The Old and The Reckless

The commercials from last Sunday’s Super Bowl have been flooding social media sites as they get passed around by friends. The Taco Bell “Viva Young” commercial has been  particularly popular with over two million views on YouTube. The commercial starts with a nurse at a retirement home putting an older man to bed. Then the old man sneaks off with friends to acquire the life of the young and, of course, “Fourth Meal” at Taco Bell.  This unusual group of pranksters are seen pool hopping, lighting firecrackers and even getting down in the clubs. The group building up a hunger ends their night at the Taco Bell Parking lot, and walking back to the retirement home as the sun rises. The song “We Are Young” by Fun, is played in Spanish (of course)to maintain brand continuity. Interestingly, that particular song became popular during last year’s Super Bowl; when it appeared in a Chevy commercial.

While watching the game, a friend said “talking babies and crazy old people always make the best commercials”. It is interesting to me that the most entertaining commercials are based on events that do not happen often (or at all!) The concept of “old folks” having partying hard and reliving their youth is entertaining and hilarious. This idea has been used before; the artist Modestep released a music video for their song “Sunlight”. This video was posted on YouTube on July 3, 2011 and has over twenty-two million views. The Modestep video has the same idea as the commercial but is not censored by the FCC. The Taco Bell commercial is a “clean” version of this music video as much of the material is not suitable for U.S. television. It Is remarkable to see music culture influencing the types of commercials we see.

The stylistic features of the commercial and music video are similar. Certain aspects, such as the shot angle and exposures, are close to the same. The idea of the older people going crazy and partying hard that Taco Bell portrays take you by surprise, particularly while considering that most of the commercials promoting their unique concept of “Fourth Meal” have been targeted to their younger consumers (who are more likely to be up late). This commercial appears to actively debunk the stereotype that elderly people are typically in bed by nine. It is interesting to see the commercial feature a group of people who may or may not consume Taco Bell given the primary target audience of most Super Bowl ads. Is this an opportunity for Taco Bell to expand to more mature (or not-so-mature) markets or just another opportunity to entertain the younger population at the expense of the older one? Regardless it is a reminder to “Live Mas” and while doing so, fill your hunger with Taco Bell.

Zach Abramo, Callie Fenlon, Lauren Habig,  Alexandra Huss, Michael NunesDaniel Schaefer, Dann Williams

Final Thoughts as the Semester Comes to a Close

People say the older that you get, the quicker time flies. I, for one, have to agree. Today marks the last week of the semester, which means this is my very last time writing a blog post. The end of the fall semester is a very bittersweet time for most of us students; finishing school with the holidays approaching is exciting, but finishing up final projects and studying for final exams is definitely stressful. This semester flew by and I literally feel as if I was just begging Dr. Persuit to let me into her Integrated Marketing Communication 2 class, when in reality, that was nearly five months ago in August. Where does the time go? And how is it possibly December already?

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After taking Dr. Persuit’s introductory IMC class, I knew I definitely wanted to take her again. It was much to my dismay when the class quickly filled up and it looked as though I would not get in. However, after e-mailing her several times, she told everyone who did not register to just come to the first day of class and she would override it for us. I was so relieved! Although, at the same time, I was also kind of scared. Dr. Persuit had warned us several times that this class is no joke and if we are not serious about it, we should drop it. She, however, did not scare me off and I’m truthfully glad for that fact.

IMC 2 is unlike any other class that I have ever taken because it truly feels less like a class, and more like an internship. Every class I have ever taken before has consisted mainly of lectures, exams, and the occasional group work. IMC 2, however, is the first class for me that nixed the lectures and exams, and focused mainly on group and client work. Although it has been intimidating and stressful at times, in the long run, I have learned so much. Being the control freak that I am, I like to have intense structure in my life so that I can make plans and execute goals. I am not one to change plans once I make them. While this class does have structure, it also has wild unpredictability when it comes to working with our specified clients. This was something that was very challenging for me, because I have never had to deal with sudden change in plans when it came to school or work. It sounds crazy for me to say, because in reality, there is so much change and unpredictability in the world. I’ve learned that in order to be successful, I need to let go of all prior expectations and adjust them accordingly.

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I feel like I have truly gained real life experience and I am so appreciative of that. I love how different this class is set up and I love how Dr. Persuit is adamant about preparing us for life after we graduate UNCW. Although this semester is coming to an end and I am super excited for the holidays, I really will miss this class.

Thanks for making it so memorable Dr. Persuit!

- Rachel Betterbid

“The Final Installment”…Part 1…Part 2…Part 3…

If you’re like most true bibliophiles, the idea of turning your favorite book series into a movie may raise your skepticism flag.  In (fairly) recent years, as the film industry inevitably runs out of original ideas to produce, we have witnessed many of our favorite book characters come to life on the big screen. Generally speaking, response to this phenomenon is varied; some people love seeing the stories play out before their eyes and others bemoan every little discrepancy between the two forms.  Regardless of this fact, more and more book series are being turned into movies every year, and people don’t seem to have a problem paying to see them. These films are attracting the “original” series lovers as well as viewers who have never read the books (but don’t have to now…how convenient).

Recently, we’ve seen many of our favorite Young Adult book series arriving in theaters across the country. Some of the most notable series include the Harry Potter books, The Twilight Saga, The Lord of the Rings Trilogy and, most recently, the Hunger Games Trilogy. Something interesting to note about these particular series is the book-to-movie ratio… all of the above have (or will have) one extra movie added to the lineup. When Harry Potter fans found out that the 7th movie of the series, The Deathly Hollows, would be one of two eventual installments, reactions were mixed amongst book and movie fans alike. However, in 2011 when The Deathly Hollows part 2 was released, Americans spent more than $169,189,427 (according to IMDB.com) for tickets on the opening weekend alone. This illustrated an extreme willingness of Americans to participate in the expansion of a well-loved entertainment franchise.

The innovative idea of splitting the final movie of a series into two parts continues to grow in popularity.  The last book of the Twilight series (Breaking Dawn- due in theaters November 2012) and the Hunger Games (Mockingjay – part 1 is scheduled for release in 2014, part 2 in 2015) will be broken into two parts as a movie. While the Lord of the Rings trilogy is affirmation that if producers really try, a three-part book series can be effectively made into a three-part movie series, creators have probably recognized that they missed the “cash cow” on this one. The Hobbit,which originally preceded the trilogy in book form, will be released in December of this year and (you guessed it!) it will be coming out in TWO parts

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Whether you love the idea of even MORE of your favorite series becoming available, or you resent that fact that you have to wait YET ANOTHER year to see the completion of the series it is hard to refute that this technique is extremely effective. It’s enjoyable, convenient, and logical (I’ve already seen the first 7 movies…what’s one more?). So sit tight! The end of your favorite series will be coming EVENTUALLY to a theater near you!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Time Flies Faster Then You Think

Our three years here at UNCW has been a nonstop learning experience. We have not only gained knowledge in classes, but have also gained valuable and unforgettable life experiences. Laura transferred to UNCW after her freshman year and since she has been in Wilmington has had three very valuable internships. The key to getting a job in this market is to have experience in your field of interest and being able to effectively market yourself to potential employers. In our IMC 1 class we had an assignment where we had to market our personal brand and why we should be hired over our competitors. It is crucial to understand how and why your brand is better than the kids sitting next to you. It is not only important to know why your brand is the best, but you also need to understand how to market your experiences and internships to fit the qualities for your potential employer. Taking advantage of internship opportunities, especially for credit through the Department of Communication Studies, is a great idea for anyone and everyone. Without those experiences we would not be as prepared or as knowledgeable about our field of interest as we are now. So, when you’re thinking of what to do with all your time during the beautiful summer in Wilmington, think about taking an internship or think about how you can make your brand stand out among others.

Another important piece of advice is to get involved on campus. Once you are a student, UNCW becomes your home away from home. The best way to find comfort is meeting and bonding with other students who are in your exact situation. UNCW has over 200 clubs and organizations for students to become involved in. The only hard decision you have to make is: which club should I join? Tennis, TealTV, Communication Studies Society, the choices are endless. The moral of the story is this: get involved on campus and make your presence known. You only have four years, which believe me, flies by in a blink of an eye. The friends you make in college become your friends for life. It is important to make your college journey memorable, exciting, and one that you can laugh about 40 years down the road reminiscing with your old college friends.

Lastly, as a college student, one of the most important things you do is research. Whether it’s writing a report, putting together a presentation, or simply watching the news on TV to catch the latest events, you are gathering information to analyze. Some of this information will be forgotten shortly after graduation, if not before you even cross the stage to get your diploma. However, some information you have gathered through your college career will stick with you for a lifetime and will become helpful in future career situations.  Learning doesn’t just stop when you get your diploma. The research skills you learn to use as a student can be used for the rest of your life, as you strive to be an informed individual.

So just remember, time flies. Before you know it you will be walking across the stage to receive your diploma.  Don’t just be a beach bum, at least, not all the time. Do something that will show your future employers that you did something with your short time here to make a difference.

-Laura Simmons, Brooke Keller, Ashley Oliver

Going Green, Brings Green

Brands can promote themselves through almost any medium nowadays. Pens, stickers, posters, billboards, you name it, you can put your brand on it. Planet Earth Promotions is a company that is designed to help brands promote themselves in an eco-friendly way. There is constantly increasing awareness about environmental protection and a greater consciousness about how important it is to protect these environmental and natural resources. Planet Earth Promotions is leading the way for this “EcoSmart” promotional item trend.

Planet Earth Promotions’ mission statement indicates that their “goal is to help companies and corporations around the nation proactively enhance their brand through the use of environmentally conscious and educational promotional items”. They have certainly delivered in this respect. This company has been ranked #1 in promotional advertising for the past ten consecutive years. Not only are they paving the way for other companies, they have become a greatly successful brand that is little to no impact on the environment. Planet Earth Promotions has built a successful brand on a trend that is becoming increasingly important as time goes on. This brand is very strong considering they have remained at the top of the list from Arizona Magazine for the last ten years and they are here to help other brands.

They are able to offer many alternatives for companies to help cut back on environmental damage by providing recycled goods, information about recycling and environmental days in the USA and tips to bring pollution down. With so many companies shifting focus to being the “EcoSmart” companies and LEED (Low-energy electron diffraction) certified, it is a challenge to stay on top. Planet Earth Promotions has paired up with other environment-friendly companies such as AWEA (American Wind Energy Association) and Women’s Business Enterprise to built a very powerful and successful brand and continue to pave the way for other companies looking to create environment-friendly products and solutions for all varieties of businesses.

- Julius Roberts, Leanna Marshall, Leslie Tyler and Bryce Koonts

Just Calling to Say “Happy Earth Day!”

LG and Sprint have made celebrating Earth Day a little easier this year with the release of their new mobile phone with eco-friendly features.  The LG Optimus Elite will be available through the Sprint 3G Network on Sunday, April 22 through sprint.com and will be Sprint retail stores on May 18.

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 The LG Optimus Elite is the third eco-friendly device launched by Sprint and LG this year.  The company released their first environmentally device in 2010 and continued with the release of two other cell phones earlier this year.  Sprint’s Vice President of Production Development, David Owens, released a statement saying “As a leader in environmental responsibility and sustainability, Sprint continues to expand its portfolio of eco-friendly devices and services by providing consumers with strong device choices,” while continuing to call the LG Optimus Elite “a dynamic and affordable green option for customers who want to go green without sacrificing the latest features”.  The company is thrilled that the release of this phone is happening on Earth Day, which reaffirms the company’s move for sustainability.

 The LG Optimus Elite is sleek and stylish while still exhibiting eco-friendly attributes.  This new cellphone even has UL Environment Platinum Certification, which is the highest level of

environmental performance recognized by sustainable requirements.  The certification is established by UL Environment and Sprint.  The phone is protected by a casing made of fifty percent recycled plastics, is RoHS compliant, meaning it is free of any hazardous material, and includes a charger that exceeds the EC Code of Conduct on energy efficiency and only consumes 0.03 watts of power when plugged into a wall socket without being connected to the phone.

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Even the packaging to this phone is eco-friendly: the box is made from fully recycling packaging, printed with soy inks, and contains over 85% post consumer paper.

Sprint is a corporate leader in sustainability and is ranked the third in Newsweek’s 2011 greenest companies.  The company is committed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, committed to renewable energy, and encourages cell phone recycling.  In addition, Sprint’s policies and practices showcase their strong efforts in being eco-friendly.

So how should you celebrate Earth Day this year?  By buying the brand new, eco-friendly LG Optimus Elite!

-Christina Stevenson, Mollie Berthold, Dorothy Conley, & Laura Simmons

Live Blogging at UNCW COM Studies Day!

#COMstudiesday - Click here to see what people are saying about COM Studies Day on Twitter!

Join in the action of COM Studies day and participate in our live blogging event coverage! Our first event is a panel of 5 alumni. Panel 1 starts at 10am and ends at 11am in LH 125 (TV Studio). Hope to see you there!

Morning Panel Features
Al Inman- News Photographer, News 14 Carolina, graduated May 2008
Jessie Warren Langley- Career Counselor, East Carolina University, graduated May 2003
Sean McBride- Public Affairs Specialist, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Charlotte District), graduated May 2009
Cliff Pyron- General Assignment Reporter, WWAY-TV3, graduated May 2009
Chris Rea- President/CEO, Top Tier Computer Services, graduated December 1999

Click Here to view the transcript of Panel 1!

Click Here to view the transcript of Panel 2!

COM Studies Day Events:

10:00-11:00am Panel presentation of 5 alumni in LH 125 (TV studio)

11:00-11:30am Networking session for afternoon panelists in LH lobby12:15-1:30pmLunch and Fashion Show coordinated by CSS in the Warwick Center Ballroom 2:00-3:00pm Panel presentation of 5 alumni in LH 125 (TV studio)3:00-3:30pm Networking session for afternoon panelists in LH lobby

4:00pm Reception and Social Gathering for panelists, guests, faculty and COM students at Fox and Hound

Light appetizers provided by Fox and Hound & the Department of Communication Studies

Find out more about UNCW’s COM Studies Department at our website!