Pumpkin Everything: Happy First Day of Fall!


autumn cat

Oh, hello there, fall!  It’s nice to see you again.  It’s been a while.  Some of us have been pretending it’s autumn since September 1st.  Others of us like to wait until the official start of the season, which happens to be today.  Whatever your preference, we can now all rejoice because all of those fall memes on Facebook are now actually relevant.  Happy first day of fall, everybody!

In all actuality, autumn has become somewhat of a marketing strategy, and it seems like each year, it starts earlier and earlier than the previous year.  Back in July, I remember talking into a Michaels’ craft store and seeing the displays of pumpkins, wreaths, and fall decor… in. July.  Rather than standing in the shadows of the Christmas/holiday season, it has its own image now–most notably, all things pumpkin and/or apple.


Current mood ^

I challenge you to find a coffee shop, home decor store, or Bath & Body Works that doesn’t bombard you with their autumn selection as soon as you walk in the door.  It’s a cyclical process, really.  American consumers, generally speaking, love autumn.  Therefore, businesses and corporations follow suit, and the more businesses buy into the madness, the more consumers do, too.  Herein lies the cycle.


Credit: twitter.com/therealpsl

Companies such as Starbucks are notorious for their autumn campaigns.  The pumpkin spice latte–or PSL, as its affectionately called–has its own Twitter account for crying out loud.  Its job is to promote the annual PSL release and hype people up for the season, and all things considered, it’s incredibly effective.  If you follow the account and remain updated, you’re privy to secret codes, early launches, and special contests that others are not.  They also create various hashtag campaigns, such as #spotthespice, to keep track of their followers’ posts.  In essence, it creates a sense of in-group membership, and many people revel in that feeling.

The autumn craze isn’t just limited to Starbucks, though.  Companies and corporations of all industries cater to the madness.  As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, stores like Michaels’ and Hobby Lobby have had their autumn decorations out since the middle of July.  While that may seem a little overzealous (and perhaps it is), it resonates with people.  It gives their customers something to look forward to in the coming weeks.  After all, a new season incites a desire for a fresh start.  Who can’t appreciate a fresh start?

In a way, it’s nostalgic.  As a autumn baby myself, I would be remiss if I didn’t admit my love for the season.  My childhood was spent raking up leaves only to jump in the piles, undoing all of my hard work.  I took numerous day trips to the mountains, picking apples in the orchards with my parents.  When stores start to bring out their fall gear, I immediately taken back to those memories and instantly filled with a sense of nostalgia.

charlie brown gif

No matter what your feelings are about the season, it is quite obvious that the marketing strategies employed by businesses are effective, and the fall “brand” doesn’t look to be going anywhere any time soon.  With all that said, I wish you a happy, healthy, and productive fall season.

What is YOUR favorite “sign” of fall?  Let me know in the comments below!

-Morgan Garrett




The Autumn Craze ..

Don’t you just love the Autumn season!? The time when the weather starts to cool and the leaves start to change colors and twirl to the ground. A time when you see pumpkin everything and things just seem warm & cozy.
People look so forward to the fall season for many different reasons: autumn leaves, scarves and boots, candles, candles and more candles, pumpkins, comfort food, horror films and so much more!
Advertising industries take a full turn for the autumn staples when it comes to advertising their products. Never mind that its still 90 degrees out and apparel companies are already advertising their fall fashion and boots. We see it all around us on TV and social media. People get super hyped about the fall season. And don’t tell me that you don’t at least know one person who keeps checking to see if the leaves are changing colors!
Businesses use the fall season for many different advertising promotions. I know personally that I have received emails from stores like Hobby Lobby and Michaels offering a 40% off their fall items. This gets everyone excited about the fall season and also encourages others to get into the spirit. My favorite time of the year is the fall season. It’s a time when the air is cool and the colors of nature are changing!
So many different topics come to mind when thinking about the fall season, whats your favorite?
(Photos Courtesy of Giphy.com)
– Lauren Wilbun

ESPN Advertising: How has it Changed?

If you are a sports fan or a frequent watcher of ESPN, then you are probably familiar with the cheesy “This is SportsCenter” commercials that have been an ESPN staple for years. In fact, the first ever “This is SportsCenter” commercial aired in 1995. Yeah, over 20 years ago! These commercials have been an ESPN staple ever since and really portray what it means to live and breath sports. ESPN’s humorous approach began when the network first launched and has carried that tradition over the years. But really, where else are you going to see a commercial like this: Roll Tide Commercial?  I am going to share a few of my favorite ESPN advertising approaches (or ads that’s frequently appear on ESPN) and why I believe they are so effective.

3. College Gameday Commercials

College Gameday is a pregame football and basketball Saturday program that highlights the matchups of that day and talk about what’s going on in the college football or basketball community.  These commercials place well known coaches and college football or basketball stars in humorous situations that do not necessarily “happen.” This piece of unrealistic humor makes the viewer think about how relaxed the ever-competitive sports world can be. The College Gameday show then continues to play on this playful theme. Here is one of my favorites from a few years back: Saban vs. Brown

2. Heisman House Commercials

The Heisman House commercials, that, believe it or not, is an advertisement for Nissan, continues to use the theme of funny and rather unrealistic. These commercials host past Heisman Trophy winners, which goes to the best college football player each year, as residents of the same home called the “Heisman House.” Of course, they are rivals living with rivals, so something is bound to go wrong, right? There are constant jabs at each other and really embodies the competitive nature of college sports. If you are like me, you cannot wait to see the next chapter of the Heisman House. Check out the latest (and my favorite) here:     Heisman House Food Fight

1. This is SportsCenter Commercials

Look, you can’t mess with the classics and This is SportsCenter is a classic. Talk about unrealistic, it’s these commercials. Do you really think that mascots run around the Bristol, Connecticut headquarters all day? Probably not. (I mean, they may, I’ve never been so I can neither confirm or deny) ESPN has always boasted their laid-back culture and these commercials embody that to a T. People that enjoy sports typically enjoy a laid-back life style. I think that is why these commercials are so relatable. It was hard to pick a favorite “This is SportsCenter” commercial, so here is ONE of my favorites)    Mascots Interrupt Meeting

In my book, ESPN gets an A for its own advertisements and ads that air on ESPN. They have a brand of laid-back humor and they stick to it. It is easy to say that their brand of advertising has remained constant over the years. Talk about embracing your personal brand!


(I would love to hear your favorite College Gameday/Heisman House/This is SportsCenter commercials! Share in the comments!)

By: Ashby Burton

Videos Courtesy of Youtube


Jesse McCartney Partners with Motorola


As Jesse McCartney fever spreads across UNCW, many of us are reliving our preteen days back in the good old 2000’s. Limited Too was heaven, crocs were in style, and your first ever cell phone was your life.

Jesse McCartney was also everywhere on Disney Channel, appearing on shows like Suite Life of Zack and Cody and Hannah Montana. Setting up a pretty good brand for himself, he also appeared in commercials such as Walmart and advertising for Motorola.

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In McCartney’s music video for one of his songs “Shake,” Motorola shows off their new and improved flip phone. The video showcases the product for about 20 seconds, a solid amount of time for a music video.

Use this link and check out the product spotlight around the 1 minute mark:


Zoomed in specifically on the phone and shown in a variety of colors, the “Motorblur” also called the “flipout,” is a great example of product placement. Preteens during this time were a prime market for cell phones, so why not use a teenage heartthrob to market their product? AT&T also got a little shout out, just barely seen at the top of the cell phone screen as the service provider.

This is a great marketing strategy on Motorola’s part. The phone was at a reasonable price and came with a full keyboard, perfect for teenagers to text away.


Photos Courtesy of giphy.com and youtube.com

By Taylor Maloch

Campus Fa$hion on a Budget

Okay ladies AND gentlemen, as college students we all know what it means to be broke. We joke about it but most of us are serious when we say that we are literally scavenging for pennies between the couch cushions. You know who you are.


I am sure you all have plenty of clothing in your closets, but for some reason you never have anything to wear. Fellas, don’t act like you don’t know the feeling. I know you do.


Plus fashion is always changing and it is nice to feel up to date. Otherwise you have that moment when everyone around you is looking fresh but you just have on a t-shirt and jeans that definitely isn’t off-the-shoulder, or paired with a choker, nor are they high-waisted jeans, converses, or any other current trend.


Not all of us can afford shopping at boutiques like Hallelu, Island Passage, Bevello, Fedora, and etc.; even though we love them so much. Let’s get realistic, we are in college so we can get the job to afford those clothes.


Corporate brands such as American Eagle, Pacsun, Tilly’s, and etc. are somewhat affordable, but here is a tip: go to the clearance racks. Some of the greatest outfits have come from the clearance racks and there is no shame.


Let me tell you a little secret that not everybody knows…TJ Maxx and Marshalls. They are the world’s gift to college students. It is like a whole store dedicated to clearance on brands that can’t be afforded at full price.


If you don’t have time to go to the store, or you are sitting at the library trying to work on a paper but procrastinating like the boss you are; then there is always online shopping. Sign up for an Ebates account and shop the brands you love, while getting cash back every time you make a purchase. Also there are other online stores such as Romwe and Zaful which keep up with the latest trends but are for people shopping on a budget.


Impulse buys are a big NO when shopping, but stick to buying within these parameters and you wardrobe won’t suffer. There are places such as H&M and Plato’s Closet that gives you money back or a discount on future purchases for any clothes that you recycle to the company. It is a good way to clear out some closet space and earn/save money at the same time. Plus you won’t feel so bad about buying that jumpsuit you have been eyeing from Francesca’s.


There are also other ways to save on clothes such as keeping a lookout for sales. Hollister frequently has a sale going on for $25 jeans. If you are looking for any other stores that provide decent prices on quality clothes I would recommend Forever 21, a store that I have not mentioned yet. They are very good on keeping up with fashion as well as staying low on their prices but keeping quality on the front line. Also, every single one of the stores I have mentioned, carry a mens line. I am sorry fellas but once you are off to college, your mom isn’t the one that picks out your clothes anymore. If you have any questions, have advice, or would like to ad in a few stores, please comment down below and share!

Disclaimer: None of the stores or clothing that I mention are an endorsement or an advertisement. No one was paid in the making of this post.

– Kristan Cottle-

Moving Froward: 3 Companies Pushing Diverse Advertising

A few days ago I was standing in the checkout line at Target (where we all find ourselves on an unhealthy basis) and was sucked into the magazine stand as usual. I’m a huge follower of fashion and pop culture so I find myself picking up copies of magazines more often than not when grocery shopping. The one that caught my eye this time was Vogue’s 125th Anniversary Edition. It was massive and looked dreamy with Jennifer Lawrence gracing the cover. After shamelessly spending 10 whole dollars on it, I started flipping through the glossy pages filled with glamorous celebrities, endorsing fashion and beauty companies. After getting about halfway through, I started thinking about the ads that made up 90 percent of the magazine. I was happily surprised to see a lot of diversity in the advertising. As I thought about it more, I realized that a lot of beauty and fashion companies have taken the step forward into creating ad campaigns to represent the diversity of the world. Slowly these industries are realizing that there is no “ideal” or “perfect” woman. When little girls look up to billboards of the fashion/beauty industry, they shouldn’t just see a white, skinny woman. They should be able to see a representation of themselves, whether that is black, white, gay, thin, plus size and everything in between. There are some companies that have gone beyond the boundaries and have created campaigns to embrace diversity and start a revolution.


Aerie- #aeriereal

Aerie has been one of the biggest front-runners in creating diverse campaigns to show that beauty is not a one-size-fits-all. Aerie is all about getting real and only showing authentic photos of women. They have made it their missions to no longer show super models and never retouch photos taken by the models in their ads. They have created a campaign that is relatable and unique to everyone. A girl can look at their billboards and feel like she belongs. No lies or gimmicks, just real women being confident in who they are.

Image result for aerie real

Secret Deodorant-#stresstest

In the wake of HB2, Secret released its own ad that pushed the boundaries of what it means to be a woman. The ad features a transgender woman in a public restroom, clearly apprehensive of coming out of the stall when other women walk into the bathroom. Secret was able to portray an accurate struggle for transgender women. As the actress finally works up the courage to leave the stall, she is able to show that there is no finite definition of what it means to be a woman in today’s society.


Fenty Beauty

Rihanna recently launched her own beauty line at Sephora and, of course, I was there the next day to check it out (no shame). If there is one thing the beauty industry lacks, it is definitely the extreme limitations on makeup to match every persons skin tone. A lot of companies will bring out 5-10 shade ranges, but that doesn’t cover a quarter of the different types of skin colors there are in the world. Rihanna took a huge step in changing the norm by bring out 40 shades of her foundation in her first release. Now women can find their shade no matter what tone they might be, making it so much easier to feel confident in your skin and beautiful when wearing makeup.

The fashion and beauty industry still have a long way to go, but companies are taking a step in the right direction to make these industries more inclusive. What are some other companies that stand out to you in embracing diversity?

-Melissa Trainer

(Photos from Pinterest and TVcommercialspots.com, Video from YouTube)

“I’d like to buy the world a Coke”

In 1971 Coca-Cola launched one of its very first in-color TV commercials. It was named; “I’d like to buy the world a Coke” and has been called, “one of the best-loved and most influential ads in TV history”. It featured a multicultural cast with actors and actresses from over 20 countries singing together on a hilltop in Italy. All holding a cold bottle of coke in their hands.


The commercial has been called “groundbreaking” and was a part of the Coca-Cola campaign, “It’s the real thing”. The slogan, as well as the commercial was created by Bill Backer (creative director for the Coca-Cola account at McCann). The idea of the commercial came to Backer while in an airport on the way to London. He quickly wrote down the words, “I’d like to buy the world a Coke and keep it company” on a white napkin so that he would not forget it in the morning.


Backer got help from established song writers Roger Cook, Billy Davis and Roger Greenway to write the full song for the commercial. The song became such a hit it was recorded by the New Seekers, a British pop-band. It was so idolized that it was played on the radio as a full-on song.

The lyrics read;

 “I’d like to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony”
“I’d like to buy the world a Coke” 
“And keep it company”
“It’s the real thing—Coke is”
“What the world wants today”


The commercial has received praise throughout the years, and rightfully so. Davis truly captured the essence of Coca-Cola’s brand identity explaining that, Coke was more than a liquid refresher. Saying that, Coke is a “tiny bit of commonality between all people”.


The commercial gave hope to a multicultural world in where a bottle of Coke could be shared together amongst anyone in “perfect harmony”. The Coca-Cola bottle was used as a symbol of peace. By using a multicultural cast the commercial aimed for a world filled with greater acceptance and inclusion. Erasing divisions between people with different skin colors, ethnicities, and backgrounds.

The commercial first aired in 1971. The same year as the US voting age was lowered to 18, Disney World welcomed it’s first visitors, the Pentagon Papers were published, and National Public Radio broadcasted for the first time.


A lot of things were changing at this time. You could possibly argue that in a state of doubt and anti-Vietnam war attitudes, Coca-Cola was ahead of its time releasing this “feel good” commercial focused on friendship and happiness. And it might have been a slight nod against the war oversees.

Take a look at the commercial yourself! Why do you think this became such a hit? Why do you think it resonated with people?

P.S. If you watched Mad Men, the final scene of the show is followed by the Coca-Cola Hilltop commercial. Showcasing just how iconic it was and still is today.

– Olivia Nilsson