Advertisements Di Gioia

In a previous blog I mentioned the advertisement for Acqua Di Gio fragrance for men, but the advertisement I want to talk about in this blog is the Acqua Di Gioia fragrance for women.  I see this ad everywhere! I see it in magazines, on TV, banner ads on websites, and even as an ad before I watch things on the Internet. I even saw someone post on Facebook asking the name of the song in the TV ad.  It definitely leaves an impression and puts their name in your mind.

The TV advertisement features a model wearing what appears to be a negligee running around on an island. She’s in the forest and in the rain and in the surf with music building in the background. Then what I’m assuming is the same woman’s voice it says  “Acqua di Gioia, the new essence of joy by Giorgio Armani.” This is the same ad that comes up when I’m watching videos on YouTube or movies on Hulu.com. In the print ad and ad that appear as banners on the website it features the same model in the same kind of environment. Then there is a cut out of the perfume bottle and under it reads “Acqua di Gioia, the new essence of joy.”

I would have to guess that based on the product,  the target audience would be women anywhere from age 16 to their mid 40s. The strategy being used in this ad is not only sex appeal,but it is combined with snob appeal. The snob appeal being used here is that it features a young, beautiful model with free range of an island. It projects the stereotype of what beauty is. The ad is saying that beauty is young, thin, and the typical idea of what beauty it. When women see these stereotypes they usually  want to be like those people. That’s where the snob appeal comes in. Women think ‘If I buy this product, I will be just like the girl in the commercial.’ They associate the qualities shown in the ad to the product. The same beautiful model, Emily DiDonato is in other beauty ads (most of them are by Maybelline). This makes me immediately associate her with beauty products before I even know what the ad is for. This is also great advertising on her part and the brands part because she already had those connotations before the ad for their product has begun.

Not only is the ad effective, but the use of multimedia is effective because it’s everywhere.  The ad runs usually in the evenings on TV and can be seen anytime of day on the other mediums. This would reach the target audience. If it usually plays on networks like ABC or NBC in the evenings it would not interfere with work or school that the target audience is presumably at during the day.  This strategy is also effective because the various mediums will reach just about everyone. Just about every woman I know either watches TV, reads magazines, or uses the Internet.  Targeting their audience from every type of media outlet, everyone knows what the ad is for the second they see it.

It’s Raining Men

Back in November of 2011, People magazine released their 2011 list of “Sexiest Men Alive.”  Being that this is one of the only magazines I have here at school (not to mention that it is my favorite issue of the year), I frequently thumb through it. I stereotype People as being a woman’s magazine being that it mainly focuses on celebrity gossip and trends. When reading through it recently I noticed that a lot of the advertisements were not focused on sexualizing women as they typically do, but they were sexualizing men! I found this to be quite interesting because many of the ads I found were selling products featuring just the man’s face and not his body.

The first two ads that I found particularly interesting were for men’s fragrances. Bleu de Chanel and Aqua di Gio. The Bleu de Chanel ad features a nighttime cityscape as the background; the foreground features an attractive man in what appears to be a suit with his face partially shadowed as he looks off at angle. Then there is also a cut out of the fragrance bottle in the corner and in small print on top of the man’s chest it says “Be unexpected.” I think the narrative that this ad is creating is that this is a sophisticated, spontaneous, metropolitan man. Not only does he seem to embody these qualities, but as mentioned earlier he is very attractive. The Acqua di Gio ad is in black and white and features another attractive man, this time he is shirtless, staring into the camera somewhat expressionless. Then it also has a cut out of the fragrance bottle and across the top it says “Acqua Di Gio for men.” The story behind this ad that I envision is that this is a successful and physically fit man is on the beach looking good and possibly smelling good. It is very common to use sex appeal and snob appeal in order to sell fragrances. The techniques used are used to get consumers to think, “If I use that fragrance, I too will be a sophisticated, spontaneous, worldly man,” or “a physically good looking man on the beach.” The stereotypes perpetuated by this ad are along those lines. They use attractive people that are sharply dressed or not dressed at all in order to sell products. Another thing that I noticed is that this man is Caucasian, which can perpetuate the stereotype that only Caucasians are sophisticated, attractive or can display the qualities shown in this ad.

The third ad that caught my eye was for Reebok. This ad features their winner of the 2011 Reebok CrossFit Games. It shows a man(the winner) shirtless, holding himself up using gymnastic rings. Above him in bold letters it says ‘Fit is SEXY;’ the word sexy is in red while the rest of the words are white. Off to the right it has 3 paragraphs introducing this man and how he won the competition and below it in red it says Reebok. This ad seems to use the plain folks pitch as well as sex appeal. By reading the information, you can find out that this man is and Assistant Strength coach and a certified CrossFit instructor. This gives the idea that he is just an ordinary man that was able to get the title of “Fittest Man on Earth” by using the Reebok CrossFit program.

A fourth ad was for Allstate. I almost didn’t realize that this was an ad because of the way it was done. Along with the theme and layout of the magazine being the ‘Sexiest Men Alive,’ Allstate created their ad based on this premise. There are a series of commercials that Allstate does feature a man who represents mayhem and does things that could happen and cause you to need/want insurance. In this ad it feature the same actor that is in the serious against a plain colored backdrop (like most of the Sexiest Men Alive photos) and is shot like a serious photo shoot. The ‘Sexiest Men Alive’ introductions usually say the man’s name and then some information about him or something cute and clever. Next to the picture of this man it says “Mayhem Sexiest GPS Alive,” and underneath it says “He might not know where he’s going, but we still want to ask for directions. Recalculating? Yes, please!” This clever way of getting this ad in here also uses sex appeal. Saying that he is the ‘Sexiest GPS’ alive is ridiculous and is sexualizing an object. Sexualizing objects can be seen in many ads nowadays which perpetuates the idea that it doesn’t matter what you do as long as you’re attractive.

The final ad is for Smart Water featuring actor, Idris Elba. This ad is in black and white and shows Elba sitting on the floor leaning against a couch with a Smart Water in his hand. He is wearing black pants, a light colored shirt, and is sitting on a light colored floor and leaning against a light colored couch. There is also a newspaper on the floor. The only color in this ad is from the blue label on the Smart Water in his hand. The use of light colors in this ad could be representing purity and the newspaper could show that the company is globally aware of current events. Seeing that Smart Water is said to promote healthy living and hydrating responsibly, trying to come across as being pure or aware of current events would be consistent with that image. The idea that just because you have a newspaper makes you aware of the world around you and that you are wearing lighter colors makes you pure are the main focus of this advertisement.

The theme of these ads are that men are being objectified as sexual objects in order to sell a product. The fact that this was the People magazine’s ‘Sexiest Men Alive’ issue made these ads sexualizing men even more apparent. Knowing that the majority of the buyers of this particular magazine would be women ogling at the men, these companies used this to their advantage. The sexualizing of men often used sex appeal or snob appeal in order to sell their products.

Katie Holmes and a Star Showdown

In March of 2011, actress Katie Holmes filed a libel lawsuit against Star magazine.  Star magazine’s January 2011 cover story headline read “Katie DRUG SHOCKER!” and “ADDICTION NIGHTMARE.” While these allegations aren’t true and Star magazine was actually referring to a device called an “e-meter” that causes the body to produce endorphins, the thousands of people that passed by these headlines did not actually read the whole story. All that these people saw were the headlines claiming that Katie Holmes used drugs. Katie took this news to the Courts of the Central District of California and filed a $50 million lawsuit against the company behind Star, American Media Inc.

A libel lawsuit (also know as slander or defamation) is where a claim is made and implied to be factual about a business, product, or person that gives a negative image and in actuality has no factual basis to support it. In simpler terms, a libel lawsuit is where something negative is published about someone or something that is not true according to the subject of the allegations. The claim by Holmes was that Star purposely published lies that have hurt her personally and professionally and have caused embarrassment to her whole family. The lawsuit was settled for undisclosed financial details, a donation by American Media Inc. to the children’s charity Dizzy Feet in Holmes’ name, and a public apology to Katie Holmes in their magazine.

I think that the filing of this lawsuit was legally sound and I can see how Holmes would be upset. As a celebrity you are always in the public eye and trying to maintain a good reputation. For many stars this can be a difficult task with tabloids constantly posting lies about them or farfetched stretches of the truth. While Katie Holmes was indeed using a device that makes the body produce endorphins, the device does not have anything to do with drugs. Having headlines eluding to the fact that Holmes is addicted to drugs or that this is the reason why she cannot leave her husband can be harmful to not only the celebrities public image, but to personal relationships. Holmes was typically known as an All-American type of woman who now is married to Tom Cruise and has a child as well as stepchildren. Being called a drug addict can tarnish that image and cause a celebrity to be blacklisted from certain projects due to the now tarnished reputation. As stated in the lawsuit, these allegations have also caused embarrassment and problems for her actor husband, Tom Cruise and have caused embarrassment and shame to their children who suffer ridicule due to these tabloids. I believe that Holmes had every right to file the lawsuit and brought up valid points of how the headlines had effected her.

The final outcome of this lawsuit was that Star magazine published a public apology to Holmes, donated money to a charity in Holmes’ name, and for an undisclosed financial amount paid to the star. I think that this was a fair settlement for this case. The fact that the amount was undisclosed was good because celebrities like Holmes already make millions of dollars a year and revealing how much the suit was actually settled for could’ve had people in outrage if it was an obscene amount. The donation made to charity was also a good move in the suit because it makes Holmes look good as well as the Star magazine for donating to a charity. Finally, the apology was also beneficial because readers who had not heard the real story behind the tabloids had a chance to see that the allegations were false. It also showed that Holmes was looking for things to be corrected rather than just monetary compensation.

As noted in an article about the lawsuit, it stated that this lawsuit can “serve as a lesson to other tabloids that if they print false and defamatory stories about Katie, she will stand up for her legal rights.” I think that lawsuits like this serves as warning to all tabloids about spreading rumors about any celebrity not just Katie Holmes. Most tabloids make false allegations or exaggerated claims in order to make a profit. Hopefully with libel lawsuits on the rise, less tabloids will continue to lie to the public.

The Infamous Tigerfest

Towson’s Tigerfest was this past Saturday (April 27th) and a good majority of Towson’s student body was in attendance or attended social events associated with Tigerfest. Tigerfest is a concert that involves multiple musical acts. This year the headliner was Kid Cudi and the other acts were The Cataracs, DJ White Rabbit, and Stacked Like Pancakes. At the event they also have moon bounce like activities, various booths sponsored by companies and clubs, and food stands.

Weeks and even months before Tigerfest occurred the Campus Activities Board (CAB) promoted the event. A couple months before the concert CAB’s Facebook page was building anticipation for the reveal of the headliner by occasionally making status’ such as ‘DO YOU WANT TO KNOW WHO’S COMING TO TIGERFEST?!’ This made students excited for the event before tickets had even gone on sale. There were also posters in the Residence Halls and Academic Buildings and advertisements in chalk on sidewalks all around campus. The ways that these techniques really influenced me to go was not only my love for the headliner Kid Cudi but also the fact that everyone talks about Tigerfest and how it’s the “most anticipated event of the year.” Tigerfest is commonly known by students and staff as a major weekend to party and do other mischievous activities. Through word of mouth it gets a lot of it notoriety. This is actually a very effective strategy in order to promote these kinds of events. This notoriety and connotations that go along with Tigerfest draws a variety of people. Whether you’re looking for a wholesome good time or a more explicit good time, all can have fun at Tigerfest.

I think that the ways in which this event was super effective. Not only was the advertising of this event effective, but the advertising at the event was effective as well. A few school clubs had booths as well as Domino’s, merchandisers for Kid Cudi, and there was a beer garden. The school clubs were stopping people that passed with wrist bands and tee shirts that they were giving away if you donated. Domino’s had a wheel that you could spin for free and win various prizes and they were selling pizzas and breadsticks. Then the people who were over twenty-one were able to purchases specific beer brands from the beer garden. With plenty of foot traffic and an event that lasted from 3pm to 9pm any group that was advertising their product was sure to get the attention of at least a few concertgoers.  If I was advertising the event I would have advertised ahead of time on posters and other techniques that my company would be at the concert. For example, if I worked for Domino’s I would make sure that CAB put on their posters that we would be there and selling pizza. That way maybe more students would bring extra cash to the event or not eat ahead of time so that they could buy pizza. Overall, I think that the companies and group there did a good job of advertising and that CAB did an excellent jb of advertising for Tigerfest.

Disney Dazed

I fell in love at a very young age, but not with a person. I fell in love with Disney movies. More specifically, I fell in love with the Disney Princess movies. I worshiped these movies and watched them repeatedly as a child and even watch them occasionally now. As I got older and had discussions in classes about the themes behind them, I began to notice my own ideals and dreams. I am the first to admit that some of the ideas I have about what life should be like and what I want are unrealistic and fantasy.

Some of the ideas I have towards life are very similar to that of a Disney Princess. There were other animated movies around when I was younger, but these types of movies really appealed to me. Most Disney movies have similar themes. As my group discussed in class and as many critics agree, most of the main characters have one parent which is usually a father, the main characters are young, beautiful girls in search of a man, the older women tend to be witches or another word that rhymes with that, and the main characters don’t really have any ambition of their own.

The single parents in the movies tend to add to the struggle or obstacle the main character must get through. Like in Cinderella, her actual mother died when she was very young so her dad remarried to give her a women figure in her life. Later when her father died, her stepmother and UGLY stepsister ended up being horrible to her and treating her as a maid and a burden. This is why Cinderella went to the ball to win over the prince; she was trying to escape her awful home life. In the majority of Disney movies, the single parent was a male. As we brainstormed why this was, we realized that it was the male that was the authority figure in the women’s lives. This kind of idea causes women to be subservient to men. In The Little Mermaid, not only is the father the authority figure for Ariel, he is the authority figure for all the mermaids because he was King Triton. He ruled with an iron fist and was very protective of his daughters and what they could and couldn’t do. For the most part Ariel was somewhat fearful of what her father would do or say if she disobeyed him, but eventual she completely disobeys him and gets her self into a stick situation FOR A GUY. This teaches young children that they can disobey their parents as long as they don’t find out or if it’s for a guy.

Some of these ideas can be construed as completely ridiculous and many say that there is no way that kids pick up on these themes. As we saw in the interviews of young girls in the video Mickey Mouse Monopoly, they were aware of these story lines that were going on in the movie and some of them believed that it was OK to do as the character did. Another theme that kids tend to pick up on very easily was that the Princesses are young and beautiful. Some of the girls said that they wished they were pretty like the Princesses that they idolized. In these movies the older women are always evil or hags. In Snow White, the Queen is said to be the fairest in the land other than Snow White, but she is completely EVIL! When she tries to trick Snow White she becomes none other than an old, ugly witch. This is just another way that the media changes body image, just targeting a younger audience. There are no full figured, average looking princesses for normal girls to look up to. This can really affect the self esteem of girls at a young ages and this type of idea continue for the rest of their lives thanks to outrageous standards set by the media.

Other things that can affect the way young girls act for the rest of their lives is the way Princess movies always involve a Prince. The idea that you need a man in order to have a “happy ending” or fulfilled life can cause a destructive pattern in the way girls behave. In Beauty and the Beast, Beast is completely abusive and filled with rage! In true Disney fashion, Belle changes him and makes him kind and understanding, falls in love with him, and they live happily ever after. This can convey the thought that it’s OK if a guy is abusive or angry, you can change him and everything will be perfect. This is one of the most dangerous ideas ever brought about by a Disney movie. It is not okay for girls to think that they have to have a man in order to be happy. It is DEFINITELY not okay for girls to think that they can change an abusive, awful guy as long as they continue to stay with him and work through the issues. This can cause a pattern of girl who do anything for guys and allow guys to treat them badly just so they won’t be alone.

Over time Disney movies have been changing. They’ve become more culturally diverse and some of them even have headstrong main characters that actually have their own ambitions. In the 1990’s we finally saw Disney Princesses that were of a different ethnicity in movies like Aladdin, Pocahontas, and Mulan. Mulan was very strong-willed, brave, and fought for her country; this is something that had never been seen before of a Disney Princess. However, at the end her grandmother makes a jab at her saying “She should’ve brought home a man!” Another example of changing characteristics of Disney Princesses was 2009’s The Princess and the Frog. The main character Tatiana is the first African American Disney princess. The story is set in New Orleans where Tatiana wants to open her own restaurant and works hard towards her goals. I was really happy that a Disney Princess finally has a goal and works for it. The only problem is the subtle stereotypes portrayed in the movie. In fact, most Disney movies show stereotypes when it comes to other ethnicities. Tatiana is poor and works for an affluent white family, not to mention all of the voodoo that is stereotypical of New Orleans during that era. Oh and she falls in love with a prince SURPRISE SURPRISE. I’m just glad that she is the hero instead of the guy (just like Mulan & Pocahontas).

I have to give credit to Disney for adding some diversity and variety of character traits, but every story ends the same way and no matter the race the Disney Princesses are all slender and beautiful.  This only makes it normal for the media to continue to show pictures of outrageous standards of beauty. We’ve been exposed to these ideas since we were little girls so why not just continue the idea that you have to be slender and beautiful. Another thing that continues as we get older is the idea that there is a ‘Prince Charming.’ In romantic comedies, there is always some funny, charming guy that the main character ends up with and lives happily ever after. It gives us impossible ideas to live up to.

The  benefit I have learned is that these ideas have made me an optimist. I’m always hoping for the best in things and always searching for a happy ending. Even when I’m heartbroken, there is the little girl in the back of my mind waiting for a Prince Charming. Does this make me naive? Does this make me stupid or silly? I’m not sure. All I know is that in the world we live, it’s kind of nice to think that there will be a happy ending, a Prince Charming, or that everything will be all right in the end. There are definitely compelling arguments against these ‘Disney ideals’ and I agree with them, but I just can’t stop loving these movies! They were a part of my childhood and bring me back to a time of innocence. So when it comes to whether or not their totally negative or great, I just can’t make up my mind!

Communicating & Connecting

Social networking sites are everywhere! There are different varieties of social networking sites that target different people and their interests. My friends always joke about me because I have so many different profiles that are all on different social networking sites. There are sites like Facebook and MySpace that get everyone involved including our bosses and parents. There are sites like Twitter that help keep us connected to our favorite brands and celebrities. There are also a variety of other social networking sites that serve other purposes like Pinterest, Tumlr, and Deviant Art. After reading the article “A Social Society: The Positive Effects of Communicating through Social Networking Sites” by Ebony Wheeler , I have to say I agree with the point she is trying to make.

This article focuses on how communication is improving in our world thanks to social networking websites. Wheeler focuses on how these websites can connect us to others based on common interests, provide entertainment, serve as therapeutic practices, and bridge the gap that distance can cause. Wheeler addresses the idea that “by forming groups of people with similar interests (particularly if the interest or hobby is not mainstream), social networking sites can create a sense of unity and belonging in people who might have previously felt alienated in society because of an inability to relate to local people.” Wheeler also mentions sites like Livewire that targets “10-21 year olds with serious illnesses and disabilities,” in order to prove that social networking can provide support and can serve as a type of therapy because it can become a way to tell people who understand what you’re going through your problems. As many people already know, Wheeler mentions the ways that social networking sites keep us connected with people who are far away.

Keeping in touch with family members or friends is where I see the most impact towards modern day communication. Before coming to college, I was concerned with keeping touch with all of my friends. I was tortured by the idea of never seeing certain people again. When the time came and I finally got to college I realized that all of my friends were right there with me, in my laptop, on my Facebook and Twitter. I see their status updates and photos and feel like I haven’t even left home. I also know tons of people who use social networking to keep in touch with loved ones in the armed forces that are far away. For example, my cousin is in the army and stationed in Seattle, Washington. Anyone in my family can log onto Facebook and use the chat feature or the video chat feature to see how he’s doing. They can also see pictures posted by his wife of their newborn baby. It’s tough when you can’t be with loved ones because of various reasons, but social networking can make you feel like you know what’s going on in their lives and keep you from missing out on important news.

Another way social networking keeps people from missing out on important news is simply by keeping us informed. On my Twitter account I follow other Twitter accounts that are run by CNN, E! Entertainment, or The Frederick News Post. Anytime I log on I see tweets from these companies. Sometimes they’re articles that didn’t even make it to the actual print version of the paper! Updates like these definitely keep me informed and the majority of the time they’re my main source of news.

Not only can they be my main source of news, they connect me with others who have similar interests. Sites like Tumblr and Pinterest are totally based on what you like. If I was an artist I could use Deviant Art or if I was sick I could use LiveWire or Caringbridge. The focus on various interests or circumstances is what has made these sites so popular. They are a way to connect with people all over the world who love art like you do, or fashion, or even have the same disease. While that might be kind of a sad way to look at things, it’s not. If you’re a 16 year old with cancer, you can connect with other 16 year olds who have cancer and use them as an alternate support system. They know what you’re going through and might have even gone through your situation before. You can talk to the people you meet, get advice from them, and share stories. This kind of connection can be very therapeutic whether you’re sick or not. Even people who are in full health are connecting with people who share their interests and can feel the therapeutic effects of social networking.

I personally think that social networking sites are great for communication in the technologic age that we live in, but there are many critics who disagree that have valid points. The main points that I have to agree with are that social networking sites prevent people from actually being social and they are starting to be hazards when looking for jobs. People are on social networks ALL the time instead of actually talking to people face to face and going out and doing stuff. When it comes to jobs, employers are starting to look at social networking profiles as a way to see who they want to hire and who they don’t. Despite some of the bad things resulting from Social networking sites, you just can’t ignore their benefits.

Shah Sensation!

Whenever I’m home, Bravo is my go-to station if “nothings on TV.” They always have some type of drama filled reality show that captures my attention and this weekend it happened to be Shahs of Sunset. The show follows a group of rich, Persian friends who like to shop, party, and, of course, argue. During a commercial break the booming voice of Bravo’s announcer said “For more Shahs of Sunset go to Bravotv.com/shahs-of-sunset.” I said “Why not?” and pulled the show’s website up on my laptop.

After typing in the URL, I’m taken to the shows homepage on the Bravotv.com website. At the top of the page are tabs for other features on Bravo’s website followed by an advertisement for Target right underneath of it. These things aren’t as noticeable as the Shahs of Sunset logo with a small picture of the cast right next to it and ‘Every Sun 10/9c’ staring right at me. Right under that is a large purple box that alternates what feature of the site it’s advertising every 5 seconds. As you scroll down the page you also see headlines saying ‘Watch this Video’, ‘Photos’, ‘Cast Blogs’, ‘Meet the Cast’, ‘Show Shots’, a poll about the past week’s episode, and finally, ‘Hot Topics.’ The design of the site is consistent with the Bravo’s site as well as all of the other shows Bravo features. Its colorful design, fonts, and layouts are also very similar to what is seen on Bravo’s commercials on TV. Not only is the design consistent, but the site itself is very functional with tabs on the top to other Bravo shows, tabs on the side to the features of this site, and links to those same features as you scroll down the page.

The site serves as entertainment, a source of information, and allows viewers to participate. The features on this site are enough to keep people entertained for hours. There are blogs written by the cast, biographies of each cast member, games, promotional photos, clips of unseen footage, and even a Farsi dictionary. The Farsi dictionary can help viewers better understand some of the lingo that the cast uses and the cast bios give you more information about your favorite cast member. Not to forget, there are also polls you can take about your thoughts on an issue brought up in the previous episode and a discussion board where you can chat with other fans of the show. I think that features like this on a show’s website make it successful and helps add to the success of the show itself. By getting the audience involved with games, polls, and allowing them to spend hours entertaining themselves on the show’s site, Bravo has hooked their audience onto yet another reality TV show. I know that just by analyzing the website, I already can’t wait until the next episode premieres on Sunday night!

Bravo also has tabs at the top of the site to other shows they produce. Some of their shows that I used to watch faithfully like Real Housewives of New Jersey and Million Dollar Listings are featured under these tabs. Now that I’ve come to learn more about Shahs of Sunset, I’m reading episode summaries from these other shows to catch up on what I’ve missed! All the juicy details of reality shows are my guiltiest pleasures and now I know I’m going to start watching them again even though I’ve missed months’ worth of episodes. Bravo really did a great job to keep audiences entertained on their show websites and even did a great job of promoting their other shows by doing this. The only thing I wish they offered was full episodes instead of just clips so that way I could catch up on the episodes that I’ve missed!

Media Mental Breakdown

I feel like I’m going insane! In this day and age it is almost impossible to go without any kind of media for two whole days! While the majority of my exposure to media is completely voluntary, I realized that there is a good portion of media that I’m exposed to that is involuntary. It’s hard to avoid glancing at posters that line the halls of the dorms as I’m passing by. It’s also hard to stay away from media when you’re a Mass Communications major and a good portion of your grade depends on staying connected.

In the modern school setting, many teachers use e-mail, Blackboard, or other websites to stay connected with students, remind them of upcoming assignments, and to make announcements. In every single one of my classes I would fall behind if I went much longer than two days without access to various accounts. I would forget that we were meeting in the library for a class period or miss an announcement that we need to bring our books to class.

For fear of missing an important e-mail or announcement like the ones mentioned above, I was not very successful with avoiding media. Not only that, but my days were so boring! We live in a society that is very depend on media for entertainment. When charting my media usage for my Media Use blog, I realized that I used media for about 90% of my waking hours. I use it to keep up on news, my favorite TV shows and to listen to music.

Going without music is what was REALLY driving me insane. It is almost impossible for me to go to the gym and not listen to music. Exercising is something that I enjoy doing, but it’s only enjoyable for me if I can focus on a TV or a song from my iPod rather than my escalating heart rate. This made me realize how dependent on media I am in order to even do simple tasks and other activities I enjoy.

I know that it’s not just me that is dependent on media, many others are dependent on it too. Some more so than others. Many have tried to avoid media and failed. In present day it is so hard to avoid media without feeling bored, like you’re missing something, or like you’re out of the loop.

Sleeping with the Enemy

Media never sleeps and it’s everywhere! From the moment we wake up till we lay back down at night, we are exposed to all kinds of media. Some of us are even sleeping with our cellphones and other media devices in our hands! Whether the radio wakes you up or your cellphone alarm does, media and electronic device are what begins your day.

I wake up in the morning to the alarm on my phone, check my e-mail, check various

social networking sites, and pass multiple posters in the hallway of my dorm before I’ve even brushed my teeth! Until I was asked to be aware of the media around me I had no idea that I was even being exposed to media in certain aspects of my life. I realized that I could still recognize what products were being advertised on a billboard that I hadn’t even paid attention to. Whether we’re using certain products or not, most people can still identify logos and slogans of certain brands.

This identification is great for companies and advertisers! Pretend you have never had to buy any kind of cleaning product and never paid much attention to any advertisements for them because it was irrelevant. Now, pretend that you’ve bought your first home and its beginning to get dirty, all of a sudden you remember a cute little Swiffer ad featuring a piece of “dirt” wondering if love will ever come their way. Brands use mass media to get their names out there whether we pay attention to it or not. They use slogans and catchy advertisements to get you to buy their products or at least remember their product in the hopes that one day you’ll need it. Brands are all hoping that they’ll have the catchiest and most recognized name in their products field.

Being the most recognized really helps to put them ahead of the competition. Other ways that brands put themselves ahead of the competition is by being aggressive. Instead of waiting for a consumer to turn on the TV or radio to receive their ad, they’re sending ads directly to the consumer’s phone. One of the newest ways companies are reaching consumers is advertising through mobile devices. I never thought that this applied to me because I don’t have a smart phone or even a phone that access the internet, but it does. I am an American Eagle rewards member and one day I got a text message from a strange number, as it turns out it was them notifying me of a sale that was going on that weekend. Pretty soon, we will all be getting ads sent directly to our phones just like we get spam sent to our e-mails. Even magazines and TV are becoming more about ads and less about actual content.

This bombardment of ads exposes consumers to products. More often than not we choose brands we recognize over ones that we don’t recognize. This influences what we wear, what we eat, and what products we use. Proving that our media habits heavily influences the choices that we make in day to day life.

Hooked like A Fish!

Social media companies want us! By saying that social media companies want us, I’m really trying to say that what they really want is our business. The movie Media History: The story of film, TV, and media explained that the popularity of social media was due to commercial drive. It was all about businesses using mass media in order to make a profit.

Let’s face it, businesses do a great job of capturing our attention by using media. I know that one of the main reasons that Americans watch the Super Bowl is to check out the hilarious and clever commercials. Businesses know that if you’re sitting on

your couch watching TV and you see a hot, delicious sandwich on the screen, you’re going to get hungry and probably have a craving for their product. It’s a smart strategy that seems to work every time.

Strategies like this don’t only apply to TV commercials, they apply to every type of media and have since the beginning of mass media. Long before the radio was even invented, businesses used newspapers to advertise their products. Tradesmen used print ads to let the buyers know what kind of services and goods they had to offer and at what price. Even neighboring towns had ads to let the surrounding community know of upcoming events. Communication and what information we were exposed to changed drastically.

This change in exposure has never stopped evolving. In the movie, made in 1998, one of the commentators mentioned that it is not impossible to think that one day we could have the internet, TV, and advertisements in the palm of our hand. Flash forward to present day, we have smart phones that have just about every type of function that you

could possibly think about. This has created an ideal situation for advertisers. They’re with us 24/7 not only are they everywhere we look, they’re in the palm of our hands. Businesses can advertise their products to us anytime of day, anywhere, and using all kinds of mediums. This exposure has us hooked on their products and they know it!