Sandy Shopping Spree?

As we watch the terrifying coverage of Hurricane Sandy hitting the Northeast, here in North Carolina we are thanking our lucky stars that we managed to escape the worst of it. However, there is one aspect about natural disasters that is challenging to escape: the advertisements. Among all of the advertisements directed towards helping those in need, there is one in particular that stands out all on its own. American Apparel, a clothing company notorious for its no-holds-bar approach to promoting their company, sent out an email blast Monday morning in an attempt to draw in online shoppers who apparently would be “bored” in the storm. This callous disregard of the life-threatening conditions that people are facing quickly went viral.

Many people have taken to social media like Twitter and Facebook to voice their outrage at the lack of compassion American Apparel has shown for the victims of Sandy. Twitter users were quick to bring up the companies past marketing blunders including an attempt at a plus size model search.

Needless to say, American Apparel knows how to stir things up. This advertisement was poorly worded at best, and completely ignorant at worst. Regardless, everyone is talking about the “Sandy Sale.” Is this a bad thing for American Apparel in the long run? There is a popular saying in our culture that “there is no such thing as bad publicity.” Part of what our professor, Dr. Persuit, teaches us in Integrated Marketing Communication is how to be thoughtful consumers. In order to do this, the marketing strategies American Apparel employ should have an effect on whether or not we decide to purchase their product. A year from now while you are perusing the mall and finding the perfect piece to complete your closet, will it matter if it happens to be an American Apparel item? Will this advertisement even pop into your memory or will you merely remember hearing something about American Apparel once upon a time?

- Alexandra HussCaroline MerrillAlyssa MorrelloLauren Van TrigtDann Williams

The Power of A Few Words

In society today, there is an abundance of good slogans relating to the worlds of politics and advertising that adorn and surround our everyday life. Although many of these slogans often seem to be utterly vacuous, as they leave us with nothing, slogans still remain a very powerful example of the power of words and how their influence in motivating people and consumers. Advertising incorporates a series of crucial elements such as images, characters and music in order to further make their slogans even more memorable than the next brand or product.
These often-superfluous gimmicks play a much larger role than one may expect. In fact, in the increasingly complex and ever-changing world we live in, simplicity counts in the form of communication.
According to www.SloganPower.com, a powerful and efficient slogan should be able to:
• Convey the essence of your organization or brand
• Build your corporate or brand image
• Establish your unique position in the marketplace
• Attract and retain customers
• Boost staff morale
• Liven up your corporate literature
• Enhance your competitive advantage

Here are some examples of the most famous and successful slogans in our society:

I’m lovin’ it – McDonalds
What Would You Do For A Klondike Bar? – Klondike
Yes We Can! – Obama Campaign 2008
Just do it. – Nike
Das Auto – Volkswagen
All the news that’s fit to print. – The New York Times
Let Your Fingers Do The Walking. – Yellow Pages
Have it your way. – Burger King
M’m! M’m! Good! – Campbell Soup
The Citi Never Sleeps – Citi Bank
Got Milk? – Milk Campaign
Have a break. Have a Kit-Kat. – Kit Kat

All of these examples are very successful slogans that most of us recognize instantaneously. Some of them may even instill sentiment into our hearts for one reason or another. But out of these examples, some stick out more than others. A good example is Nike’s slogan “Just Do It” because it is a very inspirational and successful campaign. The company has turned this slogan into a phenomenon and uses it to brand their products, including everything from t-shirts, to watches, to bracelets, to shorts and shoes, etc. The key is to motivate people to get up and get active, or essentially to go out there and literally “just do it.” These three words are very powerful.

Today, even our schools have slogans help keep students motivated and give them a sense of community with the school. UNCW recently changed their slogan to “Together We Fly.” A slogan like this not only brands the school well, but it gives the faculty, staff, and students a sense of togetherness. The school then exemplifies a certain image about our university and how well we connect with each other. Bringing a positive image to our school is a huge part of our overall strategic branding. Effective branding will create a greater desire for prospective students to apply here and also help our image overall as an accredited university. Universities all over the world use their slogans to entice prospective applicants to become a part of their alma mater. Everyone in North Carolina knows exactly what school is being discussed when they hear “Tar Heels”.   The University of North Carolina Chapel Hill has established a dominating and elite brand reputation for their school since the 1700’s. When a slogan has motivation combined with pride, it can take the brand to a whole new level of accomplishment.

Companies and institutions use slogans for a variety of reasons.  There are so many products available today, and consumers are not going to remember each product along with the entire marketing theme associated with such products.  Slogans are easy and catchy ways to grasp the general message that a company is trying to convey.  Just a few words can be extremely powerful in the effort to gain the attention of consumers.

-Sasha De Vecchi, Lindsay Gallagher, Jay Reilly, Cary Welborn

Boo Talk Allowed

Why do certain words trigger such strong emotions in us? We associate words with specific feelings that we carry throughout our whole life—some words inspire us, some hurt us, some anger us, and some motivate us. However, no matter what meaning we give to these words, they always create some sort of value that we learn to accept.

With Halloween right around the corner, a particular s-word comes to mind. This word has been derogatory in the past but as time goes by it becomes more and more normal and socially acceptable to use, especially around this time of the year.  For the most part, women have been more inclined to dress in costumes such as bunnies, cops, and nurses rather than scary costumes such as a zombie or a witch. It is in cases like this that the s-word gets thrown around, unaware of the power it has to insult someone. Insert “slutty” before any of these costumes and you get the point. Is it okay to use that word simply to celebrate a consumerist holiday? Our word choice says many things about who we are and what we believe and should be chosen carefully.  By saying it, we prolong the life of this ugly word; all while we have the full capability to pick less offending adjectives for costumes such as “sexy nurse” or “sexy bunny rabbit.”  This word has become so common in the description of Halloween costumes for women that when the phrase “slutty Halloween costumes” is Googled, Google yields results that replace “sexy” with “slutty,” treating these words as if they are one and the same.

Companies also have a responsibility to their new and loyal customers to use language in such a way that demonstrates who they are and how they view their customers. Fortunately, companies that are selling these provocative costumes use the words “sexy” or “adult” in place of the stigmatized word “slutty.” For example, yandy.com features women’s costumes that range from “sexy swashbuckler” or “adult peacock” to “sexy corn on the cob.” Halloween costume companies seem to understand the offensiveness of this word and avoid it completely. While choosing to use language in this way protects the company from accusations of disrespecting women, it does not solve the problem of the common usage of this hurtful word in relation to their costumes.

Sexy costumes for women dominate the shelves during Halloween, which shows us that our culture has undergone a change. Since the early 1950s,women’s clothing and style has changed dramatically. We all know that clothing throughout the years is associated with sexuality and sometimes with negative stigmas towards women. Halloween appears to be one of the only days women can dress more provocatively and it is accepted; for whatever reason it is- to embrace their sexuality or for another reason. Regardless, we have to realize that there are some words that people get offended by and sometimes they slip through the cracks (like the s-word). But we can’t help but to wonder why? Whether we are regular people or a unified company…it matters.

Note from the authors: This blog is meant to shed light on the acceptance of the word in our language; that some words are used without regard to their meaning (hence the importance for company’s care in their own word choices). The analogy of Halloween is simply meant to show the issue in a more socially constructed way.

Nicole Betterbid, Rachel Betterbid, Lucy Rojo, Sierra Scellato, Shauna Seaver

What Do You Stand For?

With baseball’s 2012 Fall Classic in full effect, sports lovers from all over the country have tuned in to see whether the Detroit Tigers or San Francisco Giants are going to be this year’s World Series champions.  Those who missed game one of the series that took place on October 24th, missed one of the most moving phenomenons ever to take place on a baseball field (no it was not Pablo Sandoval’s historic three-homerun night).  Over 40,000 people showed their support for the Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C) foundation as they held a placard that read “I Stand For” followed by a name of someone diagnosed with cancer written by the holder of the placard.

SU2C is an innovative project created to accelerate advanced cancer research that will quickly provide therapies to patients and save more lives.  They have taken a different route in promoting their brand by collaborating with other cancer foundations instead of competing against them.  The foundation is currently teamed up with six other cancer foundations and four research teams.  What really stands out about their brand though is the level of involvement they have with our society.  Aside from having game one of the World Series dedicated to the foundation this year, the foundation gathers much support from the entertainment industry.  Many of today’s well known celebrities are advocates for SU2C and even partook in a fundraising event that aired on national television.

The show was dedicated to the 13 million US cancer survivors and generated over $81 million.  The show was a very motivating rally against the disease and was topped off with stellar performances from Taylor Swift, Alicia Keys, Tim McGraw, and Coldplay.

SU2C could not have done a better job promoting their brand and their foundation.  By gaining support from all of the biggest names in Hollywood and Sports, they have gotten the attention of people all across the country and with all of this attention and publicity will come support.  SU2C is a great foundation fighting to cure a terrible disease and with their successful promotions, they will gather surplus amounts of donations and support.

Zachary Abramo, Meaghan Beam, Jessica Butner, Jackson Lane

Here’s to Stronger, Healthier Babies

“Working together for stronger, healthier babies,” that’s the motto for the March of Dimes.  This also encompasses the ideology behind the marketing of their organization.  Founded in 1938 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, the original purpose was to fight against the outbreak of polio.  These days the March of Dimes has moved to prevention of birth defects, premature birth, and infant mortality.  The mission of the March of Dimes is to improve the health of babies through research, education, and outreach, much of which is now being done through the use of social media.

If you need a quick pick-me-up, just take a peek at the March of Dimes website.  You’ll be greeted by extreme baby cuteness inviting you to volunteer, learn, and give.  On this site expectant mothers can find information for every stage of their pregnancy, including how to prepare and care for their new baby.  Much of this information is to educate families about potential health complications that come with pregnancy and newborns.  The site also holds information for health professionals, individuals looking to volunteer and advocates, as well as ways to get involved and give financially to the organization.  Through the simple click of a button anyone can get involved in the fight for infant health.

The March of Dimes is not only known for their research on infant health problems, but also for their commitment to making a difference in the lives of the families dealing with these issues through their “March for Babies” events.  With the help of national sponsors, volunteers, and millions of participants, the March of Dimes hosts hundreds of events across the country every year, raising money to further their research and outreach abilities.

For  families who may have a child on the way, have had to deal with the tragic loss of an infant, or have experienced any health complications, the March of Dimes provides an opportunity to build community with others.  ShareYourStory.org is an online forum to connect families, allowing their stories to provide hope and encouragement to one another.  This site gives people the chance to celebrate together, mourn together, encourage one another, and inspire those who are just beginning their journey.

The March of Dimes is also present in the Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube realms.  Just ‘Like’ them on Facebook and you’ll find information on upcoming events, current campaigns, and ways to get involved.  Their Twitter feed provides advice for mothers, facts about pregnancy and childbirth, and an array of other family-related information. Through their Twitter account, the March of Dimes also interacts more directly with the public by replying to their questions and comments.  On YouTube, the March of Dimes has their own channel where people can find educational, informative, and encouraging videos about their cause and their upcoming events.

Much has changed about the March of Dimes in the 74 years since it began.  Every day they move towards to finding more ways to improve the health and lives of babies, and every day individuals are playing a role in furthering the organization through participation, financial contribution, and being part of the conversation through social media.

-Lauren Habig, Hannah Eure, Erin Kiffmeyer, Ally Walton, Gene Lee

Less Cancer, More Birthdays

“Imagine a world with more birthdays.” Everyone loves a birthday. Birthdays mean parties, presents, cake, maybe a few libations followed by the possible dancing, and just overall merriment. Birthdays celebrate life and represent another year in the world. It is pretty agreeable that birthdays insinuate a good thing and have an overall positive connotation. The American Cancer Society, which hosts Relay for Life-a walking event that is held across the nation and raises millions a year for cancer research and resources, has taken this phrase and integrated it into their marketing campaign to make people rally behind their cause. Now the phrase, “Imagine a world with more birthdays” has an even greater, even tear-jerking message. Imagine a world with less loved ones passing away from cancer and more people being able to be merry and on earth for another year.

As the designated “Official Sponsor of Birthdays” the American Cancer Society takes hold of the emotional appeal of connecting their cause to everyday life.  The American Cancer Society uses slogans such as “Happy Birthday is a victory song,”  “A world with less cancer is a world with more birthdays” and many others to very effectively draw people into raising funds for the events.  Connecting something scary, like the often terminal illness of cancer, to the happy annual event of celebrating a birthday, something that everyone has, is a very innovative way to put the American Cancer Society’s cause at a relatable level for all.  Everyone may not have cancer, but everyone has a birthday.

The fact that the American Cancer Society markets their events as a general celebration of life in general makes it appealing to those with cancer or those who have survived cancer because they are fighting and have fought to live and have more birthdays.  It also makes it appealing to those who haven’t had cancer because they get a chance to really celebrate, be grateful for their health, and the fact that they have been able to celebrate their birthdays without fear of them being shorthanded by cancer.  Finally, the message really digs emotionally when it comes to a person who has had a loved one pass away from cancer.  How amazing would it be to be able to celebrate one more birthday with that special person?


As a society, we understand that messages are being thrown every which way to try to get us to do something.  While the American Cancer Society could use a percentage or amount of money to help get people to support the cause of cancer prevention and awareness, instead they opt to display their organization as one that can bring an immense amount of hope to all audiences.  It’s safe to say the proof is in the pudding.  The American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life had an astonishing 4 million participants and raises about 400 million dollars a year.  With a marketed identity of one that sponsors overall joy, the American Cancer Society has struck a chord causing a strong continued success that many charitable organizations long for.  Happy Birthday must be victory song after all.

- Alexandra HussCaroline MerrillAlyssa MorrelloLauren Van TrigtDann Williams

The Contribution of Celebrities in the Fight Against Breast Cancer

An advantage to the promotion of breast cancer-awareness for celebrities can be their ongoing fame and popularity. Their voices are being heard, and can get the point across to both women and men that this is an urgent issue and should be taken very seriously. Various celebrities have been diagnosed with breast cancer and are using their popularity, courage, and personal experience with the fight to serve as a source of inspiration to other women and men. It sounds strange to put men in this category; but yes, men can also be diagnosed with breast cancer.

An article titled “Celebrity Breast Cancer Fighters”, located on the knowcancer.com website, releases that Cynthia Nixon, popularly referred to as “Miranda” from the show “Sex and the City”, was “diagnosed with breast cancer during a routine mammogram in 2006. She initially battled it without a public announcement of her diagnosis or treatment in fear of related stigma, but in 2008 she announced it to the world in an interview with Good Morning America.” Nixon portrayed much bravery and thoughtfulness throughout her interview as she explained with much understanding why some women fear yearly mammograms. Nixon addressed this fear and also offered positive, yet convincing advice to all who were listening.
Celebrity status has been a great way of reaching a wide-ranged audience, proving that numerous celebrities’ lives have been unavoidably interrupted by breast cancer that they are not alone in this fight. Professional athletes and teams are also jumping on the awareness support-train. The NFL, its club teams, and all of the professional players in the association are wearing pink with pride in order to support the fight against breast cancer. According to the official nfl.com/pink website, the NFL’s “A Crucial Catch” campaign, in partnership with the American Cancer Society, is “focused on the importance of annual screenings, especially for women who are 40 and older. Throughout October, NFL games will feature players, coaches and referees wearing pink game apparel, on-field pink ribbon stencils, special game balls and pink coins – all to help raise awareness for this important campaign.” These organizations are aware that breast cancer can happen to anyone and having this kind of support could mean the world to those diagnosed.  An auction will later be held by the NFL with proceeds going to the American Cancer Society’s CHANGE program. All the pink apparel worn by the coaches and players will be auctioned off, along with special pink game footballs.

According to www.cancer.gov, breast cancer is the most prevalent non-skin cancer among women with 203,000 new cases diagnosed along with over 40,000 deaths in 2007 alone.  Using celebrities as spokespeople for the cause can be a great way to spread awareness and get more people involved.  Ultimately, this can get more money raised for research, treatment, and cures.  As previously stated, getting celebrities to speak out about breast cancer not only helps with current cases but helps in the detection process as well, for it promotes mammograms and routine check-ups.  It is great to see various celebrities and sports organizations come together to fight a cancer that is so detrimental to hundreds of thousands of Americans.

-Sasha De Vecchi, Lindsay Gallagher, Jay Reilly, Cary Welborn