The Evolution of Cell Phone Marketing

The object I chose to study on is the phone. The concept and the idea of being able to talk to someone without actually having to be physically present intrigued me and made me want to find out more about the devices today by analyzing and learning of how it originated.

The first advertisement is that of the Motorola DynaTAC 800x which was released in 1983. This is a television advertisement presenting the item to the public at $3995. The advertisement is in the form of a message to the viewers and the targeted audience mainly includes the businessmen, businesswomen and influential government authorities, who could actually afford the phone. The advertisement begins with a man in a suit driving a vintage Mercedes talking on the cell phone. Throughout the one-minute long promotional video scenes like these keep flashing while a man reads out the message added to it in monotone. The advertisement includes scenes where there are people walking up and down the stairs to a building or even at the dinner table proving that this phone is portable. Through the lines spoken during the advertisement the viewer is made aware that the phone is portable and that they were on the brink of a cellular revolution at the time. During the advertisement, in the later half, there is a scene where the narrator says that the phone weighs only 30 oz. and the tone depicts exclamation, which to us today will be a heavy phone. The ad shows that at that time only a certain percentage of the population could afford such an expensive phone. Even through the comparison drawn between checking time on a digital watch and using the mobile phone shows that in that age this was going to be the biggest technological breakthrough. The biggest assumption this advertisement has made is that this device had (in that time) become a necessity for businessmen and women and that sooner or later the rest of the population would also follow suit. The advertisement also shows that at the time there were only a few thousand phones in circulation while now there might be a few billion. This shows the evolution of the mobile phone from then to now.

The second advertisement is one, which was displayed on the billboards in 1985. This advertisement by Cellular One Car Phones reads: “Traffic Crawling? Start Callin’.” 1985 was still new to the concept of cellular phones and the devices with which you could talk without being stuck to one place therefore in order for people to buy such a product the company Cellular One Car Phones came up with this advertisement. This ad is directed at a much larger audience than the first advertisement, thus catering to a larger market. While analyzing the two articles we can also see the shift in emphasis of the target audience for companies. In 1983, the first advertisement dealt only with businessmen and women without targeting the public at large but the second advertisement targeted the public at large. So what changed in those couple of years? There are two possible and plausible explanations for this. One, that the manufacturers tinkered with the existing pieces and cut down on their production cost thus causing a subsequent and dramatic change in the selling price of the phone or two, that the people seeing other people use it felt that they would also be better off buying the car phone at the existing 1983 price. Thus upgrading the phone from an accessory to a necessity and causing a subsequent hike in demand.

The third advertisement is a magazine article, which was released in 1943 at the time of the Second World War. This advertisement is for the radiotelephone, which had created a rage during the war. This gadget had made communication during the war so much easier and the company, which had manufactured this device now wanted to introduce a prototype into the commercial market and see what effects it had. This advertisement creates an imaginative scenario in which they are making people hopeful for the unexplored aspects of communication, which might occur in the future. The tag line for this particular advertisements reads “Buses will have ‘phones!” and this was not the only article released by the company but there were two more in which they had presented two new scenarios with the help of ‘Planes’ and ‘Streamliners’. This advertisement shows that people in the 1940s did not have any medium of contacting anyone once they stepped out of their house.

All of the above articles show the various stages in the production and marketing of the cellular phone. The last article being the first to be released in Time magazine in 1943 presents an almost impossible picture of the future. However with the prototype of the radiotelephone already in use during the war it did not seem so unrealistic. The second article shows that even in 1983 the modern version of the cellular phone was miles away and they had launched the car phone. Even in the second advertisement the gadget does not advance in technology that much but just becomes more accessible by the public.

All three articles show that the mobile phone, which today has become such an integral part of our lives never, existed in the way it does today until a few decades ago. Sometimes I wonder if I would be a part of that nearly pre-historic telegraph and telegram era would I be hopeful for the future of communication or not?

Works Cited:

Mixed Goodies. “1980s mobile phone Tv Ad.” Online video clip.

YouTube. YouTube, 11 Sep. 2011. Web. 30 Nov. 2014.

” These Vintage Cell Phone Ads Will Make You Even More Grateful For The iPhone 5.” Businessinsider.com. Businessinsider.com, n.d. Web. 30 Nov. 2014.

Cellular One Car Phones. “Traffic Crawling? Start callin’” [SLA2498]. Advertisement. 1985. Duke U. Rare Book and Manuscript Lib. Ad*Access. Web. 30 Nov. 2014.

Jefferson-Travis Radio Manufacturing Corporation. “Buses will have ‘phones!” [R0840]. Advertisement. 1943. Duke U. Rare Book and Manuscript Lib. Ad*Access. Web. 30 Nov. 2014.

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Soylent: The End of Food!

The article tells the readers and explains to them what ‘Soylent’ is and how it came into existence. With the story reading in that particular manner people almost instantly connect with movies like ‘Social Network’, which describe the struggle of the people and the story behind the biggest global startups of this generation. These people are generally college dropouts or have just graduated with no visible future of a job or any reliable source of income. The story presented in the ‘New Yorker’ article isn’t very different.

If made into a movie it would start with the three roommates sitting in their flat in the Tenderloin district of San Francisco down to their last few thousand dollars wondering how to get by after that ran out. The three roommates then do what they are best at, developing a new software or app but that they know will take time and in the meantime they would have to manage their budget. They rack their brains behind it but they knew that they would have to clear the rent as a sunk cost and the biggest problem would be food. They, however, did have an advantage over the rest as they had no social life they had to splurge money on. The movie shows how they get by with working in different positions and postures day and night with only the scene at the back changing color, and discussing their new ideas and also worrying for the future.

For a while they get by on McDonald’s, cheap five-dollar pizzas and frozen foods from Costco, wondering for how long that arrangement would last. None of the three liked wasting time on food and it would be made clear to the audience with the size of the kitchen and the absent dishwasher. They start thinking that food is a bad waste of time and not even the most efficient way of getting nutrients into the body. One of the roommates, Rob Rhineheart who is most fed up with eating food, takes matters into his hands and starts researching on food and vital nutrients on all site with a reliable source and conjures a list of thirty five vital nutrients that is required in the right doses for survival. He then places an order for all those nutrients in powder or pill form on the Internet rather than buying foods related to those items.

When the package finally arrives he mixes all those powders and pills, adds water and makes squishy lemonade out of it and has it. That mixture does him a load of good. It clears his skin, his teeth became whiter and even his dandruff disappeared, but the best outcome of it was that his food costs dropped from four hundred and seventy dollars to just fifty. His roommates were skeptical at first but eventually after sometime they also gave in and the squishy lemonade, which Rob had named ‘Soylent’ came into existence.

Rob and his roommates then thought that this product had the potential to become a company and they leave software and turn to nutrition. They initially start selling themselves at the price of sixty-five dollars in order to start making it commercially.

The movie then would come to an end with Rob giving an interview for the future aspirations he has for Soylent.

The Evolution of Human Interaction

With the growth and unprecedented development of technology in various fields and especially in the field of communication, face-to-face human interaction has become a farce. One doesn’t need to be physically present to communicate or hear the other person’s voice. Gradually but slowly the world has become such a small place that a student sitting in Atlanta may talk to his parents in India with the ease of just making it look like they are sitting in separate rooms.

Today technology has evolved far more than just phone calls, Skype and FaceTime. It has developed so much that you don’t even have to know that person to communicate with him/her. Today with creations like those of Lauren McCarthy’s the world has known communication like no other. The two social networking programs that I came across developed by Lauren, Crowdpilot and Inneracted, deal with what people still want hidden. What we don’t realize is that in normal day-to-day communication people have a habit to suppress their innate desires for fear of judgment from others. The program Crowdpilot, allows people to take opinions from friends and strangers therefore allowing true and trustworthy opinions because everyone using the pogram will be insecure and looking to others for opinions. The program Inneracted on the other hand allows the person to actually type what he wants to do and the application connects you to the people also interested in the same activity, in the same locality at that particular time.

Modern communication is so advanced that there are interfaces that also keep your identity hidden if you chose not to disclose. The only other program that comes to my mind related to any of these is ‘Yik Yak’. Through this program the people using it can express themselves freely and without any hesitation. This application allows people to post their opinions, feelings and innermost desire to the society they are living in without actually disclosing their true identity. The app does not ask for any name, phone number or even the right to post on Facebook on your behalf, thus giving the users the required anonymity to do as they wish.

I think all means of interaction has happened through evolution. First there was only the landline, then came the mobile phone and later Skype, FaceTime, etc. This shows that human interaction has reduced from being more physical and real to being more virtual and gadget-oriented.

In the generation preceding ours it was of utmost importance to know the person before interacting with him or her over the telephone or even through letters and the early stages of the mobile phone.

We can see the difference in the way we communicate through the stories our parents tell us. In their generation they actually had to muster up the courage to go and ask for a person’s number but now they have to just add them as a friend on Facebook and start a conversation there.

In many ways the world has become an easier place to live in but these new methods of communication had created such transparency that it had become impossible to communicate freely through any medium, and that is what these apps such as Crowdpilot, Inneract and Yik Yak offer the people; anonymity.

Brittle!

When given the task to do a presentation on a tactile word I started imagining what a tactile word actually is. A tactile word is one, which can make you experience the emotion related to the feeling, which the author wants to convey through the text. Just like the examples like foaming and burning, which Barthes uses to explain what a tactile word is I could only think of one word.

The word that stuck in my head after coming across the meaning of a tactile word is brittle. Whenever we say brittle we conjure up a picture of a very delicate and hard substance that will break just as soon as it hits the ground or is manhandled with some extra force. Glass is something that is most commonly associated with the word brittle.

In the eighth grade we learnt as a part of chemistry that malleable metals can be deformed permanently out of shape and that it did not require an external force. To explain us this concept better the teachers/ professors used the word ‘brittle’ as the explanatory word. The moment they used the word brittle the students could understand very clearly that the material is delicate and broke or got deformed as soon as it fell to the ground.

In recent times candy brands are also coming up with names such as ‘peanut brittle’ to help the children and adults alike to understand what the candy might be like. For example peanut brittle is like a hard, irregularly shaped, peanut filled candy that breaks into pieces once it is bitten with the teeth or even pressed hard against the palm.

In conclusion it is these words that help us understand the true meaning of the actions conveyed by the author or the speaker. It is these tactile words that make us understand what is going around us better.

Discovering the Truth

My life was a dream, with no worries and no cares, then one day my entire perspective changed. It changed so much that even I couldn’t understand the thoughts that cropped up in my mind. Was it really what I had heard or was it just a ruse? I couldn’t think. My mind drew a blank and it was not until a few months back that I became used to the idea of what my family was like just before I was born.

To those of you who are wondering I come from India, where I have had to live with my extended family since I was born. All my childhood I thought that we always were as rich as we were and that everything was the way it was since eternity but all that changed one day when I was seventeen.

I think it will be appropriate to mention now that in India the ‘adults’ don’t give out information very easily or sometimes even at all and it is preferable to keep the so called children out of the loop till it is not absolutely necessary to make them aware of that particular set of information.

Everything would have remained the same until the day we went to our farmhouse on the outskirts of the city for a family picnic. All through my childhood I had heard about a secret passageway that led to another room behind my great grandfather’s library and I had finally got the chance to explore it. Curious as I was I sneaked into the study without anyone suspecting. Once there I felt the adrenaline pumping and I couldn’t help but lift the 1930 Montblanc Meisterstruck form its holder, which would in turn open the passage behind the desk.

Finding my way into another room I could hardly contain my excitement. I looked around and couldn’t believe that I was standing right in the center with a room full of antique trunks. Some trunks were bolted with heavy locks while some of the smaller ones were left open. I fought my way through the cobwebs and the layers of dust accumulated over the decades and managed to open a small trunk about the size of a jewelry box. To my disappointment when I opened the case there was only a single piece of yellowing paper.

Disappointed I drew out the paper and began to read. As I read on my interest grew. It was addressed to my grandfather and was signed ‘comrade’. It was a queer signature and I took the piece of paper with me to my grandfather who was enjoying his pipe by the gazebo on the lake. As I approached him he exclaimed that I had found the letter he knew I would find one day.

He sat me down and explained to me everything in detail about my family lineage. I learnt that my great grandfather was more than just the businessman he became in the end but was a freedom fighter in the days on the British Rule in India.

From that day on my respect for my ancestors and family heritage grew by leaps and bounds and I promised my grandfather that I would uphold the family name to the best of my ability. He said he knew and gifted me a gold pocket watch, which had once belonged to my great grandfather as a token to always remind me of who I was in this world.

The Adventure of the Cardboard Box: Literature or Not?

The Adventure of the Cardboard Box is a short story written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle as a part of the second book in the memoirs of his most famous character Sherlock Holmes.

This story is the perfect match for a high school short story, however some people may feel otherwise. The story by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is one, which involves suspense, murder, a gripping plot, an overconfident detective in Sherlock Holmes, his ‘assistant’ Dr. Watson, a police inspector and family drama, all the elements to make a very interesting and intriguing plot for high school students.

Adding to what is said above it is written in the refined hand of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, a British writer at the time of the glorious 19th century of Britain that includes all the elements related to that era and gives a glimpse of the regality and grandeur of those days.

Through this piece of work the readers also get a glimpse of the way people led their lives in those days. We know for a fact that the mode of transportation was horse carriages and we also are made aware of the common day to day mannerisms of their life. All these fringe details along with the main plot of the short story is what makes is more than just a detective story it makes it literature. Literature fit for the young impressionable minds of high school teenagers.

“Literature represents a language or a people: culture and tradition. But, literature is more important than just a historical or cultural artifact. Literature introduces us to new worlds of experience.” – these are the lines stated by Esther Lombardi in her essay ‘Literature’. In Sherlock Holmes Sir Arthur Conan Doyle has done just that. He has through the characters and setting given us more than just a short story he has given us a new experience and made us aware of crime solving in those days. He has made us aware of many things be it historical, cultural, factual, and even psychological.

‘What is Literature’ – “Literature is a term used to describe written or spoken material. Broadly speaking, “literature” is used to describe anything from creative writing to more technical or scientific works, but the term is most commonly used to refer to works of the creative imagination, including works of poetry, drama, fiction, and nonfiction.” – this is another definition by Esther Lombardi and when literature is defined in such a way we have to consider Sherlock Holmes and The Adventure of the Cardboard Box also to be a literary article, which sheds light on more than just the murder mystery.