Hearing Aids in the 1950’s Advertisement Analysis

Developments in the 1950’s were all about convenience and aesthetics, with inventions such as microwaves and color televisions that came in a variety of colors and designs to match your cookie cutter house perfectly. This decade was one of large progression for the development of the hearing aid. All of the ads centered on this time period are either completely focused on or largely focused on the fact that the hearing aid they are attempting to sell is smaller and less visible than other hearing aids or even previously produced ones. Of these three ads, two of them hyperbolize adjectives such as “miniature” and “invisible” to describe their product, and one ad even uses an “actual size” picture to give their customers a visual of the product they could buy. While there may not be anything offensive in the ads, all the models in the ads are pretty, young women. Young women and hearing aids seem like an odd combination considering you would expect the main customers of these devices to be older men and women who have progressively lost their hearing. Using the pretty women as the cover of their ads may bring more attention to their ads, but does not necessarily portray the correct group of people who would be seen using the devices. Another not so user friendly aspect of the ads is as we assume that you would be marketing to an older group of people, you would expect the ads to be fit for seniors to use and read easily. But this is not the case; two of the three ads contain large paragraphs of small words and not many pictures. The ads are almost full explanations of how the device works rather than just short and to the point statements that make it easy for an older person to quickly read and comprehend.

While the visual marketing strategies may have been a little off, the textual marketing worked very well. Each ad specifically focuses on how their hearing aid is more convenient and less visible than previous hearing aids. One ad specifically shows pictures of different angles of the ear with the hearing aid in and gives descriptions explaining how the hearing aid is nearly invisible. A separate ad appeals to its customers by pointing out all the flaws in other hearing aids and how their hearing aid improves those nuisances for its users. Both of these ads take different approaches in convincing the customer of their validity and functionality while still focusing on the same main idea of smaller hearing aids. One ad takes an almost mysterious approach with a life size picture and simple explanation of its small size. Without explaining why this hearing aid is better than the others, or the flaws of other previous hearing aids, the marketers still achieve their purpose and even exceed it as it leaves the readers curious and wanting to know more about how this hearing aid is so good. To give legitimacy to their claims, each ad includes the brand name in large letters, usually in a different font from the rest of the wording on the page. In most cases, the brand name is the firs thing that really pops out to your eyes and therefore one of the first things to read which consequently makes I nearly impossible to forget the name being advertised. Money and cost was an aspect that was only mentioned in one of the ads while the others did not even mention “low costs” let alone an actual price. This could indicate that the one ad would be marketed to more high-class person who would be curious about the price, but not be deterred by the cost of the hearing aid.

The main goal of all these ads was printed large and clear on every single of one their paper advertisements. This really helped get the ads to the point and to make them successful. Different marketing strategies were used by each ad, making them marketed to different types of people, but all remained to be informative and convincing in their ways.

Works Cited-

Otarion. “Actual Size of the New Otarion Whisperwate”. Advertisement. 1951. Washington University School of Medicine.       Deafness in Disguise. Web. 24 Nov. 2014.

Beltone. “Invisible Hearing Aid”. Advertisement. 1957. American Memory from the Library of Congress. Printed Ephemera. Web. 21 Nov. 2014.

Zenith. “I’m Very Deaf but I Hear Everything with My New Zenith Miniature Hearing Aid”. Advertisement. Popular Mechanics. 23 Mar. 1950: 5. Modern Mechanix. Web. 20 Nov. 2014.

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Crowdpilot or Autopilot?

Lauren McCarthy’s Crowdpilot is an app that allows someone to enlist the help of his/her friends for conversation starters in silent situations. While this app is similar to how you can group message on many smart phones, it is still much different as there is a specific subject that is being discussed rather than just an open conversation. This app allows open conversation and suggestions from friends directly to the person in the conversation-lacking situation. Some might find this helpful on a date or when meeting a new person, but there could be much controversy around this new app considering the other people in the real conversation have no idea that their entire conversation is being broadcasted to an outside party that they most likely don’t even know. While some people may not have a problem with it, many people would likely feel violated or even uncomfortable that there is a group of people he/she does not know that is basically in the conversation.

An app like this really exemplifies the dependence that people currently have on technology. It’s hard to believe that someone would need a smartphone app just to have a conversation with somebody. We have become so dependent on technology to help with the littlest things from directions, to spelling corrections, and now telling us how to have a conversation with someone. Texting has also become the new major trend as opposed to calling which makes us even less communicative with our peers. McCarthy’s app takes every technological dependence we have and turn it into something productive that can help us achieve a goal. Many may reconsider their addiction to their cell phone after using this app, but many will most likely just shrug it off and keep using their smartphone apps excessively per usual.

The New Spoon

The Lift Ware spoon is a spoon designed to eliminate up to 70% of its user’s hand tremor, making feeding themselves easier and reduces the risk of spilling food. The functionality of the spoon seems very helpful to those who have tremors or diseases such as Parkinson’s and upon first glance the spoon looks like it would be easy to grip and use. Although from a functional standpoint the spoon looks good, from an aesthetics point of view, the spoon is not as pleasing to the eyes as it could be. The spoon looks like a simple silver spoon with a large tan grip handle. There is very little color or appeal to the users senses, especially the eyes, and this lack of “wow factor” per say could easily hurt their advertising if the product goes on the market.

From a user standpoint, the spoon looks very easy to use and handle while eating. With such a large grip for a handle, there is no doubt that anybody would be able to pick it up and hold it with ease. The bifurcation in the middle of the handle is the factor that essentially absorbs the users tremor, and this obviously makes the ability to use the spoon even simpler since there will no longer be a tremor or shake when the user is eating. A factor that could possibly make the eating process even easier to use would be if the manufacturer could extend the length of the spoon. Currently the spoon looks about the length of a child’s spoon and a couple inches short of a standardized restaurant spoon. This could cause a few problems when trying to eat from a deeper bowl, but other than length, this product could not be easier to learn to use.

Personally, while I may not be the type of person this item was designed for, I could see myself using it on a regular basis. The handle is much larger and easier to grasp than a regular utensil and that would seem to come in handy quite often. Also, the fact that is gets rid of tremors when you eat could be beneficial, even though I do not shake often, especially to reduce messes when I eat. It would come most in handy for persons with tremors and Parkinson’s disease though to prevent the spilling of food and liquid while eating. The spoon might fall short when it comes to the fact that the actual spoon size is rather small and could most likely not hold a lot substance from your meal. People’s perception of things most likely would not change too drastically as this spoon does not look much different from other ones. Besides the physical perception though, there would be a very noticeable change in that users spoons would no longer shake with their tremors.

The Lift Ware spoon is a device that helps the handicap and improves the quality of life for people with tremors. This product is one that would prove useful for numerous groups of people and with just a few small changes; it could be the perfect solution to a big problem.

Spread the Word to End the Word

“Spread the word to end the word” was a phrase that had little to no meaning to me before I started coming to Emory. I had never known about or heard the phrase before and I certainly had no idea what it meant. Upon my arrival here, one of my teammates responded to my comment about something being “retarded” with that exact phrase. Initially I was quite confused as that was not a response I had ever gotten to this comment before. Shortly after an explanation that what she had said was part of a campaign to end the use of possibly hurtful words, I finally understood what this “spread the word to end to word” phrase exactly meant.

After this incident, I took the new phrase I had learned and looked further into this campaign. I read numerous anecdotes about bad experiences with these hurtful words as well as statistics about the use of the “r-word”, all of which I was extremely moved by. I was very surprised about the fact that this was a whole movement that I had never previously heard about, especially since it seems so established among many people. Until I became aware of the statistics of the use of the “r-word” I had not formerly noticed how often it was used. After just a day of listening to what people say and occasionally eavesdropping on a few conversations, I began to notice how many people said the word completely unknowingly, most likely not meaning any harm from the word. I also realized how much I unintentionally used the “r-word” myself and at that moment I decided to stop watching everybody around me and to make a change.

Through my research and personal experiences, I have recently become an advocate of the “Spread the word to end the word” campaign and have started using the iconic phrase around anyone that I hear use the “r-word” in the incorrect context. It was and still is difficult to change the way I normally talk by excluding the “r-word” from my vocabulary, but every time I catch myself and use another word in its place I can’t help but feel a sense of accomplishment and pride for myself taking a step in the right direction. While making a personal change may be difficult, I am glad that my eyes were opened to this phenomenon and that I have been trying to make the change in my life. Researching and learning from my peers through experience I believe has taught me how to be more sensitive to certain situations and I am thankful for that new skill.

The Adventure That Falls Short

When someone enters the schooling system, you would expect most books you read to be either informative or have some sort of significance to a lesson you are currently being taught in class. Doyle’s “The Adventure of the Cardboard Box” does not meet any of these expectations at all. For starters, the entire plot of the story is borderline unrealistic almost like it came straight out of a “CSI” episode. How often do people cut off the ears of their wife and her lover and send them to their sister-in-law? I haven’t heard of too many cases where people’s ears are chopped off in love crazed hysterical revenge. Along with the unrealistic nature of the actual crime, the impracticalities continue when Jim Browner, the villainous sailor husband, openly admits to his crime and even gives all the details and explanations to Sherlock Holmes when he confronts Browner about it. Again, very rarely to people completely confess to their alcoholism and drunken crimes to a detective when he asks them about it. Besides the fact that the majority of this story is unreasonable, there is also no moral lesson or educational meaning that you could possibly remove from the context. It is basically a read for fun kind of story not a school appropriate one.

Doyle presents a very well written, mysterious, nonfiction story, but his story is limited by this same nonfiction creativity. Back to the fact that most of his story is incredibly unrealistic is a major factor in the way his story is restricting to the scholarly reader. There is nothing to be learned from Doyle’s story and no moral lesson for readers to pick up on. If one were to read “The Adventure of the Cardboard Box”, it would strictly have to be for his/her own amusement rather than to be informed about a subject. Knowing that this story was not one to be broken down and analyzed, it did not necessarily change the way that I looked at literature. If anything, this story did help me to understand how not all stories have to be written with a purpose to get across to the reader, rather some stories can be written just for entertainment of the readers. Even though for pleasure is one to read literature, when I read a book or a story for school I fully expect it to teach me something or at least facilitate something that I am being taught. While “The Adventures of the Cardboard Box” may be a thrilling and interesting read, and while I did enjoy reading it, afterword I felt no satisfaction of having learned something at all, and that is what I typically expect from reading a scholarly story for school.

Job to Life Correlations

Many times people’s jobs tend to directly reflect on his/her personal life outside of the office. Whether they are social, anti-social, glued to their computer, etc. In the movie “Her” Theodore is a man who works with computers day and night, and even starts to date one. Theodore’s job is a typical anti-social, cubicle job with very little interaction with anything but a computer operating system all day. With this initial perception of Theodore, the viewers are led to believe that he is a generally introverted person with very deep feelings, as he writes heart written letters at the drop of a hat. The idea that he talks to a computer in a very emotional way all day almost foreshadows his eventual romantic relationship with his operating system. He has almost practiced being emotional with a computer by working his job all day, and the new operating systems are exactly what he needs to play out those emotions. As an audience, we are most likely expected to recognize the content of Theodore’s job as a common motif throughout the entirety of the movie. His job helps to set up a basic idea for the audience about Theodore and his close relationships with computers in his daily life. The audience should also recognize the level of comfort and the ease of speaking that Theodore has when talks to not only his computer but with any computer. While many audience members may be potentially upset by the idea of somebody else writing heart felt letters for people, the bigger picture is what is important. Personally, I was able to use his job as a connection with his outside the job life, and even to use his job as a catalyst in his undying love for his computer operating system. If the producer were to change any part of the movie to help narrow perspectives and emotions about Theodore’s job, they could possibly change his job from writing letters to more methodical pieces such as essays and writing assignments. This would help to limit to possible bad reactions to Theodore’s job from the audience. My view takes on a less emotional sense for sure as I didn’t even consider the idea that Theodore was writing letters for other people and focused more on the fact that he could be so enthusiastic to a non-human computing source. I felt that the entire relationship that Theodore has at work and with his operating system was unnatural and could easily be considered an act of desperation to maintain feelings again after his dragged out divorce. While the film did not necessarily “fail” at anything, it gave the audience an opportunity to creative a multitude of perspectives on the subject.

Her. Dir. Spike Jonze. Perf. Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams, Scarlett Johansson. Annapurna Pictures, 2013. DVD.

The United States of Texas

Being born and raised in Texas and having lived in a new state for the past month, I can be the first to attest that Texas in indeed a country of its own. The most prominent difference I noticed while being in Georgia was the change in language used and dialects. Now when I say “y’all” or “fixin” people just look at me funny and wonder what redneck town I rolled out of. Being that Georgia is in the south just as Texas is, I was clearly surprised by this happening. After just going along with it for the first two weeks, eventually the ridicule and infinite Texas jokes finally got to me and I decided that it was time for a change.

Soon after I began to step up my code switching game around all my fellow classmates. “Y’all” had now turned into “you guys” and “fixin” had now turned into “about to”. My friends and teammates had immediately noticed the difference in my language and took note of my now more sophisticated talk as they called it. Even though the Texas jokes subsided, I couldn’t help but realize how truly uncomfortable I was with this new way of speaking around people. I really had to put my maximum effort into ensuring that my southern state of mind didn’t slip out among the groups of people I spoke to everyday. Clearly I was not meant to speak like a northerner and nor did I want to speak like one.

The act of intentionally switching one’s language to accommodate their surroundings or code switching is not nearly as easy as it sounds. I tried, partially succeeded, and then decided that I was going to speak exactly how I had for the past 18 years of my life. You can take the girl out of Texas, but you can never take the Texas out of the girl.

Pregnancy in Pillow Talk

The movie Pillow Talk is set during the 1950’s, a time of clearly defined gender roles and the fascination with in-home telephones. Throughout this romantic comedy, viewers are bound to see numerous references to many stereotypes such as an overly emotional woman, a young male narcissist, and most commonly pregnancy. The idea of pregnancy as such a prevalent event in a woman’s life is seen rather early on in Pillow Talk when all Jonathan Forbes talks about is nothing but finding a good woman for him to marry and start a family with. The importance of the role that pregnancy takes on in the film is exemplified by both males and females, as Jan Morrow, a single woman also talks about her interest in marrying and starting a family. Impregnation is more than just an idea though, as we see a gynecologist’s office pictured in the movie on multiple occasions, as well as Brad accidentally running into that office as a comic relief. The filmmakers take an even more physical side to the idea when in the final scene of the movie Jan actually becomes pregnant.

Stereotypical gender roles were at their height during the era of the 1950’s, and Pillow Talk is the epitome of those gender roles. Both the character and the screenwriters encourage gender roles, which adds even more exemplification to the idea. Though possibly offensive, the stereotypes depicted in the film are essential to the climax of the plot, where the deception of Brad (Rex) is revealed and we the viewers are exposed to the failure and fallout that conventional gender roles can cause. Most importantly though, the filmmakers use the idea of pregnancy as a tool that forces the viewer to pick sides among the main characters; to either pity Brad for the fact that Jan never gave him a chance in the beginning or the pity Jan who fell under the spell of a fake, lying man named Rex. Pregnancy acts as a divider and as a conjoiner throughout Pillow Talk, as initially it is the reason for tension among the males and females in the plot, but in the end it brings Brad and Jan together as a couple. Pregnancy plays a pivotal role in the development of the plot as well as the exemplification of conventional gender roles that adds to the comedic and stereotypical aspects of the film.

Social Media Language Studies

My Facebook is a private place for myself and my friends and family, but personally I would have no problem letting my profile being used anonymously for data-mining purposes. I think my profile would be a good fit for any sort of research project, as almost everything I have on my profile is pretty stereotypical to what an 18-year-old female would have on their profile. While I have not heard of any other instances of anonymous social media data mining, I have participated in anonymous studies in the past; such as an aerobic athletes heart study. In the previous social media study, which was the only one I have seen before, I was particularly surprised at the vulgarity of many of the most common words used by people. But while I was surprised by it initially, after thinking it through many of the correlations seemed to make sense. Older teen and younger adult men used many of the same words; the same words that I hear them speak when I am person to person with them. And the same goes for many young adult females as well, so I do agree with all the correlations that were drawn from this study.

 If the scientists were to improve this study at all, I think that race/ethnicity would have been a good factor to add to the mix. Different races and different ethnicities many times have an assortment of jargon that they use, and knowing this may have helped add a more accurate outline of the words picked out during the study. By simply asking people to identify their race, the study could have been improved. When doing this, you also would be able to get a feel for what words are used most commonly among different races. After reading the article, I began to think back on many of my past Facebook statuses, and I noticed how much regional dialect I used in my posts. And after further comparing with many of Facebook friends of similar age and gender, I noticed that we all have posts of similar content, only further confirming the study that was performed.