Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Advertising At CU

Over the last few days, I've been paying particular attention to all the advertising that happens in and around CU, and let me just say there is a lot! Advertising at CU comes in a plethora of different forms, ranging from posters in buses to chalk drawn advertisement's written on the floor outside the UMC. Instead of noting all my findings over the last few days I decided to spend an hour of my day posted outside by the UMC just off the Chemistry quad with visibility of that and the road. Within that hour I would note down all the different advertising that passed my way and use that as a sample to determine the ubiquity of advertising at CU.

During my hour I recorded 7 different types of advertising, a substantial amount considering the amount of space given. The seven different types were:

Chalk Drawings on the floor
Stands with representatives from various companies / groups
Clothing with branded logos
Food / Drink Cartons
Sides of RTD buses
Branded paraphernalia

As we browse through the list we only see maybe two items that we would normally consider "advertising" on a daily basis (Sides of buses and flyers). These are two things that we usually associate with advertising. However it would be foolish not to consider the power that the other five items have in terms of grabbing your attention. In the space of the hour that I watched the Chemistry quad I saw approximately 23 people wearing something branded with "Boulder Freeride". Now I'm sure these people were not wearing these t-shirts to act as a walking advertisement but when I returned to my dorm the first thing I did was look up what Boulder Freeride was, and now I'm a member, which shows how branded clothing works as advertising.

As I mentioned before, whilst a lot of advertising at CU may not be the traditional advertising we are used to such as billboards and posters, it is all around us none the less. Everywhere you look someone will be wearing a t-shirt with a logo branded on it or holding a bottle with the CU Buffalo neatly printed on the side. As you walk through the hallways of various buildings, notice boards will be overflowing with flyers for tutors, meal deals or clubs to join and everywhere you walk, you will sooner or later be walking over a chalk advertisement for an acapella group or church meeting. So whilst it may not be some of the obnoxious advertising we are used to, you cannot deny the fact that advertising is EVERYWHERE at CU. Even as I sit writing this in my dorm room I can see on my roommates wall, a sticker for Halfast Subs and The Sink, a lighter and a cup with hungrybuffs.com written on it and at least five different items with CU on them. So what does this say about the ubiquity of advertising? Well to me it says its everywhere and thats the way it will continue to be!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Social Media

To me, social media such as Facebook and MySpace are as important as the mobile phone or email. Social media has opened up an entire new gateway of connectivity and now allows for people to be constantly connected.

I find social media a blessing, in particular Facebook. I am well aware there is fierce debate as to Facebook's usefulness versus its negative impact on social behavior, but to me I think it is almost as revolutionary as the phone. With Facebook today, we are able to stay connected with hundreds of people and also connect with new people. We are able to share photos and music and create events and groups. I am not a Facebook fanatic, far from it, I don't spend my free time browsing it waiting to get the latest news from my news feed. I use Facebook as a tool. If I want to leave someone a message that is not urgent I will use Facebook, if I want to invite friends to an event that is happening I will use Facebook, if I hear a new song I like, I will share it on Facebook. Facebook for me is a utility, and a useful one at that.

I am well aware of those who are skeptical of Facebook and other social networking and media sites, who argue that these social media sites are destroying our social culture and invading our privacy and I have to say I agree with some of what they have to say. I do not feel like it is destroying our social culture, however I do feel it is changing it, and maybe not in the most positive way. When you speak to someone from one end of a computer to another, you are not face to face and the consequences of what you say are far less dear then if you were having the conversation in person. To me when you sit behind the keyboard you become a 'social hard man'. You say things you would never say in person because you know the consequences will be far less severe and to me this is changing the way we interact with each other. Real life relationships are becoming far more shallow as we find it difficult to have deep conversations with each other in person. As compared to twenty five years ago when face to face was almost the only way to tell your other half it wasn't working, or to iron out complications, today we can simply text or IM in an extremely informal manner, which to me is ruining our social interaction. In terms of my relationships I try as best I can to keep my relationships as real as possible and address any problems or deeper conversations in person in order to retain that sense of "being real". I find it extremely sad to see friends end a relationship by simply clicking a button on Facebook and I fear if things continue to go this way future generations will lose out on a plethora of emotions that are felt when two people interact together in person.

Monday, October 4, 2010

TV Pitch

For my T.V pitch, I have chosen to pitch to the T.V channel Sky 1. Sky 1 is an English channel available to viewers using the Sky Satellite service (the equivalent of Comcast etc.. in the U.S). As of June 2010 Sky had approximately 9.86 million subscribers. (John Plunkett, theguardian.co.uk, "BskyB signs up 3 millionth subscriber to high-definition television service, 9/2/2010) Therefore 9.86 million viewers have access to the channel. Sky 1 is owned by BskyB, which in turn is owned by News Corporation. (http://www.cjr.org/resources/?c=newscorp).

Sky 1 is known mostly for its popular culture and entertainment programs. It focus' on the most current and up to date programs, such as current event documentaries such as 'Ross Kemp on Gangs' a program that follows a presenter as he infiltrates various gangs around the world, to the latest episodes of 'The Simpsons'.

My show is a part-by-part documentary, which will follow a female journalist as she investigates the reason for staggeringly high teen pregnancy rates among working class teenage girls. The show will search to uncover the real truths behind the facts, and each show will focus on a different teenage girl, and offer a raw insight to the lives of the various girls. The program is designed to remove the veil from in front of the general publics face and show them exactly what is happening, probably within a few miles from them.

I browsed from channel to channel on the web trying to find out about demographics and what the channel wants, and Sky 1 fits the bill for a few reasons. On following the link on their website to the 'ideas submission' page I was greeted with a plethora of different options of what they were looking for and under the category of 'Factual and Features' I was met with the following:

"We need ideas which are broad, of high quality, probably in genres other channels aren't touching, and they need to attract a female audience.

Its unlikely we will do property, cooking, parenting or blue light ob docs. We're interested in hearing about new social trends and emerging pastimes. 

They have to have a sense of humour and cheekiness, and be smart. We are not interested in shows which are very bitchy, very camp or very sweary just for the sake of it.

Generally our programmes will be led by a known presenter not someone new to TV. Current presenters include Ross Kemp, Davina, Bill Bailey, Liza Tarbuck, Angela Griffin, Huey Morgan, Jamie Redknapp and Jonnie Irwin among others. 

Features shows are all one hour long and all are in HD (which may prevent clip shows if the clips aren't available in HD).

Stand out obs docs series would be good, and needn't be funny.

9pm and 10pm 
We need popular, presenter-led, serious factual ideas.

A creative starting point might be to find a presenter who our audience would love, and then pick an area of interest.

We're particularly looking for the new, female Ross Kemp. 

The tone should be emotional and passionate rather than newsy and detached. We want dynamic and challenging subject matter about the contemporary world. 

The series have to be able to be put on a poster if required, and be clear areas which will get press.

It's unlikely we will commission subjects already covered by Ross Kemp, and increasingly we're looking for ideas set in the UK.

It's unlikely we will commission one-off docs, unless it's a big exclusive in which case we will bid competitively.

All our shows are in HD". (http://cadm.sky.com/PISA/Idea.aspx)

From their criteria I can see that they are looking for a show that will attract a female audience. My show is targeted primarily at females. It addresses a new social trend, that of teenage pregnancy. They are looking for a female Ross Kemp. My show offers the perfect opportunity for this, whilst it may not be as extreme as gangs and war, the lives of many of the working class teenage girls are not going to be glitz and glamor, but gritty and bleak, providing the perfect setting for the emergence of a new female Ross Kemp.

I therefore feel that Sky 1 is the most appropriate channel, for I have the show it is looking for, and it has the reputation of being a popular culture, ground breaking channel that would give my show the most publicity.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Product Placement in Transformers (2007)

Transformers. With 60 product placements (65 if you include the 5 specific models of cars placed) this has got to be one of the all time favorites for product placement. As you can make out from the list below, anyone whose anyone has rushed to have a product of theirs placed in this film. General Motors has 4 of its companies alone in the film, and 4 of their cars play starring roles. Granted some of these product placements are very minimal and brief, some are merely posters in the bedroom, or passing by shops, but they are there none the less.

To many product placement goes greatly unnoticed or is met with a sarky comment here and there about commercialism in films and how advertising seems to be getting into every nook and cranny and soon there will be no escape, but to me product placement is genius. I agree that if Megan Fox would have at some point in the film drank a bottle of Mountain Dew and  winked at the camera like a cheesy advert, we could say that it detracted from the film, but this rarely happens. In my honest opinion I think product placement is a win win situation. For the viewer it helps make the film more real. Ok so giant transforming robots running around on earth isn't the most realistic idea, but the product placement helps us to relate to things and places in the film, and makes us think that this isn't happening in a world too far from our own, seeing as they are eating, drinking, driving and using all the same things we do. To me product placement helps us engage with the reader.

For the organizations trying to sell their products, product placement is a godsend. How many of you who have watched transformers can honestly tell me that after seeing the new Chevrolet Camaro SS gracefully modeled by bumblebee, you haven't sat back and dreamt about owning that car. I know I have.

At the end of the day the simple fact is product placement works and in my opinion enhances viewing rather than spoiling it. Furthermore how many people really care? I can't say until this assignment I've ever payed attention to product placement, at least on a conscious level anyway. Sure I've seen products in films and thought, 'yeah I like that' but its never detracted from my viewing experience. I guess product placement will always be one of those things that is fiercely debated. In the U.S its acceptable and continues to happen, whilst in the U.K, the regulating body Ofcom sees product placement as a pest and product placement continues to be illegal in the U.K. As far as my view goes, I like product placement I think its great and until it really does start to become a nuisance I say keep doing what your doing film industry!

Product Placements: Austin-Healey, BMW, Cadillac (Cadillac Escalade), Chevrolet (Chevrolet Camaro), Daewoo, Dodge, Ford (Ford Mustang), GMC (GMC Yukon), Aquafina, Hummer, Lexus, Peterbilt, Pontiac, Porsche, Saturn, Toyota, Volkswagen (Volkswagen Beetle), Enterprise, AAA, Apple, AT&T, BOSCH, Bose, Technics, Sennheiser, Cisco, DeWalt, GPX, HP, Nokia, Panasonic, Realistic, Beretta, Burger King, Ding Dong, HO HO's, Mountain Dew, Pepsi, Taco Bell, Pepto-Bismol, Washington Redskins, Boston Red Sox, Citi Group, Wells Fargo, USA Today, Yahoo!, Meltdown Comics, PayPal, Microsoft (Xbox), RadioShack, Dickies, eBay, G-Star Raw, NFL, Nike, Oakley, Reebok, USPS.