The Age of Social Media Advertising

Do you ever wonder why your Instagram is magically filled with advertisements of all the things you love and want? Well, Instagram has launched a new targeting tool which allows brands to reach consumers who are highly engaged in their brand.


Amy Cole, head of brand development for EMEA at Instagram says “Advertisers are shifting their focus this from people’s mailbox to their mobile phones and Instagram has become brands’ shop window”. Many marketers are hesitant to use Instagram in their marketing strategies despite its growing popularity and usage. According to Greenlight, the digital agency behind the new targeting tool, of the 100 senior marketers they surveyed only 60% of them are not currently using Instagram as a marketing tool. Even after 30% of Instagram users admit to buying items after seeing them in photos or videos on the application.


We are starting to see more of our favorite brands pop up on our social media for this exact purpose. Companies are playing off of Instagram, the highly visual social media platform, to show a more personal side of their brands. Instagram provides more than just visual content, it shares a story. With this highly intimate interaction with consumers, companies are able to connect on a different level and increase sales and brand awareness. Along with intimacy, a study done by Visual Teaching Alliance says that 90% of the information transmitted to our brain are visual. This means that we mainly interact with our world through visual contexts! When we see something we are more likely to remember it and therefore buy it.


Forward thinking marketers would benefit from investing in marketing tools such as this one for successful campaigns and advertisements. In a techno savvy world where we are in constant contact with our cellphones and social media platforms it is unwise for any company not to invest more time and money into visual social media marketing.


Do you think its necessary for brands to start engaging more with their social media following?

-Isabella Martinez

Foxy Roxy

Life near the beach means seeing surf shops by the dozen.  And what do you think lies inside these surf shops? Brands like Roxy, of course.

In 1990, Quicksilver began a venture to create Roxy, a swimwear brand that encompassed the female surfer, the first of its kind in a sport dominated by men. The brand grew and was well received by the surf-ette, and Roxy even created the first women’s board short.

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So what can we learn from Roxy’s brand identity?

1. Their products are for women.

2. They target these products to women.

The logo, two Quicksilver logos reflected against each other to create a go to feminine symbol, a heart, encompasses the brand’s feminine spirit.


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Daring, confident, naturally beautiful, fun, alive: Roxy

Roxy took a plunge into a market dominated by menswear, and came out drenched in success. But Roxy faces a definite challenge-

How do you advertise an all women’s surf-wear brand, especially swimsuits, without receiving backlash for objectifying women’s bodies?

The answer? I don’t think Roxy has been able to do it yet.

Critics were quick to comment on this ad for the Roxy Pro Biarritz competition from 2013 featuring surf pro Stephanie Gilmore.


This is the teaser video that doesn’t reveal Gilmore’s face, but the focus on her body was enough to send consumers into a critique frenzy

Advertisements seek to sell the product to the consumer, and noise, like a consumer not paying attention, can affect the ads effectiveness. The problem is that women’s bodies, even men’s, are often objectified as a tactic to break the noise that can distract consumers. Sex appeal holds attention, it gets consumers talking.


What are some alternatives when advertising a ‘women’s’ brand? Vera Bradley tried last year in 2016 with their #itsgoodtobeagirl  campaign that was supposed to celebrate the everyday woman, and sell the luggage and handbag company’s products of course.

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Consumers were OUTRAGED, calling the campaign sexist and offensive not only to women, but men as well (ouch). The campaign eventually released less abrasive content, and called on a more girl-power type approach by quoting inspiring women.

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The hashtag #itsgoodtobeagirl is still trendy on Twitter today #PRsave.




Gender objectification in advertising is obviously a hot topic to critique, but as everyone knows, sex sells. And when you’re trying to sell a product, you need to sell.

There has GOT to be a way in advertising that can celebrate and use the human body without objectifying it.

Since the Roxy Pro Biarritz scandal, Roxy has laid pretty low in terms of video advertisements.

The question is this, if you were Roxy, how would you continue to advertise your all women’s apparel and surf wear? Keep in mind surfing isn’t done in hoodies and sweatpants; it is done in swimwear, boardshorts, and wetsuits.  So…would you use sex appeal, or pull a Vera Bradley and try something risky and innovative (even if it could possibly fail at first)?


Kayla Millie


How to be Single on Valentine’s Day

Happy Valentines Day Watercolor Free Printable_aca175bc-d541-4816-833f-edc8d03db7deSo we all know that Valentine’s Day was created in order to make single people feel even more single (how rude). However, being single Valentine’s Day can be fun. Valentine’s Day is advertised as the holiday of love with giant teddy bears, heart shaped everything, and a dozen roses. Whether you spend this Valentine’s Day binge watching Netflix, enjoying your single 20’s, or going on a tinder date, read below to learn how to embrace Valentine’s Day and be your own Valentine.

Since Valentine’s Day is on a Sunday this year, have a girls night in with your friends. You can rent a Redbox, buy a bottle of wine (or three), and order pizza. You do not have to go out to eat and run into the countless amount of couples on dates. We all know restaurants use this holiday to entice couples to choose their romantic venue to eat. However, this tactic actually works. There will be restaurants with long waits and reservations. But you are lucky because you can avoid the chaos and stay at home, while enjoying some delicious garlic crust pizza. And let’s be honest… you would rather be in a relationship with pizza than a boy anyways.

largeLet’s say your Valentine’s Day circumstances are worse and all of your girlfriends have plans. That’s okay. Sometimes it is nice after a long, crazy week to have some free time to aimlessly binge watch a television show. There are so many options from Grey’s Anatomy, Empire, Scandal, and the list goes on. You can buy yourself a heart shaped box of chocolates and enjoy a relaxing night off. Bonus: you do not have to buy a gift for a significant other. For the past two weeks, stores have strategically placed their Valentine’s Day gifts at the front. Ranging from the little kid who has to buy his or her classmates Valentine’s Day cards or the boyfriend who has to buy that giant teddy bear she has been wanting since Christmas. Just like restaurants, stores capitalize on this holiday in order to get more money from their customers. But do not worry because you do not have to be one of those shoppers. You will be relaxing in your comfy bed excited to watch the next episode of your new favorite TV show.

Lastly, if you are single and ready to mingle February 14th is your night. You can get a few of your single friends and have a night on the town. It will not matter that it’s Valentine’s Day because you are having too much fun dancing the night away.

What are your plans for Valentine’s Day? Comment below!

-Erin Fouhy, Sarah Garner, Caitlin Rodermund, and Megan Suggs.

The UNCW Tradition That Misses the Mark

If you attend UNCW then there are many traditions that you are probably aware of. Wagsgiving, Ooze Ball, and maybe even Hawk it Out. There is one that you might not be aware of, and that would be Homecoming. Wait, what? Shouldn’t Homecoming be one of the biggest events of the year? Well you would be right if it were any other school. For various reasons our Homecoming is not as big as other universities. Some blame the lack of a football team, others say it is our overall school attitude, while others claim there is a gap between awareness and motivation to attend.

For UNCW, Homecoming can be an opportunity to strengthen the sense of community among current students, alumni, and the surrounding populace. Uniting for the same purpose, to support the same school and cheer for the same team, instills a firm sense of pride. Pride can be a powerful tool. Think of UNC Chapel Hill. UNC students, alumni, and even fans have a strong sense of pride in their school and in their team. Most everybody knows who the Tar Heels are and a large number of people want to be part of their team in one way or another. Through this, the students, alumni, and fans are creating awareness. This is called Word of Mouth Marketing and allows for the marketing campaign to basically run itself. It is a necessary tool in creating a lasting tradition and instilling a strong sense of pride. So what pride essentially does, is ensure that no matter what, the school will always have a market for new students and an ever-lasting fan base. 


The question is, how can Homecoming become a successful tradition? It is a common assumption that our Homecoming participation is low because we do not have a football team, which is also why our Homecoming is in the spring. However, if we stay with the example of UNC Chapel Hill, we see that a football team is not what makes the Homecoming event successful. Their fan base lies largely in their basketball team just like UNCW’s. The issue comes in the form of getting people motivated. Motivation begins with awareness and bridging the gap between the two starts with promoting involvement opportunities. People care more about events if they have a hand in creating them.

There are ways for students and student organizations to be involved in Homecoming. Some include participating in the annual banner contest, the Intercultural Fest (iFest), and by competing for Homecoming King and Queen. One of the most successfully advertised Homecoming event is Dub Idol. This is one of the first traditions that many freshmen hear about even before they arrive. If every event were advertised and instilled into the students as much as Dub Idol then the level of involvement could potentially increase. Implementing some new advertising techniques could be a start so the lesser known events become a staple. There is already an emphasis on reaching alumni, but in order to target the students, utilizing Social Media is one of the best options.

Overall, Homecoming is a tradition that every UNCW affiliate could participate in and has the potential to create an environment that allows students, past and present, to market their spirit and their pride. It is difficult to change a mindset, but Homecoming is moving in the right direction and with a little help from students it can become one of the most anticipated events of the year. One thing is for sure, we will be out this weekend participating in any events we can in order to increase student involvement and show our support for UNCW’s Homecoming. 


-Austin, Jonathan, & Kaela

A Thai and Vietnamese Creation

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Although it’s only in Wilmington, NC, once you step through the doors of Indochine Restaurant you are transformed into a Vietnamese wonderland.  Guarding the front entrance, a 6-foot golden statue of Buddha welcomes the guests that come to dine.  Statues, paintings, and nicknacks line the walls of the interior of the restaurant, all collected by the restaurants owners during their many travels throughout Asia.

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The true enchantment begins when you pass through the back doors into the garden. With just over an acre, the Bartsch family has created a Vietnamese-inspired garden that will leave you speechless.  From koi ponds to individual tiki-huts for guests to dine in, the garden is a true transformation to a new “far east” destination.

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After opening its doors in 2001, Indochine quickly became one of Wilmington’s most popular attractions.  Voted Encore’s Best Restaurant Overall for over 15 years, each visit to Indochine is a handcrafted experience.  On top of a beautiful atmosphere, the cuisine only enhances the experience.  Staying local and true to Thai culture, each dish is freshly prepared based on family recipes.

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Indochine has built a brand based on every factor of the dining experience.  Atmosphere, service, and cuisine are just a few examples of where the Indochine staff focuses their attention to ensure every guest is experiencing a true taste of Vietnam.  Staying true to culture is very important to the owners and doing so has allowed them to build a strong brand awareness in the Wilmington community.

Based solely on word of mouth marketing, Indochine relies heavily on their reputation.  Through their success it is clear that staying true to culture and providing the very best experience to the customer is vital in surviving in the restaurant business.  Although the owners choose not to advertise in the community, Indochine is a name we all recognize and has become a staple in Wilmington culture.

Home of the Original Fat Sandwich

It’s 2 a.m. and you’re beginning to get a hunkering in your stomach. You don’t feel like making food or driving around to find a 24/7 drive-thru that might not satisfy your appetite. All of the local delivery places are closed, what are you going to do? Well, you’re going to pick up the phone, dial 910-798-4999, and order from one of the most AAAAAa MUNCHIESinnovative, newest establishments in our community: Munchies Food Co. They are open 7 days a week from 12 p.m. until 3 a.m., allowing customers to dine in until 10 p.m. and to order food for delivery or take out until 3 a.m. Their motto is simple: “You get them. We fill them.”

Located in the University Landing Shopping Center, within walking distance from the UNCW campus, Munchies has a clear interest in attracting the college student population. There is a direct connection between UNCW and Munchies as it was started by two brothers and graduates of UNCW. When they opened the doors in September 2014, they had one goal: “To provide delicious, unique, and affordable food at the times you want it most. Offering a one of a kind menu and late night delivery, we at Munchies are here to satisfy your cravings, whenever they may occur.” As former UNCW students, they were able to more readily analyze their target audience and produce a mouthwatering menu to attract nearly any college student. They offer a variety of drinks, fries, sauces, sandwiches, wraps, and burgers. Along with the menu being very aesthetically appealing with bright colors and vivid font (as seen below), it includes three creatively thought out sections on the menu: Munchies, Fat Sandwiches, and Desserts.10428193_1460350754244838_520504508503865764_o

The word ‘munchies’ has a different connotation in certain groups (cough, cough), but it is accurately defined as food suitable or meant for snacking. While the owners of Munchies Food Co. used that play on words to their advantage in attracting attention, their Munchies section is certainly meant for snacking as it includes items like jalapeno poppers, mozzarella sticks, mac & cheese wedges, and onion rings. Their Fat Sandwiches section is the most popular and are not quit the ‘sandwiches’ that one has come to know. The only similarity between Munchies Food Co. Fat Sandwiches and regular sandwiches is that they are served on bread with lettuce, tomato, and onion. However, these sandwiches contain an abundance of different fillers including chicken fingers, mozzarella sticks, cheese whiz, onion rings, gyro meat, and even fries! Their most expensive Fat Sandwich and my personal favorite is the Fat Mess. This smorgasbord of a sandwich contains jalapeno poppers, onion rings, chicken fingers, bacon, mozzarella sticks, burger, gyro meat, and fries! It truly lives up to its name. Pictured below is an example of the very popular Fat Joint, which contains chicken fingers, mozzarella sticks, bacon, and fries.


If that doesn’t sound filling enough, imagine trying to eat 3 fat sandwiches in 30 minutes. Munchies Food Co. presents this very challenge to their customers every day. Known as the ‘Name Your Own’ challenge, if someone can complete all three sandwiches in the allotted 30 minutes, they earn the right to create and name their very own fat sandwich for their menu and have their photo put on Munchies Food Co.’s Wall of Fame. The image below shows a contestant who finished the ‘Name Your Own’ challenge in 13 minutes and 21 seconds!


They offer another challenge known as the ‘Basket of Fire’. The competitor has 15 minutes to eat a pound of fries and four chicken tenders tossed in inferno sauce, covered with jack and cheddar cheese, jalapenos, and topped with even more inferno sauce. Competitors may use dipping sauces and drinks. Taking every precaution, all competitors must sign a waiver before taking the challenge. Winners have their meal paid for and also get their photo put on Munchies Food Co.’s Wall of Fame. Making it a memorable experience regardless, the employees will still take one’s picture at the end of an unsuccessful challenge and put it on their Wall of Shame. Far more make it on the Wall of Shame than the Wall of Fame. 1601937_1485437875069459_5159293372287278699_o

These enticing challenges are just one of many ways that Munchies Food Co. attracts a younger customer base and spreads from word of mouth. Munchies Food Co.’s affordable and delectable Dessert section also plays a major part in drawing in customers. Straying from the classic milkshake that Sonics, Cookout, McDonalds, etc. has used for years to entice younger customers, Munchies Food Co. offers a staple from the state fair: Deep-Fried Twinkies. Their innovation is again evident as they also offer deep-fried Reeses, Twix, Snickers, Oreos, and Cookie Dough.


The two brothers that created this company were smart:

  • They chose a good location using local knowledge
  • They used an aesthetically appealing menu with various and innovative food items designed to match their target audience
  • They offer easy accessibility with extended hours and delivery
  • They recognize the importance of affordability to a college student
  • They use a different take on classic challenges to draw customers in
  • They effectively use social media and word of mouth as marketing strategies
  • They created an app for tablets and smartphones
  • They give UNCW students a 10% discount when they show their one card
  • They offer random daily specials
  • They are an active voice in the community and run promotions with different local philanthropy events

Check out their website at or their social media accounts:

Stay hungry for more posts on local restaurants in Wilmington this week!

– Griffin Weidele, Austin Moody, Luci Keefer, Allen Wooten, Scott Uraro

Who is Emily Schuman?


Emily Schuman, better known as Cupcakes and Cashmere, captivates audiences with her unique approach to fashion, food, and everyday living. The now 32-year-old began Cupcakes and Cashmere in 2008, becoming one of the first bloggers to partner with a major brand. Cupcakes and Cashmere provides, “luxe yet achievable looks and refreshingly genuine style of writing,” making Emily Schuman a very popular blogger and known social media persona. Cupcakes and Cashmere includes popular brands of J.Crew and TopShop, while adding the “less-achievable” wardrobe items of Louboutin shoes and Celine bags.

Brand Image

Emily Schuman transformed Cupcakes and Cashmere into two books, clothing line, and home-goods line, while maintaining a large social media presence.

Cupcakes and Cashmere: The blog allows fashion and food fanatics to explore Emily’s top picks, morning routines, favorite recipes, and her weekly outfits. Incorporating DIY aspects into a fashion-forward blog.

Cupcakes and Cashmere: A Guide for Defining Your Style, Reinventing Your Space, and Entertaining with Ease: Emily Schuman’s first book, follows the same outline of style, beauty, home, food, and entertainment. Cupcakes and Cashmere: A Guide for Defining Your Style, Reinventing Your Space, and Entertaining with Ease became available August 1, 2012.

Cupcakes and Cashmere At Home: Emily Schuman’s second book offers readers DIY tips and projects, party-planning tips, design ideas, and how to “mold your space into something you’ll love.”

Cupcakes and Cashmere Fashion Line: Her Fall 2015 Collection will be available at and She combined her favorite pieces (shown in her blog) and her personal style, making 60 pieces of clothing anyone can wear. The price tag is on the higher end of $85-$200, including a few pieces around $400.

Cupcakes and Cashmere Home-Goods Line: She expanded her product line into semi-affordable home decor.


Creating and obtaining an audience for a personal brand can be tricky. The engagement approach is one theory in IMC to help explain how a brand reaches a wider audience. Emily Schuman engages with her audience through multiple channels and collaborations. Reaching out to an audience through social media and popular brands are examples of the engagement approach. Essentially it is a technique to attract an audience through different methods.

Social Media

  • Facebook– Emily Schuman’s Facebook presence is very high, with over 400,000 likes. Sharing links and pictures to her newest blog posts.
  • Twitter– Emily Schuman maintains a “light and easy” Twitter- with links to Instagram and blog posts.
  • Instagram– Her account includes the blog features of style, beauty, home, food, and entertainment but on a more personal level. Sharing pictures of family, friends, and her everyday activities with fans and fellow bloggers.
  • Pinterest Over 200,000 likes on Pinterest, Emily Schuman pins her favorite beauty secrets, fashion pieces, home decor, recipes, and DIY projects.
  • YouTube Showing fans videos of makeup, hair tutorials, and a Q+A with Emily Schuman.


Birchbox: The partnership of Birchbox and Cupcakes and Cashmere is like many we see nowadays with the advent of modern social media marketing. The low-cost partnership allows both parties to benefit through increased exposure. Birchbox paired with Cupcakes and Cashmere to create the May 2015 box. It included her favorite beauty secrets. The Birchbox collaboration is a prime example of the engagement approach, where Emily Schuman can spark an interest in a wider audience.

Estee-Lauder: Four-years after Emily Schuman started Cupcakes and Cashmere, Estee-Lauder and Emily Schuman collaborated on a guest blogger feature. Emily Schuman created content for Estee-Lauder’s site on a weekly basis, sharing beauty, fashion trends and sneak peeks at upcoming collections.

Coach: Emily Schuman became one of the first fashion bloggers to partner with a large brand like Coach. Emily Schuman of Cupcakes and Cashmere designed a pale-cotton candy handbag, sold out within days.

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Back in 2012, Emily Schuman stated, “I want to diversify the brand and ultimately design a Cupcakes and Cashmere product line.” Do you believe Emily Schuman completed her goal? Do you follow unique lifestyle bloggers? Let us know your thoughts below!

-Jonathan Callahan, Erin Fouhy, Julia George, Joseph Hines, and Sarah Suggs