as I think about companies – tobacco companies, specifically – and how they push their products onto certain groups, it concerns me that sometimes marketing professionals go just a bit too far. According to an article posted on the American Heart Association Web site, the tobacco industry has upped their campaigns targeted to minorities during the last decade. I know that there are many rules and regulations regarding the advertisement of tobacco, and it is rare to come across an ad nowadays, but I suppose once people are hooked on the product, the need to push the drug decreases. Check this out – “according to the Centers for Disease Control, in 1996 smoking rates among African-American males had doubled within four years” (American Heart Association n.d.). Scary, no? These are young children and teens we are talking about here – the study was done with children as young as 14 to high school kids up to 18 years of age. “Former District of Columbia Health Commissioner Reed Tuckson defined the tobacco industry’s marketing practices as ‘the subjugation of people of color through disease’” (American Heart Association n.d.).  Honestly, I don’t know how marketers who dabble in tobacco advertising sleep at night.

On the other side of the fence, there are many campaigns directed towards minorities that have a much more positive light – take, for example, Walt Disney World. A classmate of mine wrote about this company in greater detail, and I found it interesting that the company offers a sister Web site that is completely in the Spanish language. This is extremely accommodating and will make first time travelers feel welcome. Said classmate also spoke of ethics in her post – here we go again – but it is a fine line we walk as marketing professionals, making sure all advertising tactics are honest an unoffending. Disney, to me, has always been ethical in a marketing sense… don’t get me started on the princesses though.

Hass, Werner. (2007). “Marketing to Minorities: The Hispanic Market”. Referenced December 15, 2008. http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/197023/marketing_to_minorities.html

http://www.americanheart.org/presenter.jhtml?identifier=11226

http://disneyworld.disney.go.com/wdwi/es/index?bhcp=1

 

 

Mr. Griffin… I see you in my sleep! December 3, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — dkazmaier @ 4:15 am
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family-guy-peter-griffin-2160x1440We are swimming in marketing – it’s all around us, even within us. If you think about it, pretty much everything we see or do or own contains some level of advertising – it is what makes the world go ‘round. Marketing is certainly prevalent in television shows, and there are several examples that can be used to prove it.

I’m a huge fan of Family Guy, and one episode has been ingrained in my mind and fits any marketing situation perfectly – it’s called “Mr. Griffin Goes to Washington”. A short synopsis: Peter becomes president of a company that creates toys, which promote underage smoking. Throughout the episode, marketing message after marketing message are thrown in for good fun and after a while, it gets downright ridiculous.

And check out Futurama – they dedicated an entire episode to “while-you-sleep advertising”! Basically, advertising is pumped into your brain while you sleep so you dream of different products. Scary though – could this be possible in the future? One word: neuromarketing. Check this out: “Corporations are going to enormous lengths to probe the minds of consumers – literally tapping into their brains” (mindpowernews.com). Basically, a lab scans people’s brains with MRI’s to determine subconscious thoughts and create better advertising campaigns based on the information that is found. Apparently, there are biological triggers that stimulate purchases.

“Imagine a world where advertisers figure out the exact colors, tastes, smells and images that speak to the core appetites of humanity and surpass the rational mind” (neurmarketing.blogs.com). I can’t fathom how selling an item would be SO important as to literally probe the mind of a human being – and I’m saying this as a marketing professional. However, larger corporations that can afford such luxurious studies are utilizing neuromarketing. I suppose we shall see what the future has in store for us…

Salon.com. “Joyce Millman On Television: That 31st century show”. Referenced December 2, 2008. http://www.salon.com/ent/tv/mill/1999/03/cov_26mill.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mr._Griffin_Goes_to_Washington

http://neuromarketing.blogs.com/

http://www.mindpowernews.com/SubliminalAds.htm

 

Ban the TV! November 16, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — dkazmaier @ 5:37 pm
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Marketing to children often walks a fine line as far as ethics are concerned, as youngsters are impressionable and their minds are easily molded. However, the market for children is expanding on a near daily basis, as the younger generations hold plenty of influence over the purchasing powers in the household. Television commercials are one of the main ways that marketing professionals connect to children; messages are seen over and over and eventually a child asks the parent to purchase an item that was seen on TV.

It’s important to children to keep up with their peers and today’s marketing tactics have added pressure to the younger generations to keep up with the times in order to appear ‘cool’. According to an article titled “Advertising to children: Is it ethical?” posted on the Monitor on Psychology Web site, the result of marketing to children “is not only an epidemic of materialistic values among children, but also something [psychologist Allen D. Kanner, PhD] calls ‘narcissistic wounding’ of children. Thanks to advertising, he says, children have become convinced that they’re inferior if they don’t have an endless array of new products” (Clay, 2000).

Since marketing professionals are partially responsible for the molding of children’s minds, how important is it for us to practice strong ethics? Promoting items like Bratz Dolls

Combining sex & junk food... dangerous?
Combining sex & junk food… dangerous?

 or the WWE to the younger generations makes one wonder just HOW much influence we, as marketing professionals, have over the upbringing of children and how they shape into adults. It depends on how the whole picture is portrayed; how the product is presented. The marketing professional needs to understand the consequences of introducing such items into a child’s life and needs to take responsibility for what the child learns and feels.

What about junk food? Isn’t it a contradiction marketing such products as sugary cereals and fast food to children but also reminding them to exercise? I am personally appalled by these practices and think such companies should understand that they are literally brainwashing children into eating such products and therefore, becoming addicted to the food. Yes, it is a parent’s responsibility to ultimately decide what their children should consume, but it’s nearly impossible to overcome the subliminal messages found in the media. Parents should NOT use fast food (or food of any type) as a reward for good behavior, because this teaches children to associate food with emotion. Back to the topic on hand, I believe that each of us should take responsibility for the morals we induce on the younger generations. It’s a no-win situation out there as we speak, but as individuals, we can make some changes for the better.

Clay, Rebecca. (2000). “Advertising to children: Is it ethical?” Retrieved November 15, 2008. http://www.apa.org/monitor/sep00/advertising.html

 

Why Blogging is Like Free Advertising November 5, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — dkazmaier @ 7:28 pm
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Picture this: you’re a new business owner with a small budget but you want to get the word out to current and potential customers. You’re not sure how to create a Web site, but you want your presence to be known on the Internet. What do you do? Start a blog!

A blog is an incredibly easy way to air your ideas without having to know HTML or other programs to create a Web site. Blogs are also great because you can directly connect with your targeted audience; it’s almost like having a conversation with them. Blogs can also be updated several times a day and include photos and links along with contact information or any other item that is deemed important.

According to an article on Independent Street, there are some guidelines that small business should use when taking part in social networking sites and blogs. A business should create a professional looking profile that lists all pertinent information along with photographs and an attractive layout. Make it relatable to the reader. Also, personality adds flavor to the page. “Your “About Me” [section] shouldn’t be just dry facts about your business. Make sure you add some personal touches. Humor often helps” (Spors, 2008). Also, using too much hype could be a downfall. “Using social media shouldn’t be about blatantly selling a business. It’s about making connections and creating credibility so that people will like you and trust you and eventually want to buy from you” (Spors, 2008). This is such an important point – you want to establish a solid relationship with your audience so the trust factor develops. Also, new content that is constantly updated is essential in holding the interest of your audience. Write from the heart – make it passionate – if you believe in something, then that feeling will translate to your audience.

Think about it – you can create your presence on the Web without spending a dime – all it takes is time and passion. Be original, be creative, and just write!

Spors, Kelly. 2008. Referenced November 5, 2008. http://blogs.wsj.com/independentstreet/2008/08/21/social-networking-common-mistakes-small-businesses-make/

 

I am Infatuated with Electronic Ink!

Filed under: Uncategorized — dkazmaier @ 6:38 pm
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The first Esquire cover, 1933. They've come a long way!

The first Esquire cover, 1933.

After first discovering electronic ink through a classmate’s posting, I was so impressed with the idea I had to find out more. It seems as if this method of eye-catching advertising is not yet cost-effective, but with some work, it could very well be in the future. Esquire magazine used the technology in their recent 75th anniversary edition, and definitely caught the attention of the audience.

 

Displays may use this technology – which can be solar powered (bonus) – to catch the eyes of consumers. Flash and flair usually works, and in this case it may be no different. Picture a display that includes video images and sound right in the grocery store! That would certainly catch my eye and entice me to check out the product.

According to the Esquire Web site, the electronic ink cover took more than a year to develop. The covers were hand-assembled and then shipped to several different locations for finishing. As I mentioned above, this method of marketing is not yet cost-effective but I think it may be accessible in the future.

This technology mimics the appearance of regular ink on paper but the images change and move as a video would. However, e-paper – the substance that the electronic ink is displayed on – seems to lack strong color reproduction.

Electronic billboards are another technology that is catching on. These flashy items that line highways are certainly intriguing; I know whenever I drive passed one I have to look. The electronic billboards may be dangerous to drivers, but states are passing ordinances regarding safety rules. It seems to me that electronic advertising is the way of the future, and the quality will continue to improve.

http://www.esquire.com/the-side/video/e-ink-cover-video
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electronic_paper