Ohio University ImPRessions

Ohio University ImPRessions

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5 Traits All Successful Easter Advertisements Embody

April 6, 2015

By Mira Kuhar, @mirakuhar

Easter is a time for family, cute animals and yummy treats. Most companies, whether they sell Easter-related products or not, like to center their advertisements during this time on the fun and playful atmosphere that Easter brings. If you’re thinking about creating an Easter-related campaign, here’s a small list of qualities to keep in mind that all successful Easter advertisements encompass:

A Family-Friendly Nature

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Since Easter is a holiday centered on family, most advertisements will capitalize on family time. Pictures of children on Easter egg hunts, family dinners and groups of happy church-goers, are frequently pictured in ads. The goal is to generate a feeling of family pride and tradition with consumers. Here is an advertisement by Paas, a company that produces egg dyes and other egg decoration materials. Their slogan is, “America’s Favorite Easter Tradition.” This ad uses family as a main focal point to show their commitment to tradition.

Pastel Colors

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When you think of Easter, what colors come to your mind? Light pinks, blues, yellows and greens, right? Advertising companies understand that these colors produce a sense of nostalgia for Easter. Because of this, pastels are typically the normal color template used in advertisements. Notice the colors that Target chose to use in some of their 2015 Easter ads: all pastel colors including pink, purple and yellow. These colors are a great go-to in Easter ads, and incorporating them into even the simplest of ads can go a long way.

The Easter Bunny

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If there isn’t a bunny in there somewhere, can you even consider it an Easter ad? I guess so, but most companies wouldn’t dare forget to capitalize on Peter Cottontail. The Easter Bunny is a huge part of the holiday, and by incorporating it into advertisements, companies can bring out the fun and playful nature of Easter in a simple and cute way. McDonalds did a great thing in one of their ads to contribute to the Easter conversation. They took the top of their logo, the Golden Arches, and put it at the bottom of the page to make it look as if it were a pair of bunny ears peaking in. This is a brilliant example of how to relate your own brand and company to the Easter holiday.

Chickens and Eggs

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Baby chicks hatching out of eggs is an image that comes to people’s mind when they think of Easter. M&M used the two images together really well in this Easter advertisement. The M&M pictured is meant to represent both an egg and a chicken; the design on the yellow candy is a baby chick, and the crack is meant to represent a chick pecking its self out of the egg. This is a cute way to appeal to consumers of all ages during the holiday.

Chocolate

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Candy companies have it easy during this time, since chocolate and sweets are a huge component of Easter. If a company doesn’t sell yummy candy, however, there are definitely ways that chocolate can be incorporated into the ad to give it an Easter-time feel. Heienken International, a Dutch brewing company, did this in a really simple and powerful way. They took their iconic green Heineken bottle and turned it into a chocolate beer bottle, much like the chocolate bunnies that are popular during the holiday. The ad pictures the foil coming off, revealing the chocolate underneath.

These ads are proof that no matter what a company sells, there’s a way to tailor their advertisements around the Easter holiday. As long as an ad incorporates one of these things, it can be a successful push to contribute to the conversation that happens around this holiday. Hoppy Easter!

Advertising Takes Progressive Steps Forward

March 5, 2015

By: Austin Ambrose, @tex_ambrose7

The image of ‘dad’ is different for everyone. The media are no exception to this, even they have their own perception of what it looks like to be ‘dad.’ For many years, advertisers believed they couldn’t have a commercial with a dad unless the dad was goofy and ended up being talked down to by his wife for making a mistake.

An accurate representation of ‘dad’ has been absent from the media, and advertisers are prime culprits. The Super Bowl, one of the most viewed TV event each year, places some of the best commercials. The commercials may attract a large majority of the viewers.

This year, however, the Super Bowl commercials took a turn from the usual gut-grabbing laughter and sexy models tactics. This time, the commercials were designed to inspire and jerk on the emotional side of people. Who was the focus? Good ole dad.

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Having the focus on dad was a shift that consumers wanted to see. Many fathers agreed that the representation of dads were inaccurate, and they wanted to see a more accurate telling of the role of a child-rearing dad.

Why was this so impactful? The providers listened to their consumers. This shows a great change in advertising. Instead of trying to guess what people want to see, they are listening to the people and presented them with the images they want. Bravo to these companies. Dove being one of the first to jump on the movement.

What else made this such a memorable set of commercials? They started to move away from long-standing stereotypes, creating a new norm for commercials. This was also seen in the new fem-vertising model, showing women in a more realistic light. The media is starting to catch on that consumers are not attracted to harmful stereotypes.

People want to see accurate representation of what the world looks like. Honey Maid had their wholesome families commercial, which included many alternative styles of families not normally seen in the media. The times are changing, and advertisers are starting to catch on to these new trends.

Finally, these advertisements made a big splash because they connected to the viewers emotions, instead of just trying to sell them a product. The commercials might not have pushed buying a product, but it opened the doors to allow viewers to see what these companies care about, it showed their values. In the long run, this could create a longer and stronger brand loyalty, since the viewers can connect with the company on a more intimate level.

We are starting to see a progressive mindset in advertising, and this could be good for both the companies and consumers. Let’s hope that next year, the Super Bowl keep up the streak of progressive advertisements, as we saw with the dad commercials this year.

Fifty Shades of Hyped

February 11, 2015

By: Cameron Quinn

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I remember seeing “Fifty Shades of Grey” everywhere around my high school. My very opinionated senior-year journalism teacher expressed her thoughts on how ridiculous a book, which is practically an erotic novel, was. I told myself I would never succumb to the trend of reading such an explicit book.

This was two years ago, and here we are, with a countdown to the movie premiere. Unfortunately, I am also guilty of waiting in anticipation. After hearing snippets of the soundtrack (who doesn’t enjoy Beyoncé’s voice) and seeing my social media boom with sneak peaks and crazy girls talking about the one and only Christian Grey, I finally gave in. I was curious how something could bring so much hype for such an extended period of time. After reading the book, I am more than excited to see the premiere and drag my date along with me on Valentines Day.

I have to admit, reading something so explicit made me very uncomfortable at times. I realized it’s just one of those books you have to keep reading. After experiencing how successful it was, I’m fully looking forward to see this movie.

As if I wasn’t interested enough, I’ve found myself getting caught in the media trap of short sneak peaks with trailers and sitcoms on TV. One that stood out to me was a two-minute ad that Trojan made. It was a comical reenactment of “Fifty Shades of Grey” from the eyes of a reader. The star is your average woman looking for her Christian Grey in her own relationship. If you haven’t seen it yet, I’d highly suggest searching on YouTube “Trojan – 50 Shades of Pleasure”.

The media push trends onto society so much that it is difficult not to give in to the trends. The target audience, however, is no different than the audience for a Nicholas Sparks book. Females love reading about love, but who knew so many would love reading about love making. For all of my friends it was the same story—their mom read it and then they read it. The book targeted just about every woman there is, and I am sure the movie will bring in an endless crowd. Fingers crossed that it reaches all of the expectations the talented E L James has created for us hopeless, romantic women.

PR Skills Make Everything Easier, Even Sorority Recruitment

February 10, 2015

By: Corina Rolko, @CRolko

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Working long hours and balancing multiple projects at the same time are just two of the obstacles one will face as a professional in the public relations industry.  In fact, any student who is studying public relations, and staying involved in related organizations on campus, can already attest to that.  Although it can be overwhelming at times, the skills and lessons you learn as a PR student or professional will benefit you outside of a professional or academic setting.

Anyone who has participated in the sorority recruitment process, on either side, knows how overwhelming it can be.  The days are long and the heels on your feet are far from comfortable. However, as a junior studying public relations and advertising at Ohio University, the professional skills I gained have enhanced my life on a daily basis, but especially during sorority recruitment season.

Here are just a few examples of PR lessons or skills I’ve learned, which have gotten me through two years of formal recruitment with a smile on my face.

Time and task management skills.  At Ohio University, formal recruitment takes place within six short days. During these six days, recruitment starts early in the day and ends late. As a result of learning how to balance multiple clients and prioritize different tasks, I have learned to prepared to stay on top of school work, and still manage to get a good night’s rest during recruitment.

Communication skills.  Communication skills are necessary to be successful in most professions, but it’s central in the public relations industry.  PR professionals are constantly communicating with clients and their colleagues.  Therefore, holding a comfortable conversation with a stranger during recruitment is a simple task.

Working with others.  Cooperativeness is a personality trait found within many PR experts because in this profession you are typically expected to work both individually and on a team.  When striving to do the best work, or recruit the best new members, both require the ability to work with others toward a common goal.

Living a fast paced life style.  As a public relations student or professional, one has many responsibilities each day. In addition, you are expected to be able to stay on top of a workload that is constantly changing.  As a result, PR professionals live a go, go, go lifestyle, which makes the fast-paced, chaotic days of sorority recruitment a little easier to handle.

Tumblr: Less is more

December 31, 2014

By: Gabrielle Gamad, @gabbygamad

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While procrastinating in the library, I discovered why one social media site is taking the field. Archive after archive, I began to see an abundance of things Tumblr did better than the more popular social media platforms.

For starters, Tumblr hits the hard-to-reach demographic, teen to twenty-something year olds. According to the Business Insider, GlobalWebIndex’s survey reported that 34 million Internet users, globally, said that they contribute to, or use Tumblr on a monthly basis. Nearly half, 46%, of these users were between the ages of 16 and 24. Tumblr appeals to this age group by keeping posts simple.

I can confidently say a majority of my newsfeed is Parks and Recreation memes (usually Leslie Knope inspirational quotes), dancing babies from Vine and GIFs from old 90’s movies. Under all the fluff of my favorite memes and GIFs is something every person interested in PR can take away. Going into 2015, people in PR should consider that sometimes less is more when trying to target the 16 to 24 age group.

Hear about “The Woman and Black 2” coming to theaters January 2nd? There’s a GIF for that. What about the Hawaii vacation give away contest St. Ives is promoting? Yeah, there’s a GIF for that too. Instead of watching a three minute movie trailer, there is a couple of highlights from the movie, conveniently located to the right of your newsfeed. Also, a picture of two sandy feet in the ocean is a lot more appealing than a list of reasons why you should pay attention to St. Ives. We live in a fast paced world where advertisements are long and attention spans are short. Quick GIFs and images gets advertiser’s point across without wasting the time of their audience.

Scroll through Tumblr, you can immediately see there is an array of multimedia content that appeals to our microscopic attention spans, keeping posts short, sweet and to the point. Tumblr is similar to Twitter and Instagram in the way they distribute their content. What sets Tumblr’s apart is the ability to have multimedia, and various other mediums, on a newsfeed. Instagram is strictly pictures or videos, and Twitter is 140 character posts and pictures. Tumblr is all media you need concentrated into one area.

Tumblr began utilizing their unique multimedia abilities when native, sponsored posts were created in Spring 2013. Since then, they have been revolutionizing the way companies are promoting themselves and engaging with consumers. An example of the paid advertisers Tumblr has is the telecommunication company, AT&T.

AT&T is currently on a journey to look at the way humans are evolving and connecting through mobile devices, which they call, The Mobile Movement. Anyone can track their journey on AT&T’s Tumblr. Students, artists, innovators and every day people can share their stories about their networked life through customer created GIFs, making it personal and relatable. AT&T is connecting with their customers in a way that no one else is.

Even their sponsored post is simple, a text bubble that reads “when you know what you want call me.” AT&T is bringing life to their brand by using reblogs, GIFs and memes to connect with their customers personal loves and experiences. That is the most significant difference between Tumblr, Twitter and Instagram. Tumblr has the ability to bring people together through experiences and human insights.

Those in the PR field should begin prioritizing Tumblr as a primary social media platform, maybe even more than Twitter and Instagram. Tumblr is quickly increasing the number of companies they are sponsoring, as they continue to revolutionize the way companies engage with young consumers. When it comes to targeting young consumers, Tumblr proves that simple multimedia posts are most appealing.

Another Reason to Admire Chipotle

December 29, 2014 1 Comment

 

By: Morgan Borer, @MorganBorer

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It’s 5 p.m. on a Sunday afternoon in Athens, Ohio. Court Street is chilly and barren. Some late-night partiers are are sulking in bed, while others have half-heartedly forced themselves up to finish homework at the library. In the midst of studying, they scroll through their Twitter feeds, extending the routine Sunday procrastination.

“Did you miss us? We’ve got burritos today.” The tweet flashes across the screen from @ChipotleTweets. Ah, yes. Mouths watering in anticipation, the students leave the library and head over to Chipotle for dinner. Unsurprisingly, they are forced to wait in a long line, but are willing to do so with the promise of a cheesy, beefy, bundle of goodness.

What makes the Mexican food chain (aside from its guacamole) so brilliant? There are many aspects from a public relations perspective. When the first restaurant opened in Denver in 1993, there was no training department or marketing team.

Now, the company is on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and has its own website and blog. It also produces videos for advertisement, such as the popular short film “The Scarecrow,” in September 2013, which was a companion for its app-based game. “The Scarecrow” received a whopping 13 million views on YouTube.

Chipotle’s official Twitter account (@ChipotleTweets) has 607k followers, and Instagram (@chipotlemexicangrill) has 132k. On Twitter, the company often re-tweets their fans. For example, on December 6, they re-tweeted a picture from two customers on a blind date with the hashtag #WeLoveChipotle.

They often post humorous content and links, such as “The trick to burrito eating,” found on their blog, blog.chipotle.com. They also make a point to reply to customers who have tweeted at them (both positive and negative anecdotes). This proves that the company is highly interactive and values customer feedback and opinion.

On Halloween, the company hosted a social media contest called “Borrito Costume Contest.” Participants were instructed to take a photo of themselves in costume at Chipotle and upload it to Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #ChipotleBurritoContest. Winners in each of the three categories—Most Creative, Best Group, and Scariest—were awarded a $2,500 grand prize. And everyone knows about their signature Halloween special, customers who come into the restaurant dressed in costume on Halloween get a burrito for $3!

The brand has also partnered with major retailers to gain exposure, including Target. This September, Chipotle announced “The Great Dorm Giveaway,” where students could text DORM3 to a number for a chance to win a Chipotle catering party for 100 and a $1000 Target gift card.

What really separates Chipotle’s marketing strategies from other restaurants and competitors, however, is its guarantee to provide “food with integrity.” According to the company’s website, “Food with integrity is our commitment to finding the very best ingredients raised with respect for the animals, the environment and the farmers.” The company inserts the terms “natural,” sustainable,” “organic,” and “locally produced” into much of its literature.

While there is some debate over the company’s agricultural methods, shown in this New Yorker article, http://www.newyorker.com/business/currency/what-does-the-scarecrow-tell-us-about-chipotle, consumers tend to associate natural, safe and high-quality ingredients with Chipotle. They feel like they are doing some good for the environment when they choose to eat at Chipotle, rather than McDonalds, where a single hamburger contains over 60 different ingredients.

Finally, the company’s website is extremely transparent. The website provides a wealth of information about the treatment of their animals, specifically the pork, beef, dairy cattle and chicken. They also offer an explanation of what the words “organic” and “local” mean to them.

There is even an easy-to-use Nutrition Calculator, where users can select the exact ingredients of their meal and calculate the calories, fat, sodium, etc. Think twice before you add chips and salsa to that bowl—it’s an extra 590 calories.

Happy Holidays!

December 17, 2014

By: Rosie Haren, @rosieharen

Do you ever worry about being fully inclusive to all cultures during the holiday season? It’s a constant worry for most professionals. Businesses and restaurants have the difficult task of spreading holiday cheer, while being inclusive to all cultures and traditions. But, how do they do that?

One option businesses use is to avoid directly advertising with Christmas representations in their ads, but using themes that remind people of winter. An example of this would be using music lyrics.

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The amount of Christmas ads seen, versus ads you see of other cultures, like the Jewish culture, are greatly higher. There are few ads that promote traditions besides Christmas, but if stores work harder at promoting other cultures, they could benefit themselves by attracting more people, a diverse group of people and educate others on different traditions.

Television shows have done a good job at creating a variety of episodes directed towards other groups. One of these shows is “Rugrats,” having an entire episode devoted to Kwanzaa.

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This is beneficial because there are many different types of people that do not know much about traditions beyond Christmas. This is an opportunity that gives people a chance to learn about other cultures, and at the same time, attract people of other cultures to start watching the show.

Is it possible that people of cultures that don’t celebrate Christmas get offended by how much celebration of Christmas there is, and not about other traditions? Avital Field, a sophomore at Ohio University and of Jewish descent, says that sometimes she and her family feel frustrated because the use Christmas is everywhere. Field also says that Christmas music gets stuck in her head more then Chanukah music.

When it comes to the holiday season it’s usually a descent idea to tell people, “Happy Holidays,” because you never know who celebrates what and that phrase covers them all! This action is one that marketers and advertisers should adopt, to help be culturally inclusive.

Advertising uses “fem-vertising” to promote brands and break stereotypes

December 16, 2014

By: Kate Schroeder, @kschroeds7

There is a new trend in advertising. A trend all the Olivia Popes in the world would be proud of. The trend is called fem-vertising; pro-female messaging within advertising. Advertising is breaking away from its traditional mold of how it portrays women in the media, and is leaning toward advertising that can empower women while also selling products.

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It’s no secret. Countless advertisements show women as sexual, weak or unobtainable objects. These messages are everywhere, and it has become the standard for advertising. Watch any Hardy’s advertisement. We all know the average woman does not have a six inch neck, a 24 inch waist and jawlines so sharp they could cut diamonds. But still, it’s the expectation.

According to a feature done by NBC nightly news in December 2014, Fem-vertising shows women as strong, courageous and real. Support behind this movement from women everywhere is mounting. Some brands that have embraced this method are Under Armor, Nike, Always and Degree.

The first brand, however, to dive into fem-vertising was Dove. Their Real Beauty campaign, launched in 2005, shocked the world when a billboard went up showing six women un-touched by photoshop in their underwear. They went on to create video campaigns like Dove Real Beauty Sketches and Dove: Selfie.

The purpose of these messages aren’t just to sell the brands product. They send a bigger message, by showing how the brand understands and supports the consumer. This technique helps the consumer develop trust with the brand and increases the consumers lifetime value to the company.

As an aspiring strategic communications professional, it is important to consider the social repercussions of adhering to traditional stereotypes when marketing a product to the target market. Although there will always be advertising that uses female stereotypes to market products, there is the option to make a positive impact. We don’t have to contribute to stereotypes.

The Three Best Christmas Advertisements of All Time

December 10, 2014

By: Elizabeth Papas, @elizabethpapas_

It is no mystery that companies and consumers alike live for creative advertisements during the holiday season. I mean, what better way to address a target audience than with a special appearance from old St. Nick? With the use of marketing tools and strategic communication plans, these three Christmas advertisements go down in history as the best and most memorable of all time.

1. Coca-Cola’s Holidays are Coming

Coke loves Christmas. In the 1920s, Coca-Cola was one of the first companies to feature the character of Santa Clause in its holiday advertising. The company has continued the implementation of this Christmas icon for many years, and has added many facets to its holiday campaign along the way. This has ultimately created a lasting memory of the connection between Coca-Cola and Christmas. In this advertisement, the Coca-Cola delivery truck comes to town, and with its passing, illuminates lights and trees, signifying the holidays are here.

2. M&Ms, They Do Exist

Originally released in 1996, this advertisement shows Santa Clause delivering presents on Christmas Eve to the home of the red and yellow M&Ms. The famous ‘90s advertisement was recreated in 2009 with little modification to the original. The reason for this recreation was a discovery by the company’s brand managers that the “Fainting Santa” was a consumer-favorite among M&M commercials.

3. WestJet Christmas Miracle

This successful advertisement from the popular Canadian airline WestJet shows how the company turned a chaotic time of travel into an uplifting Christmas surprise for many of its customers. The video was posted on YouTube in December of 2013, and within weeks was among the top viewed videos in Canada. With the work of a successful strategic communication plan, the company was able to increase their sales and spread holiday cheer with their heartwarming “Christmas Miracle”.

Now that you have seen the classics, be sure to look out for which companies are utilizing the tool of the advertisement this holiday season.

The Difference Between Advertising and PR – A Simplified Version

July 25, 2014 1 Comment

By: Kate Schroeder @kschroeds7

PRI’ll admit it. Even as a strategic communications student, I’ve had difficulty explaining to people who ask about my major what the difference is between public relations and advertising. Going into my senior year as a strategic communications student, I have a good deal of knowledge of each industry. However, when asked this simple question I end up rambling on all the differences between PR and advertising pros,– usually leaving my non-journalist counterpart thoroughly confused and in need of an aspirin.

Looking back I wish someone had given me a simple, cut-and-dry answer to this not so simple question my freshman year at OU. I knew plenty about the world of news, but no one could seem to give me a simple answer to, “what the heck is this PR and advertising stuff I keep hearing about?”. Even though both careers are in the Scripps School of Journalism, transferring from news and information to strategic communication was like learning a new language. So for all you strategic communication newbies, let’s take it one step at a time and finally get this question straightened out!

“Advertising is what you pay for, publicity is what you pray for.”

Advertising

The main goal of advertising is to create ads and campaigns and place those in appropriate outlets to allow their message to build exposure. Advertisers want to impact as many people as many times as possible or specifically impact their target market depending on the product. Unlike public relations, advertising has complete creative control of the message it is promoting, but can be extremely expensive.

What advertising is trying to say: “Buy this product”.

Public Relations

Where advertising is paid media, public relations is earned media. A public relations specialist will take the brand and works to build the brand credibility. This is mostly done through media relations, which is working with reporters and editors to write positively about your client or brand. This can also be done through social media! Work done through public relations tends to have more credibility than advertisements, because the content was not paid for. This builds trust between your brand and the public

What public relations is trying to say: “This is important”.

What makes them similar?

The reason it is sometimes hard to explain how advertising and public relations differ is because they both share a main goal. Both help a company or product gain exposure in a positive way. Also, both avenues target a specific audience, also called a target audience with their message.

 

 

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