Above the Influence

Above The Influence-The Above The Influence ad campaign is pretty persuasive among most their ads but one stands out to me as really getting the messages across well. 

The commercial shows a girl at a party who goes into the bathroom to throw up, indicting she’s been drinking, but when the camera shows the toilet it shows various pictures, trophy’s, yearbooks, etc. with the catch phrase “you’re not the only thing getting wasted”. 

This concept and the way it’s created and follow through is one of the most persuasive commercials I’ve seen geared towards teens not using.  It shows all the real things that you can lose by starting drinking or getting involved with drugs at such a young age.  This campaign also explains that if you don’t give in to peer pressure, you’re not the only one, which is important for people at such an impressionable age to hear.  I think using teens in the commercials appeals to the target audience more because it makes them feel as if they can relate and puts a clearer image in their head, hey if this person or all these people can have fun without drinking, maybe I can too. 

Ad campaigns like this need to be put out there because all too often parents don’t discuss the repercussions of drugs and alcohol until it’s too late.  Even if the only information teens get is from ads and commercials, it’s better than nothing.

http://youtu.be/HIU2UXUlFyM

K9 Advantix

K9 Advantix-I find this commercial to be persuasive because of its catchiness.  Viewers instantly recognize the ad from the moment the tune starts and I would imagine most sing along like I do.

They put a cute puppy as the center focus and came up with really creative lyrics to a popular tune.  The puppy factor draws attention and the point they are trying to make is thoroughly made through the lyrics.  The lyrics also make you think about what the product really does and states the symptoms relived which for me having a dog, really does make me think. The fact they had it coming from a dog too drives it home.

The ad is perfect for this season so the marketing behind it is very effective.  The ad particularly markets t o family households, most likely with children, and for that market they played the situation out perfectly. Having an ad easily recognized makes people more likely to remember it. Especially when they’re out shopping and see the product for instance, they’re instantly brought back to viewing the commercial, the song starts playing in their head, and I guarantee they smile; that to me is good advertising.

http://youtu.be/alk26XzDYF4

AT&T It Can Wait

AT&T “It Can Wait” don’t text and drive campaign-Although short, I find these commercials to be extremely moving and persuasive in the way they represent the message of the campaign.

They keep it short and to the point but I find it to carry I heavier weight then most commercials with all the extras and length.  The simplicity yet seriousness lay on the repercussions and leave you almost speechless when you really think about what the ad is saying.

The fact is texting and driving does kill and it seems most don’t take it as serious as it should be viewed, by the ad showing how a simple text message just as “yeah” has gotten people killed it really makes you think.  The ad also appeals to audiences of all ages including youth to mothers to just the average person by inserting all these people in and showing the effects texting and driving has had on them or their loved ones it creates a seriousness that some ads lack.

This campaign is a multi-piece ad showing various scenarios where people who lost loved ones or people who were seriously injured in relation to texting and driving show messages that were so simple and non-important texts sent to received that resulted in death or injury.  The messages they use with the simplicity and non-urgency is what really drives the ad home for me.

Crisis Management

The PR effect of Crisis Management discusses various crisis management tools and pairs examples of public relations gone wrong.  This article provides multiple main insight articles that show how crisis management is so important in everyday life.  The first example is the infamous ‘finger in the chili’ public relations nightmare regarding the food chain Wendy’s.  This crisis situation for this example was how dramatically sales dropped after the incident and how Wendy’s picked up the pieces.  Another prime example involves McDonald’s and the lady who claimed to have received a deep fried chicken head mixed in with her chicken nuggets and the steps taken to recover from the public spotlight and thoughts perceived against McDonald’s.  The article provides numerous other examples and breaks down each in an interesting and insightful way.  Along with each example is the damage done and the steps taken to provide crisis management by public relations professionals in aiding the situation.  The article highlights the importance of crisis management for each example and states how public relations played a large part in each.

Using about.com I searched various articles relating to crisis management then refined my search to included specifically public relations, since this is my career path I will be taking.  The main reason I chose this article is because of its excellence is showing how crisis management is so important these days with the changing face of businesses and companies everywhere, especially with the vast growing field of social media and what changes this is making to businesses and word of mouth today.  Business approaches today in efforts to make money are closely correlated with all forms of management for successful operations but the most important in my eyes is crisis management.  Non-operational wise, crisis management is the glue for the face of public relations and is much underrepresented as a facet of communications today.  I agree with this article in the way it highlights this and the extreme examples it chooses to share.  Crisis management is being taught as one of the most up and coming forms of communication management in the public relations world today and its interesting reading this article to see that displayed elsewhere than the classroom.

the new face of night activities

The Lounge is a local business run in Ellensburg, WA by young entrepreneur T.J. McDonald.  The Lounge is a very unique hookah bar that are few and far between in the economy of today where risk is greater.  McDonald opened The Lounge two years ago after jumping through many hoops with the city and county ordinances.  Hookah is form of flavored tobacco that is non-addictive that you smoke using a specific type of instrument with water in the bottom and heated coals on top to burn the sheesa. 

            The Lounge functions with the international dimension in a positive way because tobacco is largely brought in from other countries and other parts of the world.  The Lounge’s main seller item is tobacco which due to the international dimensions of world trade and barter we are able to obtain here in America as well.  With new markets in other countries and the increasingly popular dynamics of country to country trade as well as outsourcing we are exposed and made available things otherwise not imagined, as we in return provide goods and services to other countries that too would otherwise be left without.  Trade is particularly important to the success of The Lounge because they outsource their buying of tobacco to companies that do get their tobacco products directly from trade. 

            The technological dimensions of The Lounge are also important in that the instruments used to smoke hookah are largely new to this decade and didn’t exist just a few short years ago.  Advancements have been made in recent years that are opening up the world to more and more new things.  Other technological advances also play into the use of hookah in the coals that were developed for this use and the simple things of using water, a very common resource, to push smoke up through the hookah instrument.  Coals and the use of fire is also a very common resource but harnessing that into something greater and something so creative and making mini square coals that match perfectly with the smoke the water blows up and creating a flameless burning of the sheesa.  Without the use of such instruments, smoking sheesa would never have existed. 

            Sociocultural dimensions of The Lounge are very unique to the specific type of business this is. While a certain demographic and age group are the primary crowd and audience of The Lounge yet the establishment is not aimed that way and nobody is excluded.  I personally have seen many many types of people and of all ages enjoying the business yet there is always a sort of revolving crowd that is drawn there.  This plays into all factors of the general environment and the vibe the business gives off.  With only selling one product it makes sense a specific crowd would be attracted to the business because they all have that common element in share, sheesa.  Consumers not interested in sheesa or smoking hookah aren’t going to wander into The Lounge because there would be nothing there for them.  Another factor to consider is Ellensburg being a small population town that plays into the demographics and sociocultural as well.  The natural dimension of The Lounge are largely obvious with tobacco being a resource grown in the land and using natural resources to grow tobacco plants, the constant state of keeping up with the news and changing natural state of not only America’s land but countries we do trade with as well is essential.  Natural resources and the state of these resources is largely impact based on the success of The Lounge.  If natural resources don’t allow for tobacco crops to be harvested then The Lounge has no business to run.

PR tactics and the changing face

Tactics and techniques used by professionals in America have also proved to be very successful if performed and utilized correctly.  Surveys, media kits, press releases, social media, interviews, and communication strategies are all great forms of techniques public relation professionals use today.  Surveys conducted through mail, e-mail, phone interviews, or face to face lobbying is one very successful element in gathering information and making business decisions.  Surveys can gauge your market and provide insight for virtually most decisions a business might consider implementing.  Media kits are another great tactic when utilized correctly.  Media kits contain lots of content and provide editors and reporters with a variety of information and resources to make the topic being brought to attention easier to report on.  Media kits most commonly include a main press release, a news feature about the topic, fact sheets on the topic, a backgrounder providing background information on the topic, photos and drawings with captions, a bio on the main person regarding the topic, and basic contact information.  Pitches which are short emails or letters to editors that will grab their attention about a particular event, product, person, etc. is another strong tactic used in modern day public relations.  All these tactics are strategies utilized in both American and international public relations today and are all tactics I am learning to use and plan on utilizing in my career.  While these tactics are all very strong and efficient, one tactic stands out as stronger in my eyes.

Social media is the fastest growing trend in this day and age.  Social media is virtually everywhere and now used for virtually anything.  From connecting with friends to reviewing businesses to advertising, social media is more than a trend.  Social media sites such as facebook.com, twitter.com, linkedin.com, blogspot and many many more are being utilized by both consumers and businesses and are connecting them in ways never thought imagined.  By being able to connect easier with your consumers your options are limitless.  The video “Social Revolution 2012” provides an in-depth look at just how much social media has really grown and the importance it plays in the professional world today.  The internet is truly everywhere and it’s so important for public relations and all businesses to utilize this growing trend. 

Tactics and strategies used today in both international and American public relations are constantly growing and expanding.  Linking the two and learning the fine craft of becoming a successful public relations professional is what my future holds for me.  From classwork, courses, PRSSA, Agency, internships, professional connections, and all my future has in store, I’m excited to become a part of one of the fastest growing industries today.  

The Color Run

From thousands of attendees to less than a hundred, any 5k race is sure to be a popular event.  5k’s are commonly being used to get fit, raise awareness about a topic, raise funds for charities, and overall to bring people together.  5k’s are now viewed as a social activity used to bring people together for one cause, weather a charity, fundraiser, awareness cause, or just to promote a social activity to get people active.

The Color Run is among the top 5k’s across the nation.  Recently hitting Seattle and due soon in Spokane, Portland and Tacoma.  The Color Run is a fun exciting run that requires you wear a white shirt then blasts color paint across you at each kilometer.  The run features giveways and exciting pre and post events.  The run also hits every major city across the nation and some overseas.  

The advertising campaigns are what draws people in and the excitement of participating in a group activity with all your friends in what makes you stay.  

Aside

Advertising conquers

What makes a good commercial?  The ultimate advertising question.  The answer not so simple.  Commercials are the most influential way for brands and companies to reach out to their consumers and speak to the loudest audience at once.  Commercials allow companies to preview what they have to offer in comparison to their competitors and attempt to beat them out for business.

One company stands out as doing just that in their new humorous commercials alongside their company rebrand.  K-Marts new commercials highlight new features about the business and do so in a fun and captivating way.

The first commercials highlights the ‘Ship your pants’ option to ship anything to a store near you or from a store to your home.  The commercial features a play on words shipyourpants said speedy fast to sounds like another similar phrase.

The second commercials features the same humor using ‘big gas savings’ to highlight K-Marts new gas line available at select stores.

Both commercials feature a range of adults, children and everyday consumers taking humor and having fun in the new product launches.

K-Mart, you’re doing it right.

JCP

The new JcPenny, or more commonly known now as JCP, has taken drastic turns in reaching out to its consumers and giving them what they want.  The company recently underwent a complete rebranding after changing through a few CEO’s and trying to find its footing over the past few years.  

In re-inventing JCPenny’s as JCP, the company did thorough research, focus groups, consumer surveys, virtually every technique was utilized.  The result: a new brand image that gives its competitors a run for their money.

The new commercials unveiling the new JCP explain to their consumers and stockholders that they took all the research performed and they listened.  They discuss the changes coming, apologize for past mistakes, and talk about where the new JCP is headed.

Changes feature lower prices, new style, new product lines, a new home sections, virtually an entire revamp.  Clothing is up to date and changing with all the trends, all products compete with equally priced competitors. 

The thing that stands out about this campaign is the way they explained that they really listened to the changes the consumers wanted, and are now implementing them.  

See the commercial here:

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-05-01/j-c-penney-apologizes-in-ad-developed-under-former-ceo.html 

To fail or to not pass…

Ethics play a role in virtually any situation.  Weather your own ethics, those of the company you are representing, codes of ethics, anything. They exist, or they should at least.

By now the Atlanta teacher scandal has made national news and is well known.  For a quick background, 35 educators in a Georgia teaching scandal allegedly changed the scores on their students state standardized tests. They reportedly did this to increase the passing rate of students in their districts (and gain bonuses). Ethical or unethical? 

They claimed to do this to help the image of their school districts and students.  The pressure placed on teachers to have their students pass these ridiculous ‘standardized’ tests is getting crazier and crazier.  In some states if a certain percentage of your students fail, you receive disciplinary action.  Others if a certain percentage pass you receive bonuses and great praise.  So where is the line?  The question always comes into play of what exactly should you be teaching to ensure you actually teach for one, but that you teach the material that will be on these tests.  Teaching has turned into teaching for tests, not teaching for teaching.  Many teachers argue these tests that are supposed to be standardized don’t actually correctly represent what you should know at each grade level you are required to participate in the testing. So how do you draw a line in what you need your students to know to be successful and what they need to know to pass a test that allows you to keep your job?

Of course the answer is never cheating or changing scores on tests for your students, that’s pretty obvious, and other ways to handle this situation could have been implemented.  So now what?  Is this a reality shock to the testing creators to re evaluate their tactics or just a case of teachers wanting to be the best?  Ethics come into play pretty heavily in this situation and I’m sure there will be people on both sides of the ethical/unethical spectrum.  What are your thoughts?

http://www.cnn.com/2013/04/02/justice/georgia-cheating-scandal/