Thursday, August 17, 2017

Books and Magazines


  1. Three magazines  that I have read over the last couple years would be Mens fitness, Eastbay, and Extreme Terrain. With Mens fitness, I was and still am interested in tips about staying healthy and new workout routines or new fitness products that are hitting the market so that I am staying up with the times. Just like anything else, fitness is always changing. People are finding better was to do certain lifts or better routines to get the best results. For example, just yesterday I had read about this new product that helped keep your energy levels up in the Gym. It was called Test 180X. It had great reviews, was fairly priced so I tried it. With Eastbay and Extreme Terrain, those magazines are catalogs to the websites. Showing there new products and what you can save on. Eastbay sells athletic wear. I like to see the new styles and brands as well as the technology behind it. Extreme Terrain is all about jeeps. Showing the new products, things you candy to your jeep and what is trending. I feel that with the interested I have in these magazines it would probably say I'm the type of consumer that like to "keep up with the jones'". I like to stay on top of what is new and what is trending. Not that I jump on any bandwagon that I can see. Rather I like to know whats new and whats going on so that I can stay up to date on all my interests. In todays world, that is an ongoing task.



Thursday, August 10, 2017

Blog Project #2 Topic 2

Sons of Anarchy

1. Sons of Anarchy debuted in 2008 and ran until 2014 having 7 full seasons. It originally was featured on Fox although I cheated and was able to just stream it on Netflix as it has already ben out for three years.

2. The genre that the show falls into is American Drama and I'd say it fits this well. Every episode is packed with drama, sometimes too much drama.

3. The episode that I have most recent watched was titled "Los Fantasmas". The storyline for this episode is a run on from the pervious episode. In a sad turn of events, I young kid had brought a gun to school and has killed some of his classmates, using a gun that was sold by the main characters motorcycle club. Now, the police are searching for evidence to prove that the gun was sold so that they can bring justice to the case. There are some big name actors in this T.V. show starting with Ron Perlman, he plays the father figure in the series. Next up would be Charlie Hunnam who plays the main character Jax Teller. Who ends up gaining control of the motorcycle club and tries to steer it in the right direction but is struggling to do so. Then Katy Sagal, who plays Jax Tellers mom Gemma. She is the main female lead role in the series. Lastly, would be Tommy Flanagan who plays Chibbs, Jax Teller's right hand man and vice president in the Motorcycle Club.




4. Sons of Anarchy was the brain child of Kurt Sutter. He is one of the producers with a dark past. He was a know drug and food addict through his teenage years. After winning the battle with these addictions he turned that experience into the hit T.V. series. Kurt Sutter also plays a small role in the series as a convicted felon who is in the MC and helps them from the inside. Kurt Sutter has been know to be a little bit "different" when it comes to being a produce. Using fowl language and having a "take shit from no one attitude", he came come across a bit aggressive. In this article about Kurt Sutter http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/features/sons-anarchy-kurt-sutter-bastard-817495, a reporter goes into detail about his run in with Mr. Sutter and how he thinks he has changed.

5. The T.V. series has a very aggressive style. All the characters in the film are dressed in leathers and have tattoos from head to toe. The language that is used is similar to what you could imagine in a locker room full of guys who just won a football game. There is a deep bond built between the characters, but the love they show for each other is often turns into tough love.

6. I would say that a t.v. show that is somewhat similar to Sons of Anarchy would be the hit t.v. show Breaking Bad. Both shows have a lot of violence and drug use. Both shows are about a guy or group of guys trying to gain a profit by selling illegal drugs and or firearms. I think this style is a little bit different from a lot of the less violent t.v. shows such as Modern Family, but play a key role into adding a bit of diversity.

7. What makes Sons of Anarchy unique is the vast contrast from the violence and then the show of love. Constantly throughout each episode there is either death, or near death. Someone getting tortured, shooting up drugs, or getting gunned down. But, in the same episode there is always a showing of compassion. Wether that be from brother to brother, or from father to son. It shows that even those all these guys are criminals, and most have committed murder, that they have a soft spot or two. This makes these characters seem real, and relatable. You can see the struggle that they go through when having to make tough calls. Not just some action hero that is fine with all the death and killing that surrounds him. The moral struggle that is present in every character is well depicted.

8. The stereotypes in this program are very obvious and almost act as a negative in the show. In the show, there are various types of gangs. All these gangs however are broken up by race. There is a Mexican gang, a Black gang, and a white gang. All play a very specific stereotype. The Mexican gang ride around in lowrider vehicles, blasting Spanish music. They are dressed in long cargo shorts and flannel shirts and all seem to have a similar attitude and dialect. The Black gang have all of there motorcycle "pimped" out with big rims and flashy colors and always have some sort of rap music playing in the background. The white gang has racist nazi tattoos on their necks and shaved heads. Often flaunting racist attire and symbols. Everything in the t.v. show is as if  we were back in the 30s and 40's. All of the gangs hate the other gangs simply because of the color of their skin. To me, this has a negative effect as it makes me feel disconnected from the t.v. show as the area that I have grown up in doesn't have these stereotypes as prominent.

9. The target audience for this t.v. show would be 16-35 year old caucasian male and female. There is a ton of violence in the series and most adults would probably shy away from it. There is also a lot of use of foul language which would deter a certain amount of people away from it.

10.  If I was a visitor to the United States this series would make me not want to come to the United States if I felt that what happened in the series actually happened there. In most parts of the United States I would say that these activities do not happen, but if I felt that these crimes were committed on a much more common basis, I would not visit the area. The culture it shows is one of violence and aggression.

11. The strengths in the series would be the character development. After watching 6 seasons of the show I am very emotionally connected to the characters. Which makes scenes when these characters look to be facing certain death, very intense. You get to see the strong and the weak sides of each of theses characters and it allows you to be able to relate to them. The weakness in the series would be the reality factor. The characters commit countless crimes throughout the season, yet hardly ever face punishment. If I were to guess on the number of murders that occur in the first 6 seasons I would take a guess at about 150. Yet, only several members of the cast of served jail time for these crimes and even when they did, were short sentences. This kind of makes everything seem a little unreal. As the vast majority of murders occurring in this series go unsolved.

12. What I like most about the show is the bond between the characters. You get to see this very strong brotherhood between the cast that reminds me of the relationships that I have with my friends. What I dislike about the series is the incredibly racist stereotypes. Like I had mention before, the stereotypes are uncanny in this series. It just puts a bad feeling in my stomach that we don't get to see a different variety of the ethnicities. The most memorable thing about the t.v. show is the twists that occur. Several times it looks as if something is going in a terrible direction and there is no way out and then the characters pull something out of their sleeves that was not shown to the audience to get themselves out. Some big shockers have happened over the season and keeps me guessing on what is going to happen next.

13. One critic wrote an article about the content in the series  http://variety.com/2014/tv/columns/sons-of-anarchy-criticism-exposes-sex-violence-divide-1201358573/ saying that the sex and violence shown in the series was not suitable for the rating. Only rating at Pg-13 I would say that this critic is correct. I did not watch the series on cable, I watched it on Netflix. However, If I was a parent and my son was scrolling through the channels and landed on Sons of Anarchy, there are certain scenes that even for myself, a 23 year old male, find discomforting.

14. I watch this series just about every day. I watch it with my fiancé, which surprisingly, likes the show more than I do. With all of the season being out on Netflix it makes watching the series a nightly routine. Sometimes watching 2 or 3 episodes depending on how the last one ended.

15. I don't follow anything on social media as I am afraid of the spoilers. The last season has already come and gone and I don't want to accidentally read something that will give away a key part in the series.

16. I have learned that producer/director of this series really fits the part! You watch a lot of big hit movies or shows written by someone who you wouldn't necessarily think would be into the material. After further evaluation of Kurt Sutter, this was his life. He was a drug addict, a food addict, living a dangerous live and was able to rebound and make something of himself, very similar to the plot of the t.v. show.

17. What surprised me the most about the show was the lack of funds that lead to the ending. After reading some articles I had found like http://uproxx.com/sepinwall/how-sons-of-anarchy-ran-off-the-road-before-the-end/ describe how the show ended kind of abruptly due to lack of funds. The way the show as being ran, and with the characters involved this got expensive and ultimately lead to the end. Which makes me sad, as I only have about 10 episodes left.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lc8yjWGXBP8 Intro to the T.V. show

Thursday, August 3, 2017

News Papers


  • For local news, I get my information from a small variety of sources, not that I don't enjoy being informed about the information around me, rather tired of seeing the same information regurgitated about information I care little about. For example, the size of Donald Trumps hands. The news that I use the most of I would say is off of Facebook, but not just information that is posted by my friends and Family, I follow KATU News channel on Facebook and get most of my information form them. I do this because I don't watch much television and, for the most part, the information is relative to what I want to know. For example, they are constantly updating traffic conditions, I travel on I-5 through Portland quite frequently and I like to know where the wrecks are and conditions on the roads so I know what route to take. They are also updating weather constantly. As far as world news, I would say that I mostly get it from word-of-mouth. Then I take the information I have heard and investigate on it further. For local news, I would say it is very important because of my daily activities, like stated before I like to know the road conditions, the weather and if anything is happening in my area. The hard part being credibility. However, what I use the news for I would say I don't have many doubts about what the weather is going to be like or how the roads are, but when it comes to anything political I pretty much tune out at this point. Not that I don't care but more of just being tired of not knowing if what is going to be said has any kind of credibility behind it.

    I do not subscribe to any kind of online publication. I would say that I am not willing to pay for it simply because there are free options that provide just as much information. We live in a world where information is flying around faster than we can read it. Growing up in my generation if I want to know something all I really have to do is google it and search around until I feel satisfied with my findings. Free information is everywhere and I feel that paying for something that is offered for free is just not worth it. However I do see the upside in paying for a subscription. The information you are getting is most likely of a higher quality and most likely has sources cited and is way more credible. However, for me, I don't think I would want to pay for it.

    I would give myself about a 3 on being well-informed. I say a three because there are subjects I am a 5 on for sure, like sports, and subjects that I am definitely a 1 on, like legislation. When it comes to topics that I enjoy, like sports, I am all over it. I will read an ESPN article about different players starting through training camp all the way until the next year starts. I play the fantasy leagues and following as much as I can on statistics and injuries and how players are doing outside of football. Simply because I enjoy it. However the flip side, with almost anything political now. With the recent events in politics I have kind of just tuned out. I just don't want to hear it anymore. Every news station is jumping on stories that mean absolutely nothing to me. Like the size of Trumps hands or Hillary's pant suits. These are just topics I find have taken over the political scene instead of actually topics that need to be brought up like the wage gap and veteran affairs. It is just to hard for me to sift through all the garbage to get to the real material when it comes to politics. As far as community goes I feel that I am fairly well informed, I manage a small BBQ restaurant where I live so I like to know whats going on around me so that I can get involved with it. For example, with graduation just happening a couple weeks ago, my BBQ company catered 3 different venues for the college simply by just being involved and talking to people. It is important to me to be well informed on most topics, however I just feel exhausted. Like stated before, mostly with politics. I try to keep up with the times on most subjects just as of late have taken a break form it.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Topic # 2 Wiki Leaks

  1. What do you think of actions by WikiLeaks? Good? Bad? Useful? Irresponsible?
  2. EXPLAIN why you feel that way.
  3. Give an EXAMPLE to support your point of view.
  4. How do you feel about the current state of free speech, access to information/internet or freedom of expression/creativity? Be specific about your stance (e.g. I'm fine because ... or note why you are concerned by government transparency or restrictive copyright rules ... or proposed new FCC rules on net neutrality ...)
  5. Give an EXAMPLE to illustrate your point.

    1. The actions of WikiLeaks is a tough one for me. On one hand I think all this information should be open to everyone as we should all know whats going on. On the other hand would be releasing secret information that could be in the hands of people who are wanting to do harm to others such as terrorist. Knowing the exact location of things and how things are done or who did them could allow them to use it for horrible actions. I do believe it is a good thing. As you and I both know the government is great at hiding things and trying to lie about what is actually going on. The problem being is all this information we are seeing, who knows how accurate it really is. In todays day, anything can be said but the truth behind these words is almost never actually known. I think wiki leaks does a good job at providing valuable information, however, is it always accurate. I would have to say no. For example, WikiLeaks says that all of there information is given by anonomoius sources. Meaning that this could be anyone. Not a credible source. To me, if you do not know the source and cannot back it up you have no truth behind it. I need to know the facts.

    2. The current state of free speech. I feel that it has gone to far. I do believe that everyone has the right of free speech and expression and allowing there ideas to be heard but people take it too far. My prime example would be the Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka Kansas. It is a highly known church simply because of its hate speech. They picket dead soldiers funerals saying that they deserved to die simply because they were protecting a country and allows homosexuality. This to me is absolutely awful. But it is completely legal. They have been sued time and time again but thanks to free speech they are allowed to do it. This is to much. I agree you should be able to say what you want and when you want it but when has it gone to far? When does it become moral? I think a line need to be drawn.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Blog Project #1 Advertising

"Alexa write my media blog for me!" 
If only she could! I am talking about the Amazon Alexa that is a voice activated almost artificial intelligence helper. It can hook up to the your phone and make calls and texts and can even get as advanced as hooking up to the house and controlling the lights and t.v. and even locking the doors!

The Add side of Amazon Alexa really got my attention mostly because it has a lot of humor aspects as well as I own one and it is always interesting to see what other people use it for compared to what I do, like telling me knock-knock jokes. 

The add itself was a combination add. What I mean by that it was multiple commercials being played one after the other all retaining to the same product. The Amazon Alexa. The commercials all tend to have the same general layout. The each start with two people, either a father/daughter, a husband/wife or a father/son. They are all sitting on the couch watching t.v. of some sort. Most of the time sports. Something is happening that you can tell is making one of the actors uncomfortable or in disgust. Mostly with food. Then the actor uses the product to order more food to fix the problem at hand. Food seems to be the big use for Amazon Alexa as they are commonly paired with Pizza Hut, I believe they are working together, as Amazon Alexa and Pizza Hut mobile apps are linked and you can order Pizza Hut through Alexa without making a phone call, a handy service I must say. Although food seems to be the big hit, another setup I happen to see with Amazon Alexa is when something breaks. Most of the time its men, trying to be "do-it-yourselfers"and failing miserably. Then they call Alexa and order something offline to fix it. Most of Amazon Alexa uses in these commercials is solving problems. An immediate problem is at hand and is solved in a short 15 seconds.  Most of the adds are 15 seconds although I have seen some that are around 30. I believe this plays into the idea that Amazon Alexa is fast, just like the commercial. I first started seeing these around christmas time of 2014, which I believe is when they were first made let me ask Alexa really fast. Correction, November 6th 2014 is when they were released. This particular add is apart of a series of adds that have had a very similar setup since the startup of the campaign. 

One of the persuasive techniques used in this particular add is definitely humor. The add starts with a a cute french bulldog standing on top of a food platter licking his lips, then the owner asking Alexa to order Pizza form Pizza Hut. The size of the dog in comparison to the size of the food that he has eaten is extremely disproportionate! Making the add very funny that such a small dog could eat so much food. Another technique that is used in the add is solutions. In every single Alexa add, like stated before, there is a big problem at hand. It has been bad food, something wrong with the house or reminders needing to be set. Alexa always solves these problems and does it fast.

I would say that the add incorporates the Association Principle. The add shows that people who have Alexa and that are Amazon Prime Members (Amazons membership for faster shipping) can use Alexa for more things and more efficiently. Making people want to have those traits when they have the Alexa, to be more apart of the Amazon group.

This add is new, simply because the Amazon Alexa is new. It has only been out for about 3 years and is not something that everyone has in there house. An add for a microwave with similar advertisement would not be very effective as just about everyone in the United States has a microwave in there house. But since this add is showing a product that is still new and advancing it catches peoples eyes and makes them think that this may be something that they need to make a household name. As far as target audience goes I would have to say it is fairly broad. Although most commercials seem to apply towards a younger crowd. Middle class caucasian men and women, ages from 45-18. I say this because almost every add i've seen with Alexa is in a nice home, with caucasian actors, in good shape, well dressed, young and tech savvy. For stereotypes, it definitely plays into the dumb male trying to fix something in the house. Several adds I've seen show a male trying to fix something in the house and only making it worse. Either with plumbing or electrical to cooking or changing a tire. For example, in this add https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t9X4qtwRiIc you see the middle-aged man trying to cook and dropping it, then Alexa is used to order different food. I wouldn't say that this is offensive as I feel that we have all been in similar scenarios when we should have stopped trying to fix something that wasn't exactly broken

One of the biggest strengths in these adds is the length of them. With the attention spans of consumers being next to nothing, the average length of an Amazon Alexa commercial is 11 seconds. The perfect amount of time. Anything much longer starts to lose the attention of the audience. As you can see in all these videos https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vIDSZP35mao,https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MrZtIby9Ju0,https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6mOAUI83Fc4, None of these videos are any longer than 11 seconds. As far as weakness goes I would have to say that the product shown in all of the Amazon Alexa commercials is not touch-less. What I mean by this is in all the adds people are just saying "Alexa....." However, the Amazon Dot is being shown on the front, and to use this you have to press the button first. It is not voice activated. They do have the voice activated version but it is much more expensive. I feel this will lead people to think that they are getting a touch-less Alexa but really they are getting the Dot. confusion of product is definitely a big negative. 

The commercials I wouldn't say are very memorable simply because they are so short. Short and sweet, but short. I have seen dozen of these adds but if I had not seen them that day, I could not recite them. Not that they are not effective, just seem to not stick as well. 

With target audience being the 18-45 caucasian middle class man-women I think it nails it right on the head. According to http://mashable.com/2016/11/04/amazon-sales-report/#dtni27GJHiqw, The Amazon Alexa has dominated the speaker sales and has seen 67 percent year-over-year growth between August 2015 and August 2016

Based on the adds that I have seen, I would buy the product again, as I have already purchased one. I think the adds are great and continue to keep my attention as I like to see what other uses for Alexa that people use that I didn't think of first! I do recommend Alexa as well to people who come over and check it out. Most people love asking it questions and playing music on it. After I purchased one and showed my dad he bought one!

In conclusion, I have learned that the Amazon Alexa is much bigger than I thought! After doing research, there are countless different commercials. Just scrolling through youtube watching different videos I must have watched over 30 without seeing an end in site. Each one just as short as the other, around 11-15 seconds. Which also bring me to the thought that I have learned how effective short and sweet can be. Keep peoples attention spans in check with short videos. A lot of commercials I see are 30 seconds or more and don't really have anything to do with the product. Every Amazon commercial add I have seen show the product in use and have very quick punchlines. Something that came a bring surprise when I looked further into the add was just how successful they have been. Amazon Alexa has dominated sales at 37 % of all speaker being purchased in the last 3 years. Boise coming in second at just 16 %. Just goes to show that effective marketing of a good product can really make it explode in sales. 

Here is another blog from Brandon Russel on July 13th 2017 that describes more on Amazon Alexa http://www.notey.com/@technobuffalo_unofficial/external/17094549/new-amazon-echo-aims-to-give-apple’s-homepod-serious-competition.html

Link to the Add!          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q54OfxdU8YE

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Persuasive techniques

The good: Amazon primeday add
The add was on t.v. and it talked about the great deals they were having on July 11th for all its prime members.

The target audience was anyone who was a current amazon prime member.

I would have to say emotional branding was used in the add. I am definetly connected to Amazon. They have everything and very fast services. I use them anytime I need something and the add really appealed to me. Ass a matter of fact I made several purchases that day.

The techniques worked for me fairly easily. I am already sold on amazon so trying to convince me with discount prices is far from hard. The imagery for it didn't necessarily click with me. A lot of it I feel was more focused on the female audience. A lot of purses and furniture were in the add.

The bad: botched tv show?

The add was about a t.v. show called botched which is about people getting plastic surgery.

The target audience was most likely more well of people looking who are into plastic surgery

They used the famous person testimonials technique. And for me this didn't work at all. Mainly because I am no where near there target audience. Not one to want tk watch a show about people spending a crazy amount of money to make themselves look ridiculous.

The technique didn't work for me, however it very well could have worked for there target audience. I don't think any kind of strategy would have gotten me to want tk watch the show as the contect is just not for me.

Social media and advertising

For a particular brand I chose Nike. It is a large brand and a brand that I enjoy wearing and using its products.

For the target audience I would say it is young teens and preteens, as young as 7 to the older adult in the mid 30's. Almost all of Nike's adds are about a physical activity, most of the time a sport, and how good there products work and look. I would have to say it is working and working well. Everyone knows what nike is and a large majority probably owns an article of clothing if not multiple. Especially within tje target group. I remeber as a young teen always wanting nike as well. Its what all the professional athletes are wearing and the designs are new and trend setting. As a matter of fact I am wearing nike socks and shorts as I write this.

If I was the product manager the one thing I would focus some more attention on would be the quality of the products. Most adds I see say how much these products help performance and very little on comfort. The clothes, in my experience are very comfortable. But I feel the word comfort has almost a lazy connotation to it. Which nike is a polar opposite of. I would like to see the other side though. The relaxex side.