ashley's vista

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Location: Portland, Oregon, United States

Eating, living and breathing in beautiful Portland.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

The Proliferation of Internet Advertising

Something that has recently been very annoying to me and that has been widely used as an advertising tactic are pop-ups. I have set as my homepage on my laptop, and every time I go to the Web site to peruse the news, a freaking pop-up jumps out at me on the right side of the page, covering the links to the news segments that I want to read. The worst part is that there aren't any of the "X Close" boxes in the upper or lower corners of the advertisements anymore, which gave me the wonderful option of selective exposure, and I could close the darn thing right away if I didn't want to watch the advertisement.

Now I just have to sit there and wait for the advertisement to be over, and of course I don't even pay any attention to it because I'm so frustrated that the pop-up is covering the link that I want to click on.

The average person is exposed to about 1,000 advertising messages daily, and with the rise of Internet advertising, that number can be expected to grow. The nuisance factor can be expected to grow along with it as well. What ever happened to selective exposure in advertising??

Labels: pop-up

Dove's Sleeveless Ready Campaign

Dove's "Are You Sleeveless Ready?" campaign has received a lot of criticism lately, especially from feminists. Yes, we have come a long way in regards to equality, and yes, some women might take offense to an advertising campaign that is trying to build self-esteem by targeting women's armpits. To me, this campaign is a good idea in theory; however, it exudes a little bit of puffery by claiming that a woman's armpit is going to be prettier if she applies Dove's Ultimate Clear deodorant to her pits.

There are some good highlights about the deodorant in the campaign like, be "naturally comfortable in the look and feel of your underarms," which is just a fancy way of saying your armpits won't smell if you use Dove's deodorant. I'm not so sure about its claim to "possess the confidence to wear underarm-baring fashion." The "new" self-esteem building deodorant is probably just the exact same deodorant Dove always offers, but now it's just in a new package with a different advertising angle.

Talking about armpits is a little bit awkward, having an advertising campaign that claims that one's armpits are going to be prettier with the use of a particular deodorant is a little awkward as well.

Personally, I've had someone tell me I have nice armpits, and I honestly didn't know how to respond. Should I have said, "Thanks, your armpits aren't bad either" or should I have poked fun at the person for noticing my nether-body part? It's like saying, "Hey, I like your elbows." Just weird.

Trying to make a self-esteem building campaign out of armpits, which is a semi-awkward issue in itself, is a bold move on Dove's part. The campaign will likely reach its target audience, which are women in need of a good, strong deodorant for their pits. However, the campaign still exudes a little puffery, by saying that a woman's armpits will be prettier with the use of the Ultimate Clear deodorant.

Labels: Dove deodorant , Sleeveless Ready Campaign, feminist, criticism

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Marriott's Decision to Cater to Female Tenants

The grand opening of a new JW Marriott hotel in Grand Rapids, Michigan has dedicated an entire floor solely to female travellers. This idea is good in theory, however I'm not so sure if it is a step forward or backward in light of the feminist civil rights movements and issues of equality.

Also, the spokesperson Andrea Groom highly contradicted herself when she said that if a male wanted to request a room on the female-only floor, "it's not going to be an issue...he won't be excluded." In this case Groom was likely trying to be sensitive of gay men's safety issues, in that if a gay man wanted to request a room on the female-only floor, he better get a room.

But what if a man requests a room on the female-only floor and ends up being a serial rapist or murderer? Is this man "not going to be excluded" from the female-only floor? How are the hotel's staff supposed to know the difference? There are likely already enough video cameras and security in the hotels that a female-only floor is not needed.

This new female-only floor is just not a good idea. If Marriott is going to cater to female tenants, then it also needs to cater to the gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, transgender, queer, ethnic minority and every other stereotyped group in society. I understand the positive effort that Marriott was trying to make by addressing the needs of its consumers, but to me this only discriminates against other groups in society, including females.

Labels: Grand Rapids Marriott

Monday, June 4, 2007

Mis-informed Clients on Public Relations

In a recent post on Guy Kawasaki's blog, "How to Change the World," Margie Fisher provides a list of the top ten reasons why PR doesn't work. As an aspiring PR practitioner, I could see how disconnects in communication could lead a client to believe that public relations is not working in their favor.

I especially agree with reason #9: "Clients get upset when the media coverage is not 100% accurate or not the kind of coverage that they wanted." My first press conference that I organized and hosted, the Campaign for Affordable Textbooks, I thought was a complete disaster. There were only two media contacts present to cover the event, plus a crowd of about 15 people. However, I managed to get some great guest speakers and ended up with a 30-second segment on one of the leading news stations in Eugene, as well as an article in the local newspaper. I later learned that a 30-second segment is a good thing, considering that most news segments are only about minute long anyways. But people who are not in public relations don't understand the media relations process, which is why it may be viewed as inefficient to some clients to have only a small segment on television. But in reality, it is a good thing if positive publicity related to a client ends up on the news, because that means the issue is newsworthy.

I also agree with reason #10: "Clients won't change their schedules for the media. Clients need to drop everything if the media calls." One of the main points that I learned in my PR writing class focused on specifics about media relations, and one tip I remember is to always answer a reporter's phone call, or at least always return it the same day. Denying the media will not only burn a bridge with what could be a pivotal media outlet, it will eliminate an opportunity that a client had to inform and communicate with the public.

Labels: PR services