Thursday, April 2, 2009

COM 390: Response to Two Newsweek Articles

After reading the Arnell story:
First thought
: Hey, that ridiculous college education must be paying off since I can picture at least 90% of the things this nut is referencing.
Second thought: But that’s probably a result of two other things: A) Lyons probably only remembered/wrote about the stuff he recognized and B) it wouldn’t be good business sense to fill an article with stuff you didn’t think your audience would recognize.

Listen, the way to make an impact isn’t going to be legislating healthy girl-image or any other agenda into the media. Trust me—creatives, more than most people, get a crazy thrill from circumventing rules.

As for a solution to combat the garbage in the media, I think it comes down to good parenting and setting kids up with good role models. There is always going to be stuff that will trip kids up, warp their brains, mess with their perception of themselves and their culture. You know it. I know it. As a parent, the point is to try to prepare them to deal well with these situations when you’re not around, right? I hope so.

If your 5-year-old is obsessed with glamour to what you think is an unhealthy extreme, do something about it. Be an adult. Limit the amount of exposure she gets to media influences you don’t approve of. I know, novel idea, right? Refuse to buy her make up—you can do that. Take away her mirror so that she can’t bemoan her haggard appearance, and set her up with a mentor who can teach her fun things besides the joys of self-tanners.

Ultimately, I think the key to maintaining personal/professional bearings comes down to three things:

  1. Knowing what you stand for. This requires some thought. And it might take effort to adjust things you didn’t like discovering.
  2. Critical thinking. Again, analyzing your daily situations through the grid of your worldview isn’t as easy as caving to public opinion.
  3. Having a backbone. After you’ve drawn your lines, don’t cross them. As simple and as difficult as that.

Monday, January 26, 2009

COM 390: Conventional Wisdom and Purposes of Advertising

This made me think of one of my all time favorite advertising campaigns, borrowed from

Produced (no pun intended) by the Gray Ad Agency in Tel-Aviv, Israel, this campaign for a monster food processor illustrates a lot of the points for class discussion.

These ads are simple, punchy and humorous. They are accompanied by the catchy slogan “Big is in”. And since it’s all about selling a professional quality food processor for home use, it’s appropriate that veggies are modeling for it. I especially like that the ads make their point without being ridiculously expensive and difficult to create and disperse.
I'm sure there is potential to tie this in with "images of men and women in advertising," too, but I have no idea where to start. :o)

Saturday, January 24, 2009

COM 390: chapters 8 and 9

One thing that threw me a little bit was the use of “text” to signify any form of artwork. That seemed odd, especially in connection with ads, which are debatable as art. But whatever, I can insert “work” for “text”.

Almost all ads (within print, electronic and television, that is) have some artistic basis. But very rarely would I consider them art. It takes a lot to impress me. Plus, I am one of the worst kinds of people to target with advertising: non-competitive (not a social-climber or consumer of social-status items), non-materialistic, creative and innovative (meaning I figure out what I need and come up with ways to make it), educated, skeptical, and artistic. I like ads for their ability to convey information with images and words, but that is about it.

I recently saw a TV commercial for some kind of alcohol that made me go, “Oh wow! That was really well done!” Since I don’t drink, I didn’t pay attention to the brand (not their goal, I’m sure) but I loved how they snagged design elements from Gatorade and iPod commercials and added their own twist.

It was cool reading about the Orwell “1984” connection to the Apple commercial. I’m excited to see the commercial when I have access to a high-speed connection.

I just looked at the websites submitted by Katie. The first one was totally interesting! It gave a couple good theories about why women are posed in such bizarre ways in magazines. This has bothered me for years!
I’ve always been fascinated with people and have spent hours drawing, painting and photographing them. As an artist, I like to have a good collection of reference material to help me tweak my images and to help make comparisons and corrections. For this purpose, I have binders of photos ripped out of old magazines.
Despite dozens of innovative, emotionally and intellectually engaging ads and photographs, the avalanche of repetitive “dorky”, “overt” or “contrived” pictures has frustrated me.