What Goes Around, Comes Around.

It's been awhile since I've posted anything. I admit, I missed blogging regularly, but today I was inspired to continue only by the sheer cleverness of this ad. Check it out.

Well played, Military. Well played.

Social Media, Clever

Well this was, indeed, clever. Check it out, it actually does adequately explain every popular form of social media.

'nuff said. Though it is humorous that someone typed Reddit on there. I got asked why Myspace wasn't on there - and laughed. Didn't you?

Some Thoughts

So my nephew had his first day of middle school today.

I can only recall how horrified I was to enter that pool that teemed with piranha. It was indeed one of the era's in my life that I had hated the most, with children that fought each other like ravenous animals because that is the time in our lives that we learn most of our social skills.

That may have been how I was, but I have also fond memories of it, and certainly wish I was there now back on easy street instead of in college, and an adult.

We all have that wish, deep down. We all want to go back to when things going wrong wasn't our fault and we were oblivious to the happenings of the world.

This post is dedicated to a movie that I watched in High School under the guidance of one of my favorite teachers.

Empire of the Sun is a riveting movie about a young English boy who is trying to survive under the occupation of Japan during World War II.

If you haven't seen it, it's an amazing movie and is definitely worth the 2 and a half hours of your life.

25 - Rory Sutherland

Here's an advertising "guru" worth watching. Now, please forgive me for using a lot of these talks for my posts, but I find them excruciatingly relevant to my life direct and possibly compelling for you guys too.

The TED website says this little blurb about him:
"Rory Sutherland stands at the center of an advertising revolution in brand identities, designing cutting-edge, interactive campaigns that blur the line between ad and entertainment."

How cool is that? He is narrowing the gap between entertainment and advertising - that explains how good commercials feel like a short story now-a-days instead of just "HEY HERE'S WHAT WE WANT TO SELL YOU PLEASE BUY IT YOU NEED IT AWSKKDJAD." You know, that sort of thing. It reminded me of that IKEA commercial I posted up earlier in my blog, which tells you a story, gets you emotionally involved, and then at the end makes you laugh not only at the funny European guy but also yourself for feeling bad for a lamp.

One of my favorite quotes from this video was about the stoplights with countdowns:
“Waiting seven minutes for a train with a countdown clock is less frustrating and irritating than waiting four minutes, knuckle-biting, going ‘When's this train going to arrive?’”

If you haven't seen those, it's on the right of this post, thanks to Wired for the image.

24 - Daniel Pink Points Out the Not-So-Obvious Truth

Watch and stare in awe.

Daniel Pink is indeed pointing out the not-so-obvious. The fact that this research has been done over and over and always come out the same is astonishing, not in the fact that it is true as much as the fact that businesses have yet to truly utilize it. Google was one of Dan's prime examples of utilizing the thoughts in his video, along with a company in Australia that had one day in the year that a person could use their business time to do whatever they wanted as long as it wasn't work.

Alan Avery, a person who commented on the video, said some useful things about ROWE:
"Think of the ROWE environment, where you have a deadline but you are not told when or where to do your work. You are able to do it when and however you like as long as it meets the deadline. With ROWE, you still have to deliver the goods, and you'll still get canned if your work doesn't get done, but you can work whichever hours in whatever location is best for you to complete your tasks. Also, because tasks and deliverables are clearly defined up front, simply showing up and 'looking busy' is no longer an effective means of 'flying under the radar'."

Sounds good, doesn't it? Not only are you allowed your own autonomy, as Dan talks about, but you are also still constrained somewhat and must do your work, but in your own way and whenever you like within the timeline.

Reminds me a lot of the University of Oregon, and taking classes there where you are the one in charge of your own work, but you are also forced to finish at a certain time or be doomed to failure (and I don't mean the good kind of failure that eventually leads to success, I mean stupidity where you've basically wasted your money on a class you didn't care enough about to work on.)

Sorry, that's a bit harsh.

Anyway, if you haven't already checked out Daniel Pink's site, you should go ahead and go do that.

23 - Free Rice? Yes Please!

Check this out.

Seriously, holy crap. I stumbled onto this this morning when I was waiting for class to begin. This is an amazing idea, and if you haven't tried it you should.

I don't have much else to say about it except that I wasn't expecting to run across it, or that it's extremely awesome.

Through the entire time you're taking tests, they're showing you how many grains of rice you're donating, then it goes up in measurement. They even have a blog to check out, and an about page that tells us their goals: 1. Provide education to everyone for free, and 2. Help end world hunger by providing rice to hungry people for free. They're non-profit, and the free rice is provided by the advertisers on the site.

So in giving, you are getting.

I can say that this is a great idea for those of you who are going into charitable groups in advertising, like EnviroMedia which is focused on environmental issues as the name suggests. Not only is there potential in ideas of giving, but as my teacher Deb Morrison says that the ability (and want) to give to others is necessary for the advertising field.

The sad thing about all this is that the totals are going down each year. It's gone from billions to millions instead. So I urge everyone to go there and check it out, and do a bit of learning yourself.

22 - Color is Powerful

When we were in class today (still am as I write this, I'm afraid the idea will escape me) Erica, our guest speaker, chatted about data visualization as a powerful tool. She showed us a lot of videos, and examples of them.

I was really interested, so I created a board of them on my Pinterest.

That's not what this post is about, though.

This post is about the colors used in these infographics and data visualizations. Color, just that, is a powerful and emotional tool for art as well as everything else.

For example, we don't paint a room black if we want to be happy (normally). We paint it yellow, or orange, or some warm color to make to feel like home. So, because color is such a powerful psychological tool, we should learn how to use it and what the actual meanings behind them are.

I promise you, if you learn the effect colors have on your audience, you will create a much more powerful thing than what you could do in just black and white.

Now don't get me wrong, black and white things are powerful as well. If we want to make something look antique and give it that old-school feel, you can make it black and white. Or if you want a blunt idea, make it big, black, white, and clean. Clean means straight lines, grid, things like that. No jumbles or messy colors used, sort of like a resume.

So, if we learn about colors, we can improve impact and even readability of things. Colors are attractive, think about when you're driving down the road and your eyes are drawn to that cherry-red Camaro, or that bumblebee-yellow Mustang...oh, and remember that the police are people too: those cars are more likely to get tickets for being so interesting to the eye, and driving so fast.

21 - We Can All Be A Bro

I suggest you go and check out this website, because I know that it's for "bro's" but 80% of them apply to women as well.

There're a lot of things out there today that are viral on the internet. Think of youtube videos of cats, .gif images of random funny actions, anything like that. There's just so MANY things that it's really hard to stand out now.

Learning to show yourself as a black sheep is something that really will help us in the future.

So Brotips is a great example of individuality on the planet of the internet. Yes, a planet, because the internet has brought the entire world together and has become the most amazingly useful thing out there for research and study...well, all except for Wikipedia.

20 - impossible2Possible

This was a complete accident. Be forewarned that I was completely unaware that I would even see this when I was at the gym running, and when I did I was wholly impressed and almost so excited I couldn't run...Don't worry, I did, for another half hour actually.

Anyways, when I ran across i2P, I was looking up TED talks as is my habit, and instead I found this random Youtube stream with a video of a guy standing next to a lake.

The ad at the beginning is actually interesting, but make sure you watch until after, that's really what I was going to talk about.

So it's an interesting project. Their mission is not only to push youth past what they think they can do and show them that they can do amazing things. This guy, who is talking through the video, is Ray Zahab who founded i2P in 2008. If you go to the website, you see what the mission of his foundation is three things: Educate, Inspire, Empower.

What a great thing to inspire young kids to do something great. He pushes them to go out and run, going across different countries, but at the same time they conference with classes about what they learn, make videos, write, satellite call, all sorts of ways to share what they're learning every time they stop somewhere. I suggest you go look up the website, and check it out.

19 - A Little Bit About Napping

Here's something awesome. Good news for everyone in college.

NAPPING HELPS. Well, we all knew that...but we didn't know HOW MUCH it does.

No, really. I read in a blog on Online College Courses that napping does an array of good for the mind. There are actually 25 reasons they give us why.

Even NASA allows short naps for their pilots, though they also go into many of the cons of napping, like drowsiness afterwards.

One good recommendation is to drink coffee before you take a nap, then take 20 minutes of sleep (how long it takes coffee to kick in) and then you're awake and ready to go as soon as your eyes open.

Perhaps we need to re-think the library at school and add in some beds too? Ones that shake and push you off in a half hour, that'd be pretty funny- er...useful! There are plenty of coffee shops but no-where to just pass out for a half hour before that midterm...at least not for those of us who live off of campus. How does that make sense? Good moneymaking idea there, if you ask me.

Anyways, check out the blog post about nap pros (if you hadn't already found it above), and you tell me. I didn't see many cons to it. You can even check out this WebMD feature about their superhero powers.

Google had a lot to say about the benefits too, and I found NUMEROUS amounts of blogs and articles about napping.

I am seriously considering taking one every other day now, at least. I bet it could cure all the stress that's going to be eating me from the inside out for the next 6 weeks.

18 - Interactivity and What Will Come Next

Pranav Mistry started out trying to create one thing, and ended up instead creating something entirely opposite.
This man is bridging the gap between our computers world, and our physical one. For me, this "Sixth Sense" device has begged many questions.
What will this sixth sense lead to for us?

Well, I was thinking more about it and I came up with a few options, straight up obvious ones. The first, relating to the main interest of everything I write about (media), is how it will make the world more interactive.

I loved his idea of using this device to keep the people who are now consumed by computers tied to the real world. It was something like how the Wii was attempting to keep people physically involved and active instead of sitting in front of a computer doing what I am doing right now: typing essays, video gaming, and browsing the web. Not necessarily in that order.
Now I am not saying there's anything wrong with a bit of inactivity here or there, but there is a problem with what people are truly looking forward to now, which is virtual reality. The whole concept of that is to put on a helmet and be immersed in a world, right? Used by harnessing your movements, and (perhaps) thoughts, to power a machine that puts you into a world that is not yours in a very "Matrix" sort of machine.
Horrifying as the idea of computers getting into our head is, what with the brain being the only private, un-invaded place there is, the idea of this Sixth Sense computer is much less invasive and much more useful.

So, back to the question. What could lead to in the world of advertising?
Well, interactive commercials, ones you could save, magazines you could buy right there and download onto your sense machine to pull up anywhere you pleased. Kind of like an Ipad, but with not-so-good imaging projection. Still creative though. Perhaps there would be a way to actually fix the graphics with the Ipad, perhaps? Well that is another idea for the future. For now, this man is amazing, and I suggest you watch the video if you didn't at the beginning. This could be amazing, much like the creation of the computer itself.

17 - Dove

Well. I'm sure that you all remember Dove's ad campaign about real beauty.

This, in my opinion and probably other's as well, is one of the most successful and compelling advertisements that I, as a young woman myself, have seen up even until today. I had forgotten about it until I was debating on doing an article about supermodels and how fake they are. I didn't want to go just the generic "Supermodels give women bad self esteem" road, however, and instead I retraced my history and found this video once again.

Dove's Campaign for Real Beauty was genius. Whoever had come up with this idea was really listening to women, and the company even said the following:

"The Dove® brand is rooted in listening to women. Based on the findings of a major global study, The Real Truth About Beauty: A Global Report, Dove® launched the Campaign for Real Beauty in 2004. The campaign started a global conversation about the need for a wider definition of beauty after the study proved the hypothesis that the definition of beauty had become limiting and unattainable. Among the study’s findings was the statistic that only 2% of women around the world would describe themselves as beautiful. Since 2004, Dove® has employed various communications vehicles to challenge beauty stereotypes and invite women to join a discussion about beauty. In 2010, Dove® evolved the campaign and launched an unprecedented effort to make beauty a source of confidence, not anxiety, with the Dove® Movement for Self-Esteem."

How brilliant! Inviting the community to join in as well as just watch the videos is one of the smartest things a company can do.

Unfortunately, even they could not convince the female population that they were beautiful enough. Still only 11% of women will use the world "beautiful" comfortably to describe themselves. I think they should go again! Don't you?

16 - Power of Voice

Here's an interesting thing for you to think about.

A tactic that most wealthy companies use is the power of celebrity voices, child voices, and the power of voice in music. We hear it on tv commercials, and now-a-days we've become completely desensitized by it, and don't even seem to notice that the music, and the voices, have such a powerful impact on our view of the advertisement or public service announcement.

Music? That's for another post. For now, I want to focus on voice.

For example, think of World of Warcraft's ad campaign featuring many very popular (at the time) celebrities and icons. There are over 5 different kinds of them.

They're all very entertaining, but the favorite of most of the community has been this one:

All of these commercials get a large amount of attention. Blizzard, the owner of World of Warcraft and a thousand other games, is brilliant in it's work creating commercials. To be honest, they've actually inspired me, and were the ones who did so in the first place, to continue into the advertising field. Their wit, and ability to target the correct audience is astounding.

Many of us remember the Chuck Norris fad, where everyone thought up certain jokes about the man being completely immortal. For instance, "When Chuck Norris does push-ups, he's not pushing himself up, he's pushing the world down." Blizzard caught onto this phase, and went ahead and created another commercial for their game:

Venatus Media has done many of Blizz's campaigns and has been very successful in them, but I haven't been able to find out if they're the creators of the commercials.

Funny thing is, in their attempts to attract more female gamers, they created this commercial:

Now Blizzard has an even more powerful tool for this game. WoW is completely anonymous unless you are added to someones friends list under your email, where you can contact the person on other games of theirs like Starcraft III. So, the questions behind what celebrities may play this game is a large thing, because you have to think that perhaps one of the many people who were in the commercials plays. But where?

The mystery is half the fun.

15 - Principles of Effective Advertising

Here's something interesting I ran across when I was browsing the web. As the title says, it has some good principles for good advertising, and it helps with advertising campaigns as well. Spoon Fed Design came up with 10 of these principles, giving us advertisement examples right along side the words themselves.

My favorite image, shown on the right, is an advertisement for Cingular that is surprisingly original. Who would have thought to SHOW the calls being dropped from the sentence, rather than just place an ad that said it in that loud orange color that is their trademark? Matt, a writer for the website, said that

"This is an excellent ad that will make almost anyone look at it. You’d think having a huge ad would be an advantage, but some companies don’t use size like this ad does."

Some of the principles on their post that I found the most compelling were 3 and 4. Why? Well think about them..

3. Speak Loudly
The louder you talk, the more people hear you, right? Well, the same concept applies to advertising. You want your ad to say something, and you want it to be heard. A “loud” advertisement isn’t just a big one, though. It can be achieved in many ways.

Duh. We definitely want the ad to stand out, we want it to yell out louder than the crowd of advertisements before/after or around it. So we have to be new, fresh, something people haven't seen before. That's not always true, though, there are ways to repeat ideas, just make them your own.

4. Don’t Make Them Think (Too Much)
One of the common guidelines, especially in web design, is not to make people think. You need to get the message across in a clever way, but it shouldn’t make people think too much. A person should know what the ad is saying as soon as they look at it.

People hate to think, so this makes sense. You have to make it short, sweet, and comprehend-able. This is hard to do in today's society, we can't just throw up an ad and hope people find it interesting enough to be "worthy of attention," we really have to dig in our heels and give the community something that doesn't speak at them, but speaks to them.

14 - TED and Innovation

TED talks are some of my favorite things, and I will say that time and time again in honor of the ideas, and the brilliant presenters who are honored to be there as much as anyone else would be. It’s amazing what you learn from listening to these minds, and what’s in them. I often do so while I’m at the gym, working off calories in my body, but gaining weight in my mind.

Start at 1:25 in the video:

Jeremy Gutsche, (besides being completely awesome,) is the founder of Trendhunter.com and the writer of Exploiting Chaos, and if you haven’t been to that website go now. NOW. Seriously guys, this man is not only brilliant, but as you watched he’s also funny and keeps your attention about this subject for more than 20 minutes…it has to be a record or something! He lives his ideals.

Hey…He’d be a great teacher!

Anyways, he came up with some interesting ideas that I’d love to point out if you missed them.
The first, is that you have to be completely crazy with your ideas. He said to be outrageous, be out there, and promote with not shock factor but excitement. Makes sense, doesn’t it? And the other points he made...fwew, steamy! Conforming ideas to the current economy, and that sort of thing? Who woulda thought? My friends, this is a brilliant idea that no one really listens to when said over and over. They should teach it in our advertising classes if they don’t already.

You can be new, but make it new for the situation. Remember the Fortune Magazine example when you’re inventing new ideas.

Do yourself a favor and spend 30 minutes of your life (all 39,420,000 minutes you have) listening to this man tell you how you can be successful. Feed your brain, people, be a nerd and consume all ideas you can and then make your own!


13 - Av0iding the B1g Digit5

Tennessee's Whitwell Middle School did a project on collecting a paperclip for every person who died in the holocaust in order to get the students to really comprehend the number. What a wonderful idea, despite the subject, to do to get the point across, and such a good example to kick off my newest advice.

People do not do well in comprehending large numbers. It’s hard for us to understand how many stars there are in the universe much less space as a whole, or how many pieces of paper it would take to reach the moon, which is over 1,000,000,000. Do you REALLY Understand the amount of paper? Probably not, you’d need to physically see it to understand how many trees would die for that experiment if it were possible.
So, my idea is that people should AVOID large numbers. Luckily for the United States, we don’t really understand the deficit we’re in, except that it’s a very large number which is impossible to fix in the next 10 years. Ehd.org gives you a few good comprehending tools with dollar bills.

Here are some tips to avoiding, or showing, large numbers:
1. Use percents.
2. Compare - Compare big stuff by small stuff.
3. Be visual. - Use pictures instead of type, figure out a way to show it. Ever seen those planet images that compare the size of the Earth to the biggest of stars like Betelgeuse?
4. Avoid them altogether. - Come up with something else.

12 - Exercise for Your Ideas

A website I came across came up with a list of things to do to exercise your mind and get out new ideas. Sure, they misspelled "dig," but that's alright. Check it out, and maybe read some of them, I've found them helpful for the last few things I've had to write. I used these 15 things to help me write my last few blog posts, and you should definitely click here, and go check them out yourself.

The quote at the beginning was very inspiring:
"Creativity is not a special skill, ability or privilege of a few people, but instead is the result of careful and structural thinking."

I loved number one, "Like the body, the mind needs exercise. One way to exercise your mind is to study the ideas and projects of smart people. For example, biographies of successful people are an excellent source of inspiration. Also reading magazines that are considered serious, such as Forbes, Business Week and The Economist, web sites like "Pick the Brain", “Digg” and "Self Growth" is "food for the brain." Reading other ideas, makes it easier to digg your ideas and bring them on the surface." I definitely will start reading more biographies and blogs of people who do that daily. I like Brain Pickings personally.

11 - Mandalas and Ideas

I was browsing StumbleUpon on my phone on the way to class yesterday, and I came across something rather remarkable in my browsing of the topic "ideas."

Wage Slave Rebel has since become one of my favorite non-blogs (websites that don't call themselves "blogs" but seem to function that way anyway) since I started reading some of the content. This particular story, Idea Idolatry is the very one that introduced me to the site.

Tibetan monks are some of the most patient people who live. If you don’t believe me, take a look at the above image and read the blog I am inspired to write this by, and you’ll understand just how big that Mandala is, and the fact that it is made of sand. SAND. How crazy is that? These Sand Mandalas are extremely intricate, and more than 2 feet in circumference. I've been told it's also done with no adhesives of any kind, no glue or water, nothing.
On the right there's an example of a three-dimensional mandala, Borobodur.

The almost horrifying part is that these mandalas are made to be destroyed. Once the Monks finish, they're swept up and taken away.

With that fact, you might easily have gotten the link between ideas and mandalas already, which is that we need to be able to let go of them and move on, or we'll never get anywhere. Even if you absolutely love the idea, or the mandala, they are fleeting and must be allowed to go. Personally I must say that when I have a great idea that others think is bad, I just write it down and THEN I keep going. Maybe later on someone else will like it.

But anyway...

Below is a time lapse of what it takes to do one of these very very detailed sand creations. At the end is the "ceremonial destruction" of the piece, signifying the "transitory nature of material life" or how nothing in life is permanent.

10 - Evolving in the Gender Box

Media is not just the advertising, which everyone knows. It also involves anything, ANYTHING, we consume. Even food is media, because we can associate it to the television commercials which it's on, the businesses it comes from, etc. So, when we talk about the mistakes of media, we can also talk about what they air, and how it effects people.

A friend of mine that I have added on Facebook brought this article on CNN to the attention of her friends and family members by posting it up, and also me. Now, don't get me wrong, I have watched this show before and I have seen what all of the hubbub does to young girls, and I don't at all like it. It causes not only grief and stress on the young girls, but also makes them believe that they have to be girly, or they have to look older, or that they have to be something other than a child.

So what am I getting at? Well the question today is "what is media doing to our children?" And remember, I'm not here to answer the question, only show you what I've seen and tell you what I think. You need to draw your own conclusions.

I've seen other commercials and advertisements about gendered media, and how it effects the growth and the thought processes of boys and girls.
There are studies which, (yes I took time to read them) talk about the reactions and the gendering of commercials and advertising here. This is all just part of the normal flow of things, the targeting that needs to be done in adverts now-a-days due to the large media overload going on everywhere. Not everyone lives out where they don't always see billboards or TV commercials, or people who stand on the side of the road with sales signs for pizza joints.

In class, we discussed the evolution of advertising, and how Doyle Dane Bernbach, an advertiser, produced one of the first successful commercials involving more intrigue than yelling at the consumer to buy the product:

Advertisements started to make sense around the 60's, and DDB (the company founded by Bernbach, named after him) has been doing VW commercials since, this next one is an example of a new one:

Now, you may see how the advertisement IS NOT focused on any gender, because they didn't want it to be; it needed to be focused on everyone because "Volkswagon" is a "wagon" for the "people." So...what about this whole media gendering thing?

A blog site I came across Media Awareness, said this in their post called "Media and Girls":

"The 1996 study "Images of Female Children in TV Commercials" found that in the United States, Saturday morning cartoons alone come with 33 commercials per hour. Commercials aimed at kids spend 55 per cent of their time showing boys building, fixing toys, or fighting. They show girls, on the other hand, spending 77 per cent of their time laughing, talking, or observing others. And while boys in commercials are shown out of the house 85 per cent of the time, more than half of the commercials featuring girls place them in the home."

A bit shocking, isn't it? Well, no not really. This is not an attack on the way people advertise, on the contrary it's absolutely brilliant. It doesn't count in minorities like tom-girls or boys that might like the color pink.

Yep, that definitely was a ton of fun, and it was started by Media, though I can't recall if it was from the Bread Cancer Awareness or whether it was all Hot Topic's fault.

Think of it this way - If advertising didn't give us a gender separation, or target specific groups of people (usually the largest of the subject), where would they advertise and who would they reach to sell products to? No one. Advertising, interestingly enough, needs to be very specific in many many different ways, even in gender, and so does Media itself.

Also, on a more psychological note, where would we get any individuality if we didn't have those conceptions about what people should be?

9 - Warning: (Almost) Purely Opinionated Stuff Ahead

Okay so this post is mostly my opinion, because I saw this commercial for the release of Borderlands 2 about three weeks ago, and almost had a small seizure from my excitement. It’s hard to be passionate about anything related at all to school, but this advertisement certainly got me pumped and psyched at the same time.

If there was one thing you had to know about me that I didn't need to tell you if you hung out with me only once, it would be that I am a GIANT Nerd. The name of my blog is the proof of that, and so is this post.

I seriously am so excited for Borderlands 2 that I can't wait. I was in need of an outlet so I will write about their very awesome trailer on this post.

The music is perfect. The sequencing is something you get even if you didn't play the first one. Video game advertisements have always been my favorites - not just because I love video games, but because they're so creative it's never horrible.

8 - Oolal- Oh, It's Just Carl's

Here's my object of interest today:

Carl's Jr. continues to amaze me with its obvious targeting of men, but also the underlying attempts at the female gender as well, but there is more to this commercial than just the obvious 'backseat sex scene' attempt, as David Woods put it on Twirlit.

As a woman, who would obviously look funny at this commercial (if not in distaste, since I have a young nephew of my own which I wonder about all the time.) So, my emotions about the commercials that Carl's likes to put out are mixed up in a heap.

The first point I'd like to make is that this is a commercial that actually targets women, not just men, in a large percentage. I feel like Carl's Jr. just adores putting women out, that is, making them look jealous of the target women on the commercials whenever the 'normal girlfriend' shows up. You can see that they do this in this video towards the end, where the girl in the car with the man pushes his chin back to the movie instead of the sexy woman in the car next to them who's more-or-less making out with a burger.

Second, they actually use the jealousy factor to (this may sound like a paranoid delusion) convince young and middle-aged women that this burger won't affect their physique, and it might actually make it better. Does that sound familiar? Yep, cigarette commercials did that too until it was outlawed, as we all know, and one of the most circulated commercials was from Camel:

Now this commercial also uses beautiful women and glamour to get the attention of other women and men. For men it may be "You can have this woman if you can look good by smoking Camel," or for women who may have thought "Gee I might look like that woman if I smoke that cigarette." Those thoughts are all old, however, and over-used. What about the evolution from then and to now? Then it was those, and not it's "Man that woman is hot...oh look a burger," and women "Woah, she looks that good and eats that burger still?" Commercials have evolved to fit the human educational level, or intelligence level. Since the 1960's a lot more people have also started attending college.

So it's really not that surprising how much commercials have evolved since television was invented. We know that the quality has gotten better, probably due to education, as well as the audience has gotten smarter. We needed smarter commercials, sneakier ones, to get to the newly media-immune minds of the 21st century. Subliminal is the new blunt for our day and age, and that's another reason why all of the classes about media teach you media literacy.

7 - IKEA and Personification in Advertising

The beginning of my interest in IKEA's advertising direction was back when the commercial I most loved came out:

I don't know why it was not only funny but also a bit of a bash on other commercials which personify "things" in our everyday life. This one didn't even have the lamp talk, it only played depressing music and put it out in the rain. How creative is that? It tugs on the heartstrings of people with little effort. Then here comes the guy at the end, calling you crazy. Makes sense.
I came across a website that posted up about 30 Creative Personification Ads in Advertising. These weren't videos, to my disappoitment, but they did turn out to be really entertaining and very valid to the point of personification.

Later on, I was lucky enough to discover yet another website, this time a blog, that shows exactly what I am talking about: Personification in Advertising.
There are a lot of familiar "faces" if you will which we see in commercials all the time.

There's Scrubbin' Bubbles, The Michelin Man, Mrs. Butterworth, and the Downy Bear "Snuggles" who I personally loved as a child, along with thousands (literally) of others. What about the Chevron commercials about cars who talked? I can't help but wonder if those cute little guys were the inspiration to "Cars" the movie?
Seriously, if you want to see the list of all the famous advertising icons, and how many of them are personified objects, go look at the Wiki.

Here's a picture of Snuggles, just cause he's adorable:

6 - Kiss and Change the World

Ever since photography was invented, there have been things taken photographs of which have changed moods for people throughout the world. Pictures have increased the emotions of some, have inspired others, and have motivated many to continue or start doing what they have always wanted to do.

I wanted to point out my favorite picture, one of a Sailor and a Nurse kissing in Times Square in the WWII era. I found it again on a blog I often read called Shooting Annabelle Lee and she pointed out that there was even a statue commemorating this photo in Sarasota, FL.

The sheer passion and happiness this picture emits is amazing. I once took a class which said that when a picture is reproduced too often, it changes the viewers feelings about it and dulls the sense that it gave originally of awe or whatever emotion it had upon first glance. I've known this picture since I could see, and it is a prime example of how just a photograph can say more than a thousand words, and continue saying them throughout time.

This also leads me to how people in the creative industry can change the world - there are so many ways, and that includes photographs, to hook your audience and claim their trust; you just have to work hard at it, and find out what people need.

5 - TNT's Advertising has really "Lit the Fuse" With This One

The definition of TNT's advertising team in a dictionary somewhere should be "so awesome, it's ridiculous." If their whole commercial-bogged channel had only commercials created by their team, I think I might actually watch it more.
My opinion might of course be biased mostly due to this video really bringing forth the teenager in me with all of its excitement and even the humor it had in it.
I could watch this a few hundred times and not be bored of it - it's a prime example of what people my age love to see on TV. By that, I mean it has everything from Humor to Drama, to Violence to Surprise. When I saw it on Tosh.0's blog, I just had to share it on mine.
This amazingly choreographed advertisement has managed to almost persuade even me to watch the tv channel that, as I hinted at in the beginning, can only be correctly defined time-wise as "more commercials than actual substance."

4 - Be Creative "Within The Box"

Now, I know promised you all that I would go over some of the old commercials from way-back-when, but I honestly wasn't feeling it this week. Instead, something else much more interesting came up, and yes, the title is weird but it WILL make sense soon.

I was talking about the bad advertising out there, but I never really gave the creators any credit for their attempts at it, or the demands of their clients which OBVIOUSLY hindered their creative ability. That seems to be a sudden death in all of this field of media, the not being creative within the box sort of thing, but I want to first commend their attempts, and point out that their funding with local businesses is usually very low against how much country-wide commercials cost to make. Country-wide commercials cost somewhere around $3500-$5000 (for production) according to MausMediaGroup on Wordpress, whereas the local ones are $750-$1000. Keep in mind that this obviously excludes the amount of money you pay for popular actors, or icons.
Anyways, my whole plan that I set up this weekend is botched visually, because unfortunately I was irresponsible enough not to FIND the topic commercial online before I started to write.

While I can't bring up the commercial itself, I can ask you to go search "Kiefer Kia Princess" in your Google search, Facebook, or even on Youtube, and look at some of the audition videos for this terrible commercial trend which has been going around. There'll also be a contest link where you'll see how they even went all out on it, creating a contest to get a princess to show on TV. It all seems a bit excessive.

Now, if it was a kids commercial or a commercial for people who looooved fantasy, it might have worked better for them. People buy the cars anyway, I'm sure, despite their cheesy princess, but I think that perhaps the commercials would have done better if they were actually targeted at something.

There is a good idea behind the commercials, though. They do a good job including the community, and getting them to pay more attention to the one company, all things considered that aspect of it is brilliant.
Targeting a specific audience is something that you should do, and definitely your advertising company should at least be trained in it even if the chances that the training is good are very slim. University of Oregon students who have ever taken a class with Prof. Deb Morrison know this is a fact, and so does anyone who has ever seen a commercial that made no sense at all.

So what did I mean by my title, then?

"The box" is my reference to the confines and limitations of your budget for the commercials or advertisements you make. If you think outside your hypothetical box, you're going to spend too much on the commercial and end up negative, right? So yeah, stay in the box because those who think INSIDE the box and can STILL be creative are those people who are certain to succeed!

3 - Acronyms in Advertising

There are many commercials out there, a lot of them are useless and most of them are just irritating and easily forgettable. Many use antics to get attention that no one really wanted to see, like the Quiznos™ commercial with what resembled dead hamsters playing the banjo or the guitar. I would check in to make sure what kind of instrument it was, had I any desire to ever see those little devils again…The only thing successful about that commercial was the fact that the image is now stuck in my head, with reverence to Quiznos™ of course.

A small percentage of ads, on the contrary, are either hilarious or they actually catch your attention with something that doesn’t annoy you. An example would be the annual Superbowl commercials that a good portion of viewers sit around watching the game just to see. Who cares about the game when you have what might be called “micro-movies” in between goals?

There is something else happening in Advertising today that most people probably notice and have mixed feelings over. An example of the evolution of the English language itself can be found from media today, especially written but not just that! Perhaps about a year ago, Cingular™ came out with a commercial that I am sure we all remember. If not, here it is:

Now hopefully, despite that being utterly hilarious and the fact that it easily catches your attention, you are still on board with me right now.
This commercial is my favorite example of where is the English language is taking us today.

In the 1700’s it was proper, beautiful, and now all we would see of the worlds “ye, thee, and thou” would be antiquity. In this commercial Cingular™ uses acronyms to make a comical approach to their new phone which people who said those words would probably never understand. It’s used in relating to the young people of our age whose parents either don’t allow them to have a cell phone, or perhaps Cingular™ (as usual) is promoting something new to "save families money" when it's all really just incentive for people to sign up for more cell service since there's a big problem with children texting. Now-a-days we know that most phone companies actually offer unlimited texting, while not allowing unlimited calling.

That is noticeably the point of most advertising directly towards children. It’s sneaky and underhanded, but that’s just how it goes. Using the “lingo” began as a shock factor, saying “we’re ready to use your words to get you to buy our product.” How creative is that? It’s almost as awesome as the revolution of advertising in the 60’s, which is a story for the next time!

Also, just for fun, check out the follow-up commercial too, if you haven't seen it:

2 - Entertainment "Ads" to Advertisement

Where do we draw the line, then, through advertising and entertainment? Well, the whole point is to blur that line when we go into the advertising field: we need to give people reasons to read or even just glance at our images in a world full of others.
So how do we make our advertising stand out from other agencies?

The above image is a prime example of using the world around you to get to what you want. This agency, group, or whatever it was that created this humorous poster was obviously aware of their audience, not only in the age area or the gender area, but also in the actual geographical location.

Humor is a great tool for advertising as well. We can use it not only to get attention in commercials that move, but also in posters and magazine listings. The best part of it is that everyone loves a good laugh; chances are if someone laughs at a commercial, you have something they'll remember for a long time.

Take for instance the commercials for the Super Bowl. There are people who solely watch the game because they wish to see the in-between where the commercials themselves reside, ones that cost over a million dollars often-times to play during the Superbowl once. Some places play them repeatedly because they want to get the uses out of them before they drop it on youtube, where it will slowly die away with the never-ending flux of ideas and creativity from the people around.

To put it all simply, as my friend Jarrett said, this ad gives us the feeling of "Wow, that's a beer I'd have a beer with."

Here's an example of a Superbowl commercial that aired only once:

1 - A Nerdy Thought to Explain Another

I wanted to start out explaining the name of my website, since it is not only against the norm, but it is also somewhat quirky and may be seen unprofessionally.

So let me start out by saying that “Nerdy Thoughts” sounds like Dirty Thoughts. IF it doesn't, then this is a partial example of how my brain ticks.

Why should it sound that way? Well, let me explain. Nerdy Thoughts, or ideas, are not always socially acceptable; they’re not always something you should write down somewhere without actually thinking about them in a professional and careful viewpoint. We should think about the things we puke onto the idea book all of the sudden more before we give those ideas to the world…or even worse, our boss.

That is why the name of my website sounds like dirty thoughts. They started out sketchy or rigid, not ready for the world; they were just getting started.

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