Ad Campaign

When a company markets a product, they attempt to evoke emotion in the consumer, emphasize the benefits of their product, and provide information on what it is they are selling. Because advertisements often use social stereotypes, fears, or norms to elicit emotion in the consumer, advertisements can reveal social ideology of the time period. Advertisements also give us an insight into the development of the product and its uses. Television advertisements in the 40’s and 50’s reveal aspects of society in the time period and clarify how people of the era viewed the television.

http://library.duke.edu/digitalcollections/adaccess_TV0216/

In the television advertisement above, it is apparent Motorola is targeting a wealthier consumer because of the elegant clothes and accessories the ladies are wearing. Both women are wearing ball gowns and one woman has a pearl necklace and fancy spectacles. Motorola is advertising to a wealthier consumer because in 1952, televisions were new and expensive. Motorola demonstrates that the fanciest, classiest person has not only one but two television sets. In this way the advertisement also attempts to evoke emotion by pinning the consumer against their neighbors. Motorola even depicts the lady with the television set as slimmer and more attractive in an attempt to identify the TV as something to be desired. The dialogue “our house has two baths!” followed by “That’s nothing. Ours has 2 Motorola TV sets!” is a clear indicator that Motorola wants to pressure consumers into having as much or more than their neighbors. This parallels a major change in the American economy from an economy of production to an economy of consumption. Another interesting aspect of the advertisement is the phrase “one for the grown ups; one for the kids” because it assumes that the consumer has kids. This is a valid assumption because 1952 is in the middle of the baby boomer years. While this advertisement elicits a variety of emotion from the consumer, it fails to mention anything specific or factual about its product. This indicates that the consumer’s main desire is not to have the highest quality TV, but rather the TV that will make them the coolest or most elite amongst their peers.

The Motorola advertisement was most likely successful. Motorola excels in knowing their consumer and ensuring that their ad appeals to the upper class. Motorola succeeds in creating an identity as the upmarket TV, which helps the consumer remember the brand name. While Motorola markets their products as elite TVs for the conscientious upper class, many other television companies created different images for their company and still managed to be successful.

http://library.duke.edu/digitalcollections/adaccess_TV0073/

Dumont tries to portray themselves as the forefront in innovation so the consumer will trust their product is cutting edge and superior in quality. In the advertisement above, Dumont portrays the TV as an item that will revolutionize the way the average American family lives and interacts with each other. An image of a family sitting on a couch watching television is shown in a spotlight surrounded by what looks like space or the heavens. Dumont surrounds the TV and family with this image to evoke awe in the consumer and emphasize the magnitude and revolutionary nature of the TV. In the picture, the TV seems like a dream, but the caption “are you ready for television” assures that it is now a reality. Because the caption directly addresses the reader, it grabs the reader’s attention and forces the reader to read more in order to answer the question.

The advertisement may also seem prophetic, declaring, “the time is here to become familiar with new measurements of human progress… economic political, scientific.” This seems like an odd thing to say in an advertisement, but Dumont includes it for the same reason the setting of the picture is space or the heavens—it evokes awe and empowerment in the consumer. Both the setting and the prophetic wording also allude to great scientific feats and technological achievements. By pairing their television with the idea of great scientific achievement Dumont hopes consumers will view their TV as equally important and astonishing. Dumont then goes on to declare their “impressive pre-war pioneering” and “advantageous patents” give them the best product. And finally, the text ends with a question directed at the consumer. The question, “the world stands on the threshold of an astonishing age.. Dumont Television is ready…Are You?”, forces the reader to think about the advertisement in the context of all of the recent scientific discoveries, with the implication that the Dumont TV is the next big achievement. Moreover, ending on a question requires the viewer to devise a solution, and if the answer to the question is yes, then the logical conclusion is that the reader should buy a TV.

While Dumont takes a very different approach from Motorola, Some of the social themes discussed in the first advertisement are seen in Dumont’s advertisement as well. In both advertisements, the family seems to play a very important role, which shows the companies must be comfortable assuming most people have a family. Another social theme that carries over is the idea of consumerism. The text in the Dumont advertisement states “television will carry…new products into million of homes.” This seems extremely irrelevant to marketing a TV, but it shows society’s emphasis on consumption at this time.

http://library.duke.edu/digitalcollections/adaccess_TV0315/

The Stromberg Carlson advertisement emphasizes the advanced technology that allows the TV to be seen from more angles. The text of the advertisement is very technical and specific to technology; however, the underlying theme is clearly the importance of the family. Stromberg Carlson is associating itself with a company that values and understands the importance of family. The text states “some engineers have forgotten the basic objective—to provide the best possible viewing comfort and clarity to the greatest number of people.” The italicization used in the advertisement makes it even clearer that the true focus is on the people watching. In the case of this ad, Stromberg Carlson is marketing to upper class people. This can be seen in the picture through the inclusion of a maid, the attire of the people, and the cat. This trend to advertise TV to the upper class is primarily because of the price range of the TV and the leisure time needed to watch it. Furthermore, the inclusion of the family is a common theme throughout all three advertisements. This indicates both a desire of the TV companies for the television to be linked to family and a common social value in the era.

Despite identifying with different things, these articles use the same strategies and methods in order to be successful. All of the ads attempt to evoke emotion from the consumer, prove their credibility, and provide information about the product. In an effort to create a reaction and make the product more relatable, all of the ads draw upon common social values, such as the importance of family and an emphasis on consumerism. It is the ability to successfully identify the company with a specific emotion, quality, or social value that determines a company’s success.

Works Cited

Allen B. DuMont Labroratories, inc.. “Are You Ready for Television” [TV0073].
Advertisement. New Yorker 1944. Duke University Libraries Digital Collections. Web. 28 Nov. 2014.

Motorolla Inc.. “Better See Motorola TV” [TV0216]. Advertisement. New Yorker
1952. Duke University Libraries Digital Collections. Web. 27 Nov. 2014.

Stromberg-Carlson. “Everybody but the kitten has a front row-seat” [TV0315].
Advertisement. Newsweek 1953. Duke University Libraries Digital Collections. Web. 29 Nov. 2014.

Unconscious associations essay

Firm but malleable, it stretches across the body in a powerful, yet seductive style. It can be tough and worn like those who wear it. From a smooth black to a tough tan, it can take on many colors. It traveled under the feet of those who braved the west, shielded the ancient soldier in battle, and rides the backs of bikers everywhere. Leather is an undeniable symbol of power, toughness, and even seduction.

The durability and strength of leather can easily be felt upon touch. It does not flow through your hands like other fabrics. Instead, it is a firm, rigid texture composed of the hide of previously living animals. When wearing Leather, one assumes the strength and toughness of the material. In the same way, one also asserts their dominance over other living creatures.

Culturally, when we think of leather, we think of either rough individuals, or authority figures. Both of these figures demand a certain form of fear and dominance. We often associate the leather jacket with the rebel or tough guy. Likewise, the leather boots with the workingman or cowboy. These associations come from the innate properties of leather, which mimic the identity of those who wear them. Naturally, people gravitate to clothes that identify their personality. Silk clothes identify the elite and luxurious. Linen identifies the free and easy going. Leather, identifies tough and rebellious individuals.

Leather also takes on a connotation of seduction and sexual appeal. This is not surprising considering that feelings of power and dominance are often associated with sex. Leather can be stretched taught, conveying a form of tension that relates to the constant sexual tension of humans. Leather is also frequently associated with a rebellious nature—a characteristic that many find seductive.

It is important to recognize the symbolism behind Leather, so that we are able to defend ourselves against ploys to appeal to our subconscious. As stores and business search to find ways of differentiating their products, they tap into clever metaphorical language that relates their products to particular feelings and identities. Stores may try to sell boots by telling us that their boots will let us walk anywhere anytime. In an instance like this they are trying to reassert that their boots can be identified with power. In reality boots are boots and most consumer should probably not be making the decision of what boots to buy based on the level of power they grant. Furthermore, people may try to appeal to our subconscious symbolism of leather by wearing leather to make them appear dominant or rebellious. If we are aware of the subconscious symbolism that leather evokes, we are better able to defend against ploys to manipulate us.

Ultimately, whether we recognize the symbolism of leather or not, we are unable to avoid the association of leather with power, toughness, and seduction. Leather still travels under the feet of those who brave the west, shields the soldier in battle, stretches seductively across the bodies of singers, and rides the backs of bikers everywhere. This is because leather’s symbolism is founded in one of the most powerful tools of association—human senses, specifically touch.

Impactful research experience

Completely unaware and clueless on the topic, I sat down in front of my computer and began to embark on a research project. As an eighth grader, I was relatively new to the idea of research, but for one of the first times in my young research career, I was generally excited to begin. I was going to research nuclear power plants and evaluate whether or not I thought the United States should have and produce active nuclear power plants. I did not know it yet, but this project would change the method I use to choose a position on any controversial issue.

I must admit, I was relatively new to research and had almost no idea what I was doing. I learned to go to the most general sites first, and then use them to pick up clues on what I might want to consider in more detail. I thought I had all of my information, only to find half way through my paper that it might be helpful to have more facts about a particular power plant or a power plant radiation leak. My research process as a whole was definitely a learning experience, but I was still impacted by my findings.

The only prior knowledge I had of nuclear power plants was that they were dangerous and produced power. I assumed it would be fairly obvious that it’s not at all safe to have nuclear power plants in the country, let alone near residential areas. When I began my research, I found a myriad of websites that agreed with my assumptions; however, most of these were published by people with no expertise in the field. As I searched for more credible sources, I began to discover that the more credible the source, the more in favor they were of nuclear power plants. Not all, but a majority of the scientific community strongly believes in the continued development and use of nuclear power plants.

Scientifically speaking, nuclear power plants can in no way explode like a nuclear bomb. Nuclear power plants can occasionally overheat, which should never be an issue if all of the necessary safety precautions and regulations are followed. Nuclear power plants not only create way more power than coal or oil, but nuclear power plants also don’t release any of the same harmful chemicals into the air. Lastly, the vast majority of nuclear waste is safe to handle within twenty years and it can be buried twenty feet underground with no worry of radiation.

In short, it was clear to me that public hysteria and misconception of the nuclear power plant drove many common people to be against the continued production and use of nuclear power plants. Ironically, stopping the production of nuclear power plants is one of the most unsafe things you could do. The technology will only be safer as people continue to work to improve it.

I thought it was a shocking discovery to see that scientific opinion was so different from that of the general public. I was also amazed that so many of the “facts” that people seemed to have about nuclear power plants were just downright wrong. This is how I have developed my method of determining what position I should take on a controversial issue. I learned that the hysteria and confusion of the general public can easily distort facts and opinions, and it is best to do the research myself before taking a definitive stance.

Is it Literature?

“The Adventure of the Cardboard Box” by Robert Doyle met my stylistic expectations of literature; however, the content is unique from typical works of literature taught in school.

In “The Adventure of the Cardboard Box” Doyle uses formal techniques and complex style, which coincides with my expectations of literature. For example, Doyle describes Holmes metaphorically as a “filament stretching out and running through [others], responsive to every little rumor or unsolved crime”(17 Doyle). By describing Holmes as the center of a light bulb, Doyle not only conveys Holmes’ brilliance, but also convinces the readers of the legitimacy and eloquence of his writing. The use of figurative language, complex word choice, and elegant description reveal the style of the story as intricate and therefore similar to that of typical literature. Doyle’s allusion to a novel by Edgar Allen Poe is definitely more characteristic of a literary work than a leisure novel. Another aspect of literature that “The Adventure of the Cardboard box” contains is the complexity and emphasis on the characters. In literature, the plot usually develops out of the characters rather than the other way around. Overall, the style and the techniques Doyle uses in his writing are typical of the type of literature taught in school.

Despite the elegance and complexity of the writing, “The Adventure of the Cardboard Box” has different content than typical literature taught in school and is less ambiguous. The typical literature taught in school normally contains a social message to people of the time. The content of most typical literature taught in school is grave and confusing. Typical school-taught literature often ends in ambiguity that provokes much thought and is rarely definitive. In Sherlock Holmes, the content of the story is typically a murder mystery. The end of the story is always definitive—who the murderer was and why he did the dead. And while there are certainly times in the story that require great thought, the story does not require the reader to radically challenge any preexisting notions or social conventions. Because of the contextual differences between “The Adventures of the Cardboard Box” and most school taught literature, the novel did not fit my typical characterization of literature.

The novel did not fit my expectations of literature in part because of the narrow definition of literature that is presented to students. In schools everywhere, students are presented with the same few books as literature. To me, this reveals a limitation of the definition of literature. Great ideas can have many different vehicles to best represent them. Why then does literature have to maintain the same rigid format? As technology and communication have evolved, I think we are forced to take a broader look at the different ways of communicating ideas. I personally believe it is possible that a series of emails presented as a collective work could develop characters and ideas as complex and thought provoking as a great work of literature. Unfortunately, these emails no matter how profound would probably never be considered literature because of the lack of literary techniques. Meanwhile, a book like “Sherlock Holmes” can be written with outstanding literary techniques and still not be considered literature because of the jovial tone and childish topic. Both of these works may be as important and eye-opening to read as a work of literature, but because of the limits on the definition of literature, it is only a specific type of book that is taught as literature in school. It all comes down to the definition of literature and whether or not you are willing to open the door to not only new ideas, but also new ways of presenting them.

Why Her is so confusing and whether or not it’s worth your time.

A review by critic Nick Grisius

The movie Her is full of deep symbolism and thought-provoking comparisons. Unfortunately, the comparisons and symbolism is obscure, which leaves most of the audience confused and frustrated. Much of the symbolism hinges on the fact that Theodore, the protagonist, has a job at a Beautiful Handwritten letters company. At his job, Theodore writes letters for countless loved ones who either cannot find the time to write or simply don’t wish to write themselves.

I believe this is intended to appall the audience. However, I do not think the audience is overly surprised or upset. Because the movie presents the Letter Company as the “norm”, the movie fails to draw any attention to the significance of Theodore’s job. Instead, the audience just sees his job as a part of the futuristic atmosphere. My original perspective was that writing letters for other people seems like an awfully weird way to make a living. However, just like the audience, I began to suppress these feelings because of the movie’s inability to make clear connections between Theodore’s job and Theodore’s relationships.

As I thought harder about the role of Theodore’s job, I began to realize the symbolism that the movie was trying to convey. Just as Theodore’s clients are not truly communicating with the correct person, Theodore is not talking to a person either as he talks to Samantha, an operating system for which Theodore has developed a romantic relationship. This comparison implies that Theodore is just as much of an operating system as Samantha. Therefore, Samantha is replying to Theodore with the same lack of true human emotion Theodore uses to communicate with his clients. When Theodore is seen as an operating system for his clients, the audience is forced to question whether there is any difference between the love one human has for another and the love Theodore has for Samantha. Maybe the most important question this comparison prompts is does it matter that Theodore is only talking to a computer or his clients are only talking to him, and are these unusual relationships still love.

The audience is given further insight when Catherine, Theodore’s ex wife, proclaims Theodore is dating an OS because he “cannot handle real emotion.” This is now the only information the audience has been given about Theodore’s relationship problems with his ex wife. And, it implies that Theodore’s relationship with Samantha is not one of real emotion. This information also makes the audience question if Theodore came about his job because it too is a way for Theodore to deal with emotions that are not his own. Meanwhile, Theodore’s friend from the office constantly commends his letters for their authenticity. A publisher even publishes the letters, claiming they perfectly describe many of the experiences and emotions in every relationship. The audience is now left with two separate ideas of what is real emotion. Because the movie does not sufficiently clarify, all of these conflicting messages culminate in massive confusion over the reality of Theodore and Samantha’s relationship.

Ultimately, the movie was incredibly unsettling because it did not give an answer to many of the questions it posed. As an audience, we always seek a logical ending and circularity at the conclusion of our movie. While the intent of the writer may have been to leave the audience in contemplation at the end of the movie, there needed to be a specific idea or thought to leave the audience with—not multiple ambiguous thoughts all at once. Overall, I would not recommend this movie. There are much shorter and better ways to confuse yourself.

Her. Dir. Spike Jones. Perf. Scarlett Johansson Joaquin Phoenix Amy Adams. Warner Bros., 2013. DVD.

Facebook paper revision

In the center of the page, a tall, slender boy sits perched on the edge of a rustic car sunken into the ground. Towering trees, poison ivy, and multiple testosterone-filled screaming boys surround him. Kairros, his high school retreat, is the caption. He plays baseball, roots for the redskins, and likes country music. Judging from the quantity of pictures with the same girl, he is clearly way to obsessed with his girlfriend. He is from Vienna Virginia, proudly attended Gonzaga College High School and now gratefully attends Emory University. This is a complete Facebook profile of myself; however, does this information really define me? Can a friend of a friend glance at my page and instantly know me, or at least know the type? Can an Internet surfer know my sense of humor, my loyalty to my friends, my adventurous and curious nature? My Facebook profile doesn’t define me, and that’s a good thing. You shouldn’t let yours define you either.

There are people who try to act as if a Facebook profile can define a person. To me, it is foolish to think an Internet profile could ever entirely define something as complex as a human being. Besides, do you really want friends, crushes, college admissions officers, and future employers to define you based on a silly online profile. You are not just an athlete, a student, a partier, a cheerleader, a cool kid, an outdoorsmen, or a foodie; you are all of those things and much more. The problem with Facebook is that it promotes categorization, stereotypes, and quick judgments. This is the exact opposite of how you should ever want to be viewed. The stereotypes are bad enough in the hallways at school, so why allow Facebook to solidify them? Not only should you not be defined by your own profile, but you shouldn’t define others by their Facebook profiles. It is naive to think that the pictures someone else posts are indicative of their character or personality.

Remember, with Facebook it’s possible to create a different, better you. To me, this is a frightening idea. I am not going to pretend to be the smiling kid always out with friends at parties, and you shouldn’t either. Where is the pain, the struggle, and the hardship? Because I know with most of my friends, it is when they are at their worst, not their best, that their character is revealed. It is silly to think that we don’t have hardships or difficulties. But by choosing what pictures we display, we are not displaying ourselves; rather, we are displaying who we desire to be.

As the future generation of America, it is your job to determine how you are going to use social media. So the onus is on you, will the trend of defining others based on their Facebook profile continue, or will you understand there is much more to a person than a few pages online. Will you see me as a baseball player, a redskin’s fan, or a country music fanatic? Maybe, but if you want to know my sense of humor, my relationships with my friends, or my curious and adventurous nature, then you will have to experience it firsthand—not judge me in a glance from behind the screen of your computer.

Touch Someone article

In the article “Touch someone,” the idea that sometimes sociability has to be taught and sold is a fact with which many technology-based companies have struggled. For example, when the Internet was first released, it was not perceived as a means of social interaction at all. The original users of the Internet were primarily businesses or educators. The Internet was seen largely as a place for information. It took from the 1950s, when the Internet was first developed, until 1993 for someone to develop email as a quick and easy way for one to communicate with others online; however, even today, email is still thought of as a more formal and professional way of communicating. It was not until social media fully gained traction that the Internet finally started to turn its focus towards every day social interaction.

The Internet took so long to become recognized as a viable option for social communication for many of the same reasons the telephone originally struggled to be seen as a means of social interactions. Part of the struggle was that neither the Internet nor the telephone was originally envisioned for social use. In fact, the Internet was first used in the Department of Defense and Alexander Graham Bell originally envisioned the telephone as a way of communicating for urgent matters. Even once companies tried to push both of these technologies towards social functions, the public was resistant because they felt they either did not need this new technology or did not fully understand it.

It took a generation who was exposed to the technology and understood it before either the Internet or the telephone was used at a fully social capacity. For example, when Facebook was originally started its entire market was college students. This is because college students are accustomed to computers and more open to the possibility of using them for social means. Social media sites are still primarily used by the younger generation. This indicates that someone is more likely to use a new technology at a social level if they understand and are comfortable with the technology. In this way, I think the two technologies are different. When the phone was invented, the idea of using technology as a means of social interaction seemed bizarre. People liked the idea of seeing the other person face to face. By the time the Internet came out the phone had already broken many of these barriers. This paved the way for the Internet to transition towards social uses faster.

The shift in the function of both the Internet and the phone from practical uses to social uses was driven by a desire for profit and humans innate desire to interact. Companies quickly realized they could easily expand their market by marketing their technology for social uses. Not everyone needs a telephone or the Internet for business, but almost everyone likes to socialize. In the present day, we consume much of our day talking to people, checking social media, calling, and texting people. This is because humans are social creatures. We feel happier when we belong to a group and when we interact with others. As long as we live, companies will seek to use technologies to satisfy our innate desire to communicate and exploit it for personal profit.

How the reader views Dante and Goldsmith’s essays

In the two articles “The shadow scholar” and “It’s not plagiarism”, the difference in the way the authors portray the act of plagiarizing completely changes the way the reader perceives each essay.

Because Dante describes plagiarism as a mere function of supply and demand, the typical negative stereotypes still accompany plagiarism. The blame is just merely shifted from him to something that can’t be held accountable. The reader still views plagiarism as a clear violation of justice and honesty. Not only does the reader still hold plagiarism with a negative regard, He or she now begins to question what it is about schools that create this innate demand for plagiarism. The reader might even now interpret plagiarism as an inevitable evil. As if it is something that will always exist for no reason in particular and that all of those involved are just a product of the larger laws of economics. These new thoughts are largely a product of Dante’s attempt to avert blame from himself. He does not want to be perceived as some terrible person, but rather a product of a bad system. His article still has many valid points, but there is undoubtedly a slant because of his personal involvement with plagiarism.

Unlike Dante, Goldsmith in “It’s not plagiarism”, entirely changes the typical stigma that accompanies the word plagiarism, and in fact even renames the word to repurposing. He explains that in the digital age it is an extremely valuable skill to best express a thought or idea by compiling already known thoughts or information. He even argues that through the process of selecting already given text you are creating an individual work. He uses examples from art such as Andy Warhol and other modern artists. He even describes his class where students are instructed to use only existing text to compile and sort it into their own papers. Because of the way Goldsmith presents his essay he completely redefines plagiarism for the reader. The typical negative association is now replaced with the idea of a valuable skill that expresses ones individuality. By relating the process of choosing what text to copy with an artist choosing what to include in his artwork, Goldsmith causes the reader to interpret a well plagiarized or “repurposed” paper as a work of art. The way in which Goldsmith redefines plagiarism entirely changes the reader’s attitude towards plagiarism as one of approval.

Both Dante and Goldsmith were incredibly clever. Dante was able to hold economic laws as accountable for plagiarism, while Goldsmith was able to transform the typical stigma associated with plagiarism from one of distain to approval and admiration. Both authors used a variety of comparisons that made readers reevaluate how they viewed plagiarism. Ultimately, readers saw Dante’s essay primarily as a discussion of an inevitable wrong, while Goldsmith’s essay represented the transformation of a typically negative action to an admirable skill.

My Facebook Profile

In the center of the page, a tall, slender boy sits perched on the edge of a rustic car sunken into the ground. Towering trees, poison ivy, and multiple testosterone-filled screaming boys surround him. Kairros, his high school retreat, is the caption. He plays baseball, roots for the redskins, and likes country music. Judging from the quantity of pictures with the same girl, he is clearly way to obsessed with his girlfriend. He is from Vienna Virginia, proudly attended Gonzaga College High School and now gratefully attends Emory University. This is a complete Facebook profile of myself; however, does this information really define me? Can a friend of a friend glance at my page and instantly know me, or at least know the type? Can an Internet surfer know my sense of humor, my loyalty to my friends, my adventurous and curious nature? In an attempt to “capture the college experience” Mark Zuckerburg has created a website that allows friends to connect and interact but at a superficial level.

 

I was resentful to getting a Facebook since the start. I held out for two years and then eventually succumbed to the peer pressure. I populated my Facebook with pictures and interests, but soon I gradually stopped posting. My Facebook use my senior year of High School comprised of scrolling through the newsfeed and checking the groups for updates on my classes. I stopped posting mostly because I don’t like the idea of creating a different persona online. With Facebook, it’s possible to create a different, better you. To me, this is a frightening idea. I am who I am. I am not going to pretend to be the smiling kid always out with friends at parties. I want to know where is the pain, the struggle, and the hardship. Because I know with most of my friends, it is when they are at their worst, not their best, that their character is revealed. It is silly to think that we don’t have hardships or difficulties. But by choosing what pictures we display, we are not displaying ourselves; rather, we are displaying who we desire to be.

 

So no, I don’t think my Facebook profile defines me. I intentionally choose not to represent myself on Facebook. Sure I still have a profile for general purposes, but I do not attempt to represent myself. And it is true that I play baseball, root for the redskins, and like country music. However, if you want to know my sense of humor, my relationships with my friends, or my curious and adventurous nature, then you will have to experience it first hand—not judge me in a glance from behind the screen of your computer.