Daina’s Blog

…the thoughts of a modern day marketing student

I *heart* Amazon.com December 20, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — dkazmaier @ 4:42 am
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I’ll admit that when I get bored, I tend to procrastinate… a lot. There’s just so many hours inamazon a day one can spend on Facebook, so one of the other sites I turn to is Amazon.com. I absolutely love to read, and this site offers literally any piece of literature you can think of. Many of the books have online excerpts available for browsing, and this is a great way to pass the time while actually becoming smarter (depending on what one reads, of course).

This is more of a tribute post, I suppose, as I’m in ‘love’ with Amazon.com. After analyzing several Web sites for content and design for class, I have to say that this one passed all of the ‘tests’ with flying colors.

I chose to explore this site because it integrates many forms of marketing without being overwhelming. The site design is excellent, and products are easy to search for. Links are listed on the left and a prominent search bar is displayed across the top of the site. I also like the recommendations that are personalized according to what one purchases. Very clever!

Among the many books I’ve purchased through this site, I’ll admit I’ve also bought other items such as shoes and food – imagine buying food at Amazon.com! This Web site is literally a one stop shopping Mecca and it’s amazing. As a marketing professional, I have to say that Amazon.com is an all-inclusive site that appeals to all demographic segments. If you need to buy something, you’re more than likely to find it there. 

 

There’s a Rainbow of Choice Out There December 17, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — dkazmaier @ 8:37 pm
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Nowadays, graphic design and Web design go hand-in-hand; you would be102706_fallcolors2 hard pressed to find a print designer who has not at least dabbled in Internet workings. With so many color choices out there, how do you determine which will work best for your product? In my opinion, the colors chosen should reflect what is being promoted; if you’re selling a Gibson to grungy rockers, go for the dark red and black scheme with a metal edge. If you’re selling wheatgrass seeds to raw foodies, go green! Colors can certainly help promote a product and give a Web site the feel you want.

Did you know that the color orange tends to cheapen things? According to an article on Cyberindian.com, “Importance of Color in Web Design”, orange “tends to make more expensive products seem affordable and suitable for everyone, almost like a natural sales pitch” (Wilder n.d.) Think about all of the orange logos out there – one in particular, Home Depot, stands out – and I associate this company with good deals. Coincidence? I think not.

How about blue… this color, one of the most popular out there, supposedly increases trust. “Blue represents calm, stability, hope, wisdom and generosity. People inherently trust blue websites faster. Add blue text and people will retain more information from your site. Combine blue, purple and white and you have nobility” (Wilder n.d.). Red raises the heart rate; yellow is spiritual but tends to make babies cry and adults angry. So – where to start?

Think about your product and whom you are targeting. Colors can become associated with brands very easily… Barbie equals pink, McDonalds equals gold(en arches), Target equals red and white. Do you want your product to appear rich and elite or affordable for everyone? There are so many directions to consider it can almost be overwhelming. According to our week 8 lesson in class, Web sites are a “visual medium, and the ways in which words and images work together can greatly affect the messages being presented as well as the experience of the visitor” (Ramos 2008). Use a trial and error method to test many different color combinations in order to find what works best for your product, for you, and for your target audience.

Wilder, W.L. (n.d.). “Importance of Color in Web Design”. http://www.cyberindian.com/web-designing/importance-of-color-in-web-design.php

 

 

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

 

Films as art… films as marketing tools December 2, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — dkazmaier @ 6:00 pm
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There are short films out there that walk a fine line between being pure art and pure promotion; I’ve beenkidmansifting through a handful of the films from our weekly school discussion board and some of them inspire but others are rather futile. The film I chose to decipher, that of Chanel No5 and Nicole Kidman, was a rather artsy piece that was filled with beautiful flowing images and emotional highs. Kidman is the link that ties passion with the fragrance, and the short film is selling the product with subliminal messages.

Short films may be a strong outlet for small businesses with lower budgets, as these pictures can be broadcasted for free on Web sites such as YouTube and MySpace. All that is needed is a camera, basic editing tools and a creative imagination. A friend of mine was recently talking about putting together a commercial for his company by using random clips from the Internet that correspond with the business. Great idea – cost effective, limitless opportunities – the only thing one has to worry about is copyright issues if using others material.

My company is phasing into using TV as a promotional outlet; we are planning on filming interviews and how-to segments that will entice our audience to pick up the paper more often. Advertisers have already jumped on the bandwagon and are interested in sponsoring banner ads on the company Web site. How would short films fit into this idea? Perhaps we can film a day at the dock or a trip out on the water and include advertising messages throughout. There are definitely opportunities to get creative with filming in the fishing industry.

So – going back to using short films as an art form versus advertising – I think that the most successful piece will be an equal combination of both. Even feature length films include marketing tactics, whether it is that can of Coke in the background to the mention of a designer brand name – advertising messages surround us all, sometimes without us even realizing it! If you think about it, virtually everything out there contains some sort of advertisement that is ingrained into our brains day in and day out. More to come on that thought in the next post…

Oh, and while you’re at it, check out this gem of a short film that I came across: Jim Morrison: College Dork. (I’m sure that wasn’t the original name of the film). Yes, it features the Lizard King himself in a promotional piece for Florida State University as a student who gets turned down by the school due to lack of space and funding. Heart wrenching, no? 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yTO4FHf8MBs

http://www.spike.com/video/jim-morrison-college/2665896

 

Music makes the world go ‘round

Filed under: Uncategorized — dkazmaier @ 4:10 am
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musicMobile marketing is one of the best ways to promote new music, as it is affordable, accessible and modern. There are factors that marketing professionals do have to face when it comes to this style of promotion, as music fans can be finicky once in a while. “The most pressing question facing mobile carriers, music labels and music service providers is how consumer behavior will evolve as mobile music transitions from a phase dominated by early-adopter, active music fans to one more influenced by mainstream, casual music fans” (Gauntt 2006).  Marketing professionals will have to delve deeper into the world of music to understand what makes the audience tick. Since music is an art form, it needs to be addressed as so – people are sensitive when it comes to their favorite sounds and the marketing campaigns should mirror these feelings.

The different mobile devices available also allow for a wide range of marketing techniques – sending out downloads via text message is a great way to get new sounds out to a plethora of consumers. Having a personalized ring tone is a ‘must’ for the modern generations, and if these tones are pieces of new songs from popular artists, a great promotion happens. Apple is more often than not on top of things in the marketing world, and the mobile scene is no different. The iPhone is able to handle sophisticated applications – music included. “Internet radio pioneer Pandora released an app that works seamlessly on the smartphone. Founder Tim Westergren attests that it ‘has doubled our new registered listener growth’” (Gauntt 2006). Rock and roll.

There are so many things that can be done through a cellular phone – from broadcasting live TV to sending virtually anything through a text message. Speaking of TV – see my previous blog – record labels could purchase their own channels to promote new music videos from their artists. Cellular users would be able to subscribe to specific channels geared toward the genre of music they enjoy, and new artists will be promoted this way. The possibilities are endless…

Gauntt, John. iMediaConnection.com. (2006). “Marketing Mobile Music”. Referenced December 1, 2008. http://www.imediaconnection.com/content/9747.asp

Weinstein, Jerry. Huffington Post. (2008). “Apple iPhone Ignites Mobile Marketing with Music, Gaming and Virtual World Apps”. Referenced December 1, 2008. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jerry-weinstein/apple-iphone-ignites-mobi_b_114479.html

http://www.mobilemarketingwatch.com/category/mobile-music/ Referenced December 1, 2008.