Television AD Study

Television is likely one of the most influential inventions of the last one hundred years. The TV has also gone through major innovations, changing the way we see the world and the way content is delivered to us. Just like many inventions before it, the television had to be put in the hands of the consumer before it could actually have a meaningful impact on society. The people in charge of convincing society that they should buy television were the advertising teams and the advertising agencies.

As the television developed and evolved over time so did the advertising for television sets, content and cameras. All companies wanted to prove they were on the cutting edge of television technology and that they wanted to provide the best possible experience to their customers. For this reason the advertisements for many televisions and television related products are centered around technology. However, the ads, like ads for many other products, also use specified diction in order to appeal to our logos and our pathos.

The earliest advertisement I examined was for a General Electric Black-Daylite TV. The most obvious aspect of the ad is that it is in black and white. This was likely done because the TV is not a color set, so the images on the screen are supposed to make the consumer believe the images in the ad are as clear as they will actually be on the set. Next, the ad attempts to make the reader believe that the set is magical and amazing. The slogan is “You won’t believe it’til you see it!” and the technology is called “Ultra-Vision.” The attempt was to make the consumer think the television set was amazing and other worldly in its picture quality. The ad assumes the customer wants the best image quality and a really good price as they put a price they think is low for all to see. They also mention how a person can trade in an old set and get a “liberal” trade in value for it. The price focus reiterates that at this time in American history the TV was still seen as a luxury item.

In order for a television set to be worth having, it needs to have content. Knowing this, advertisers also made advertisements focusing on what they were broadcasting. In a 1966 advertisement created by GE, the ad told consumers that next seasons Dallas Cowboys games would be broadcasted in color. The ad is a large two page spread with a huge color picture. The picture looks clear and crisp, like any consumer would want to see. They want you to think the picture will be so good it will almost be like you were actually there. It seems like they are going after men in the ad because more men than women watch football. Also, it is assumed men are the one making bigger purchases. The ad also has a second purpose. It wants to sell theses new cameras to other channels as well. In the blurb on the side of the ad it talks about the practicality and technology of the camera. It talks about what colors it can broadcast and how the camera only weighs 155 pounds.

The next ad that I examined was a 1961 ad for RCA’s new camera technology. These new image orthicons are highly sensitive tubes designed to pick greater light so sets need less light to capture color images. The ad is designed for the television producers and not the average consumer. It is not focused on being as flashy or eye catching but on being informative. The ad has far more words then the first two. The top part of the article, with the larger text, talks about how the new technology lessens production costs. These new orthicons require less lighting, which keeps the sets cooler so you don’t need as much as air conditioning. These extra costs could have stopped people from broadcasting in color thus stopping them from creating better content for their customers. The rest of the ad is large paragraphs that are about the technological advancements of the new device.

While all the ads have differences, they all have one thing in common; they emphasize technology. With any new invention, there is always much that can be improved on. The television sets themselves can become clearer, bigger and have more colors. As technology improves so does the quality of the programs on TV and the picture on the set themselves. Consumers want the most realistic picture possible and the television makers want to entice people to get these better sets.

The television ads themselves vary based on what the objective of the ad is and the audience. Television ads focused on the consumer had more pictures, less words and the words they did have were often buzz words like resolution and sharpness. Beyond that ads intended to sway consumers possibly had prices and brand names. Ads for production equipment, on the other hand, had far more words and therefore less pictures. They would go into greater detail about what made their equipment different and how that would result in better picture quality of content. They would explain how they delivered more clear content other than just saying it was sharper.

Works Cited

General Electric. [Display Ad 21]. Advertisement. Los Angeles Times. 10 Feb. 1953.     Web. 23 Nov. 2014.

RCA. [The Most Trusted Name in Television]. Advertisement. Broadcasting. 27 Nov.   1961. Web. 23 Nov. 2014.

General Electric. [General GE Electric]. Advertisement. Broadcasting. 12 Sep. 1966.    Web. 23 Nov. 2014.

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New Social Media Apps

Social Media was once hailed as the next generation of interactions between people, however today its reputation is much different. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Yik-Yak are now hailed as anti-social networks. They have worked to isolate people and trick them into thinking they are being social while in the end they are alone and simply posting about things to people who probably don’t even know them that well or care too much. Also, social networks have also become tools for bullying and attacking all kinds of people. This is very dangerous and is leading young kids to be isolated over the Internet. As the world becomes more connected social networks are working to replace actual human contact.   There is however a growing push from people and a group of whole new technologies which are trying to reintroduce old school conversations and traditional interactions

One app that is working along these lines is Crowdpilot. Crowdpilot works by combing the new social technology with old school social interaction. You can have you friends listen in on your conversation and then offer you suggestions as conversation starters or tips. While this encourages conversation for those who are socially awkward, it still relies on a person being too consumed in their phone and not having their whole attention paid to the conversation or the person in front of you. It is also sad that an app like this even needs to be a necessity in todays world. People used to be able to talk on their own but clearly the continued reliance on traditional social media has worked to erode some of our social skills and graces. While I praise the founder of this app for finding a need for a product and developing it, it is something I hope will not be a band aid for a long term problem.

Another app that is looking to get people to increase face to face socialization is Interact. The app basically works by allowing you to post a message of something you would like to do and it is an open invitation for strangers to join you. For example, you may be sitting alone and want someone to share lunch with. You would simply put the invitation on the app and wait for someone to show up. This app I believe is a much better solution then the first one because it use the power of technology to bring people together and then once they are together, they are just allowed to be people. At the same token this is very dangerous if those who are put in the system are not properly vetted. For the reasons of safety concerns I have a feeling this app will not be able to catch on.

What Soft Means?

Words often have a way of making us think subconsciously. Without any effort on our part, they conjure up certain images however, even in this very interconnected world these words don’t always conjure up the image or meaning to different people. This can sometimes get tricky when communicating to a broad variety of cultures and it is one reason advertisers today have to be very careful in their rhetoric so that they are able to maximize their number of sales and not offend anyone. In popular culture, there often isn’t an agreement on what a word conjures in the mind. One perfect examples of this conundrum is the word soft

The word soft has a variety of different connotations in todays society. First, the words soft is most literally means to be pleasant to the touch. This means that the word should conjure up the idea of being comfortable and relaxed. However, the word also can take on the meaning of delicate. This often used in both a positive and negative way. Phrases like “soft hands” or “soft brush strokes” give the image of deftness. On the contrary, soft can be used to think of weak, in both mind and body. This creates a conundrum that isn’t easily solved. Just saying the word in a monotone way will not necessarily invoke the image a person wants it to. That is why tone is so important and why meanings can sometimes be misconstrued in text that would have been clear in person.

The word soft also works to a greater or more mythical sense as well. When we think soft we think angelic and pure, untainted by the dirty world. It also brings the idea of delicate and should be cared for. It is important to recognize that the sensations of softness physically and mentally are not the same. When we feel softness we think good things but when we think of things being soft we are more likely to think about them in a negative connotation as they are weak and frail. It also greatly depends on what gender you are and what gender you are describing. If you are a guy describing another guy, soft has a negative connotation. But if it is any other kind of interaction it will usually carry a positive connotation. This is important to remember when ever we read or hear a person being described as soft because without context we might never know what they really meant.

A Failed Search

My mom has always tried to keep our extended family close together however; my dad’s side of the family basically remains a mystery to me. My dad’s father and he had a falling out after my dad’s stepmom basically took him away from us. My dad’s mom died of Alzheimer’s disease when I was still in middle school and my dad’s step dad never wanted to pay for any of her care and now it seemed that he needed similar care. My dad had two siblings: my aunt Paula and my uncle Reuben. The ties on that side of the family are so bad my dad only learned my grandfather died through an obituary found online. This brought my dad and his sister somewhat closer together but not his brother.

After weeks of not answering his phone I was put in charge of trying to track him down through the Internet. While we never became close my uncle and I, I was shocked just how completely he fell off the grid and was nowhere to be found. I scoured the internet for hours, trying to find a recent scrap of information about him. I knew he owned property at one point in Sag Harbor and also in North Carolina. That’s really all I knew though. I tried calling countless numbers online from the Yellow Pages, Yellow Book and other people search engines. I exhaustively searched Google for anything that might point me to where he might be. I even look at Ancestry.com. All I did was waste several hours because when it was all said and done I found no more information. My parents even had the cops begin looking for any signs of him.

I was shocked. I thought with the power of the Internet it was impossible to hide everything about one self. I was also shocked that my uncle would have taken off and let nobody know about it. It was another member of my dad’s side of the family we lost. Like I explained earlier, we were never close with my dad’s side of the family but we are very close with my mom’s side of the family and since I barely knew him it didn’t affect me as much immediately as it should of. However, as time goes on I sat and thought more and more about it. To this day I still search to see if we can find him, but I know the chances are slim. This experience has taught me the importance of family and how I should never let go of my siblings, cousins, aunts and uncles for nothing. We may not always agree but to think I could very easily lose a family member forever is frightening to me and I hope that never ever happens.

What Makes Something Literature?

When I read the Sherlock Holmes Story The Adventures of the Cardboard Box, it doesn’t necessarily strike me as a literary piece I would read for English class. While it is not written childishly it doesn’t present itself as sophisticated or overly complicated. It is not lacking in big words or literary devices but it is missing a sense of scholarly difficulty I come to expect from a reading for English class. However, I believe this doesn’t mean that the work lacks literary merit. On the contrary I believe it ultimately helps to elevate the work overall and make it more appealing and worth reading to the majority of people.

Like most students, I often dread having to read articles or stories for English class. They are usually long, superfluously written and have very little relevance to my day-to-day life. This doesn’t make them bad works in anyway but just a different type of work. They are often used to teach us how to write properly or to focus on enhancing our in depth analytical skills, which means they are set in front of us to challenge us. While reading something challenging can be rewarding, I find that it more often than not sucks much of the enjoyment out of the reading. For example, if something is so hard for me to understand and takes many readings to understand, it will likely frustrate me and make me want to simply put the book down. I would be unable to enjoy the story told or absorb the information in front of me. Books with a balance of a little bit of challenge offer a great balance of reward and enjoyment.

While it’s hard to think of The Adventures of the Cardboard Box as a scholarly book, it is a story that is both interesting and definitely has literary merit. The reason we don’t see it as a book of literary merit is because we enjoy it so much. We don’t think about things we would think about while we are reading a book for English class. We are not reading for symbols, themes, motifs or other literary elements we might normally be looking for. I believe this happens because we are simply enjoying the work too much to waste time to thinking about anything other then what is possibly going to happen next. While this doesn’t mean the work is lacking in literary elements. In fact, I believe they are probably better writers because they incorporate them so well into texts that as readers we simply don’t see them as nothing but another sentence.

the Handwritten Letters Company

The movie Her was designed in many ways to irk us as watchers and give us a look into a possible future that may not be too far away. One more subtle point the movie made had to with Theodore’s job. He worked for the Beautiful Handwritten Letters company, a company that specializes in exactly what you would expect: making hand written letters for people. Theodore’s job is similar to Ed Dante’s; he was paid to write letters for people. However, the comparison ends there and what makes the concept irking and controversial is the intimacy of the letters and that they are perceived to be hand made while they are in fact made by a computer.

First, the idea that in the future people will be too busy to write letters and they will need people to do that for them is something very hard to believe. It is also bothersome at how intimate these letters are supposed to be. I know, if I found out my mom or grandma had been hiring someone to write notes to me and I found it, I would not look at those notes the same way again. There is something heartwarming about getting a handwritten note. First, you know that whatever is written was put on the paper by your loved one specifically intended for you. If someone else is writing it, it loses a sense of intimacy and personally would shatter my perceptions about what people thought about me.

The other major irking factor about Theodore’s job is that is done solely through the computer. In Her it clear that computers are doing more and more. They are acting in many ways as humans should be, most prominently shown by Samantha. While this trend is very obvious today, the movie takes it to a new level showing that no level of human activity is safe. Theodore’s letters aren’t written by a person, but a machine and in my opinion this destroys part of the magic of hand written notes. In our increasingly digital age, we very rarely get letters that are made by hand anymore. They are displayed digitally or created by computers and machines. That’s part of the reason why handwritten letters have such a major effect on us. They are often reserved for the most emotional and special times. They are often used to express caring and concern. These are warm and human qualities that today we don’t think machines could come close to emulating.

In Her the authors and directors are in many ways trying to make the audience feel uncomfortable with the future, They are trying to show that traits and actions expressly reserved for humans are becoming more and more relegated to machines. One example of this is the Beautiful Handwritten Letters company. What was once an intimate human task between two people has been outsourced and is now heavily done by machines, which I believe destroys much of the magic these letters usually contain.

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

Blog Rewrite 1

Should educators really be shocked at Ed Dante’s stories of widespread cheating? As a current student, and being the youngest of three, none of what Ed Dante said even remotely surprised me. While I cannot speak for school administrators, I hope this article has opened up their eyes. Administrators lecture incoming freshman about the honor code and the severe punishments that will ensue if students are caught cheating, but clearly the students do so anyway under the noses of administrators. While some faculty members are naive and think that simply stopping Ed Dante or similar ghostwriters will solve the problem, the problem is more deeply rooted. Administrators need to look beyond punishing the students and look toward preventing cheating in the first place. Students are lacking the skills they need to succeed, and I believe that schools, especially colleges and universities, should be stepping up to fill this prominent gap.

To tackle this problem, a university would need widespread commitment from every department on campus. Their first order of business should be to improve the writing skills of their students. The article clearly states that there is a serious disconnect between what universities expect from their students and what students are capable of providing. My first idea for university administrations would be to work with current and incoming students in a mandatory writing workshop. In this workshop, students would learn how to make the jump from high school level writing to college writing standards. In high school, many students are not taught or expected to write papers that exceed five pages. Telling a student to write anything longer than that would seem overwhelming. A workshop could be used to teach students how to write lengthier papers with substance and help them avoid some of the initial panic associated with the task. It could also offer clear guidelines detailing how to organize such writing assignments. Another goal of the workshop would be to teach students how to properly cite works as well, in multiple formats that might be required at the institution.

The next order of business would be to work with all of the other departments. Some radical changes can be made to help students regain interest in writing if there is a cooperative effort. First, for all non-English departments I would tell the instructors to place less emphasis on structure. When a student is given a strict template, it undermines ownership of the writing process, and their work often suffers. If students are simply given a prompt and told to write, they will likely provide better, more creative and more interesting work. This will help students feel a connection to their writing and keep them from dreading long assignments. I would also suggest eliminating mandatory paper lengths. Papers should be graded on how effectively they answer the underlying question. In the real world, most employers are not looking for a mold but for a unique and distinct approach to answering questions or developing ideas, and I think we should foster this way of thinking in our students.

While these reforms may not eradicate all forms of cheating, I think they would make for a positive first step in changing how students view writing tasks. Developing skills, practicing those skills, and having some ownership of the process will make them better writers, and less severe structure will also evoke more interest in their writing. An absolute remedy for cheating will possibly never be found, but clearly new methods need to be tried for students to be able to confidently and effectively complete writing assignments independently, without seeking outside help that actually robs them of much needed skill development.

“Pillow Talk” and the theme of Pregnancy

Throughout the movie the Pillow Talk, the theme of pregnancy shows up multiple times throughout the movie. The movie is often uses pregnancy in comedic terms most of the time providing a laugh. However, if we look closer at the scenes we can see how society viewed pregnancy and the gender stereotypes. The first time we see pregnancy mentioned is at Jan’s meeting with Telephone Company and the other time is when we see Brad go into the gynecologist’s office accidentally to get away from Jan. Both of these examples can help illustrate gender roles and how pregnancy was viewed by society.

After having issues with Brad over the party line, Jan goes to meet with telephone company in an attempt to get her own line. When she is told there is a waiting list, she asks if there is anything she could do. The only way to get to a line any faster is if she was pregnant. This right away speaks to about how society viewed women and pregnancies. First, this shows that pregnant women are seen as an important asset. The fact that she is pregnant makes her more valuable to the society. It also shows that they are seen as weak and in need, especially if she is single. If a woman is single she doesn’t have a man to protect her.

The other time we see pregnancy in the movie is when Brad goes to the gynecologist’s office. He walks in asks to make an appointment for himself not realizing it’s a gynecologist’s office. The nurse, who is also played by a woman, quickly notifies the doctor, who is a man, and they quickly go to try and study Brad. This quickly sparks fascination from the doctor who wants to study this phenomenon. I think it also acts almost as a turning point for the movie. It symbols a change in luck for Brad. He goes from this tough macho misogynistic man to a man who has now fallen in love and gone soft over a women. In a comedic way he is now seen as less manly and more of a women cause of the idea he is pregnant.

In the movie Pillow Talk, the theme of pregnancy comes up several times throughout the movie. The writer probably used these themes to show the difference about how men and women are treated differently. The movie shows how society believes that pregnant women are more valuable and frail than regular people and how childbearing is seen as very feminine.

Response to the Articles on Plagiarism

            Ed Dante’s revelation about the widespread cheating at colleges doesn’t surprise me all that much. As a student and the youngest of three kids, my siblings have told me plenty of stories of people cheating. However, to school administrators this news was either a bombshell that completely shook up their world or possibly confirmed their worst fears. Administrators sit and lecture at incoming freshman about the honor code and the severe punishments that will ensue if students are caught but clearly the students are now outsmarting the administration. They have found an undetectable way to cheat due to the fact that the work is completely original it’s just someone else’s.

            If I were a school administrator I would probably call a faculty meeting first with the English department and then every other subsequent department. My first order of business would not be trying to catch the cheaters but on improving the writing skills of the students. The article clearly states that there is a disconnect between what we expect out of our students and what they are capable of providing. My first idea would be to work with current and incoming students in some sort of writing workshop. In this workshop, students would learn how to make the jump from high school level writing to rigors of college. The longest paper many high school students have ever wrote is five pages long and that’s double-spaced. Telling a student to write anything longer than that will probably cause them to panic. I would use the workshop to teach students how to write these longer papers and help them avoid some of the panic. Another goal of the workshop would be to teach students how to properly cite works as well.

            After working with English department specifically I would broaden my approach to the rest of the departments. If I were a person with considerable power in the University I would suggest a radical change. First, for all non-English departments I would tell the teachers put less focus on structure. When a student is given a template it makes them loathe writing and their work often suffers. If students are simply given a prompt and told to write, they will likely provide better, more creative and more interesting work. This will help keep students from dreading these long assignments. I would also get rid of mandatory paper lengths and papers should be graded on how effectively they answer the underlying question. In the real world, most jobs are not looking for a mold but for a unique distinct answer and I think we should foster these values in our students.

            While these ideas are different they are not completely unique and they won’t completely fix the problem but it is my hope they change the way students view writing. Making it more interesting will make them more interested, more eager to learn and in the end they would be better writers, more prepared for whatever their future holds.