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.

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Scary Mary

Commercials on T.V. They can be extremely annoying, or surprisingly entertaining. They are made to make us feel a certain way about what is being sold. Most commercials have happy music playing in the background, this music digs into our subconscious and insists that our life will be happy once we buy the product.

The producers of these ads are pretty much manipulating us, but not necessarily in a bad way, depending on what the product is. In class we were given an article about Nivea "My Silhouette" Cream. Nivea claimed that this new cream could dissolve body fat. A huge lie of course, but people fell for it.

Nivea got in big trouble for this one. The product was discontinued. Now a-days there are restrictions for ads, you can't lie, but you can definitely manipulate. You can cut and paste only the good qualities of what your selling, unless the bad is something crazy and life threatening. 

I find it interesting how much of an impact music has in ads. Music can make us feel happy or sad, it can bring up emotions about certain times in our lives, or remind us of products! I can't really describe how easily our perception can be manipulated, but as long as you're familiar with Mary Poppins and the Shining, these videos will explain everything.
Mary Poppins suddenly becomes a scary horror film, the Shining becomes a happy family bonding movie and Duracell becomes a magical battery that will not only power your headphones, it will clear the smoke for people stuck in a forest fire and bring beams of light to your rainy days! But be reminded, these aren't lies, these are misperceptions. 

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Social Media & Crocs

Its amazing how much social media impacts our lives now.

I don’t think it is a bad thing either, depending on how it is used. I think social media is best used to keep in contact with friends who have moved, or to make last minute plans. It is how we learn what it going on in the world so quickly its almost right away. Back in the old days, when there were no cars or buses, people had to walk or use horses to get from place to place, and sometimes that would take days. Days of no contact with their families. Could you imagine being in the dark like that? People would have no idea what anyone else was up to! 

Crazy right? Today, Crocodile Dundee here would have just whipped out his cell phone and updated his Twitter before he was gobbled up. Do you know how long it would take for someone to find that book?  This guy would have been missing for months before anyone even knew what happened. 

I’ve never really got into Twitter until last week. If you follow the right people, it’s like a constant stream of news. One of my teachers talked about a fight on the Cineplex Staff Twitter, so I started following them. I would still prefer see news on the news, I like having some sort of visual when I hear a story, but you have to wait for that. With twitter, the updates are instant; you know what’s happening to the minute. 

With so much information coming at us I can completely understand why so many people seem to have some sort of ADHD. There is just so much to do at once, it’s hard to keep focused on what matters sometimes, it’s like being in a store full of your favourite foods and you’re only allowed to pick two or three. In those rare moments when we end up in a place with no cell phone/internet reception we run around waving our electronic devices in the air like idiots looking for a signal. Sometimes we just need to chill out, and focus on what is actually in the room with us.

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Rainbows on Fire (Because "my first blog" is a boring title)

I have always thought about writing a blog, but could never decide what to write about, and always figured that no one would care enough to read it. In class we talked about blogging, and it is amazing how often people get noticed because of their blogs, and also how many companies use blogs. Apparently, companies and important people like to Google their names to see if anything about them is floating around online, so if you blog about the right things, you will be noticed.

Being noticed, this is the whole reason I want to get into advertising. Companies are always trying to get themselves noticed, by advertising their latest product, or by promoting their brand name. A great way to get noticed is to do something insane, like this Dairy Queen ad: 

Unlike Dairy Queen, I am not going to light a rainbow on fire to get noticed. I am going to write out my thoughts on what I learn in the next few months.  Hopefully you will find it interesting  and insightful, I will try to keep my views on advertising as exciting as possible.