Historical Ad Analysis: Teddy Bears

The teddy bear phenomenon began in 1902 when the President of the United States at the time, President Teddy Roosevelt refused to kill a bear on a hunting trip. While, President Roosevelt was on the trip, news got around very quickly of what he had done and before he knew it he was the inspiration for what would become one of the most successful toys of all time. However, because this was a time with no Internet or TV, the only advertisements were written in newspapers, catalogs, magazines etc.

The first known written advertisement for the bear didn’t come until 1906. It was an advertisement for E. I. Horsman and was published in Playthings Magazine. This ad was the first time that the toy was formally published with the simple title, “Teddy’s Bears.” The first thing noticed from the ad is how simple it is. With just a simple sketch of a teddy bear in the upper left corner and a large title, it likely stood out in the sea of writing in the magazine, which was likely the entire point of doing so. It came out before Christmas, in hopes of appealing to shoppers. The ad has one line in it that is purposefully bolded in order to make it appeal to both sexes, “Dolls, Toys and Games.” This is important in the marketing strategy of the ad because the word “Dolls” is more feminine and is aimed toward catching parents of girls, while the words “Toys and Games” makes it seem more fun and masculine making it appealing towards the parents of boys, thus making it a gender neutral item. Lastly, the ad contains a line that says that the teddy bear “Contains everything new and desirable for Holiday Trade.” This line makes the reader want to buy the bear by using the words “new and desirable” which are very appealing to most and make people want to buy things. The only thing that’s missing is a price for the bear.

Another written advertisement was published in Sears Roebuck Catalog in 1908 with the title, ““Teddy Bears” Are All the Rage. The Best Plaything Ever Invented.” This ad is very different from the original ad from 1906. This ad is much more wordy and intricate in that there are four bears on the top followed by a long paragraph presumably about the bears. The bears at the top are very eye catching. They are all different sizes and are all holding hands and representing, love, affection, and care, and resemble a family. The ad briefly mentions that it could be for adults as well as children, but it is mainly geared towards parents in hopes that they will buy them for their children. It mentions that it can be bought for both your little girl and little boy as well as that they are “practically unbreakable.” It ends the paragraph on the product details of the bear explaining that there is no other toy in the world that will give your kids “more actual pleasure and entertainment.” This is an effective way to end because it hopefully will leave the reader wanting to buy it because most parents want their children to be happy and entertained. Finally, in the bottom corner, there are a list of prices, provided in a neat and organized way, which makes it easy to order.

Lastly, an advertisement published ten years later, in the 1916 Sears Catalog, is far more detailed than both of the earlier ads. This ad has very intricate drawings of little girls playing with the teddy bears. Below each bear is a description of the type of bear above it. This ad repeatedly mentions how great of a deal these bears are because of their high quality at such a low price, which is their big sale pitch.

Overall, the three ads are similar in that they each have drawings of teddy bears and mention that both boys and girls can use and play with them. The ads also mention how durable and soft they are. Each of the ads is straightforward and easy to follow, in that nothing is confusing or complicated. There is an obvious increase technology from 1906 to 1916 because the ad goes from being plain and boring with very few words and details to multiple images and paragraphs. The details and information in the ads increased as the years went by, most likely because the audience, they are trying to attract is changing from people who don’t have one, to people who probably already have one, but might be interested in purchasing a newer and nicer one.

Works Cited

E. I. Horsman. “Teddy’s Bears” Advertisement. Sept. 1906. Playthings Magazine. Web. 21 Nov. 2014.

Sears Roebuck Catalog. “Teddy Bears Are All the Rage. The Best Plaything Ever Invented.” Advertisement. 1908. Sears Roebuck Catalog. Web. 18 Nov. 2014.

Sears Roebuck Catalog. “Teddy Bears are more popular than ever” Advertisement. 1916. Sears Roebuck Catalog. Web. 21 Nov. 2014.

“Brief History of Scent”

If I were to make a movie based off of an article from this week I would choose “Brief History of Scent.” I would choose this because everyone can relate to scent and knows and understands what it is like to experience smell. While smell and the ability distinguish different scents is normal, many people don’t cherish the importance and true gift of it. If I were to make a movie based off of this I would make it a romance-drama. It would have two main characters, a man named Robert and a woman named Charlotte, who are wildly in love. Charlotte is a famous and gifted chef and is also the owner of a world-renowned restaurant called Amor. Charlotte is so talented that people travel all around the world to come and eat one of her dishes. The movie would begin with scenes of her working in her restaurant one late snowy night in January. Then Robert would come and pick her up from work to take her back home. However, on the way home, they would hit an icy snowy patch on the road and their car would go skidding into traffic. The next scene would be three days later, in the hospital with Charlotte in a hospital bed hooked up to tubes and with Robert sleeping by her side dangling a pair of glasses in his fingers. A few minutes later, Charlotte would wake up only to panic because she can’t see or feel anything. Robert would calmly deliver the news that she fractured her spine so her arms are paralyzed and her eyes were hurt in the accident so she can’t see. Charlotte would of course freak out and begin to panic because she thinks that she’ll never be able to cook or even live a decent life without her eyesight and arms. Fast forward to August, only eight months after the accident, a scene with Charlotte, first stepping back into her restaurant again would occur. When she steps in, she would begin to step around and into the kitchen with the help of Robert. At first she’s scared and starts to cry because she thinks that she’ll never be able to cook again, but then Robert would come up with a brilliant idea. He would her that she can cook by using her sense of smell to put different ingredients together and come up with new recipes. Now fast-forwarding to Thanksgiving Day, the movie would end with Charlotte in her kitchen at home telling Robert what to do and put together in making the Thanksgiving Feast. While this explanation of the movie is very brief, the actual movie would run for about one hour and forty minutes and would have more drama, and tear-jerking moments.

The movie would be a critical hit because it goes in to depth about how humans can recognize different scents and how we associate scents with flavors and different things. It could be a commercial hit because it would have drama and romance and would move the audience to tears at times but also put smiles on their faces in others. It would also be a hit because viewers would leave with a newfound appreciation for what they have, and especially their sense of smell and ability to detect scent.

McCarthy’s Apps

Crowdpilot is a networking program in which you explain a situation and then receive advice for it. For example, you could write that you are at dinner with a date and don’t know what to say. Then other people on the app would respond with advice and questions that you could ask the person that would hopefully get the conversation going. Another way people use it is to just ask for advice about plain everyday situations in their lives. One of the strangest examples of this is that during the advertisement, one of the situations that someone is asking about is of a mom asking for advice about her daughter wanting to have a tea party. Inneract is an app that you can use to basically invite other people to hang out with you. An example from the commercial is that of a man eating a sandwich who then asks if anyone wants to share it with him. In minute another person shows up to share his lunch with him.

Both of these apps are pretty weird to me. The only social media I use is Facebook and Twitter, which to me are both very different from Lauren McCarthy’s apps. McCarthy’s apps are about getting conversation going and essentially helping people have conversations with other people while, in my opinion, Facebook and Twitter are more about keeping in touch with people. I think that it’s really sad that people find it necessary to use apps like these.

If I had to choose one of McCarthy’s apps to download and use, I’d probably be more likely to use Crowdpilot because it seems less creepy to me. The Inneract app is more creepy because you are literally meeting a stranger that you know nothing about who spends time on the weird app. In a way, it reminds me of a quicker and weirder version of on online dating because you just meet up instead of getting to know each other first.

The invention of these apps only furthers to prove that we, as a society, have gone too far down the technology road that we find if difficult to meet other people in real life and can’t even have a conversation with other people without strangers “helping” and putting their two cents in. In general, I hope that people look at this app and realize that there’s a problem with the way our society functions. The lack of basic communication skills and need for technology is borderline pathetic in that grown adults shouldn’t need help with basic skills like these.

 

Hot in Herre

The word “hot” has many different meanings that can often be found or realized from the situation it’s used in. Being on a college campus, the word “hot” is heard multiple times a day. Whether it be describing the weather or temperature in a location of saying “omg that guy/girl is so hot!”, you can’t go a day without hearing it at least once. An example of the determination of the meaning based off of the situation it is being used in can be seen and hear in Nelly’s hit song, “Hot in Herre.” The opening lines are: “Hot in…./So hot in here…/So hot in…”. If that was all you heard, you would probably assume that the person is somewhere very toasty and warm and probably needs some air conditioning. Then the main hook or chorus in the song goes like this: “(I said)/ Its gettin hot in here (so hot)/So take off all your clothes/ I am gettin so hot, I wanna take my clothes off.” This once again to an audience/viewer/reader doesn’t portray any real sexual meaning except for that it’s really hot. However, if you watch the video, it becomes clear that Nelly has a different meaning. Throughout the video, there are shots of a girl seductively looking at him/into the camera. Then, in the last line in the chorus, the girl starts seductively taking off her shirt while singing “I am getting so hot, I wanna take my clothes off.” So the meaning of the word “hot” changes completely based on the listener/viewer’s way of experience the song.

In general, the way we experience different things, changes the meaning of many different words, hot being just one. So whether it’s the word “hot” or another one, the meaning changes and has evolved over time to mean new and different things every generation.

Ignorance Isn’t Always Bliss

When I think of doing research, I think of writing papers and boring schoolwork. Most of the time, this is the case, but on one particular “research project” it was different, because I actually cared about what I was reading. In high school, one of my best friends Meg came up to me with an idea for a new club at school. She wanted to bring awareness about autism to our school as well as form a Special Olympics Club because she had recently gone to a football game and heard a man speak about autism. Before she went, she had never really thought about the word “retarded” or how it might affect other people. After all being in high school, there was never a day when you didn’t hear it. She told me his name was Frank and that the way he spoke and his story was the reason she wanted to bring this to our school. And so I began to research autism and what it meant, how it worked. I had never really thought about it before. Why we use the word “retarded” and how it might make others feel. So I began researching it and asking questions until I had found a lot of information about it and all of my questions had been answered. Then, I decided to join Meg and bring a campaign “Spread the Word to End the Word” to campus. At first, we received a lot of judgment and a lot of “I really don’t care”, but after getting the seniors behind us, we actually did a pretty good job getting the information about it out there. We were even able to convince the school to let us bring a speaking in to talk to the entire school about autism.

We got people talking about it, starting conversations. This was very important because in order to succeed, people have to be aware. And sure there are always going to be some people that you just can’t do anything about who will never change their ways, but even if we just changed one or two people’s view on it, it’s still one or two more than we would have had we not taken the time to research something that we were interested in, cared about, and believed in.

After researching it, I look at people with autism as well as people that ignorantly use the word “retarded” differently. Obviously, I don’t find the word “retarded” even remotely funny and find those that knowingly use it ignorant and disrespectful because why else would someone use a word that they know hurts someone else’s feelings on purpose. I also have a newfound respect towards those with autism as well as a fascination because after being around people my entire life, interestingly enough, in general the people with autism are more positive and intelligent than someone without it because they focus on the bright side and they work harder than others to become the best and brightest that they can possibly be.

Taking the time to research autism was life-changing for me because not only did it provide me with a platform in high school to lead others, but also an opportunity to get to know a lot of very cool people that I wouldn’t have gotten to know otherwise.

 

 

Clues

Police officers all across the world put their lives on the line for the well being of people that they have never even met before and will probably never see again: complete strangers. Whether it be by giving tickets to people that are breaking the law, something that is seemingly as unimportant as speeding, not stopping at stop signs, or even jaywalking, or something more serious like protecting both the safety and civil liberties of the public, and solving crimes, it is absolutely essential for officers to be efficient and trained in looking for clues. But what are clues? I guess there are many different explanations of them, but the first thing that comes to my mind is a puzzle. In a way clues are like puzzle pieces. Alone, they look like they don’t fit or are unimportant, but if you use your brain and draw similarities and put them together, they miraculously fit together, thus creating a bigger picture or even solving a mystery. For example, if I were to be in charge of solving a crime, I would spend a lot of time looking for clues or hints that could potentially aid me in finding the truth of the matter.

Today, in 2014, there are many more ways of finding clues that there used to be due to new technological advances. For instance, I could search people’s social media pages as well as talk to people that were around during the time that I’m investigating along with people that witnessed the event. I could also search the location for clues. The reason to do this is that if I was trying to prove that a suspect burned a neighbor’s house down, by talking to people and searching the location, I could multiple different clues. For example, if I were talking to a witness, they could tell me one of three different things. They could tell me that they were with the person that night and so they therefore couldn’t have done it, they could tell me that they have no idea what he was doing, or they could straight up tell me that they did indeed see the man light the building on fire. All of these answers provide clues that bring me closer to finding the truth of the matter. If I were to search the location, I could find footprints, that may or may not resemble that of the suspect or I could find fingerprints. These are just a few possibilities of many of different types of clues.

Overall, knowing what clues are and how to search for them is increasingly important for police officers, especially in 2014, when technology is abundant and general laziness is increasing.

 

Her: What have we come to?

Genuine love and admiration for your loved ones really just doesn’t matter anymore, or at least not during the time period in which the futuristic movie Her takes place. In the movie, the main character Theodore works for the company, Beautiful Handwritten Letters, and has a job simply writing letters for people. How does this work you may ask? Well basically, people pay him to write all kinds of letters to their loved ones, including anything from birthday cards to intimate and personal love letters.

I think that the expected reaction is to be shocked by this notion, maybe even outraged. At first I was upset that he worked for the company and that a company like this even existed. While watching the movie, I found myself asking, have we really gone this far? Why is this a company? What has our society become? Is there anyway to stop this? But then as the movie progressed, I realized that the better question is why not? If the business is there then it makes sense. But how scary is that? That we are too swallowed up in our own lives that we can’t take five minutes out of our day to write our own letters. Naturally, it’s the next step. Right now, we can barely spend the time to talk to people in person, rather relying on technology for communication. We call, text, and e-mail, because it’s easier than taking the time to meet up and have a meaningful conversation. So what’s better than that? Not having to do it at all. Simply paying someone to do it is the next step. But then, I began to think about the receivers of the letters. I’m sure that they feel great and appreciated and loved when they read them, but I actually feel sorry for them. I mean how would you feel if you knew that the person that had written you a letter was really a complete stranger in an office somewhere that has been paid to write it so the actual person wouldn’t have to? If it was me, the feeling of being completely in love with someone and thinking that they took the time to write out their feelings when in reality they just paid someone would hurt a lot. And honestly, why even bother with the letter? Just don’t send anything. I’d rather be hurt by the truth than swept off of my feet by a bunch of lies.

I think that this movie can be viewed as a warning for our generation of what lies ahead if we continue down this path. To me, life in this movie is a scary place, in which humanity has completely lost touch with the important non-materialistic qualities of life- love. In the movie, no one spends the time on the little things and people are just too busy and swept up in their own lives to make meaningful and lasting relationships with one another. To me, that’s sad and upsetting. But it leaves us with two options, either accept it or do something to change it.

My Guide to Facebook

Facebook is one of the most exciting and most dangerous new technologies to come into our lives. On one hand it’s a great way to stay in touch with one’s family and friends but on the other it’s gives us yet another opportunity to put things up on the Internet as a reckless teenager, that we may regret later on in life.

I remember when I first got my Facebook. I was in a hotel room somewhere during a tennis tournament and on a whim decided to get one out of boredom. For me, it was a big deal because I was the first person in my family to get one.

Being only 13 at the time, I didn’t fully understand the risk that I was subjecting my self to by presenting myself with the opportunity to document every thought that crossed my mind and every picture I was in.

But before I even got one, both of my parents warned me many times of the negative effects social media can have on your future by telling me stories of people not getting jobs or into the college of their choice, or even being fired because of their social media page. But I don’t think I realized how right they were until later.

If you didn’t know me and began stalking my Facebook, you would learn that I play tennis, spend a lot of time hanging out with my friends, usually at a bonfire somewhere, and was really into posting every single thought I had in middle school. Then if you looked through my pictures you would realize that I don’t upload many, in fact, my friends posted the majority of the photos on my page.

One important thing about my Facebook, that I’m proud of, is that there is nothing that could potentially harm me when applying somewhere for school or for a job later in life. No pictures, no posts. There also is no inappropriate language. This is because one of my personal rules is that if I don’t want my grandmother to know about it or if I don’t want to talk about it in person to people, then I shouldn’t post it.

Another good rule that I’ve followed is to never post when I’m in an extreme emotion, like really happy, upset, angry, or sad, because whatever it is I want to post, I usually regret it later on.

One of the most important things to me is that I don’t want someone to see my Facebook and find out too much about me, just the basics like the different sports I play, that I sang throughout school, actually attend to school, that kind of stuff.

These rules that I’ve set for my self have worked really well thus far. When I look back, there is nothing that I really regret and there’s nothing that could cause me trouble in the future. Throughout my years on Facebook a number of my friends have felt negative effects from it. For example, one of my friends had a full ride to play tennis for University of Tennessee, until one night she posted pictures of her drinking on Facebook. The next day coach called her to revoke her scholarship because of it. Another one of my friends had a friend who hacked his Facebook and posted something inappropriate as a joke without telling him. When he was looking for a job, his potential employer saw it and denied him the job because of it. These are just two horror stories resulting from someone’s Facebook use, but these are real scenarios that could happen to you if you don’t set guidelines for your self.

In general, I recommend having a Facebook and I think it’s okay for teens if they use it correctly. If you’re 13 and reading this, thinking about getting a Facebook, or even if you already have one, I hope that the ideas above help in giving you an idea of what kind of rules you should set for your Facebook, because life is already hard enough so don’t end up making it harder because of something stupid you posted on Facebook when you were 13.

My Voice

If I lost my voice or if my voice changed, who would I be? I’m sure many people have spoken with an accent at least a time or two whether it is just for fun or to try to disguise himself or herself as someone else. Truth is, it’s easy to change your voice and do this, and because of that as much as we may like to deny it, I’m pretty sure that we can all think of a time or two when we’ve fallen victim to this.

In the movie, Pillow Talk, the main character Brad, changes his accent in order to get a girl that originally despises him. Initially, you may think “how can this be?” or “how does that work?” but we’ve all heard stories of someone disguising themselves as someone else because they just wanted to be different, sound cooler, or even to mess with other people. But in this case, it was to get a girl. It was rather easy for Brad because Jan, the woman he’s trying to impress and the woman that originally hates him, had never actually seen each other face to face before and only knew each other by the others character and voice on the phone. Because of this, when Brad first meets Jan face to face, he has no problem telling her his name is Rex Stetson from Texas. Throughout the movie, he uses a thick country accent when speaking to her and his normal voice when speaking to everyone else, like his boss, Jonathan. Rex also uses country slang and analogies to further sell his part.

This idea serves to prove even further, just how dependent we are on our voices and voice recognition. For instance, if you were to hear a bunch of voices outside of your room, there’s a good chance that you could pick out your best friend’s voice with no problem. Or similarly, you could pick out a celebrity’s or a famous person’s voice from a crowd. For instance, if you were to hear President Barrack Obama speak, you would more than likely know who it is. Now why is that? I believe that it’s because when you meet someone, a part of their identity is in their voice, which is why we remember it.

However, this also has a downfall because it subject us to code switching because when we change our voice, we feel like we change. It’s rejuvenating. A change in our voice gives us a freedom from ourselves, if only temporarily, to distance ourselves from our true identity.

My voice is mine and your voice is yours. I can try to imitate one other than mine but it’ll never truly be mine, because it’s not a part of my identity and me. As fun as it may be to speak with a different accent from time to time, don’t change your voice permanently, because your voice is yours and only yours, and is a unique part of you.