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9) Analyzing an Advertisement

AdiColor by Adidas

One of the most famous sportswear brands, Adidas tries to bring itself into a lifestyle status in the advertisement featuring rapper B.o.B. The advertisement starts off with a view of a Champs sports store, which is the only store that carries the new AdiColor sneakers, and with B.o.B holding a red Adidas shoe. This is odd because B.o.B is quite famous, although not necessarily iconic as a person, and by placing him in this regular setting instead of a stage or studio, Adidas is beginning this commercial right off the bat by showing how anyone can be involved. It immediately shows a close up of someone’s eye turning cyborg red, the same color as the shoe shown in the beginning. This is shown throughout the advertisement and shows how the brand “changes” the person wearing it. Then the beat drops, and several shots of a music studio are shown in red again and B.o.B starts rapping on a microphone in all red. It then jumps back to the view of him in the store trying on a jacket, then immediately to a view of him wearing the same jacket in a lavish photo shoot, showing how  the Adidas brands fits everywhere. A close up view of an eye is shown again, this time changing to electric blue, which signals a shift in color tone in this advertisement. A view is shown of B.o.B walking out of his blue tour bus, with fans yelling while he walks into a concert backstage. Then it switches back to the Champs store, where he is picking up a bright blue Adidas shoe with neon yellow trim. Then a shot of an eye changing colors to bright neon yellow, and a switch to the concert in which B.o.B is performing. This quick change in scenery, from an everyday sports store found in most American malls, to a brightly lit sold out concert with a successful rapper, shows the applicability that Adidas is trying to push. The final line rapped by B.o.B, says, “East Side on my arm, three stripes on my sneakers, and even if they slippers, they better be Adidas.” Not only does this push his “street cred” as a rapper, this wraps up the commercial by saying that everything that B.o.B is wearing is Adidas. By using a famous rapper, bright color changes, well placed brand views, and different locations within this commercial, Adidas shows the versatility of their brand and creates a memorable advertisement for future and current customers.

By Adidas

8) News to Me

When asked my opinion on news and media, and what it means to me, I can only reply, “the future, or at least mine.” As someone who would like to go into a marketing or advertising field, I know media and news are highly influential towards consumers. The news can often dictate the marketing industry, and I hope to be able to analyze media  well enough by the end of this class to understand exactly how it effects people. I would say that YES, I for the most part do trust the media. Although stories can be slanted and propaganda can often be subliminal, I believe that generally, the media has good intentions. However, it worries me that advertising is never confined to just the two-minute commercial breaks, and that news can be selling you something. My personal preference in media and news is offline, especially when it comes to sports, crime, or entertainment pieces. It’s too bad Reddit is only online cause that is my number one time consumer when I am on the internet. Throughout the course of this class I have learned how media often affects consumers, especially since I want to go into advertising. I am excited for my upcoming paper as well.

6) Mini Essay

If you were to ask me about my essay and what was important to understand Hip-Hop culture as it exists online, if would start you right off the bat with this: the rise of the Internet has revolutionized the face of Hip-Hop and Rap, and brought upon it the dangers of piracy, but also paved the way for egalitarianism and greater creativity within its culture.  Online Music Culture today is greatly similar to Hip-Hop Culture,  it is a culture whose expansion is based off of growth, collaboration, and inclusion. This creates a healthy outlet for fans to discuss their attitudes towards different artifacts. One of the key figures to this movement was pioneer rapper Doug E. Fresh. He once said, “the purpose of Hip-Hop is to uplift, and create, to educate people on a larger level, and to make a change.” Through the rise of Hip-Hop culture online and the decline of racism and exclusion within the genre, Hip-Hop has truly become what Fresh had hoped it to be. One important study would be by Adam Haupt, titled The Technology of Subversion: Hip-Hop to the MP3 Revolution. In this study he discusses the ways in which Hip-Hop flourished online where other genres failed. He talks about the importance of free song and mixtapes offered online, and most importantly, the rise to prominence that Hip-Hop Culture experienced. What was incepted in the 1970’s simply as a new genre of music, Hip-Hop, expanded by means of egalitarianism, creativity, and the forming of an online culture, has become a powerful influence in modern society and in the music industry today.

5) Hip-Hop & Online Music Culture

For our next paper, I am using an article titled Building a Virtual Diaspora: Hip-Hop in Cyberspace by Andre Pinard. It is taken from the book Cybersounds: Essays on Virtual Music Culture, which covers a wide variety of topics concerning Online Music Culture. In the article, Pinard talks about the creation of online Hip-Hop Culture, and compares and contrasts it to traditional Music Culture of the previous decade. He says about half way through the article, “the transferring of Hip-Hop culture artifacts to the   magical world of the internet at first seemed like blasphemy and foolishness, but as Music Culture changed so did Hip-Hop Cullture” (Pinard 4). “By creating a vibrant and diverse online community of interactions, discussion, and sharing, Hip-Hop saw a new rise to prominence – even in the wake of the deaths of Biggie and Tupac.” I am excited to use this article because it is so very specific to my essay. Especially considering how few sources I was expecting to find on the topic. Pinard briefly touches on piracy within Online Hip-Hop culture and I hope to find another article to broaden that area for my essay. I am also considering discussing hyper-masculinity within Hip-Hop (Miss Representation made me think of that). Anyways, excited for the next paper. Get ready for some Hip-Hop Culture!

Pinard, Andre. “Building a Virtual Diaspora: Hip-Hop in Cybersapce.” Ed. Michael D. Ayers. Cybersounds: Essays on Virtual Music Culture. New York: Peter Lang, 2006. Print.

4) Miss Representation

As a man, I was ashamed to watch this movie. Has the modern society so objectified and belittled women to this point? And, more importantly, how the hell did they make it so subtle? I am embarrassed to say I have not noticed this trend before, and it is sickening to see this vast amount of sexism still prevalent within our society. I was especially worried about the lack of diversity within these advertisements, even though they were awful. Not only are women being objectified by the media, but women of color are being left out entirely, which is my opinion is incredibly troublesome. Women of color make up a large percentage of the American population, and to have them left out of advertising is racist and rude. However, I think women of any color should not have to have these ideas and trends forced upon them at any age, and to see what the media is showing our young girls of America is downright upsetting. I hope my daughter never has to deal with this problem. Although males are the minority, I have had an occasional experience with ridiculously high expectations presented in the media directed at my age/gender bracket. I do not find objectifying ads of men to be offensive, which is bad because that shows how much hyper-masculinity in media has desensitized me to this. I will occasionally stumble upon an ad on television for the newest workout gear, or hair products, or fashion item that tells me that I need to work out more, have better hair, and dress more expensive because if I don’t, I will not be considered attractive. I cannot imagine what women feel like being attacked by this all the time through the media and advertising. I am interested to find out what organizations protest and fight against this trend, and would possibly be interested in becoming involved with that. Miss Representation has shown me just how harsh the media can be towards women, especially young girls. No wonder so many teens are dealing with insecurity and depression. I look forward to talking further about this topic.

3) Profiling Theory

I was recently reading over a social-media theorist’s blog post in which he discusses the structure of interaction online, perspective shifts  among users, and – what captured my attention – the theory he used to profile users on social media sites. This theorist named Adrian Chan stated that the majority of social media users fall into one of three categories. Firstly, those who are self-oriented, and who use social media as a mirror fall into the first category. The second category consists of those who are others-oriented, and who use social media as a surface on which to communicate. Lastly, people who use social media to create a feeling of “something always going on” and who use it as a window are considered relationship-oriented. He argues that social media outlets which fail to accommodate all three types of users also fail to stay or become successful. He says this is vital to understanding social media interactions because social media “not only captures action and communication, but also creates representations of the self.”  He also states that relations and not merely relationships better help us us understand media theories through explaining psychological modes of identity and identification online. Check out his entire post titled, “The Theory Between Social Interaction Design” right here: http://johnnyholland.org/2011/04/the-theory-behind-social-interaction-design. On a side note, I thought merely three categories was not enough to encompass all social media users, and his theory lacked a category that covered users whose intentions were not for self projection, communication with others, or for feelings of involved-ness.

2) Are American Values Shaped by Mass Media?

If there is anything that makes sense in this world, it is the unspoken rule that stupid people are also stubborn. If someone is wise and open-minded, then the presentation of a new idea will be accepted and applied only if it is useful and relative to their life. Yes, there are gullible stupid people out there, but the majority of stupid Americans are quite set in their ways. So I say NO, Americans are either dead set on their values and ignore anything that contradicts with their beliefs, or they are comfortable with their beliefs, and will open up to a new idea or value if it is intelligent. Hirsch might say that television is “now our national medium,” but I disagree, the internet is now our national medium. The openness of the commons that is the internet means that people are free to have their own beliefs and values, and media that pushes a value upon someone is shunned. If anything is swayed by Mass Media, it is most likely by advertisements and commercials, our shopping habits fluctuate much more frequently than our sets of morality and values. Come on now. This is America, we’re not all from Alabama or North Carolina. Even us Texans have some sense sometimes.