Blogging – The Big Picture

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I found this funny little window display in the heart of London’s fashion district. It is a mannequin sitting pretty on top of a tower of Manwich cans. It struck my eye so I took a picture of it. The peculiarity just seemed so random! I suppose it is a sort of rendition on Andy Warhol’s work? Just re-vamped? Im not entirely sure who was behind this type of window display/marketing approach, but it got me thinking.

I think the main beauty of having a blog is the share of information, especially on things that one may be an expert about – and that benefits everyone. I found this gem of a display with Manwich cans, took a picture & now have the ability to share with the interweb world what I saw & what I know. That is a beautiful thing. Sure, this image may be only mildly interesting, but to others who share the same interest as me it may strike a chord with them. That is what I appreciate about blogging the most. Ideas and images, conversations and movements flow faster and reach more people when we’re blogging about what we love and know.

This blog is a little mix up of things that surround my world. It is like a little digital journal mixed with things I find interesting in the advertising and professional realm. I think this blog assignment is an excellent skill to have for anyone in the mass media department.

As far as social media goes, I generally don’t share or tweet constantly. I like to stay off social media unless there is something that I have to say. There is no shame in self-promotion, I just only do it when it is an absolute must. Blogging is a little bit different in that it allows for a lot of room to get your ideas fully across.

I was doing some research on blogs that I admire and I found this excellent list of websites that blog about Austin. Some great inspiration: http://www.hipstercrite.com/2012/10/18/a-comprehensive-list-of-austins-best-blogs/

Advertising Goes Au Naturale?

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Amidst all the photoshopped complexions and digitally cinched-in waists, sits American Apparel with its all natural fashion ads. Simple, neutral colors and classic fashion statements are the usual themes that grace an American Apparel Ad. So when I picked up my weekly Austin Chronicle from the grocery store and noticed the simply-dressed American Apparel model on the front page, I noted it. How refreshing it is to see an advertisement that is far more relatable than most shiny, plastic looking air-brushed models. Seriously, every cover model I see is shiny with barbie-like flawless skin. You never see freckles or pores in magazines. Thats why its so extraordinary to see make-up free, fresh faced models. You can tell when its real!

Of course, photoshopped images have become a main topic and controversy in advertisements lately. Woman are objectified far more than is healthy for society. I think the main point that we must keep in mind as consumers, is that advertising has a reciprocal relationship with society. That is, any sort of images that are thrown at us are a direct result of advertisers studying us and giving us what we want. We want to see idealized women. We are fascinated by awe-inspiring beauty. As Rolling Stone magazine put it (on the topic of Kim Kardashian and breaking the internet), “Are we all pawns in her Pavlovian posterior experiment? Is her continued existence the punishment we, as a society, deserve? How much petroleum-based lubricant was spilled in futile attempts to cover her backside?” Anything that is thrown in our faces is because we asked for it. It is not a dumb concept to think of putting very beautiful, nearly flawless women as the cover models for our magazines and as spokespeople for our products – they get attention. It has worked for quite a while, I think that things are starting to take a change now, by popular request of course. People are realizing that this image of women is unreal and unattainable. We want to start seeing real women. Many campaigns have had success with this including Dove, and American Eagle.

We are not completely hopeless as a society and neither is the role of women in advertising. The way society works is that we take these tiny steps doing what we think is the best, or most efficient, or most profitable and then we take a step back and we look at what we’ve done and where we came from and we adjust accordingly. I think that is what is going on right now. Advertisers got a little too photoshop-happy, people are taking note of it and things will change for the better. I have an optimistic outlook.

Take, for example, the new Aerie campaign that is using completely un-photoshopped images. Their sales rose 30%. People love seeing the realness & I really hope this trend continues!

Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/culture/news/the-everything-index-kim-kardashians-pavlovian-posterior-experiment-20141112#ixzz3LGALDgKM

“Love is the question; Love is the answer” :: New mural in Austin benefits Superhero Kids

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Daniel Johnston, the artist who created the “Hi, how are you?” alien has yet again painted the town with a mural for the first time in 20 years. This time, the mural is in honor of the Superhero Kids foundation. For every picture taken in front of it, GSD&M will donate one dollar to the children’s cancer and blood center. Just for those who may not know, GSD&M is a major advertising agency here in Austin that consistently puts forth amazing advertising works. I think this new addition to the city, which is a Christmas present to Austin from the ad agency, is such an excellent idea, and I know many Austinites will appreciate them bringing Daniel Johnston into the mix! This mural does a lot of things: it puts a loving message out there, promotes the Superhero Kids organization, while also promoting Daniel Johnston as an artist, plus GSD&M as a local agency.

This piece is just one example of the great ways that art, creativity and marketing can come together to create wonderful promotional ideas. This approach to getting people to donate to a good cause is right up Austin’s alley. If the target audience is Austinites who care about our city, want to donate to a good cause, and/or are feeling the christmas spirit plus use social media in anyway, then this project should be extremely successful.

This project especially speaks to me when thinking about the famous quote “The medium is the message”. This mural may not seem like such a big phenomenon to anyone who doesn’t know the background story, but even still, it works for what it is – a statement about being non-violent and keeping up the positive vibes that run through the city of Austin. I always appreciate small pictorial landmarks and the murals and artwork that surround a city or neighborhood. Daniel Johnston’s “Retired Boxer” is in the neighborhood near Nau’s Enfield Drug which is a lovely little neighborhood. It is a good spot for that community and will be noticed by all passerby who will hopefully be curious enough about it to look it up and take a picture with it for the children’s cancer and blood center.

Here is the story as told by KXAN news! http://kxan.com/2014/12/01/new-daniel-johnston-mural-raises-funds-for-superhero-kids/