Monthly Archives: December 2011

“Man Up” to Real Men

If you’re an American, chances are you love a good TV commercial. Let’s be honest, tons of people will watch the Super Bowl simply just to watch a good commercial. Though, no matter where you’re from, everyone hates a bad commercial.

However, what makes a commercial bad? Are bad commercials bad because they’re not funny and/or boring? While this might be the answer for some commercials, are other commercials bad because they’re unethical or offensive?

When the topic of unethical and/or offensive commercials is brought up, I immediately think of a certain beer commercial. Yes, that’s right, the Miller Lite “man up” commercials.

Do I think that these Miller Lite commercials are goofy and entertaining? Yes. However, I also feel like they are greatly offensive to many other people. As a result, I’ve written a letter to the head of advertising at Miller Lite:

To whom it may concern,

A big fan of beer and commercials, I’ve seen your “man up” Miller Lite commercials. While I find these to be comical, I also know that many other people are offended by your “man up” commercials.

First off, many European men would be offended by the way you insulted the “man purse.” Further, any “real man” would tell you that drinking any lite beer is girly.

However on a more serious note, believe it or not, some guys do use man purses. Further, other guys wear women’s jeans, wear skirts, use rolling backpacks, ride scooters, etc. To say that any of these things are “unmanly” is truly hurtful, mean, unethical, and unnecessary. Believe it or not, there are still ways to sell beer without having to put others down. Making other things seem negative, or trash talking the competition only makes yourself look like the bad guy in the end.

So if you really wanna talk about “manning up,” maybe your company should embrace “real men,” men of all different styles. Males who are tall, short, skinny, fat, athletic, nerdy, smart, dumb, young, old, rich, poor, but most importantly, ones who use man purses, wear women’s jeans, wear skirts, use rolling backpacks, and ride scooters are all, 100% real men and deserve to be treated like it.

-Andrew Hallman

Cleaning Up the Oil Spill and Public Oppinion

Above is a Pelican who has been affected by the BP oil spill.

In recent times, there’s one job that you wouldn’t want to have if you’re in public relations. No, I’m not talking about working for Herman Cain. Out of all of the companies the US, the one currently with possibly the worst public image is BP.

Unless you have been living under a rock in recent times, BP was responsible for a major oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The BP oil spill lasted for months and affected everyone in the area, wildlife and people.

As a result of doing terrible things to the Gulf of Mexico, many people refuse to purchase and use BP gas. In reality, who could blame them?

The public relations department of BP definitely has a tough job to accomplish.

If I were the head of BP’s public relations department, I’d have a very specific strategy to win back the public’s approval.

Lower Gas Prices

Times are tough. Gas prices are high. No one wants to spend money on gas, but most people have to. When deciding on which company to buy gas from, who wants to buy gas from the company who is ruining the Gulf of Mexico? No one with a soul, I hope. However, what if it’s at a price that no one can beat?

Lowering BP gas prices will over time gain back public approval. Did they ruin the Gulf of Mexico? Sure. But they also saved people a bunch of money when filling up their gas tanks. Lower gas prices are a thing that everyone can agree on…unless you’re a rich and from the Middle East.

Constant Updates on the Cleanup

The Gulf of Mexico has taken quite a hit and surely is damaged. As a result, people are very angry. The public wants changes, and they want changes now.

Workers attempt to cleanup the oil spill.

To turn public opinion positive again, frequent updates on how the cleanup is going is a necessity. The more the public learns about how the Gulf of Mexico is being cleaned up, the better.

Possible Backfire

There is always the possibility of failure.

By lowering gas prices, the public still might hate BP. Overall, BP would lose more money due to gas prices that are too low to gain good enough profits.

People can sometimes be impatient. When something bad happens, people want it fixed as soon as possible. By giving the public frequent updates on the oil spill cleanup in the Gulf of Mexico, some people might feel like the cleanup is taking too long, therefore making them view BP even more negatively.

Is It Right?

Based off of the PRSA’s Code of Ethics, I feel like my campaign strategy would be ethical. My strategy is truthful, accurate, fair, and shows a responsibility to the public.

Multimedia Advertising…So Easy, A Caveman Can Do It?

It’s no secret, advertisements are everywhere. Though, is it possible that the same advertisement is everywhere? Due to the multimedia approach to advertising, the answer is yes.

The multimedia approach uses as many forms of media as possible to get the same advertisement out. This means that the multimedia approach has a greater effect on a very wide range of different people. As a result, more people buy the product advertised, or do whatever else the advertisement is advocating.

One example of a company using the multimedia approach to advertising is Geico.

Geico has commercials on TV, on the radio, on the internet, on billboards, and even on cell phones. Not only this, but Geico has many different advertising campaigns all advocating the same thing, ultimately getting the word out to more people while still using the same ways.

Out of Geico’s many cross platform advertisements, two major kinds stand out: the Caveman and the Geico Gecko.

More recent than the Geico Gecko, Geico has been showing how easy it is to get their auto insurance, as well as making Cavemen everywhere mad. Claiming in their commercials that their insurance is so easy to get “even a caveman get do it,” a friendly looking Caveman appears to get mad, making it a silly, yet sometimes annoying commercial to watch. Whatever your opinion might be, it’s always fun to see how Geico is ruffling the Caveman’s feathers with every new commercial that they make.

While for the most part the Caveman appears in TV commercials, he has also found himself at such events like the NHL Awards Show in Las Vegas, a great use of multimedia advertising to gain publicity. Though even bigger than this, the Caveman used to even have his own entire TV show.

Older than the Caveman, but possibly still more popular than the caveman is the Geico Gecko. Over the years, this silly little gecko who talks with an accent has found himself on TV in commercials, over the airways on the radio, on the side of the road on billboards, and all over the internet in advertisements. Like the Caveman, the Geico Gecko advocates Geico auto insurance over all the different mediums he finds himself in, getting word out in every way possible to everyone possible.

Though, more recent than either of these two Geico mascots are the Geico Guinea Pigs. How is Geico using these Guinea pigs to get the word out by using the multimedia approach to advertising? Well, the Geico Guinea Pigs have their own iPhone app/game, of course. Guess you could say they’re the “guinea pigs” for smart phone advertising.

Based on the fact that Geico has used such advertising techniques as the Geico Gecko and the Geico Caveman shows that these strategies work, and they work well. If they didn’t work, why would they continue to use them?

Due to the multimedia approach to advertising, Geico can target all different kinds of audiences at all different times, and still be effective.

A Book Separate from the Rest

Out of all of the books that I’ve read over my lifetime, one of them really stands out. It has brought me entertainment, taught me lessons, opened my eyes, and inspired me in a number of ways.

The book that I’m talking about is Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, written by Hunter S. Thompson.

A scattered work of journalism, Thompson’s Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas tells the story of Raoul Duke and his attorney Dr. Gonzo while on a trip to Las Vegas, Nevada in search of the American Dream. However, Raoul Duke and Dr. Gonzo are really just fictional names for Hunter S. Thompson and his real life attorney, Oscar Zeta Acosta. The evens that take place in the book are anything but out of the ordinary, but at the same time they are extremely entertaining, keeping the reader’s attention with every turn of the page.

I originally read the book back in my junior year of high school, though I have gone back to read it many times since that original time.

Hunter S. Thompson himself

While searching Aamazon.com for another one of my now current top favorite books, Into the Wild, Thompson’s Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas came up in the “Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought” section. Having heard of it before, but never reading it, I decided to give Thompson’s book a read, and ordered it off Amazon.com.

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas leaves much room for discussion. What is the American Dream, is the American Dream dead, and how was Hunter S. Thompson able to stay alive during his trip to Las Vegas are among the numerous discussions I’ve had regarding Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.

Thompson’s Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas has had a big impact on my life. Thompson was a journalist, but also lived a wild and insane life. He went from barely getting by, to having movies made out of him (Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, The Rum Diary
, and Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson). Thompson also invented a whole new form of journalism called Gonzo Journalism, the style that he used to write Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.

One of the original printings of the book.

I have always desired to live a life that is different from the rest. Further, I’ve wanted to do something new, or create something new. I want to inspire people the way that others have inspired me. Reading Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas has helped show me how to do this.

Most importantly, if anything, reading Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas helped me further decide that becoming a journalist might be the right path in life for me to take.

Due to the fact that I read and enjoyed Hunter S. Thompson’s Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, I now search for similar books like it. Instead of always reading fictional novels, I’m much more open to other kinds of books such as journalistic works and historical books. I enjoy these kinds of books more because I feel like I can really learn something from them.

If you haven’t read Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas yet and you’re looking for something out of the ordinary, definitely pick this book up.