Friday, 2 December 2011


This will be my last blog of the season, however, I do intend to continue blogging in my free time. This blog is going to be about the impact that colours have on us. I would like to sidetrack and inform all you readers how frustrated I am that my laptop is apparently American. Yes laptop, the word colour IS spelt with a u.

But anyway, back to colours. To find inspiration to write this blog I traveled to a small convenience store, where I found a package of Skittles with a bracelet attached. (A crafty marketing ploy by Skittles). I am not a huge fan of Skittles, however, I found myself wanting to buy them. But why?

Because of the colours! Colours play on our emotions much like music does. Bright colours like the Skittles colours make us happy, dark colours are more serious and dreary.

McDonald's uses red and yellow because those colours make us hungry, while blue does not. Blue is not a colour that is naturally found in food, therefor we do not associate it with food.

A great tip when your sad, buy something colourful!! It will cheer you up guaranteed!

Friday, 25 November 2011

How to Gain Positive Publicity

We have been learning in class about how important it is to be bold and stand out. To be successful you need a crazy idea that no one else would even think of.

LuLu Lemon in downtown Kingston offered free outfits to the first ten people to show up wearing nothing. LuLu Lemon is a very expensive brand, so people went for this deal. The press showed up to see what customers would do, giving the event and store even more publicity.

Many new businesses do something outrageous on opening day to gain attention, because clearly it works. Only unlike LuLu Lemon most businesses hold some sort of contest, instead of asking naked people to show up. This Publicity stunt was just crazy enough to work in a positive way for LuLu Lemon, and not ruin the business's reputation.

Companies must be very careful when planning a stunt. If it's too crazy, the business will be seen in a negative light; possibly ruining it completely. Take the story of Balloon Boy for example. His parents wanted their own T.V. show, and planned this event for two weeks.
The moral of the story here is to not include children in your publicity stunt; everyone involved should probably understand the concept of a publicity stunt. Also, their is no real reason to lie to the public, we tend to frown upon lies. There are many other ways to get media attention and to make your business stand out.

 After all, LuLu Lemon didn't have to lie to its customer's to get them to undress. 

Thursday, 17 November 2011

The End of Semester Stress Fest

So many group assignments, so little time to complete them! I can barely even keep track of which group is doing what for each class. Luckily, there are many different types of people in this world, and each person usually takes on a role in their group.

I find that in each group there is a leader; someone who sorts out who does what and when the group meets, the person who does all the writing, the researcher and if your unlucky, the person who does as little as they can get away with. Because of all these different types of people, I am glad that most of our classes allow us to rate our group members. If someone is slacking, they don't deserve to get a higher mark with the rest of the group.

Working in groups really gives us a good idea of what the working world will be like. If we are going to become advertisers and marketers, we are going to end up stuck with a lot of group work. We will most likely have to work with a marketing team. If we aren't prepared for this type of work, its going to come as a real shock to us when we enter the work force.

Needless to say, I will be very happy when all these group projects are over. Five at once is a little hard handle, but it is better than having a lineup of exams. This way we are not on our own, each student has at least 2 other pairs of eyes to look over their work for mistakes, and having a stress fest is much more fun when your with your friends!

Here are some easy stress relief tips! I also recommend not procrastinating. Just get what you have to do over with!

Friday, 11 November 2011

Muffler Tape

Recently I’ve been noticing the terrible quality of new products. Nothing is made to last anymore. I guess companies need to make money, so why should your iPod last 5 years? If it only lasts 2, you are still going to go back to Apple and buy the latest iPod, and Apple makes more money off of its loyal customers.
Most of these situations are understandable, especially with the frequent updates to phones and music players. But it some cases, it’s getting a bit ridiculous. Take muffler tape for example.
When your muffler has a hole in it, you are not in a good situation. Luckily, there’s a quick and cost efficient fix for that. Or so you thought. Muffler tape used to work great, it worked so great that the company that makes it wasn’t making money. The tape actually lasted, so there was no reason for the customer to buy more.
The company now sells strips of tape for $6 that last maybe a week. I think this is a bit extreme, sure it keeps the company alive, but it isn’t really fair to the customers as a muffler is much more important than an iPod.
Another reason that things aren’t made to last comes from people’s need to shop and constantly have new things, but my question is where did that need to come from?

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Bowls or Bags?

I like that all companies need to maintain some sort of social responsibility to be perceived as "good" in customer's eyes. Most companies do help out charities, such as CIBC's Run for the Cure that we talked about in class.

Keith Tuckwell talked about the Sun Chip's bag that is compostable. If every company started using this type of bag for their chips it would reduce the garbage we produce by a significant amount. But of course, people are picky, and the bag made too much noise when crinkled. The simple solution would be to pour the chips into a bowl and dispose of the noisy bag, but apparently bowls aren't very convenient if your just hanging out downtown or on a road trip.

Now, if Sun Chip's really wanted to get creative, they would hire the St. Lawrence advertising class to come up with a plan to make this bag work. We are working on a few case studies right now for companies with similar situations, such as Red Bull and Second Cup. I think Sun Chips should somehow run an ad campaign about pouring your chips into a bowl, this would be a much more humorous and inexpensive way to fix the problem rather than trying to change the bag to cut down on the noise.

The bag must still be compostable so that the company can fulfill it's social responsibility, but who knows how long it will take to figure out how to make it quieter. I am hoping that more companies do something like with with their packaging. Packaging is a huge part of marketing the product, but once the product is purchased it just ends up in a landfill. 

Friday, 28 October 2011

Appeal Techniques

In class we have been learning all sorts of advertising terms and techniques.

One of the major ones is appeal techniques. Ads can have a sexual appeal, positive or negative appeal, lifestyle appeals, humorous appeals and emotional appeals. 

These appeal techniques are the marketers way of playing with our feelings. I find it very interesting how some ads make people feel, like the “I'm a mac, and I'm a PC” ads for example. They were very effective, yet a fair amount of people felt sorry for the PC. I have to admit I felt sorry for the PC too, he's just trying to go about his life while Justin Long rambles on about how much better a Mac is. 

People also tend to get emotionally attached to products, possibly because the product is made out to be a hero in the ads, or because they think their life will be better with that product. This usually happens with cars. Not many people need fast sporty looking cars, yet they all want one. Some people even name their cars, car companies know this and they will play on our weaknesses in the ads. Everyone wants to be the person with the cool car.

To demonstrate whether the need for a product is rational or emotional, the next time you see an ad and feel the need to go out and buy the product it is pushing at you, ask yourself "do I really need this to make my life better? Or will it just make me feel better?"

Friday, 21 October 2011

Its Everywhere

All of this information you are taking in can be quite overwhelming. 

Especially when you have 5 assignments, a test, and a presentation due in the same week. You start to feel like you need a break. But there is no break from advertising, in case you forgot it’s everywhere!

The question is, how much information do we miss? Out of almost thirty people only 1 person remembered what an ad on a 15 minute video was for. The ad stayed in the same place for the entire time. Companies spend tons of money on research to try to determine the best possibly place for ads to be seen by their target audience. Is all of this research accurate?

I believe that it is accurate. Sure, a lot of ads go right by us, we forget about them the second they are over. But if you really think about it, those ads probably aren’t aimed at you. If you are happy with your cell phone, you aren’t going to give cell phone ads a second thought.

On a creepier note, some of these ads are probably getting into our subconscious. Brand loyalty is all in our heads half the time, the other half actually is because the quality of the products. Some people will only buy clothing from a certain brand,  or have water to drink if the restaurant they are at has Coke instead of Pepsi.

Advertisers go to extremes to get that type of insistence. They are good at what they do, and they get the attention of the people they target.