Advertising has the power to sway society, whether it be consciously or unconsciously. Advertisements have been an essential part of our lives, from the moment we wake up and turn on the morning news, or drive to work past all those billboards. It has gotten to the point where we don’t even realize how many ad’s are pushed up against our windshields or plastered against walls, it’s just part of our daily lives.
The documentary, Persuaders demonstrates how the advertising world looks at the public and how it constantly struggles to get their word out into the world. They call it the “clutter crisis.” The documentary, refers to consumers as roaches; there comes a point where you spray them and spray them [with ads] and eventually it doesn’t affect them anymore. Advertisers segment individuals, analyze, and then group them into target markets and demographics. Throughout time, we’ve grown to not only like certain brands, but also love them and trust them. As states in the documentary, we ourselves have been branded with a love mark for specific brands. I myself have a special bonds with brands such as Coca Cola, Apple, and Calvin Klein. I feel that the way that these brands are advertised relate closely to me as an individual. Take a moment and think about your favorite brand of soda, coffee shop, car, or even toothpaste. Do you have a relationship or loyalty for brands? I know I do.
Companies are constantly looking for new and innovative ways to capture our attention. But they aren’t always successful. Sometimes ads fail and have negative results. Just like the following Cheerios commercial, this ad was intended to pull at the heart strings, just like the example in the video. However there was an outburst because of the interracial family depicted. Cheerios responded with the following comment: “Consumers have responded positively to our new Cheerios ad. At Cheerios, we know there are many kinds of families and we celebrate them all,” Camille Gibson, Cheerios vice president of marketing (huffington post.) Now a days I feel that eco-friendly, charitable, honest companies have more power in society. When these companies share their good nature with the power of the internet, companies are anything but limited. As stated in the article, Flawsome: Why Brands That Behave More Humanely, Including Showing Their Flaws, Will Be Awesome, “FLAWSOME is ultimately about having a mindset that consumers can relate to. A mindset that is open, honest, trusted and possibly even respected.”
This week it’s all about Shakespeare in JMC 302. This week we read “Shakespeare and the American People” by Lawrence Levine and watched “Shakespeare in Love.” This week’s discussion revolves around Lawrence Levine’s statement “the product of unremitting interaction between the past and present” (pg. 171). By Levine’s interpretation of American culture and the way we make practice of it I strongly believe that there are constant interactions between the past and present. Now-a-days I believe that the foundation of what we watch, movies, TV shows, even music videos have much of same building blocks that Shakespeare used years ago. It is clear that our culture is constantly changing from components of the past.
If you take a step back and look at “the movie of year” (seems like every movie is the movie of the year) they all have a very similar story lines. Seems like most films still take to the past and simply adapt them to the present day. How many times have you gone to the movie theaters, especially when a scary movie comes out, and could anticipate almost to the precise second when something bad was going to happen? I can. And for some reason it still works and I jump out of my seat.
In the late 18th and 19th century, Shakespeare became known to the public in America, and he very quickly became popular to the general public. As Levine states “These gradual and decisive changes in language, style, and taste are important but by themselves do not constitute a totally satisfying explanation for the diminished popularity of Shakespeare” (pg. 181). The fact is that most forms of entertainment follow this same story line, this may not be directly related to this type of Shakespearian story plot, but it still works and there’s usually a hero, villain, and an attractive damsel in distress. Take “Shakespeare in Love” for example. Yes there were some new twists to this story but there was a hero, villain, and an attractive damsel in distress involved in plot.
This unremitting interaction between the past and present could be applied to a variety of things. Think about out modern day fashion,cars, music, and even hair styles. We as a society yearn for this type of unremitting interaction between the past and present and its not only limited to story lines. As stated by Levine, “as important as changes in language were, they did not prevent the development of radio as a central environment medium at the beginning of the 1920s or the emergence of talking movies at the end of that decade (pg. 181). This quote really hones in on how people were looking for a predictable fairytale ending and an avenue to entertainment that they could relate to. We have simply taken things from our past and altered them for our use in the present.
I really enjoy watching documentaries about controversies, politics, and history. Needless to say that I found this week’s material super interesting. This week I definitely enjoyed watching, “We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks.” This documentary detailed the creation of Julian Assange’s controversial website, which facilitated the largest security breach in U.S. history.
Julian Assange did something that many people would be afraid to do, this in turn gave him a wide audience. Julian started off as a man with a great cause but as the time went by the true purpose of the cause got blurred. With his wide audience Assange made his publicity about himself instead of the cause.
While I was watching this documentary I couldn’t help but notice how WikiLeaks seemed to have gotten word wide press and coverage everywhere in the world but here. I felt that back in 2010 I heard murmurs of WikiLeaks but it never got as much coverage here as it should have. I can’t believe how easily I missed out on global news, I had no idea that this was happening and it was happing in our own back yard.
The WiKiLeaks controversy is centered around a video that displayed how military men in a helicopter were killing innocent men and children by assuming that they were holding a weapon. This so called weapon actually turned out to be simple camera equipment. It was awful to see how mindlessly people could kill and how easily they could forget that value of a person’s life. American tax money at work.
Out of this whole documentary the thing that stood out to me the most was how the people involved knew that this “secret” information was detrimental. As Michael Hayden, stated “…when I was director of CIA there was some stuff we were doing I wanted all 300 million Americans to know. But I never figured out a way without informing a whole bunch of other people that didn’t have a right to that information who may actually use that image, or that fact or that data or that message, to harm my country.” It seems to me like we’re spending more time hiding what we’ve done that preventing others from doing harm to us.
This week our course focused on social media and it’s relation to our generation. In the video, “Generation Like” Douglas Rushkoff explains how social media has developed into a superficial oasis of sorts where individuals, particularly teenagers and young adults, are able to express themselves and show the world how they want to be seen. I was able to learn so much from this video, looking back at my Facebook I am able to see all the things I “liked” and gave free marketing to. It’s amazing to realize just how much social media is actually embedded into our daily lives. The true power of a “like” has definitely been undermined, this “like” culture that has been created has now become the gateway to acceptance and ultimately success in today’s world.
In this week’s reading “The Human Psychology Behind Facebook’s Success.” Margarit, Liraz breaks down why we use social media sites on a personal level. Liraz dives into the concept of impression management through social media which can help improve an individual’s self-esteem by allowing the users to control what they share about themselves, and their lives. Individuals are able to monitor and alter the information that they share on the media and fulfill that sense of belonging. Liraz dives into this concept when she states that, “The truth is that Facebook allows us to connect not only with loved ones, but with our fundamental human needs.”
This vast network of social media allows individuals from all over the world to interact and build relationships with people from all over the world. A world ruled by likes, shares, followers, views, tweets, pins, etc. The reality is that the more likes and views you get the more opportunities you might have in terms of sponsors, ads, recognition=self-esteem. After breaking down the information provided by both, “Generation Like” and “The Human Psychology Behind Facebook’s Success” I decided that social media can be good for individuals, but only when monitored and used the correct way. The reality is that social media is a great way for people to connect with one another, stay in touch with family and friends, and create healthy relationships with people all over the world. However I do believe that at times there is an obsession with social media that can become unhealthy, it’s still important to keep in touch with reality and remember that “likes” do not make the world go round.
When you think of popular culture you think about the newest trend, celebrity, electronic, and fashion. We see these trends through a variety of social media outputs such as: Reddit, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Etsy. Think about your middle school years when everyone was raving about the sidekick and razor phones. Compare that to the latest and greatest iPhone trend now. In John Stoney’s article, “What is Popular Culture”, we are given various definitions that all apply to the multiple patterns of popular culture that we see from day to day.
What generatios definition of ideology; that some cultural writings and practices present an unrealistic sense of reality. This false sense of reality works in return keeps the lesser group, these fad followers, blind to the true reality. We live and practice this ideology on a daily basis, we practice this popular culture in a religious matter.
The internet has become an incredible progression throughout the years. With the power of the internet, an incredible amount of media can break through and become viral with just a click of a button. Memes and vines can erupt from one day to another just to entertain us all. Just like Storey mentions, this leads to a fourth definition of pop culture, “popular culture is the culture which originates from ‘the people’. It takes issue with any approach which suggests that popular culture is something imposed on ‘the people’ from above. Popular culture… should only be used to indicate an ‘authentic’ culture of ‘the people’” (10). In truth we all participate in the cultivation of popular culture. This is something that cannot be avoided or ignored. The newest fads in memes and vines follow us to school, work, and home. I have to admit that every now and then I go on to YouTube and look for a compilation of the newest vines, or Facebook to look over memes to relax and laugh a little.