Thursday, August 17, 2017

~ Week 8 ~

BANNED BOOKS & YOUR BOOKSHELF

  1. Looking through the banned books on the ALA website, I found multiple books that I have read in the past including: The Hunger Games, Thirteen Reasons Why, Brave New World, To Kill a Mockingbird, and Of Mice and Men. I read all but one of those books for school. Although I did not personally enjoy them, I had to read them for class and projects. Most of them I actually read in Middle School, then a few in High School. I read The Hunger Games and Thirteen Reasons Why for my enjoyment though. I like both books, but I do understand why they would both be on the banned list for violence and touchy subjects such as rape, killing others, and suicide.
  2. I think that limiting access to various books and other materials in public schools might be a good idea, but not for local libraries. At school, classes can force you to read these books as part of the curriculum. I do agree that some are too touchy and revealing for younger children, but High School students should be able to handle it. Middle schoolers are forced to read these books as well and that is outrageous to me. They are still young and innocent, not yet exposed to all of the realities of life. High schoolers, on the other hand, are more exposed and these books do provide meaningful lessons, so they should be able to read them. Local libraries should be able to hold these books because they are open to the public's choice. If one wants to read the book, they can. If one thinks it is too profane and raunchy, they don't have to. Restricting books in a library is like restricting movies from RedBox or Netflix, which clearly does not happen.
  3. Although I do not have much time to read, I do have some of my favorites still on my bookshelf. Those include sappy love stories that I can't get enough of or mystery books that keep me on the edge. Sarah Dessen is a romance writer and her stories always have caught my attention. Having her books would show that I am a sucker for a good love story, but who isn't? Next, I'll be admitting that I own every Nicholas Sparks movie ever as well! The mystery books include mostly Nancy Drew from when I was younger, but I enjoy the look of them on my bookshelf, and I haven't come to a time mentally to give them away. I think these mysterious books show I also like some excitement along with my romance!

MAGAZINES

  1. Subscribing to magazines seem pointless to me because anything I read in there, I could also just search into Google. With that being said, I have to admit that I have become sucked into a few "deals" where I receive a year's subscription to some magazine apparently for "free" (Although somehow I always end up with some sort of charge, how does that work?). Some magazines that I somehow signed myself up for is the Cosmopolitan magazine. Whenever I receive one in the mail, my first thought is, did I order this? I do always look through it anyways, just for the heck of it. Some things I enjoy reading about such as the latest trends and perfume samples and what not, but I mostly just scan through the pictures. Another one that interests me comes from my Dad's incidental subscription he somehow signed himself up for. It is an Off Road magazine with all the latest gadgets for trucks, dirt bikes, sand rails, jeeps, and so on. I enjoy reading this because we are a total desert family, so these types of products actually interest me. I usually scan through finding the coolest looking truck, then spend time looking at the different rims and packages to figure out how I can make my truck look just like that one! The other time I read magazines is, of course, the doctor's office. The waiting room is full of them, and I always go for the People magazine. I find the stories on all the actors and actresses so ridiculous, but they still intrigue me to read the "dirt" on all the latest breakups, scandals, and diets. My favorite thing about magazines in Doctor's offices is playing the finding game. Where my mom and I both choose a magazine, find one object within it, switch magazines, and race to find what the other person picked. This is probably the most exhilarating I become when it comes to magazines, besides that, they don't quite peak my interest.
  2. The advertising for the People and Cosmopolitan magazines are all going to be on the newest, best makeup products, perfumes, colognes for your man, underwear from Victoria Secret, diets to look just like celebrities, and more clothing from expensive stores. These advertisements are intelligent though because we as readers do fall for it. We think to ourselves, "if I buy that product or clothing item or start this weird diet, I will look just like that celebrity". They trick us into buying their products, but let's just say it works. The advertising in the Off Road magazine is more my type of advertising. The different sound packages offered, the new rims that will make your car look even better, different types of cleaners to have the shiniest car, and so on. Although, both types of advertising still pull us under to purchase these things to either make ourselves or our cars look better. Magazines are a great place for these advertisements overall because they do tempt people. As a consumer, I think it shows that we truly all want the same thing, to feel good about ourselves and our vehicles. It shows that we do fall for the media's tricks, but I don't see that stopping anytime soon!

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

~ Week 7 ~ Blog Project #2

Media Product Review

















GIFTED 

A movie about family, 
loyalty, and the reality of hard choices. A touching story about a little girl growing up with her Uncle, more like a Father. It will touch your heart and make you tear up no matter how hard you try not to. A movie leaving you feeling happy and warm inside. 











INTRODUCTION

  • This movie came out in April of this year and I was for sure at the theater opening day. This movie immediately took place on my top ten movies because of it's sweet, touching story. I chose this movie because it was a lovely movie that everyone should see, and if someone has not seen it, then maybe they will be tempted after reading this review. It had amazing reviews from major news sites such as New York Times, Empire, LA Times, and Washington Post.
  • Watch the Trailer below, CAUTION: It will have you running to Red Box to rent the movie!



DESCRIBE
  • Movie Director : Marc Webb 
  • Also known for 500 Days of Summer (included in the Top Ten lists of many main websites in 2009), Amazing Spider Man 1 and 2. He is known for his use of "quirky humor in his music videos and movies" (Gifted 2017). Along with being a director, he is also a producer.
  • Writer : Tom Flynn 
  • Screenwriter known for "Watch It". Married to an actress and acting coach, Andi Matheny. Born in Lima, Ohio and graduated from the University of Dayton with an English Literature degree. (Gifted 2017).
  • Lead Actors
  • Chris Evans : Born in Massachusetts. Especially known for Fantastic Four, the Avengers, and Captain America. He has a long list of Awards and Nominations under the MTV movie rewards, Teen Choice Awards, People's Choice Awards, Scream Awards, Critic's Choice Rewards, Saturn Rewards. He won the Best Superhero (Scream), Best Fight (MTV), Favorite Action Movie Actor (People's), Choice Movie Scene Stealer (Teen), and Choice Movie Actor Sci-Fi/Fantasy (Teen). (Chris).
  • McKenna Grace : Born in Grapevine, Texas. Also known for her work in Designated Survivor and Mr. Church. She is loved for her spunk and talent as a young actress.
  • Lindsay Duncan : Born in England. Also known for About Time, Birdman, and Alice in Wonderland. She has won three awards, two Olivier Rewards, and a Tony Award for for Private Lives. Another Tony nomination for Les Liaisons dangereuses. (Lindsay)
  • Octavia Spencer : Born in Montgomery, Alabama. Also known for The Shack, Hidden Figures, Fruitvale Station, The Help and many others. Her role in The Help won her the Academy Award, Golden Globe, SAG, BAFTA, and Critic's Choice Movie Award for Best supporting Actress. Fruitvale Station gave her a critically acclaimed performance also winning her the National Board of Review Award for Best Supporting Actress. Hidden Figures role gave her nominations for another Academy Award, Golden Globe, and SAG.  (Octavia)
  • Plot Summary : A young girl named Mary lives with her Uncle Frank after his sister ended her life due to stress of being a mathematician. They enjoy living together and wouldn't want it any other way, they are best friends. Young Mary has a talent given to her from her mother - amazing math skills. Her teacher at school realizes she is "gifted" and wants to send her to a better school. Uncle Frank truly thinks her mother would want her to live a normal life at a normal school. Quite the opposite, his mother, Evelyn shows up out of the blue to take Mary to give her a higher educated lifestyle. This story and plot goes through a custody battle over sweet Mary. 
  • Box Office : 34.2 Million 

ANALYZE
  • The other works by the director, Marc Webb, include 500 Days of Summer and the Amazing Spider Man 1 and 2. Although I have not seen 500 Days of Summer, I have heard lots about it. It is one of my sister's favorite movies, so I asked her for her opinion on the movie compared to Gifted. She says that the two movies may be similar in the way that they both have a sweet, love story with some humor thrown in. The love story being different though because in Gifted, it's between family and 500 Days of Summer, between a man and a woman. I have seen the Amazing Spider Mans though and I would say overall, they are very different from Gifted. Amazing Spider Mans are very action packed, but I would not expect them to be similar because they are different genres of movies. The one thing I would say is similar is the kind relationships he puts into the movies. For example, the aunt and the son in the first Amazing Spider Man 1 and 2 have a very close, bonded relationship which creates a sweet relationship throughout the story, similar to the relationship of the daughter and uncle in Gifted. Both have the theme of showing how important family is and how they are always there when you need them. Both movies have the idea of a messed up family, with both of the kids' parents out of the picture. They both show a broken family bonded by what they have. 
  • There is an endless amount of movies under this same genre. A torn apart family and their issues staying together in what they have. Some movies with the same genre of children prodigies include Akeelah and the Bee, August Rush, Hidden Figures, and Good Will Hunting. For example, Akeelah and the Bee, Akeelah has an amazing talent of spelling and doesn't have a good life at her home due to family issues. August Rush, the boy is born a music prodigy and tries to find his birth parents using it. Hidden Figures, the talented women whose math skills solved so many things for NASA, all of which had troubled homes and childhoods due to their race at that time of history. Good Will Hunting portrays a man who was a janitor who is also secretly extremely mathematically inclined. He comes from a bad background and never got to use his knowledge to it's full potential. All of these movies do include older children or even adults, unlike Gifted, where Mary is very young, but they all have gifted people who do not get to easily live up to their full potential or have broken families which makes everything worse.
INTERPRETATION
  • This movie represents so much of what people go through everyday. The reality of custody battles is very common today more than ever. Unfortunately, broken families are seen a lot today, with divorced parents, deceased parents, fights over children and their rights, and much more than that. This movie shows the reality that happens, but with a sweet ending. Although not everyone gets a happy ending, this movie represents how hard work and fighting for family can turn things around. 
  • The only trend the movie may be reflecting of our culture is broken families. Although it is not a fun, popular trend, it is very common in this culture nowadays to have a broken family. Whether it be divorced parents, cheating parents, deceased family, or anything else, it is very uncommon to have a monogamist family these days. In the movie, the mother was dead and the father was not even in the picture, which we sadly see often. The daughter lives with her Uncle, which is a normal thing for children to do when their parents aren't in the picture - go to other family members. I think the movie helps show that no matter how broken a family is, there is still some type of love bond between them.
  • The target audience is family in general. It is an overall family-friendly movie and can be entertaining to all ages. I think it may also be geared towards parents because they would understand the concepts on a deeper level than children would. Also, parents may be able to relate to the story if they had gone through a similar experience.
  • Honestly, I would say the movie doesn't includes any major stereotypes or offensive messages. The only stereotype I could think of is the common portrayed rich, high-end mother who thinks that her son's not-so-high-end life is repulsive. A typical stereotype of rich mothers and children not wanting to be like their parents. I think they avoided most stereotypes and offensive messages by having an overall racially diverse cast with. The movie was full of good, important messages, but none of which were offensive because it was not that type of movie.
EVALUATION
  • Strengths : The overall strength of this movie is the message it sends - showing that the love and bond of a family is most important over anything else, unlike her grandmother just using her for her talents. The choice of cast is also a huge strength because everyone played their part extremely well. The cast has a lot to do with a movie, more than just the message, and the characters showed so much passion for their roles, that we felt that passion as viewers. Even McKenna Grace who is actually eleven, who plays a seven-year old (Mary), could get into her character so well and do the tougher scenes with such ease. For example, their was a scene where she was very angry, crying and yelling at her Uncle Frank. It seemed so realistic that it makes the audience all cry for her. She is so young, yet so talented, so their choice to pick her greatly influenced the movie as a whole. The soundtrack of the movie is another strength. Music alone can cause so many emotions to the one's listening and their choice of songs at each point of the movie couldn't have been more perfect. For example, the music playing in the sad scenes just made you cry even harder, but then during the happy parts, the music uplifted you so much, you couldn't help but smile (and of course, happy tears).
  • Weaknesses : It is very hard to find a weakness in one of my favorite movies, so I did some research to find out what other people thought the weaknesses were. Washington Post had all good things to say about it, but it did admit it was very predictable with romantic love entanglement and the court's decisions (O'Sullivan). Empire also enjoyed the movie with a good review, except one thing - the predictability. They claim that Marc Webb could do better than he did because "he slips into obvious pitfalls and booby-traps" (Lawrence). I do understand their comments about the predictability of the movie, but it doesn't make me love it any less!
  • The movie is phenomenal in my opinion and other reviews have just as amazing things to say about the movie. It's smart, touching, and just a great movie. I wouldn't say it's the best piece of work by Marc Webb only because the reviews would say that. In my opinion, it is because I enjoy these genres of movies over his other works, such as Amazing Spider Man. The reviews from above, Washington Post and Empire, both say that his other work is more exciting and unpredictable which makes his other works better than this.
  • Memorable. This movie is a memorable movie due to it's sweet story and will not be forgotten next week. It's memorable because of it's cast and story, I think this movie is one of those that you watch on a good day or a bad day or whatever the mood. It's a feel good movie and there can never be enough of those!
  • Bob Hoose from Plugged In, a popular critics website for families to check out before seeing a movie with their children, writes an excellent, detailed review on Gifted. He discusses all of the positive and negative elements of the movie. Positive factors including that the movie "delivers a warm, heartstring-plucking message about our inbuilt need to love and be loved" (Hoose). He admits that the movie, which I fully agree with, is a "uplifting, wipe-a-tear-from-your-eye stuff that even the most grumpy and solitary minded among us would have a tough time frowning over" (Hoose). On the other hand, he does take note of some negative factors including that the movie has "a handful of headshake-worthy bits" that weren't necessarily needed in the movie, such as Uncle Frank's drinking tendencies and an f-word thrown in there. I truly agree with Hoose's review and would say it's similar to my review. Rotten Tomatoes gives the movie a 70% and comes to the consensus that the movie " isn't quite as bright as its pint-sized protagonist, but a charming cast wrings respectably engaging drama out of a fairly predictable premise" (Gifted). Another top critic named Rex Reed states on Rotten Tomatoes that the movie is just a "formulaic and manipulative tearjerker that is really nothing more than a woman's picture from a man's point of view" (Gifted). These reviews from Rotten Tomatoes are not the same as mine as I do not agree with them. I think their reviews aren't looking at the whole story, but nitpick on one element and make their review based off of that. I'll stick with Bob Hoose's review!
ENGAGE
  • There is an official Gifted Movie Instagram with pictures and mini videos from the movie. The account has 13.2K followers which shows how many people enjoyed this movie. I think having an Instagram is a good idea to spread the movie and have more people fall in love with the movie. I did not find Marc Webb's Instagram, but I did find Octavia Spencer's Instagram and Chris Evan's fan's Instagram which all post stuff related to the movie. All of these accounts have people raving about the movie.
  • I have not gone out and bought another movie by this director, but I just happen to already own 500 Days of Summer and the Amazing Spider Mans. I am ahead of the game and am soon about to own Gifted to add to my Marc Webb collection.
  • I watched all of Webb's works on DVD, Red Box, or in the movie theater. I first saw them all in the theaters, then ended up renting and buying them later on.
  • My whole family loves this movie as well, we watch it often for our family movie nights because it makes us all feel happy and warm. I tell all my friends about it as well, so they can all love it just as much as me!

SUMMARY
  • I just don't know if I can state this too often - it's a heart warming, tear-up type of movie and will forever be one of my favorites. From my research, most people agree with me. Some certain critics have something else to say about it, but I will choose to respectfully ignore those
    reviews. I learned that even the best movies can have bad reviews, but that doesn't change my opinion on the movie at all. The actors themselves have great profiles, even some with awards, and they all made the movie special with their spectacular role playing. It's a cute, make you smile and cry at the same time, movie and if you haven't seen it, you better change that.

Works Cited"Chris Evans." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 08 Aug. 2017."Gifted." Gifted (2017) - Rotten Tomatoes. N.p., 07 Aug. 2017. Web. 09 Aug. 2017."Gifted (2017)." IMDb. IMDb.com, n.d. Web. 08 Aug. 2017.Hoose, Bob. "Gifted | Movie Review." Plugged In. N.p., 25 July 2017. Web. 09 Aug. 2017.Lawrence, Will. "Gifted." Empire. Empire, 05 June 2017. Web. 09 Aug. 2017."Lindsay Duncan." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 08 Aug. 2017."Octavia Spencer." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 08 Aug. 2017.O'Sullivan, Michael. "Review | 'Gifted': Tale of 6-year-old math prodigy is formulaic but charming." The Washington Post. WP Company, 06 Apr. 2017. Web. 09 Aug. 2017.Photo #1 Photo #2 Photo #3









Thursday, August 3, 2017

~ Week 6 ~

NEWSPAPERS

  • Local news comes mostly from social media or word of mouth for me. To be completely honest, local news is not super important to me and I do not pay much attention to the news. It only saddens me and worries me about everything that is happening in the world today. If it is important or big enough, I will see it on social media or hear it from family or friends. As for social media, Instagram and Snapchat are my go-to's. People will post on Instagram about a recent event if they feel strongly enough about it and I will see it there. Snapchat has different stories from different news sites. I mostly watch the DoDo which includes recent news stories involving animals. I do sometimes check out Cosmopolitan and BuzzFeed stories, which catches me up on a few things. My family does receive a newspaper on Sundays, but I never make an effort to read through it to catch up on recent events. I know these are credible because they are all well known news sites that many people look at daily. 
  • I do not subscribe to any online news sources and wouldn't be willing to pay. There are so many credible sites such as MSN, Newspaper Sites, and online TV news, that paying for something "special" would just be pointless and a waste of money to me. With all the free sources to access news, I do not understand who would pay and why they would. It is not worth it to me, but maybe some others think it is worth it to them.
  • I would give myself a 2, but I do blame mostly myself for that. I choose to not keep myself updated on the news of today because most of it is not worth reading about including stuff on celebrity scandals, sports news, or more hatred on Trump. I choose to not waste my time on this type of activity. Because of that, I am not super up to date on what's going on nationwide. In my community, I would say I am though because most of the events around me are just spread by word of mouth. It is not very important to me to be well informed in most of the information. If something ever big enough happens or something that may be a threat to me, I would hear about it through people near me. For example, when a large accident happened in my town, everyone was hearing about it because it was so close to everyone and the people involved were well known. Bigger events, such as nationwide, like ISIS incidents are well talked about situations all over, so I hear about it from others as well. 



FAKE NEWS

  • President Trump is always looking for more publicity. Deeming news stories or companies as "fake" will only cause more news stories of him from those companies, which he wants. He enjoys the publicity and spotlight on himself, whether is be good or bad because either way, people are talking about him. I disagree with the President because I think making certain news stories or companies as a whole seem fake is incorrect. I think that news events may be slightly twisted or changed, just some certain details for different reasons, but not the whole story or company. 
  • I agree with the journalists who believe the president is doing the American public a disservice and harming the democracy and the First Amendment with his attacks on journalism and the free press. I think his claiming of "fake news" and his attacks are just causing more problems for himself. He, out of all people, should be supporting the First Amendment in its entirety, which includes the freedom of journalism. I think, like stated above, he does this to receive more attention from these journalists and the press.
  • In a recent article from the Washington Post, Trump's attacks on free press came back to bite him in the butt. It discusses the things he said against the free press and that "he took on the institution of a free press - and it fought back"(Milbank). As of stating things how it is, he also threatened journalists from writing on him or else he would rewrite the free press laws. Threats are quite the opposite from the comfort we look to our president for. It was mentioned many different times on different Time's articles that had an consequence from Trump. My favorite part, at the very end of the article it states that although Trump may be feeling cornered or drawn, he is experiencing "the power of the free press in a free country" (Milbank). I think that our democracy is weakened by the current state of affairs regarding the media and journalism, only because there's too many hurt feelings involved. The free press is reporting on the latest events, all true and important, yet the people involved are being "hurt" because the truth is spilled and made public, making them look bad. All of the reports are causing consequences to those involved, whether they were in the wrong or not. I think journalism and free press is overall very important and a right given to us, but it can cause issues. It comes down to this - if you (Trump) do not want to be exposed or exploited or attacked for doing certain unfair things, then stop doing them. 

Thursday, July 27, 2017

~ Week 5 ~

TOPIC 1 : FIRST AMENDMENT, COPYRIGHT & FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION
  1. The Mouse Liberation Front. A terrorist group enlisting cartoonists to draw their own Mickey. The leader, O'Niel was taken to the Supreme Court. So interesting to me! So many people took the original Mickey Mouse and turned him into many other things, such as drug-dealing Mickey, which Disney quickly sued that company for. Other Mickey's included CIA Mickey and Steamboat Willy. Another shocking thing mentioned in the video was that Disney lashed out at a daycare in Florida for having images of Disney characters on their wall. This was after Walt had left and Disney became very protective over their stuff and made sure to find anyone who may have been using it. This shocks me how insane Disney became after Walt. He built the company for one reason and I feel like the next owners messed with that image by suing everyone they could. I think that the freedom of expression factor should cover using Disney characters for decoration, especially at a children's place. I think in my past Elementary school days, Disney characters were displayed everywhere and I never heard an issue with that. The children all know and love the characters, why is it so bad to display them without Disney's approval? Just for a sticker? Seems a bit out of control if you ask me!
  2. I do not think I often come into a situation where I wonder if I am doing something illegal with copyright, but a few times I have had to think twice about it. In middle school, I made videos with my friends and put them on YouTube, all which included music. I notice that people often comment something along the lines of "I do not own this song" or "I mean no copyright", so I thought I'd comment something along those lines. Yet, my video was declined multiple times from being uploaded due to copyright issues. How would I properly post a video using someone else's music? Same idea with pictures being used in different projects and papers of mine. When I search a word into Google and click Images, am I doing anything illegal by using those pictures? If I add the link or citation from it underneath the photo, does that make it legal and right?
  3. I often see musicians/artists and famous people in general go too far in exercising their freedom of speech. They do this by many different ways, but social media is an often place of arguments. I have seen many times where a musician tweets something that causes a huge backlash on themselves simply because they were sharing their opinion, just a bit too harshly. I think many people share their opinions strongly behind a screen just because they have the freedom to do so, although it may not be the best thing to state out loud, especially when you're famous and observed by millions of fans daily.
  4. My opinion of these incidents is just anger that someone is that immature to take their freedom and use it in an inappropriate way. Everyone deserves to share their opinion, it should just be in a calm, orderly manner, not in a way that will start a fight. I think their should be more regulations on what people can post/say on social media. Although some things can be reported, too many posts are not taken down by the company which allows it to cause unnecessary controversy. 

TOPIC 2 : WIKILEAKS

  1. WikiLeaks actions are good and bad depending on who you ask. I feel two different ways on this topic. I think that some people (including the ones being exposed - government/military), along with one side of me, thinks that it is an invasion of confidential documents that we should not be able to see. There are so many things that the government/military hide from us, but in some ways, it's for the best. If everyone knew what was really going on, there could be riots, panics, and many other awful reactions leading to way bigger issues. On the other hand, I think that it enlightens us on what's going on behind our backs everyday. Because the government/military is so secretive, it may scare some people because they want to know what's truly going on with America. 
  2. I feel that way because I think it's important to allow the people of the States access to what's going on behind the scenes because it's our right as an American citizen to understand the secrets of our nation. I think that could also be very dangerous to give people access to the confidential stuff because they would panic knowing all of the things that's happening. Knowledge can be a good or a bad thing, but in this situation, if I had to choose one, I say that WikiLeaks is bad and I feel that way because it is opening American's eyes to things we should never have to see, especially younger children and teens who have access to the internet. If it's already happening, our knowledge of it would only cause uproar and panic amongst the nation. 
  3. For example, my point of view could be supported by the event when WikiLeaks shared the video in Iraq of people being shot. Citizens seeing this video caused an uproar of the U.S. Military. The U.S. Military used a law within the Rules of Engagement to make it an acceptable action. The military got so much backlash from this video though, how is that helpful to us as citizens? Maybe they made a few bad actions, but we are a safe, free country because of our military. I personally feel that WikiLeaks is trying to ruin the image of the military which is sad because of all they have done risking their lives for our freedom.
  4. The current state of free speech, access to information/internet or freedom of expression/creativity is overall at a stand still. I think that we have the internet, which gives us an access to more information we could ever read in a lifetime. Although it may be used for good and bad, at the end of the day, it is very useful and I think that's just fine. Freedom of expression is very important to me because I think everyone should have a chance to share their opinion. What makes me so frustrated is people skewing the definition of freedom of creativity or expression. Having the freedom to do almost anything could be good to share one's opinion and maybe influence others, but when someone uses their "freedom" to bully people and hate on a topic or subject and outwardly show it, that's when it could get dangerous. Overall, I think that everything we have access and freedom to is a good thing, some just decide to use it for negative uses. I think there maybe should be more laws or regulation against how much freedom we should get on the internet to control those who take advantage of their freedom.
  5. For example, in my High School, social media was a huge thing. Of course it was, we were teenagers. The internet helped me through school with research and studying of all courses. Social media kept me up to date with my friends and connected with them. All good with those factors. Then, there was this "popular" group of kids, which really meant they were all rude, but seemed cool, so people worshipped them. Everyday they would tweet or post some new horrific thing talking badly and down on others. They were true bullies who took advantage of their freedom of expression and that's just sad.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

~ Week 4 ~ Media Blog Project #1

Topic #1 Advertising/Public Relations

Selling Burgers? Or Sex?
         Carl's Jr. is famous for their commercials including delicious looking burgers being "eaten" by half naked women. Now, what does a model in a bikini have to do with burgers? Well that's the thing - absolutely nothing, but it sells. What exactly makes it sell? Men enjoying the women thinking if they order a burger, maybe some hot, blonde model will come eat one with them? Or women thinking "if I eat that burger, I'll look just like that". Either way, it's insane and demeaning to women (and to burgers). I'd like to say before you read this, these are my personal opinions, but also I mean no offense towards men being trapped into this as campaign, it's understandable.


DESCRIBE

  • I am sure you have all seen a Carl's Jr. ad a time or two. Some seem more casual as if the half naked girl in a bikini is just casually walking down a street. Others include ridiculous, no casual scenarios with girls washing dirty trucks, three girls in a kitchen, one walking through a farm field dressed as a cowgirl. They all include some type of music and background as well. 
  • In 2005, the first of the sexy ads ALMOST appeared on TV with Paris Hilton washing a car. It was banned before even airing on TV, but still "gained notoriety and YouTube infamy" (Davies). Most of the girls featured in the ads are already famous either a model, actress, or famous for other reasons. Some names one would know include Kate Upton, Kim Kardashian, Emily Ratajkowski, and Audrina Patridge. 
  • The ads are all just around 1-3 minutes long and appear on TV quite often. They also have some billboards featuring images of these women eating the burgers. These ads became a series of different ones up until this year, when they decided to quit the "slutburger"'ad campaign.

ANALYZE
  • The only persuasive technique I would say they use is famous person appeal. They use famous models and actresses because they are already so well known by most men and women. Most of them already naturally have a sex appeal, so it makes it easy for producers to just simply through in some water or a fan to blow their hair to make them look even better. Besides that, I don't think they use any type of technique than just persuading the minds of men with mostly naked, usually wet bodies of women. Which, can technically be called a technique, but I wouldn't say it's a good one from a women's perspective. 
  • I would say it incorporates the association principle because they are trying to make the audience connect with what they are showing. For men, I'm sure they connect themselves to that women being shown amongst other things. For women, we connect to what they look like and wish we could have their bodies, while of course still enjoying big fat burgers just like them... right? 
  • I think it depends on who you ask if the campaign is effectively using that platform. Overall, yes it did increase their sales, but it also made a lot of people upset, offended, and caused them to stop going there completely.

INTERPRET
  • The ad is pretty unique in the way it's trying to sell burgers using women. Other companies such as Victoria's Secret use women in langerie, but for the purpose of selling langerie. So, Carl's Jr. ads may be new and different because of what the company is actually selling - food, nothing to do with women.
  • The target audience would be men. Maybe mainly college-aged men, but I think all ages could be manipulated by these ads.
  • The stereotype would be hot women being blonde, skinny, sexy, large-chested, and half naked. I think this is very offensive and demeaning towards women because the company has nothing to do with women. As stated above, half naked women may be appropriate for ads like langerie companies, still may give women an unrealistic dream, but at least it connects. Burgers and women do not connect whatsoever, which makes it unnecessary and offensive to women everywhere. I do not want to completely cut out men as they may be offended as well for different reasons, such as bothered that their young daughters have to watch these ads and be exposed to those sort of images.

EVALUATE 
  • Strengths: Although I personally do not want to admit to any strengths of this ad campaign, there are a few. As rude and sexual they may be, they did increase sales an insane amount. The Super Bowl commercial including Charlotte McKinney "had 2.5 I billion earned media impressions before it even ran as a Super Bowl commercial. Now, it has more than 4 billion" (Taylor). The CEO of Carl's Jr. sees those numbers and blandly says that the numbers don't lie, it's popular. Another strength would be that they are smart for using already famous, well known as sexy, models and actresses to have a natural sex appeal already.
  • Weaknesses: Bottom line, its offensive. A recent study showed that 52% of people who have seen these ads were offended by it (Taylor). Another one is that women are so bothered by it because the models portrayed have unrealistic bodies and that's what causes women to hate the ads even more. If you're going to make racy ads using women, at least use the realistic version of a women's figure (which we all know wouldn't happen, but we can wish, can't we?). The ads itself causes issues, but when confronted about them, the CEO has no sympathy, which makes him hated as well. He stated in a recent conversation with marketing companies that "If you don't complain, I go to the head of marketing and say, 'What's wrong with our ads?" (Taylor). He enjoys the backlash because it brings up sales.
  • It's an overall memorable ad, but maybe not for the best reasons. The CEO of the company would of course love this, whether it's remembered for being offensive or sexy, at least it's distinctly remembered in someone's mind.
  • It effectively connected to the target audience (younger adult men) because it attracts their hunger, amongst other things. 
ENGAGE

  • Carl's Jr. uses social media such as Youtube, Instagram, and Twitter to post their videos, ads, and pictures of food and the women in the commercials. I think it works because although most people watch T.V. and are able to watch the ads there, some may use social media over television. For those people, social media is the perfect way to spread the ad campaign. As I read through Twitter comments on the ads, the majority were women complaining about how offensive and crude the commercials were. The other comments, made by men, that I will not mention, but are also quite demeaning towards women.
  • Forbes wrote an article on the fact that Carl's Jr. ads were way more sexist than video games. The article is written by a blogger who typically writes on video games, so he is used to discussing how video games are sexist and the way they portray women in demeaning ways. He blandly says how inappropriate and unnecessary these ads are, but he does admit that "an ad like this will get enough people in a tizzy that it's guaranteed to be discussed widely and remembered " (Kain). Kain mentions how sex sells, so does controversy, which makes Carl's Jr. so talked about and remembered in the media because they sell both. The ads are an issue for him, but the sexism in the real world in workplaces concerns him way more in general. Although he calls the campaign stupid and tasteless, he thinks it is a personal opinion depending on one's taste. 
  • I used to eat Carl's Jr. when I was younger with my family every once in a while. Although I was not old enough to understand these commercials, I know my parents did not want me to see them. It didn't necessarily stop us from eating there, but we only ever chose it because it was quick and convenient, not really because we craved it. Now that I am older, I would chose to not eat there based on their sexist ads.
  • I would definitely warn against it and make sure people are aware of what they have been selling on their ad campaigns. It is up to people and their personal opinions, but I would not be afraid to share my thoughts with them on the company.

CONCLUSIONS

  • I learned a lot from this project by looking deeper into the company and the ads. I was unaware that they started so long ago in 2005, I thought this ad campaign was only a few years old. I learned how many other models/actresses were featured in older campaigns. Overall, I was able to see many other people's opinion on the company which was interesting to see it from both sides of the argument.
  • I was quite surprised at the article by Kate Taylor on the CEO having no care at all whether people were offended or not. I knew he must be something unique by being satisfied with what he was selling, but I never thought that he would enjoy the backlash given by so many women. I was also surprised to learn that they are quitting the "slut burger" campaign, which I am all for that one. They have decided to abandon and "say goodbye to dripping burgers and bountiful cleavage" (Filloon). The new campaign portrays the old Carl Hardee and his son, Carl Hardee Jr., as if the dad has been away and the son turned the company into a frat house. It will be quite interesting to see what happens with this new campaign, but let's hope it's much less offensive than the last.

Click Here to See Video Link to Popular Carl's Jr. ad including Kate Upton: 
Watch for yourself and create your own opinions on the campaign. 

Works Cited w/ Links

Filloon, Whitney. "Carl's Jr. Abandons Its 'Slutburger' Ads." Eater. March 29, 2017. Accessed 
           July 20, 2017. 
https://www.eater.com/2017/3/29/15105878/carls-jr-no-more-slutburger-ads.

Davies, Madeleine. "Put It in My Mouth: A History of Disgusting Carl's Jr. Ads." Jezebel. March            13, 2013. Accessed July 20, 2017. 
http://jezebel.com/5990397/put-it-in-my-mouth-a-history-of-disgusting-carls-jr-ads.

Kain, Erik. "Carl's Jr. Super Bowl Ad Is Way More Sexist Than Video Games." Forbes. January              30, 2015. Accessed July 20, 2017.
https://www.forbes.com/sites/erikkain/2015/01/30/carls-jr-super-bowl-ad-is-way-more-sexist-than-video-games/#69f2f73c6dfc.


Taylor, Kate. "The CEO of Carl's Jr. Doesn't Care If You're Offended by the Chain's Sexy Ads."               Entrepreneur. May 20, 2015. Accessed July 20, 2017. 
https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/246487.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

~ Week 3 ~

TOPIC 1 ~ Instagram Ads

  1. Using Instagram, I looked deeper into a brand advertisement I see quite often. It is a clothing brand called "TenTree".  I first saw their company because it came up as an Ad on Instagram. It caught my eye because their clothing is all very outdoorsy and fun. When I clicked on the page and browsed through their other merchandise, which made me want to buy everything. After already loving their clothing, I noticed the catch. This catch is not an ordinary one in the way it has only positive outcomes. For every item purchased, this company will plant ten trees - hence their name Ten Tree. This made me love the company even more because they are benefitting the earth as well. 
  2. It was a very smart idea for them to do this because I would have never found this company on my own, but since Instagram puts random ads without my choice, then I luckily found this. I would say their target audience is young adults because those are the majority who use social media daily. I would say their ads were definitely working because they trapped me into clicking their ad, clicking their website, signing up for their email list, and eventually buying too many items.
  3. If I was the product manager, I would stay on the path they are already on - using social media. Although I am not positive if they already do this, but I would get our ads out to many other social media sites such as Snapchat, Twitter, Facebook, Pandora, etc. I have seen an ad once on Facebook, but I personally do not use it that often, so I never see this. I would then continue to get our name out there past social media circumstances, maybe even billboards and buildings to catch the eye of those who are not on social media. 

TOPIC 2 ~ Persuasive Techniques

Works
  1. A TV Ad I see not that often, but is still my favorite is the Budweiser Ads. These ads are most popular with their annual new one that plays during the Super Bowl, but I randomly do see other ones or the same ones played throughout the year. All of the commercials involve horses and puppies. Of course, as an animal lover, the puppies and horses definitely grabbed my attention, but they also all have a sweet story. 
  2. The target audience would be younger adults because they are the ones who love beer. Past the beer factor, I would say the target audience could be women because it involves puppies, which makes everyone fall in love with the ad.
  3. I would say they use the persuasive technique of emotional branding because of the sweet stories involved in the commercial. For example, in the video below, the relationship between the puppy and the horse is so sweet and when they are taken from each other, it just makes you tear up, well at least I do! 
  4. I think using that technique worked because as it got your emotional side going, it may make you want a beer. Or at least, in my case, I don't drink, but am still fond of Budweiser because of their cute commercials!
  5. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7p_3lITiK_Q

Major Dud
  1. The advertising commercial for the Law Offices of Jacob Emrani makes me laugh every single time. I have nothing against his law firm, I am sure they are great, but their commercials are so ridiculously filmed that I cannot help but giggle. Different commercials show "reenactments" from accidents that apparently has happened to these couples portrayed in the commercial. The people who are claimed to be "real life" people are so bad at acting and in the photoshopped videos of them being hurt are just over the top fake. 
  2. I would say their target audience is simply anyone who has been hurt in an accident and needed legal assistance. I do not think they are leaning towards any one age group or certain people. 
  3. The persuasive techniques used would be hidden-fear and plain-folks approach. The hidden fear approach is shown because the people sitting at home watching these fake accidents happen may become fearful that it would happen to them. It shows what those people went through and causes the audience to not want to go through the same thing. This causes them to want to take note of this law office in case anything would now happen to them. The plain-folks approach is shown through using regular people. It shows that these types of accidents can happen to anyone at any time. 
  4. I would say that these persuasive techniques didn't necessarily fail, but I wouldn't say they really succeeded either. I think they are good techniques for this type of ad for a law firm, but because the commercial is so ridiculously and poorly filmed, I cannot take those techniques or the ad as a whole seriously. I think if they created a better commercial with higher quality video and effects, then those techniques would be perfect.
  5. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hEE3rlXGBsU

Thursday, July 6, 2017

~ Week 2 ~

Social Media

  1. I followed three new accounts: @NPR, @realDonaldTrump, and @FoxNews. I followed NPR because it includes all topics - music, art, news. It gives a wide variety of the latest events and keeps me up to date on things I would not normally know. I followed Donald Trump because I always hear people talking about his tweets and how ridiculous they may be, I had to see them myself. Fox News is another to keep me up to date on the latest events. I sometimes watch them on TV too, so I figured I might as well follow them too!
  2. The best tweet I saw while scrolling through my feed was - "North Korea has just launched another missile. Does this guy have anything better to do with his life? Hard to believe that South Korea....." by Donald Trump. Although I was not tempted to retweet or even like this post, it stood out to me. I think he tweets things without thinking too much about it, hope that doesn't get us in trouble with North Korea...
  3. I feel social media has enhanced my ability to take action, but I wouldn't go as far to say it has encouraged me to participate in democracy. I think social media helps bring recent events and issues to my attention because I am more likely to spend time on social media than sitting and watching the News on T.V.. Social media gives more opportunity to take a stand against something you're passionate about. For example, my Instagram is always full of these companies that sell products such as clothing or jewelry with the intention of using that money earned to help save animals, stop animal cruelty, adoption, and many other things. Animals are my passion and that gives me an easy opportunity to help the cause. I do not think it enables me to participate in democracy though. Whenever I see things on social media invovling the government, they usually are not positive, which makes me more bothered than motivated to join something.

The Internet
  1. I 100% agree with Sherry Turkle's talk. Her comment about networks taking us places we do not want to go stuck with me because I think technology is a persuasive tool that may not always be positive. She also mentions how technology is so psychologically powerful it changing who we are, which I have seen first hand with friends and them changing who they are to have a certain "image" on social media. I agree with her that all of this is setting us up for trouble which may lead to isolation rather than community. My family has not officially reclaimed any places in our house as home, work, play, or cellphone-free. We do, however, try to stay off of our phones while eating together or in the living room just hanging out. We all love family time, so it never seems to be an issue. If I ever feel that someone is not listening to me, I would normally confront them about it gently and kindly force them to listen to me!
  2. I do not play many games on my phone at all. I use more social media in my free time, but back when I had an iPod, I had many games. My favorites were car racing games and word games. I like the car games just because they were fun and made me feel like I was a super good driver when I didn't even have a license yet. The word games were always interesting because they challenged my mind and allowed me to compete against and beat my friends!
  3. I would say I spend about 7-10 hours a week on social media. I wouldn't necessarily say I am part of an online community because the social media I am always on has to do with friends that are part of my real life community. I do not like how much time I spend on my phone, I try to make it a goal to only go later in the afternoon and not right when I wake up. I have tried many times to quite social media, but it's just too hard! So, I just try to limit my time spent on it and spend more time face-to-face with people and more time spent in nature.