Wanna be Smooth like Keith Stone?

When watching television you always see the different beer commercials. They attempt to present their product as the best beer that is out on the market using different techniques. These techniques influence the way consumers feel about their product, it is very important for the different companies to one up each other. These companies battle, in a sense, to make their commercials more appealing than other brands.

The text I thought was interesting and caught my attention was the Keystone Light commercials. They recently started these commercials that give their product a new image. They create this character, Keith Stone, and he’s always drinking the beer Keystone Light. There are a few commercials made based on him now and it’s almost like a series of commercials. Although they are corny and the dialogue doesn’t seem realistic, it gets the audience’s attention unlike other beer commercials. Here’s the video. Enjoy!

Keith Stone is a blue-collar guy with long hair, mustache and appears to be lower class. He doesn’t look very clean, but he always finds his way with the ladies. The main idea they get across is that their beer is always “smooth” just like Keith Stone.

This is intended for mostly younger adults, such as college students and the younger working class. Their main competition has always been Natural Light. This is because they are both around the same price range and have always reached out to this young crowd.

The approach that best goes with this commercial would be semiotics. Semiotics is the social production of meaning that is constructed through the signs provided. There are signs embedded in all of these commercials with Keith Stone. The signs provide the audience a way to understand the meaning in how they are presenting their product.

One of the things I noticed in this text was the sign in the appearance of their character. The meaning behind this is that he is an average blue-collar man that is drinking their product. When you look at this process or signification you can understand that this company is implying that their product is cheap and affordable because this character obviously doesn’t have that much money. It is not intended for the higher-class beer drinkers, but that is the point. There is a reason they are using this character instead of someone in a suit that looks higher class.

When looking at this as a media critic, you might say that this is an iconic sign. This is a sign that resembles what they stand for. The way he appears resembles his class status. If you were to see a man in a suit, this would simply that he is of high-class status.

You can also look at it in a different way. He always gets these beautiful looking girls when in reality you’d think they wouldn’t even converse with him, They are implying that if you drink this beer you can be “smooth” like Keith Stone and get any girl you want.

When looking at this text from a semiotic meaning, there are different types of texts. There is a closed text, which has little room for your own meaning. And there is also open texts, invites the audience for their own meaning. In this particular text, I’d say there’s little room for the audience to give it their own meaning. It’s obvious what these signs are intended to mean and there’s not really another meaning to these commercials.

So what? Why is it important to examine these texts? And why does criticizing help us better as consumers understand the text and its influence? First off here’s an interesting website I found that explains a little bit about media criticism.

If you didn’t examine these texts you wouldn’t fully understand what the company’s message to you. You wouldn’t understand that this beer is intender for younger adults and those that don’t have a lot of money and can afford classier alcoholic beverages.

            Yes, I understand that when you watch commercials you don’t always think critically and are more into some of the humor that is presented. But without being critical you don’t understand the true meaning of their product and the companies’ intentions.

Overall beer commercials are one of the most competitive out there and always have underlying signs and codes in them. Keystone Light has made an incredible turn around after Natural Light had started taking over the market for the targeted population. I can say personally that these commercials made me try their product after being a regular consumer of their competitor, Natural Light. Their product is low quality, but their media is what really gets their targeted audience interested.

 

Consuming Kids

The video, “Consuming Kids” was about how new marketers are now using the latest advances not only in marketing, but psychology as well.  American Children have become the most profitable consumers in the World.  Child marketing has become a huge success since deregulation.  Children are spending 35 percent more since deregulation.  The movie says that children begin their consuming from infancy.  There are billions of dollars consumed by children and there are more than 52 million kids in America.

From a parents point of view this must be scary.  The children influence what the parents will buy and how much they will spend because of advertisements.  Advertisers know that children are a huge influence and they design their advertisements based of this fact.  Kids think that life is all about buying and getting everything that is the best.  Children influence vacations, cars bought, televisions, cell phones, and even computers.  For instance, if the children see one of their favorite cartoon characters in a Honda Civic, which will be the car they will want their parents to purchase.

Advertisements have also mastered the nag factor.  This helps to get the children to ask their parents over and over again until they buy them what they want.  They also realized that it’s all about the cradle to grave process.  This draws in life long consumers, get them early as kids and they will be your consumer for life.  I can relate to this because as a young child I loved Nike sneakers because all of my favorite sports player swore them.  To this day I still wear Nike sneakers.

Children see these advertisements everywhere.  They could be on their cell phones, on school soda machines, fieldtrip factories to places such as Petco, and even school tests when they refer a math question to M&M’s.  In the video it was funny to see that a child thought that Spongebob Mac and Cheese was better than regular Mac and Cheese of the same brand.  I think advertisers and marketers are very intelligent.

They also do a thing called ethnography, which is research they do at the children’s home.  This is very creepy!  I cannot believe a parent would allow these people watch them in a bathtub or try on clothes alone in their room.  They know how to get to children and their profits are mostly coming from them.  I am afraid that marketing will be like this when I have children of my own.  At least after watching this video I have an understanding of what my children will be going through and I’ll know how to avoid this problem most parents have.

Celebrities and Their Privacy

The term “invasion of policy” refers to a public figure’s right to be left alone by the media including their private property or personal space.  They usually occur in a celebrities or other public figure’s private life.

Debbie Rowe, the mother of Michael Jackson’s two oldest children, filed a lawsuit against Rebecca White over false claims.  White made these claims in a paid interview with Extra TV.  White claimed to be a close friend of Rowe and shared emails with the reporter.  These emails were between White and Rowe that had been exchanged since Jackson’s death.  White said that Rowe did not want the children and was motivated by money to negotiate with the Jackson family.

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Rowe states that she hasn’t communicated with White about the children since Jackson’s death and claims that this was an invasion of privacy.  Rowe said that White made false statements about their relationship and the information she gave were all lies.  There has not been a court hearing yet, but is scheduled for August 3rd.

Rowe should win this case because information was given to the media about her without her will.  The media no has information that could and most likely is false based on her response.  Now people may get the wrong impression about her.  This is unfair that situations like this happen to celebrities all the time.  I hope she wins and people understand that celebrities need their privacy just like everyone else.

Baltimore Orioles’s Game

On Wednesday I attended the Baltimore Orioles game.  They were playing the New York Yankees, a powerhouse Major League Baseball team.  As soon as I walked off the light rail there were people scalping tickets and selling New York Yankee jerseys.  When the Yankees are in town games are almost always sold out.  As an Orioles fan, I love when they come to Baltimore because you get to see who are true O’s fans.

The people who own the stands were attempting to get everyone to purchase a Yankees jersey.  They already have the most fans spread throughout the country, but they are never satisfied.  They try to get young children to buy their gear at an early age so they become fans.  These public relation strategies do work because the Yankees are always winning and usually leading the Eastern Conference.

Although these strategies do not work on me, they do attract the innocent minds who don’t know anything about baseball.  You should love your home team, not a random team that always wins.  The Yankees have the highest paying salary and can get any player that they desire to make sure they remain on top.  In order to make a greater impact on myself they would need to convince me to become a fan by providing me with free giveaways.  They could give out free Yankee jerseys instead of promoting them and charging $60 per shirt.  I would recommend giving out free autographs or VIP tickets to met the players.

Check out the Orioles’ website

They should promote the players individually rather than the team as a whole.  All Baltimore Orioles fans think that Yankee players such as Jeter and Rodriguez are stuck up whinny people.  They seem to always be complaining about something and they shouldn’t be worried about their salaries.  It’s baseball, they should be playing for the love of the game.  In my opinion Yankee players ruin the game of baseball.  I could never see myself as a Yankee fan and I hope others don’t get sucked into their scam.

Transformers

One of the greatest movies of all time was the 2007 Transformers.  It’s an action film based on the original Transformers toys and television series.  The movie is about a young boy that gets caught up in a war between the good, Autobots, and the bad, Decepticons.  These aliens are robots that can transform into everyday machinery to disguise themselves.  The Decepticons are in search of an object that created their robotic race.  With control of this object they would be able to build an army by giving life to any machinery on Earth.

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There was one product that had the most success being noticed throughout the film.  Michael Bay the director, went to every major auto manufacturer to see who would offer the most amount of money.  The best offer was $3 million from GM and they were given the opportunity to place their products in this million-dollar film.

It’s obvious that this product placement had the most success because the movie attracted mostly males in the first place.  Men are huge fans of transformers and when they transformed into GM vehicles they looked amazing. Every boy as a kid always wanted to have a transformer. Now that this movie was made it’s as if their fantasies can be reality.  After seeing this movie it made me want to go out and buy a GM truck.  Whenever I see them on the road it makes me think back to the movie and I imagine the trucks transforming into giant robots.

This was definitely one of the coolest product placements I’ve seen before.  It’s obvious why the producer and advertiser would choose this product for the movie.  They both would be making a great deal of money.  GM now has a new name for itself and when you see a GM truck on the road watch out because you never know if it will transform on you.

“A Child Called It”

I haven’t read many books in my life because I’m not a huge fan of gaining knowledge this way.  I more of a visual learner and would rather gain knowledge through television news and listening to intelligent individuals.  One non-fictional book that I do remember and will never forget is, “A Child Called It.”  This book made a significant difference in my life and it’s scary to even think about.

I read this book when I was in high school.  My health teacher recommended the book to our class and gave the opportunity to receive extra credit with a one page response.  Of course I took advantage of this opportunity.  I went to Barnes and Nobel to purchase the book and I was thankful when I saw that it was only seven dollars.  Whenever I start to read books and usually get bored and they make me tired.  When I started reading this book it was a rare occasion because I never wanted to stop reading.

The book was about a true story about a young boy that was abused by his mother.   It was strange that it had been going on for such a long time and his brothers weren’t treated the same.  He would go to school with cuts, bruises, and burns all over his body.  It went on for a while and for his teachers to not realize and say something is ridiculous.  At the same time he never said anything and his brothers knew what was going on and didn’t have courage to let someone know.

I can remember when my classmate would come into class with bruises on his arms, but he would act like nothing was wrong.  This is most likely why this story has had such a huge impact on my life.  It was a year after I read this book and it’s the reason why I went to speech with my guidance counselor.  I was worried about this student because he was a good student and was a nice individual.  It turned out that he was abused by his father and had been going on for years.  I’m glad that his father found help about his problem and now him and his father are now living together and they are completely different.  They get along great, there are no longer bruises on his arms, and his is now in a safe environment.

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=7126748928055758057#

It now influences me when I read stories in the news.  When I hear about abusive cases like this it makes me cringe.  I can’t help it, but, I get so pissed and can’t understand how anybody could go through something like this.  I feel that someone should have found out sooner.  I can’t fathom that a human being could abuse or torture their own child.  I understand the hardship that these children go through, but luckily have never personally experienced this hell.  Our nation should put more time into cracking down on these situations and no child should ever have to experience these cases.

Book Review

“Killing Us Softly”

The video, “Killing us softly,” made me think about advertisements in a different way.  The video was shown from a female’s point of view, which changed the way I usually look at these ads.  Ads are everywhere and almost 180 million dollars are spent on ads a year.  The primary purpose is to sell products and what better way to sell their products by using breast.  Breasts are used to sell almost anything.  I don’t believe this is necessary it just causes self-esteem problems.

It’s obvious that ads tell us who we are and who we should be, but what is most important is how women look.  They should spend more time and money on the way they look.  Women are forced to look a certain way because of these ads and it’s not fair to them.  The image of women has become more perfect in ads, but are the women even real people?  Due to the advances in technology images can be altered to change the women into the perfect model.  

I was in shock when they showed how they could take different parts of women (lips, hair, nose, teeth, etc.) and put them together to make the perfect face.  It’s upsetting that these images affect women’s self-esteem as well as the men and the women they are with.  If men see these images of perfect women that don’t even exist, how would they feel about their girlfriend when she doesn’t have perfect lips or hair?

These images could cause serious problems in relationships or their own personal life.  The advertisements should be honest about the images displayed to the public.  They should not use technology to make a perfect woman; it just makes the image of women even more outrageous.  Women shouldn’t feel forced to get a nose job, boob job, or need to lose 20 pounds to be as thin as images on billboards or television commercials.  Women should be able to watch advertisements and still feel secure about the way that they naturally look.  I agree with the speaker in this video that the advertisements towards women are wrong and make them seem like objects rather than a human life.