Author Archives: Guillaume Heilmann

“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.

Is Disney Culture the Best Culture?

When I reflect on my childhood, I’m happy with the fact that I grew up in the Culture of Disney.

As a kid, no movie could compare to a Disney movie. Sure there were other movies that were good, but never as good as ones made by Disney. The stories, the songs, the characters, and the excitement set Disney apart from any other movie.

Now a college student, I still find myself reminiscing with other friends my age about how much we enjoyed watching Disney movies as a kid. Further, I saw more tweets and Facebook statuses about either wanting to watch or watching the new 3D version of the Lion King movie in theaters than I usually see for any other movie currently out in theaters.

Plain and simple, Disney was great as a kid. What’s the big deal?

In the years since the Disney movies of my childhood, many critics have come out and attacked Disney for the values it teaches, or doesn’t teach, its children viewers. One of the main criticisms of Disney movies is the portrayal of false impressions of men and women. However, critics have found almost any reason imaginable to claim that Disney movies corrupt the minds of viewers. I don’t believe in it.

As a kid, I watched Disney movies because they were entertaining. Of course I want to watch a movie about a talking lion that eats bugs with his friends, a warthog and a meerkat. Who wouldn’t want to watch a movie with cats that play jazz? Last but certainly not least, you bet I’d love to watch a movie about toys coming to life, every child’s dream.

Not only did Disney movies entertain me, but they also taught me about values. Disney movies taught me about what was right and what was wrong. Disney movies taught me about family. As a kid, I never thought about what it means to be a man. That is a concept that is beyond the thought of an eight year old.

Mostly grown up now, I realize that Disney movies aren’t like the “real world.” If anyone tries to make the claim that Disney movies give kids a flawed view of the real world, they clearly don’t understand the imagination of a child. Disney movies are about the fantastical world of imagination, not about real life events. Disney movies are fairy tales, not adult dramas.

We’re all entitled to our own opinions. Say what you will about Disney, my view remains the same. In all honesty, if there is one thing that Disney taught that I still remember today, it’s that “Disney” isn’t spelled with a backwards “G.”

Three’s Company – Hockey Blog Edition

Puck Daddy, Pro Hockey Talk, and Cross Checks Blog are blogs with an aim to provide readers with current and up to date news on all things hockey, but specifically in and around the NHL. The people that are reading these blogs are pretty much anyone interesting in hockey; young or old, die hard fans or casual fans, etc.

While all three blogs are about news, they still have different styles. Both Pro Hockey Talk and Cross Checks Blog take a more seriouS, strictly news approach. On the other hand, Puck Daddy takes a bit of the same approach, but also more commonly takes a more relaxed, personal approach.

Due to the fact that Puck Daddy is often more relaxed and personal, I prefer reading it the most. Regular serious news stories, while informative, can sometimes get to be too bland and boring. When a bit of a personal touch is added, the content becomes much more interesting and enjoyable. I’ll always find the news to be interesting, but if it has a personal side, one that appeals to me of course, it becomes a whole lot better to read and follow.

Each of these three blogs are all credible in a couple of different ways. For one, if they’re the official blogs for major news organizations such as Yahoo, NBC Sports Network, and ESPN, they have to be reliable. Further, because each blog covers such a wide range of topics, the writers have to know what they’re talking about.

Outside of this course, I also have a blog about hockey, though mines a little bit different.

Unlike the blogs mentioned above, my blog focuses on just the Washington Capitals, my favorite hockey team. Further, it also takes the approach of evaluating the team from the perspective of a true fan and not just some supposed know-it-all or news reporter.

In terms of content, the purpose of the blog is to provide readers with all the latest news and updates about the team, as well as provide the opinions of true fans; opinions that you won’t get from reading the newspaper or from normal sports websites like ESPN. As a result, the target audience is fans who want to know whats up with the team, but from someone who actually cares about the team and not someone writing for a paycheck.

As for user interactivity, my blog offers many options for readers to get involved. When blogging about controversial matters, I often include polls for readers to vote in and express their opinions. Further, readers are also invited to leave comments and start discussions on blog posts. Finally, readers can become a fan of my page on Facebook or follow it on twitter to receive all the latest news and updates and soon as possible.

2035 – The Not So Distant Future

The year is 2035. Much has changed. Yet, much is still the same. Technology, communication technology especially, has continued to have a strong and steadily growing impact on daily life.

Is life better or is it worse?

Utopia

In the year 2035, life has reached what some are calling “the golden age,” thanks to the improvements made by technology.

Due to media convergence, all aspects of life have become easier. Unlike times past, there is no need for many different devices, ultimately causing clutter and disconnection. Everything, all forms of communication, can all be accessed and used by a single device, connecting users better than ever.

The strong and constant connection between one another thanks to technology now in the year 2035 has led to many great advances in many different fields. Better than ever, doctors have been able to share ideas and collaborate on other ideas. This has lead to the curing of many diseases and the prevention of even more. Following this trend, lawmakers and government leaders have also been able to better work with one another to bring about justice and improve how countries are ran. Finally, the amount of knowledge shared and stored with one another has increased the intelligence of humans to limits never expected to be reached.

Dystopia

As technology advanced, actual person-to-person interaction became more and more detached and disconnected. Communication technology, a technology that was supposed to promote better communication, was actually just worsening the situation more and more. By the year 2035, it had finally reached its worst.

With almost all aspects of life moving into the world of digitalization, disconnect and chaos started to ensue. Governments began to lose communication and control over the body they governed. Knowledge became so easily accessible that no one bothered to actually learn anything anymore.

By the year 2035, technology reached a point where it could do everything and anything for humans, without the humans using it actually doing anything at all. Humans became disconnected with life. Life became disconnected.

2035 For Real

Based off how much I’ve seen technology change in my lifetime, I’m really not sure what the future holds. Today’s prediction of the future could be completely different by tomorrow.

25 years ago, Internet and cellphones were still far from a very mainstream thing. Now in the current age, a smart phone, as well as a high-speed Internet connection, is almost a necessity for daily life. With such a change like this, the advancements of technology in 25 years are unimaginable.

One things for sure though, mass communications will be greatly effected.

In the early days, Internet was used for things such as communication between scientists to help collaborate more quicker and effectively. In today’s age, the Internet is used to stay in contact with friends, catch up with old friends, and do pretty much anything else you want.

In 25 years, I predict mostly all mass communication will be digitalized. Newspapers and actual radio stations will be extinct. Similar to how it is today, there will be devices that allow users to watch TV, listen to the radio, and read the news, allowing for greater use of mass communication.

At this point, it’s unclear how things will turn out, but one thing is for sure: it will have a huge effect on humanity.