Kendall Jenner Pepsi Advertisement

Kendall Jenner’s most recent ad with Pepsi has caused controversy around the United States and the world. The ad depicts Jenner walking out of the middle of a photo shoot to go join a march in the street with many of her peers. Jenner joins the march and then hands a Pepsi to one of the police officers controlling the march and he smiles at her. This creates the depiction that because Jenner handed the police officer a Pepsi that the whole march was a success. After she hands the police officer the drink the entire crowd begins cheering and everyone becomes unified as one.

This ad has been met with backlash for a number of reasons. Many feel that the ad is making light of the social movements that have been happening all around the country including the Black Lives Matter Movement. In real life, these marches are no where near as peaceful as the one being depicted through this ad. The marches are usually filled with violence and police opposition, two problems that would not be solved through just handing someone a Pepsi. For this reason, many felt that this ad was in bad taste.

Once met with backlash, Pepsi immediately stopped playing the ad and admitted that they may have missed the mark with the message they were trying to portray. If the ad had maybe used an actress of color to get their message across, the ad might have been met with a different reaction, but because Kendall Jenner was used as the spokesperson many felt that she did not identify on a personal level with the issue at hand.

This is a classic case of when ads are not fully thought through. In my opinion, much more thought and care should have been put in by the advertising team before the ad was actually run on national television. How was this ad able to get through so many different members of the team without anyone saying that maybe the did miss the mark and that some things need to be changed? This is also not the first time that Pepsi’s ads have been met with criticism.

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With all of the issues going on in today’s societies, it is big brands such as Pepsi’s responsibility to positively contribute to these social movements. By making light of marches that are happening all around the country, Pepsi did not positively contribute at all. Because of this they are facing backlash. It is important for advertising professionals to consider all groups of society before bringing an idea to light. If this practice were followed more heavily then the number of controversial advertisement’s in today’s media would greatly decrease. This would be a positive change that we could all benefit from.

As society shifts and becomes more accepting of all social groups, advertising needs to follow suit. This means making sure that ads being shown in the media are accepting of all these different kinds of people. Through these changes, advertising will be able to play a part in a positive change in society.

To view the full ad, please click here.

 

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Image Source: http://money.cnn.com/2017/04/05/media/pepsi-kendall-jenner-tone-deaf-ads/

 

 

 

PETA Ad Controversy

Dubbed as one of the most controversial ad campaigns of all time, PETA’s campaign entitled “Holocaust on Your Plate” is an advertising nightmare that stirred up backlash around the world. The campaign, which compares the killing of animals to the killing of people in the Holocaust, was released in 2003 in an effort to stop people from eating animals and to promote a vegetarian lifestyle. Upon the release of this campaign, many victims and the families of Holocaust victims were left upset and offended. This topic stirs up important issues regarding the line in which ads and organizations go too far in trying to express their goals. At what point are ads harming groups of individuals rather than just raising awareness for an issue? This ad brought these questions into the forefront of the minds of many.

The question of harm brings to light the ethical issue surrounding this case. It is clear that this campaign caused psychological harm to many that viewed it, most notably those that have felt direct effects from the Holocaust. Although many agree that the killing of mass groups of animals is wrong, some feel that these ads have gone to far. The ethical dilemma surrounding this campaign comes from the question of whether the comparisons associated with these ads are ethically wrong due to the harm they are causing many of their viewers, or if these advertisements are in fact a truthful comparison.

Many felt that the comparison of the killing of animals to the killing of people in the Holocaust was unethical. In my opinion, this campaign was completely unethical and hurtful to many groups of society. Even if a group was not directly affected by Holocaust events, this is still a memory that hurts many people. PETA went too far with this ad, and they felt the consequences. Many wanted the ad removed, but PETA insisted that it not be removed. This choice helped the organization gain negative attention from many different groups, including the Jewish community.

This specific case brings to light the question of when do advertisements in the media go too far? This ad went too far. Although many know that PETA is known for their racy advertisements in an effort to get their message across, comparing the killing of animals to one of the worst events the world has ever seen is in bad taste. I believe that the team behind this campaign knew what was going to happen when they released it, and that many people would be upset by it. I think that they wanted this to purposefully happen in an effort to get people talking about the campaign. This is a classic example of when advertisements go too far, a trend that were are currently seeing all over many media outlets today. Because of this trend, many people are left with a bad taste in their mouths when the view some of the most prominent ads in today’s media and this alone paints a negative picture of society’s view of media professionals.

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Image Source: https://twitter.com/peta

The Office Review

 The Office is one of everyone’s favorite sitcoms of all time. It is a show that people can watch over and over and laugh every time at the jokes that are being made throughout each season. Steve Carell, or Michael Scott, is arguably the heart and soul of the entire series. Steve Carell has been quoted discussing how he believes his role as Michael Scott on the show will be the role that he is remembered for as an actor.

The Office is one of the most popular sitcoms of the mid-2000s because of its humorous story lines and relatable characters. The setting, an office, is somewhere most people spend the majority of their week, and for this reason alone it can be relatable to viewers.  The various story lines are both heavy and comical, and this mix is crucial in The Office’s success as a show. Following the love story of Pam Beesley and Jim Halpert, played by Jenna Fischer and John Krasinski is a plot that many viewers can identify with. It follows their start as work friends to best friends and eventually uncovers the mutual feeling each has for one another. Watching the happy ending associated with this relationship is satisfying for viewers.

The appearances of the characters also play into the shows reliability to their viewers. Because each of the characters dresses and looks just like a regular person that works in an office, viewers are able to identify with the characters and how they appear to look just like they do. I think this is another factor that has contributed to the show’s longevity.

When Steve Carell left the show in during the fourth season, it was clear that a large piece of the puzzle was missing. Despite the show’s efforts to replace his character, The Office was not the same without Michael Scott.

The Office’s ability to take a mundane topic like working in a paper factory and turning it into comedic gold is truly remarkable. No show since The Office has been able to capture that in quite the way that they were able to. I think some of this has to do with the fact that many of the show’s characters were also responsible for writing some of the content featured within the episodes including BJ Novak. Many of the characters of The Office are also friends in real life which translates on and off screen. Even though the show has been over for over five years, John Krasinski and Jenna Fischer still keep and contact and occasionally take to social media to talk about their time on The Office. This helps to keep the legacy of the show alive. Although other shows like Parks and Rec have tried to mimick the style of The Office, in my opinion, no show will ever be able to fully capture the on screen magic that was made through that specific show. I think this alone is why so many people continue to fall in love with the show or watch it over and over again for a good laugh.MDot-TheOffice-640x360-MP.jpg

Image Source: http://www.nbc.com/the-office

Bravo Reality Television Shows

I, for one, am a sucker for all things reality television. I love the gritty drama and situations that come along with watching the characters that make up these TV shows. Although many people refer to these shows as “trash television”, I think that they are extremely entertaining if they are not taken seriously.

Many of my favorite series come on the television channel, Bravo. Andy Cohen has done a remarkable job of producing reality TV shows on this channel and has started an empire under The Real Housewives category. There are a number of different Real Housewives shows from cities all around the country including New Jersey, Beverly Hills, New York City and our own city, Atlanta. Because of this, the show is able to draw audiences from around the country to tune in and watch the drama unfold.

Although the story lines of these shows can be rather cheesy, they are able to supply entertainment from the many characters from each of the show’s different locations. Many of the women on the various Real Housewives shows have gone on to have successful careers from their fame that was kick started by the show. Most notably, Bethenny Frankel has found success in career endeavors including her brand of Skinny Girl lifestyle products.

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Characters from the show have not gone without scandal was well. Tabloids were ridden with the faces of Teresa Giudice and and her husband as they were found guilty for tax fraud. Because of this, both her and her husband, Joe, were imprisoned and the entirety of the scandal was shown on seasons of The Real Housewives of New Jersey. There are also scandals surrounding many other members of the show including issues such as drug and alcohol abuse, infidelity, eating disorders and many other serious issues. Because of this the show has also become a platform for cast members to speak out on these serious issues taking place in their lives. This has given many women around the country and world that watch these shows courage to admit their own faults and issues, so despite just being entertaining to many the show is also able to hit on controversial topics.

Another breakout character from one of the show’s sectors, The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, is Lisa Vanderpump. This British-born character has become a woman that many love to love and also hate. Her success on RHOBH has led to the development of a spinoff series on Bravo entitled Vanderpump Rules. This show follows bartenders and waiters that work at two of Lisa’s restaurants in Beverly Hills and LA and documents the struggles that these characters also go through. This show is able to appeal to younger viewers watching Bravo. Overall, Bravo has done an impressive job of creating content that viewers want to watch. Despite the criticisms associated with their shows, viewers all over the country tune into watch what happens each week on the network’s various television shows, and that in and of itself is a success.

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Image Source: http://tvlistings.zap2it.com/tv/the-real-housewives-of-beverly-hills/EP01327168?aid=zap2it

Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life Review

Gilmore Girls was arguably one of the most influential shows for young women in the early 2000s. I can remember coming home from school in elementary and middle school, and Gilmore Girls would be playing every day. For this reason, part of me feels that Lorelai and Rory were a part of my growing up. Naturally, when I found out that Netflix would be creating a reunion special for Gilmore Girls, I was ecstatic.  This reunion was called Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life. This special is broken into four different episodes each depicting a season throughout a year in the life of Rory and Lorelai.

Although overall I enjoyed the show, and thought that a few things could have been changed:

  1. The fact that Suki wasn’t working with Lorelai anymore at The Dragonfly Inn was a disappointment
  2. Lorelai’s lack of resolution with her mother was disappointing
  3. I did not like that Rory and Logan were still seeing each other but that he was getting married to someone else despite his feelings for her
  4. The random singing scene within the Spring episode was off-putting and confusing because it did not feel like it was cohesive with the show or the Gilmore Girls brand in general.
  5. Seeing Rory struggle to make it in the professional world was a bit upsetting for girls like me who looked up to her a role model growing up. I don’t think that they were able to accurately depict what stage of her career Rory would most likely be at at the age of 30. For this reason, it feels as if they are selling her character short.
  6. The last episode ends with a giant cliff hanger that will most likely never be resolved which is disappointing to fans who were looking for more of a final resolution surrounding the show.

Despite these critiques, it was refreshing the see Alexis Bledel and Lauren Graham on screen together again. In most ways it seems as if their characters stayed true to many of the innate qualities that made them so lovable to begin with. I think this helped fans to feel satisfied from the reunion special despite a few minor things that they could have done better. I also thought it was nice how the show paid homage to the death of Edward Herrmann, the actor who played Lorelai’s dad and also passed away before being able to take part in the reunion special. I thought it was well played how they acknowledged his death on the show rather than just trying to write out his character completely. They were able to acknowledge what a big piece was missing from their complete cast. Overall, I was happy to have watched the reunion special for Gilmore Girls and am happy that they were able to get the cast together for a special. It was nice to see how each member has aged over time and it brought me back to my afternoons spent watching Rory and Lorelai growing up.

 

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Image Source: http://tvline.com/2016/10/18/gilmore-girls-a-year-in-the-life-netflix-posters-key-art/

Z: The Beginning of Everything Review

I have always had a love for the story of F. Scott Fitzgerald and his wife, Zelda Fitzgerald. F. Scott has been one of my favorite writers since high school and when I read the novel, Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald by Therese Anne Fowler, I was instantly hooked on the mystery surrounding Zelda and Scott’s relationship. With that frame work set, when I found out that Amazon was producing a show based off of the novel, I knew from the start that I had to watch it.

This show is called Z: The Beginning of Everything and was created by Dawn Prestwich and Nicole Yorkin, and the show did the novel complete justice. Christina Ricci plays Zelda Sayre and she is able to fully engulf the life and personality of this dynamic character. The show transports its audience back into the the lives of the Fitzegeralds, as well as, their rise to fame and the beginning of the demise. The glitz and glamour of the lives of the Fitzgeralds dazzles the audience, but it is obvious that that is not all there is to their story. Through the party scenes it is easily seen where F. Scott drew his inspiration of The Great Gatsby.

The first season focuses on the meeting of Zelda and F. Scott down in Alabama where he was working in the military and is also where Zelda grew up. They met and instantly connected and over the course of a few years of long distance corresponding the couple fell in love. Zelda then moved to New York to be with Scott and that is where the trouble starts. Because he is not able to produce another best selling novel following his first, F. Scott turns to drinking and partying. It is clear that Zelda wasn’t aware that she signed up for this lifestyle.

This show paints a different picture than the one we usually see of Zelda, and that is why I think it is so special. Many times Zelda Fitzgerald is painted as being F. Scott Fitzgerald’s crazy wife, but in actuality she was just a young girl from Alabama trying to adjust to her newfound fame and all of the troubles that came along with it. It is clear from this show that both characters had their faults and downfalls that attributed to their dynamic and volatile relationship, but neither one is to blame for their issues entirely.

The show ends on a bit of a cliffhanger where it is unsure what is going to happen to the couple next. Of course we know from history that F. Scott will go on to produce more award winning books, but it will be interesting to see how that plays out in the second season. This TV show was very well done and was able to give a real sense into what the couples lives were most likely actually like and for that reason I think it is able to engage its viewers.

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Image Source: https://medium.com/m/global-identity?redirectUrl=https://theringer.com/zelda-fitzgerald-z-amazon-feminist-icon-af1d7350e123

Thirteen Reasons Why Review

Thirteen Reasons Why has taken the world by storm since its release. The show, produced and shown on Netflix, focuses on teenage story lines and the struggles associated with high school. People of all ages were able to identify with the story line thus generating responses from all over the world.

The plot of Thirteen Reasons Why was originally a novel written by Jay Asher and follows the story of Hannah Baker’s life and her relationship with Clay Jensen. The story line focuses on Hannah Baker’s suicidal death and the reasons leading up to this decision that she made. During the story, Hannah makes 13 tapes and distributes them to 13 different people detailing how each one of them played a role in her decision to commit suicide. This was a shocking depiction of what it is like to be a teenager in today’s society, and unlike many other shows that focus on high school aged kids, Thirteen Reasons Why was very accurate in the problems many high school aged kids face including relationships, sexuality, drugs, family issues and alcohol abuse. This has helped many people to relate to the story both young and old.

There has also been backlash associated with the show as well. Many people feel that by showing Hannah’s actual suicide and the way in which she left tapes for her classmates that this will cause young people to view the TV show and then copy what she did. Because the problems she is going through are so real to many young people, many students may see her problems and relate them to their own and think that it is okay to act in the same way that she did. Thirteen Reasons Why and the cast are able to combat these allegations by continually posting about how young people can seek help for what they are going through and this is a strategy that they have employed heavily.

Because of these reasons this show is very relatable and unlike anything I have seen recently. The mystery aspect of what each tape will say keeps viewers engaged and makes them want to tune in and see what happens next. Even though it is known from the very first episode that Hannah ultimately dies, the story leading up to her death is riveting the entire way. The show does a great job of switching between flashbacks and present day seamlessly while following Clay Jensen and his journey with the tapes. I think these reasons alone are why Thirteen Reasons Why has been such a smash hit among all who have watched it. Because the last episode ends with Hannah’s death, I am not sure if they will be able to create a second season because it feels as if the story line has ultimately come to a close. If they do decide to expand upon the story, I have a feeling that they will be met with just as much, if not more, attention as the first season.

To view Fox’s backlash surrounding the show, click here.

Images sources: http://craborchardlibrary.com/home/thirteen-reasons-why/

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1837492/

http://justinemagazine.com/sneak-peek-at-thirteen-reason-why-on-netflix/

http://www.hercampus.com/school/notre-dame/thirteen-reasons-why-my-new-obsession-0

Social Media Post – Instagram

Instagram is a social media platform unlike any other. The photo based app has been a success in generating users from its first initial start. Within the first two month’s of the app’s initial launch, there were already two million users with accounts for the application. First available only to Apple phone users, the app was soon made available to Android users, and from there the Instagram’s popularity continued to grow.

The app was first founded by Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger in October of 2010 and was then purchased by Facebook in April of 2012. By the end of 2011, Instagram had over 10 million users on their platform. This growth continued as the app developed new changes and features to best fit their users’ lifestyle.

Most recently Instagram has offered their story feature where users and journalists can post live content to be viewed by their followers. Popular brands including Free People and Urban Outfitters use these stories as a way to advertise new clothing items or give viewers a look into their different stores around the country. Magazine publications also use this feature as a way to highlight upcoming stories and articles. Many PR firms use this feature in an effort to advertise important events and changes for their clients. For instance, during my time as an intern at a public relations firm, we were constantly posting content from restaurant events onto our firm’s Instagram story so users would be able to engage with the event even without being there. This also helps to raise awareness about brands that many might not have known of before.

Instagram now allows companies to generate ads to be used within their application. These ads are posted on a user’s timeline and appear to look like a picture of one of their followers. Many times it is difficult to tell a user’s post from an ad because they are specifically designed to blend in with the layout of Instagram. This has been a very useful technique for companies in getting their name out into the social media sphere. Instagram also offers a buy it now feature where users can be transported to the company’s website to buy a product with one click of a button. This reason alone is why many companies choose to advertise through Instagram.

News outlets are also able to post pictures and videos about some of the most recent hard hitting news stories. Unlike Snapchat, these pictures and videos have a place where users are able to comment with reactions and voice their opinion about what is happening in the world’s news. Users from all over the country and the world are able to follow accounts as a way to keep up with what may be happening in a region not central to their current location. This has been seen as a useful tool in connecting people. Because of these reasons, Instagram has been considered one of the most popular social media platforms in today’s society and will remain useful to journalists in the dissemination of news.

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Source for info and statistics: http://wersm.com/the-complete-history-of-instagram/

Learn more about the history of Instagram here.

Social Media Post – Facebook

Facebook has been considered as one of the founding fathers of the social media revolution that has taken over society today. Developed by Mark Zuckerberg back in 2004 while studying at Harvard University, Facebook has had to adapt and change over time in an effort to remain current among its users. These are challenges that Facebook has been able to meet, and over the 13 years that Facebook has been in the social media sphere the app has shifted and changed in many ways.

When it was first founded, Facebook was only available to college students studying at Harvard. This was a way for them to connect with each other, but within the year the network of users was growing. The app first expanded to other universities within the Boston area, then to other Ivy League schools around the country, and finally to universities nationwide. It was not until September 2005 that high school students were able to sign up for the site.

Facebook has been a common tool employed by journalists as a means of spreading information. News articles from different outlets fill up news feeds and users are constantly sharing the news with their friends. Many people have cited Facebook as one of their number one sources for news content. This sharing of news has not been without issues. Many users are now facing the problem of deciphering real from fake news. Certain outlets have been developed with the goal in mind to develop fake news to be shared across social media sites in an effort to have these stories spread like wildfire. Facebook has issued warning to its users as to how to decipher real news from fake news. This has has effected on the field of journalism as a whole. Many view online journalism sources as being less credible than they once were simply because users are not able to tell whether or not the stories being posted are factual.

Most recently, Facebook has added in the story feature that has been made popular by social media platforms including Snapchat and Instagram. Facebook users are now able to post their stories to their friends, and journalists are now able to use this as tool to spread information. Facebook has also developed the “Facebook Live” option that has been groundbreaking in users reporting news in real time. Often times citizen journalists are able to post about the things happening around them through Facebook Live, and from there the information is spread. Facebook Live has been used in many different social movements happening around the country including the Black Lives Matter movement. Outlets are also able to post about upcoming issues via Facebook Live. This is something that happens at local magazine, JEZEBEL, on a daily basis. The editor along with special daily guests are able to engage with viewers through real time, and through this they are able to share more about upcoming events or products that will be featured within their issues. These features alone make Facebook an extremely useful tool for journalists.

 

Source for info and statistics: http://www.socialmediatoday.com/content/ultimate-history-facebook-infographic

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Social Media Post – Snapchat

Snapchat is an innovative tool for Journalists unlike any other social media platforms in the world today. The first version of Snapchat, then called “Picaboo”, was created by Evan Spiegal and Bobby Murphy during their time at Stanford in 2011. When the app was first launced as Snapchat, Spiegal wrote, “We’re building a photo app that doesn’t conform to unrealistic notions of beauty or perfection but rather creates a space to be funny, honest or whatever else you might feel like at the moment you take and share a Snap” (Bernazzani, 2017). After being on the market for a full year, Snapchat was responsible the sending of over 20 million snaps per which is equivalent to 25 snaps per second. That number has grown over the years, and today there are over 10 billion views of snaps per day. These numbers alone display the massive impact Snapchat has had on the world since its formation.

Recently, Snapchat has added features that have generated buzz among users. Most recently, Snapchat has changed their settings to where users are able to auto-play the snaps of the users they have selected individually. This has allowed users to tailor content specifically to their tastes. Towards the end of 2016, Snapchat also introduced a new feature that changed the interface of the app. This change was a group messaging feature that allowed users to send pictures and videos to specific users. These pictures are deleted after 24 hours much like the Snapchat story feature.

These changes have made Snapchat a very beneficial tool for journalists. Journalists are able to generate content to their readers specifically. News outlets like Cosmopolitan, Buzzfeed and Esquire are able generate content for readers daily. These are news stories that are specific to Snapchat readers. Through this platform, these outlets have been able to generate buzz and tap into a market that they have previously not entered into. Journalists and social media practitioners are also able to post stories via their specific brands’ accounts to give viewers an inside look into the brand whether it be a clothing store, magazine or restaurant. As an editorial intern at Modern Luxury, I have seen first had how Snapchat is useful to publications. For instance, the publication JEZEBEL has its own Snapchat account where editors are able to post content that is relevant to the most current issue on newsstands. Being able to give an audience an inside look past the news is how organizations able to set themselves a part from the pack in today’s journalistic culture.

Snapchat has been an innovative tool that has changed the way social media is used in a relatively short amount of time. The company is constantly coming up with new and exciting features including filters, stickers or caption options that help to keep users interested. Journalists are also able to employ the use of these extra options when reporting news stories, whether they be soft or hard news, and this alone sets Snapchat apart from other social media outlets as a news tool.

Source for info and statistics: https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/history-of-snapchatsnapchat-logo-14