We all know that celebrities play a huge role in the commercial and marketing industry. We have all seen the Proactiv commercials featuring a long list of celebrities that struggle with acne or a commercial like the one featured in yesterday’s post with Pauly D. In fact, according to the International Journal of Advertising about 25% of all US advertisements use celebrity endorsements and whether we want to admit it or not (ahem…third person media effect), what celebrities do or buy does have an effect on us. But that doesn’t always have to be a bad thing. What about when a celeb uses their influence and power for the greater good? When they help draw attention to a social problem?
Oprah Winfrey is probably one of the most famous philanthropic celebrities of our time. She has used her show to shed light on many social issues and world issues as well raise millions of dollars for charities across the globe. Her influence is so high that economists at the University of Maryland stated that when she publicly endorsed Obama in the 2008 election, she may have brought in up to one million votes with her. That’s a lot of power. Other celebrities have also started to take a public stance on social issues in order to gain public interest. Jennifer Aniston along with many other celebrities do commercials for St. Jude’s or in support of animal adoption. Or as seen in the picture, Justin Bieber has joined with PETA in an effort to get people to adopt animals from their local shelters. The list could go on and on.
So there’s some food for thought. Although we usually discuss celebrity endorsements with an air of negativity, we should also look at how they help organizations and causes that we, as the general public, might not have noticed without them.
-Alaethea Hensley, Jessica Kingman, & Lauren Phelps
What is the most important thing about Halloween? Your costume! When we were younger, we thought running around the neighborhood for a few hours trick or treating was the essence of Halloween. But as college students, we start pondering our costumes weeks or even months in advance, while candy and parties are afterthoughts. A Halloween costume allows you to express yourself more freely than you can in everyday clothes, and for many college students it is the most important outfit of the year. Some people spend hundreds of dollars putting together the perfect costume, complete with make-up, wigs and props. Last year, the costume most searched on Google was Lady Gaga. This year, the two top searches appear to be Nicki Minaj and Charlie Sheen. Among other popular searches are Pan Am, Amy Winehouse, Rihanna and Katy Perry.
When we were children, we dressed up as witches, robots, zombies and the occasional super hero. Today, we dress up like celebrities. Maybe this indicates that during college, our behaviors are influenced by ethos more than when we were younger. The fact that many college students transform themselves into their favorite stars for Halloween may correlate with the general spending habits of people ages 18-24. If many people are buying things to look like celebrities for Halloween, it is safe to assume that they are buying things related to celebrities for everyday items as well.
Being in the headlines helps celebrities promote their brand whether it’s intentional or not. Halloween gives celebrities the greatest opportunity for celebrities to increase their brand awareness. Those featured in the news and by other media outlets are getting their brand out there. The people dressing up as these celebrities for Halloween are ultimately walking advertisements for the celebrity they are trying to imitate.
-Stephanie Bakolia, Claire Outlaw, David Glaubach
This week, T.V. viewers all across the United States are preparing for the season premieres of this fall’s new television series. Stations such as Fox, CBS, and Showtime are all gearing up for the new seasons of their most popular shows as well as introducing new shows to the mix. Every season, many new series are introduced, yet many fail; could it be because of poor advertising?
Before many of these shows are aired, T.V. stations produce numerous ads promoting what’s new to fall television. In regards to Ashton Kutcher’s new role on CBS’ Two and a Half Men, much talk has been going around as to if the show will continue to be a success. Looking at the ad created for promoting its ninth season, Two and a Half Men is portrayed as a show filled with somewhat crude humor and mystery surrounding what’s to come. The decision to not put the show’s name on the ad was a risk taken; however, it seems to draw even more attention to the show.
It seems as though a good, comedic sitcom is hard to come by these days. Many of the newer sitcoms never survive the first couple weeks of airing due to poor T.V. ratings. One comedy set to premier tonight is Fox’s new light and airy show, New Girl, starring Zooey Deschanel. Known for her quirky personality, Deschanel stands front and center of the television ad with an awkward expression on her face. At first glance, New Girl appears to be a show filled with humor and happiness. Perhaps the use of bright colors and that sneaky smile Deschanel wears will draw more viewers in.
After looking at this season’s T.V. ads, it is evident that certain shows will more than likely draw a larger crowd than others. What it comes down to is: what do T.V. viewers want to watch on a regular basis? Can looking at a preview advertisement and commercials set the bar for up and coming shows? We’d say so.
Which shows will you be tuning into this fall?
Over the past week, the American public has been inundated with file footage from the events of 9-11. Much of this footage has been a tribute to the heroes who gave their lives that day; however, the most graphic content reflects a much more horrific aspect of the moment- death and destruction. No one can discount the painful reality of that day. The destruction of the World Trade Center, the attack on the Pentagon, and the downing of the plane in Pennsylvania were an act of war, and with that came violence, chaos, and carnage; realizations that most people find unappealing even if it reflects the truth of the matter. For those of us who have a tendency to shy away from all things bad, should we have been forced to revisit or see for the first time such graphic representations of the pain and death from that day? As good Americans, we undoubtedly want to honor those who perished by being tuned in to the tributes presented by the media networks, but how much is too much?
The videos of people jumping from the towers will forever be a tragic part of the archive of 9-11. Some would cite these as the most horrific images from that day, yet much of the carnage was never publicly released because it was legitimately too intense for public viewing. The images of thousands of burnt and twisted bodies is certainly something that few people yearn to see, and rightfully so, yet there lingers a debate about the release of this footage. Roxanne Silver, a University of California Irvine professor of psychology and social behavior, had this to say about the matter, “It’s very clear to me that the repeated exposure of images of 9/11 serves no purpose for adults or children, and I would discourage parents from allowing their children to be exposed to graphic images.” In regards to the children, it is easy to agree with this statement as it is a delicate task to educate young ones on these events without overexposing them.
One of the authors of this post had the opportunity to speak to a fourth grade class about 9/11 yesterday and found himself at times challenged to describe certain events from the war, in particular, without being inappropriately graphic. Children aside, many of these images, graphic and patriotic alike, serve as a rallying cry to serve justice on the persons who brought the war to us that day and will forever be a reminder of why we continue to remain vigilant.
– LaPuasa, Claire Dillard, Louis
Instead of partying in Panama City or Cancun and ultimately only hurting your liver, make this spring break or next years about helping others by becoming a volunteer for Habitat for Humanity.
More than 10,000 students in 2011 are volunteering their time for spring break. The numbers are rising from 2006 when 1,531 students volunteered to spend spring break to help rebuild the storm-torn US Gulf Coast.
According to Desiree Adaway, the Habitat for Humanity senior director of Volunteer mobilization said, “Students have a number of options to consider for their school spring break, and we are so grateful for their interest in volunteering their time with Habitat,” “Their efforts will help provide safe, decent and affordable housing for so many families in need.” Habitat for Humanity is trying to market now towards college students on their spring breaks.
Not only are these spring breakers helping others but they are also “building” social capital. Habitat for Humanity is a great way to meet others and spend time with friends who enjoy doing the same things as you. This opportunity gives you a chance to travel across the country to different places and learn of other cultures. From February to June Collegiate Challenge participants will volunteer in 200 Habitat locations and donate 1.3 million to the Habitat affiliates they visit.
For more information on becoming a volunteer. www.habitat.org/volunteers.
-Lindsey Baggett, Drew Mayer, Micaela Fouhy, Will Cosden, Brianna Golden
The 83rd Academy Awards reward the best of the best in cinema. Actors and actresses are rewarded for their great work throughout the year, and just to be nominated is an honor. The best of the profession are able to make all of us believe that the character they are playing is real. Colin Firth won the Best Actor Award for his role in “The King’s Speech” and it was unlike any performance he has delivered. But what about the actors and actresses that play the same character in almost all of their movies. In the profession this is referred to type-casting: an actor who gets scripted to play the same funny guy, action hero, or typical house wife for all of their movies.
In IMC we refer to branding often. There are name brand companies, products, and now actors and actresses. By being type-casted to certain roles actors are branding themselves for a certain role each film. Many actors make a living off of their brand, and I’m sure the money they acquire makes them happy to sell their brand. Tom Cruise is known for his action movies, and some would say that he plays the same role every time. This seems like criticism he can’t shake. In “Tropic Thunder” he played an arrogant studio executive in a movie that was making fun of war movie production. He was able to embrace the criticism of being type-casted, and make fun of himself. While he didn’t win an Oscar his character was extremely funny.
So do the Academy Awards reward the actors who are able to break away from their brand and try a new role? I think all actors and actresses have a personal brand they are trying to fulfill, but when they step out of that shadow and give a great performance they should be rewarded. Adam Sandler might have not won an Academy Award for his role in “Spanglish” but it was great to see him not portray a type casted comedy role. Most find it very safe and reassuring to stick to their brand and continue to play that character, but I applaud those who embrace the challenge. Now that the 83rd Academy Awards are over we can all look forward to a great year in film. Let’s all wish that more actors will step away from their personal brand in hopes of Oscar recognition.