Friday, March 27, 2009

Going Green

The other day we were discussing the question, how do we know if corporations really care about the values they are marketing (such as recycling) or if the choices they make are based on monetary gain? I was at Disneyland over spring break and I saw the common theme of "going green", and they coupled it with Kermit the Frog; they had all sorts of merchandise plastered with Kermit the Frog and the slogan Go Green. On one hand, Disneyland has always had recycling cans so that makes me think they have always had that value, but I wonder if they are "jumping on the bandwagon" of going green for a little more profit. I don't know. But let me bring up the non-profit organizations. Their very title suggests that they aren't in it for the money...what is their motivation? Could it really be their values? Anyone?

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Did somebody say McDonalds?

Just sitting here in my room I could probably count about a hundred logos...Chap Stick, Disneyland, UVU, Jansport, Silver, DVD, Pepsi, etc. When we were kids, even before we could read, we were able to recognize tons of logos; we knew that the golden arches = chicken nuggets. This was mostly thanks to television, and the food and toy marketers who targeted us, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. I think it would be awesome to have a company that millions of people could explain who you are and what you do as soon as they see your logo. Especially with logos such as the Nike "swoosh," it's just assumed that the general public knows what that represents. Then there are logos (even ones with words) that aren't as easily recognized. For example, when the drink goyin was new and first started advertising, the only thing that would be on a sign or a billboard would be that name. I finally googled it to see what it was, and did the same thing with Orange Soda. I think that sometimes being mysterious is a good marketing strategy, until your company or product becomes more well known. But just for some more examples, I think most of the following logos are ones that are quickly and easily recognized, almost "common knowledge."

Closing Remarks

Here are some of the comments I was going to make in class this past week and didn't get a chance to :) Just a last word on gender roles and race representation in the media before we move on. A few classes ago, Errin was talking about driving up to Salt Lake and noticing how different races were represented on the billboards; they really aren't. We discussed that maybe this was because the advertiser's target market is the population majority in this area. The other day I was driving to Provo from Spanish Fork and I noticed a sign for the Provo Towne Center Mall that said, "Welcome to the mall, mom." and another sign for a carpet cleaning service that said something to the effect of "Clean Carpets, Happy Women." If I wasn't in this class I really wouldn't have thought anything about it, but my first thought was, ok with these advertisements the mall is targeting "moms" and the carpet cleaning billboard could be targeting men by saying they're wives will be happy if they get the carpets cleaned, because it's assumed that they women already naturally want they're carpets cleaned but it's the men who are holding them back. My second thought was what is being said about women through this advertising? How are they being represented? These signs could be saying that all women are shopaholics and "clean freaks", and that being a homemaker and a mom is their primary gender role.

We also discussed different TV shows and what percentage of other races are represented in the casting of these shows, and what roles they play. I couldn't help but think of Survivor, and how every season they seem to have x number of black people, Asians, and men and women. Sometimes when I watch these shows or see certain advertisements (for example, the promotional materials for UVU) I feel like the producers are trying to meet a "quota of diversity," whether this is the case or not. I know our community has a lot of diversity, but sometimes it feels like this diversity isn't represented accurately.

Someone also made the comment this week about an actor not being cast because of the color of his skin, despite his experience. I started thinking about a case that I think is just the opposite of this. In Much Ado About Nothing, Denzel Washington plays the part of Don Pedro and the part of his brother (illegitimate brother) Don John is played by Keanu Reeves. Obviously, the two aren't brothers, but in a discussion I had with a friend, she said that Washington got the part not because of the color of his skin but because he's a great actor and played the part of Don Pedro well.