The Advertising Amateur

learning to communicate with images

Entries Tagged as 'Uncategorized'

Dove says, I’m “more beautiful than I think”, and I agree!

April 25, 2013 by tsarain · No Comments · Uncategorized

Dove says I’m "more beautiful than I think", and I agree!

I was waiting to watch a YouTube video yesterday, and the Dove "Real Beauty Sketches" advertisement began to play. Let me tell you- I did NOT skip that ad.

Storified by · Wed, Apr 24 2013 22:35:09

Dove Real Beauty Sketchesdoveunitedstates
This advertisement caught my attention instantly and I could not stop watching. 

It featured women being sketched by a forensic artist. The artist hadn’t seen the women, and his sketches were based off of descriptions by strangers, and their own descriptions of themselves. 
Two sketches were made in total.
Sketches based off of the descriptions of others resembled the women realistically compared to the other sketches based off of how the women saw themselves. The other sketches had heavy and harsher features. 
This commercial is a part of Dove’s ongoing Real Beauty campaign and reminds women that we “are more beautiful than we think”.

This commercial has gone viral, and is now being featured on YouTube’s page, and of course it’s been playing before videos.
With exposure comes criticism, and there are many individuals and blog posts that criticize the commercial. Some say that the commercial was still sexist because a man sketched the women. Others say that this advertisement wasn’t diverse enough because minorities didn’t have enough screen time.
The video only focuses on a very small subset of women. Kate Fridkis of Psychology Today describes the concept of the video: "Some lovely, thin, mostly white women who are all pretty young describe their appearances to a forensic artist."
Another controversy is the fact that Dove is owned by Unilever, the company that also owns AXE. This company that produces advertisements aiming to inspire women to feel confident and find the beauty in themselves, also is the same company that produces AXE ads that objectify women.
Individuals believe that this commercial focuses too much on appearance as a sign of self worth. I disagree. I think this commercial isn’t about that at all. This commercial is about how we judge ourselves and how we see ourselves harshly.

I know many women and men feel this way in the fast paced lifestyle we’re living in. We’re paying attention and tending to many different things, but not ourselves. 
I believe the “Dove is owned by Unilever” argument to be weak, because Dove and AXE are two different products, with two different campaigns. If advertisements shouldn’t be like this Dove “Real Beauty” one, then are all campaigns supposed to be the same? Are they supposed to express the same things? If that were to happen, wouldn’t people be complaining too?
I loved reading comments on Dove’s page to see what others had to say:
I think Dove is just trying to open our eyes to that and trying to get women to see that we judge ourselves too harshly.. Of course it’s going to focus on appearance because today’s society already focuses so much on appearance. I don’t think Dove is trying to say "make your appearance better"… in fact they’re saying "be happy with who you are." Also, from what I see and purchase, Dove’s products serve to make our skin/hair healthier (or at least try too) rather than more
How you feel inside is reflected by how you see yourself on the outside. That’s all Dove is trying to say. The point of dove is to make you love that appearance by realizing how gifted you are, and to realize how important and influential you can be in this world. People are trying to good. Allow yourself to be a romantic, see the world for the beauty that it can be and see others, including big companies, for the beauty and good they are trying to do. One good deed does not fix a million wrongs, but if this video truly changes the way one girl views herself, it’s worth
This commercial was interesting, engaging and different.
I like this commercial, and I like Dove’s message that I’m “more beautiful than I think” because I agree! This is a positive and inspirational message that is refreshing and creatively expressed through an advertising medium.

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Positive Advertisement Campaign Stop Bullying

April 21, 2013 by tsarain · 13 Comments · Uncategorized

Positive Advertisement Campaigns Stop Bullying

Often times advertisements are perceived in a negative light, but there are campaigns out there that spread positive and important messages.

Storified by · Sun, Apr 21 2013 21:51:35


My search led me to the “Be More Than A Bystander” campaign.

The “Be More Than A Bystander” anti-bullying advertisement campaign by the AdCouncil is a perfect example of advertisement being a channel to spread and educate a positive message and call to action.

This public service campaign made it’s beginnings in October 2012 and is continuing today.

The campaign has reached out to society through a commercial, free print ads in magazines like “Parenting”, “The Food Network”  and even in some newspapers.

Be More than a Bystandermultivuonlinevideo
While “Be More Than a Bystander” reaches out to adults and parents through media they’re familiar with such as on television, in magazines, and in newspapers, it is also taking an extra step by being involved with the internet and social media.

The campaign reached out to AOL to also spread their message on their e-mail homepage.
King of Social Media, Facebook also contributed to the awareness and positivity by dedicating a Stop Bullying: Speak Up page to it’s network. is continuing the anti-bullying conversation online via social network and microblogging platform, Tumblr
This is an effective strategy because the younger demographic of kids and teens enjoy communicating through Tumblr. Through making a presence on the popular blogging site, the “Be More Than a Bystander” campaign actively engages the younger demographic to prevent and stop bullying in their communities.
Stop provides information from various government agencies on how kids, teens, young adults, parents, educators and others in…
Bullying is an important issue in our society today and is often overlooked and set aside. Traditional advertising via television commercial and print ads spread a positive message, but now ad campaigns can raise awareness and communicate knowledge and positivity by engaging with society through the internet and social media.

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Facebook Home Advertisement Creates a Buzz

April 8, 2013 by tsarain · No Comments · Uncategorized

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Visual Puns: How Advertising Appeals to Society

March 30, 2013 by tsarain · 14 Comments · Uncategorized

“Say Cheese…”

“Reach. For the places your toothbrush hasn’t been to in a long time.”

“Get A Tasty New Look”

Aren’t these images punny?!

Visual puns are puns that involve an image or images in addition to words and language. Many times visual puns are puns through the use of images themselves. Brands, marketers, and advertisers use visual puns to speak to all of society, but especially to specific demographics.

For example, in order to “speak” to the younger generation, advertisements are now becoming more off beat to catch attention and to deliver their brand’s message. McDonald’s in Finland had an advertisement with udders of a cow in a position of a peace sign. This was used to advertise their milkshakes with double the flavor.

While many adults found this advertisement to be “udderly weird” and a bit disturbing, I found it to be funny and creative. I’m sure this advertisement would capture the attention of other young adults and teenagers around my age because it’s odd and quirky. An odd and quirky advertisement like this still works because once the viewer’s attention is captured through the image, then the rest of the advertisement–the message, can be absorbed.

Advertisers also benefit from the use of quirky, weird, and unusual images because these kinds of images help consumers remember their brand. It’s a recognition-memorization strategy trick that works.

Visual Puns are what first got me interested in advertising. Seeing vivid, funky, quirky and funny images caught my attention and made me wonder about the creative minds that were behind it all. That’s when I decided I wanted to be a part of creating advertisements. Right now,  my interest is to hopefully climb the ladder in advertising in order to work as a Creative Director (the individual who overlooks the ideas and work of the creative team) for advertisement campaigns.

Like we all know, interests always change. Therefore  my dream of becoming a Creative Director is uncertain, but what IS certain are how brands, marketers and advertisers will continue to create odd, whimsical and eye catching advertisements regardless of  what different demographics think–because they work.

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How Spring Break Uses Social Media

March 22, 2013 by tsarain · 9 Comments · Uncategorized

Spring Break is over and I said I’d record the advertising campaigns that I saw during my camping trip on South Padre Island, but I actually didn’t see many!

I did see a vehicles advertising beverages, but that’s not anything new.

Usually brands advertise on the beach where all the spring breakers go to party, but I only spent three hours walking on what is known as Coca-Cola Beach. Although I didn’t notice any campaigns, I realized  that Coca-Cola Beach itself was a huge marketing campaign.

Coca-Cola Beach is basically a huge stage that is decked out in Coca-Cola red with the Coca-Cola brand name. Here, they play live music during the day while hosting contests and activities. This could be considered a form of engaged advertising because Coca-Cola is “entertaining” the spring breakers and basically being the source of fun on South Padre Island. While this isn’t anything new, it’s still effective because I’m sure the soda of choice for spring breakers isn’t going to be Mountain Dew,Sunkist, or even Pepsi–it’s Coca-Cola.

 Even though I wasn’t at Coca-Cola Beach, I was spending my three days on South Padre Island resting, and I spent my nights at the annual Ultimate Music Experience (UME) Festival.

UME is a festival with prominent electronic DJ’s headlining the show. Last year’s festival was headlined by Avicii, Porter Robinson, Madeon, Skrillex, and Cazzette. This year, Nervo, Calvin Harris, Major Lazer, Flux Pavillion, and Krewella graced the stage at South Padre’s Schlitterbahn,where UME is held. Every year, Rio Grande Valley’s favorite DJ, Tiesto  ends the show at the last day of UME.

I’ve browsed the internet and found that UME is also staying connected via social network by advertising through their twitter.

UME invites it’s guests to upload their photos to Instagram and post them on twitter with specific hash tags in order to have photos of their UME experience featured on the DJMag  Canada April Edition.

I had a great time attending the concert and camping out in tents with my friends. Although I didn’t see as many advertising campaigns as I hoped, I’ve seen how social media is now being integrated during Spring Break!

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Spring Break!: A Plethora of Advertising

February 28, 2013 by tsarain · 4 Comments · Uncategorized

Spring break is just around the corner!

As a college student, I can already feel the excitement among the student body at school. Everyone seems to be getting last minute papers, presentations, assignments and interviews done like machines. The idea of finally getting sleep, being able to relax and get some sun is what pulls us through.

While  we’re hitting the books for the last few weeks of school, marketers and brands are working hard for spring break too!

Spring break is like a holiday for brands, because its an opportunity for them to reach large masses of college students (consumers :P).

While this is a great opportunity for marketers and brands, there’s still a challenge for each and every one of them: penetrate the clutter of advertising that is spring break.

In the past, advertising for spring break was done the good old fashion way. Brands would set up tables and tents and handout free samples.

In our new world of Web 2.0, social media, smart gadgets and tablets, college students aren’t responsive to traditional advertisements and strategies.

I feel like this is because college students now were  born into the developing age of technology and aren’t responsive to how advertising is done on webpages on the internet, mobile devices and even commercials on the radio. College students can recognize traditional advertisement forms and styles and automatically are programmed to ignore it. This happens because they’ve already been exposed to similar advertisements over and over again to where sometimes it’s almost like we don’t notice them anymore!

This is where the present day solution for brands and marketers come in. The “trick” is to connect with college students in nontraditional ways, duh!

Creating advertisement campaigns that are experiential and engaging is the answer.

Instead of having ads that just give information through plain words, images, and free samples, marketers are welcoming spring breakers to engage in their advertising. To have engagement means getting consumers to participate in activities planned by brands and giving them opportunity to give feedback ALL while getting the free samples still! This gives college students the ability to learn more about new products through having interaction and a great experience with a brand. I don’t know about you, but when I’m on vacation whether it be christmas break, summer break, spring break, etc. time seems to go by slower because vacations are a time to chill out and relax. Marketers know this and that’s mainly why they come out to the sand and water to play during spring break. It’s a chill, fun, relaxing time that students tend to be more receptive to advertising.

I found a perfect example reading this headline of an experiential and engaging strategy used for this spring break!

In the wonderful city of Austin, TX  is my university (St. Ed’s) and… SXSW!

SXSW is an annual music, film, and interactive conference held every year during spring break. This year, Doritos is literally “setting the stage” with a stage that looks like a giant vending machine where performances and concerts are to be held.

What makes this vending machine stage special, is not only the fact that it looks like a huge snack machine full of Doritos, but apparently attendees can control visuals from the stage, vote for performances, and connect via twitter. Sounds very interactive and engaging to me!


Unfortunately, I won’t be able to witness this huge vending machine stage along with all the SXSW goodness… but I am going back home to The Rio Grande Valley. I’ll be spending a a part of my spring break at South Padre Island for the annual Ultimate Music Experience featuring the best and brightest of electronic music with DJ’s like Calvin Harris, Flux Pavillion, Major Lazer and of course Tiesto.

I’ll be sure to keep my eyes peeled for all the engaging advertisements by brands that will be on South Padre Island–that is, if my skin doesn’t burn and peel first!

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The Internet is Like A Huge Book of Information. Use Social Bookmarking to Find Your Way!

February 23, 2013 by tsarain · No Comments · Uncategorized

The internet is a sea of information. Due to the information that is added to the internet everyday, you can get lost and drown in it.

If the internet wasn’t a sea, and a book of information instead, you’d need a bookmark to sort things out for you and keep your place.

Thanks to the technology that brought us the internet, it has also brought us a useful tool to use along with it: SOCIAL BOOKMARKING!


Social Bookmarking started as a simple way to share links with others through using a social bookmarking site where you can get more accurate results for whatever it is you’re searching for. The traditional way of “bookmarking” is known as saving webpages onto web browsers used to access the internet.

While saving web pages on web browsers are useful, over time all the bookmarks you need to keep track of will be too many to save and difficult to organize on just a browser.

If you’re an individual that uses multiple browsers to access internet content, it’ll be even more difficult to keep track of all your bookmarks and saved webpages.

With social bookmarking, you can access all your saved webpages via internet wherever you are! The usefulness doesn’t stop there, because you can use tags to sort the webpages you save by organizing them in categories with the tags you choose. This is where the fun begins.

With tags, you can organize your information in a fun and easy way, but because this method of keeping track of organizing online information is labeled “social” you can share the webpages you bookmark with your friends. When you add friends onto the social bookmarking website that you use, you instantly have access to the webpages they’re saving and vice versa. When your friends jump on board and start saving webpages and links, a network starts to form!

Staying connected with friends by seeing what webpages they save and bookmark is a relevant new way to discover information in the chaos of information that is known as the internet.

How does one start bookmarking? Find a site you like and get started!

Here’s a list of bookmarking sites to discover:

There are many sites available out there, it’s up to an individual to find what they prefer.


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Twitter Scavenger Hunt!

February 18, 2013 by tsarain · 2 Comments · Uncategorized

I’ve always loved scavenger hunts. They have the power to make anyone feel like they’re an ambitious adventurer with much to discover.

This past Wednesday, in my Social Media for Public Relations class, we participated in a Twitter scavenger hunt on our campus at St. Edward’s University. This was an exciting energy-charged assignment that was quite enjoyable. As a class, we got into smaller groups of about two or three students  and we were  instructed to be “journalists” on the social networking site, Twitter.

For the scavenger hunt part, we were given a list of questions regarding our school and how others on campus felt about social media. We recorded the responses we got from students and professors on Twitter with links to photos, hashtags, and twitter handle mentions, using the site the way journalists actively use it today.



This was a great opportunity to learn. While I learned more about my school through the views of students and professors on campus, I also learned more about Twitter just by simply using it.

The scavenger hunt is also being done by other journalism/public relations courses at other schools and universities, so using the hashtag “#JRLWeb” was a great way to get our tweets to actively be a part of the scavenger hunt. This allowed other students from other schools who were also participating in the hunt  to view our tweets and interact with us via comments. Interacting with other students was a requirement for this assignment, but doing so helped with building our own networks on Twitter.

After the assignment, I noticed that I gained a couple of followers that I probably wouldn’t have stumbled upon before. Some of these followers are students like myself and they  tweet about advertising, journalism, and PR like I do! So of course, I returned the favor and followed them too.

It’s great to be able to stay connected with people that are interested in what I’m interested in, and doing what I do. With our technology today, Twitter is the best way to be informed about interests, individuals you can relate to, and breaking news. If you want to know what’s the scoop, you better tweet to stay in the loop!


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Facebook: Social Media King. Is it King for PR and Advertising too?

February 11, 2013 by tsarain · No Comments · Uncategorized

Ever since Facebook came on the scene, people have been talking about the next best thing in social networking and social media. This makes sense, because so many people from all over the world made the transfer from Myspace to Facebook because their friends and contacts were also migrating. After all, the main purpose of social networking is to stay connected. If your contacts are on a different social networking site, how can you stay in touch?

What it boils down to is that Facebook is “King” of social media. Many people all over the world use it. While there is the occasional individual who doesn’t have a profile, there are millions of people that do. This is what makes it easy to stay in touch on Facebook.

While I was browsing the internet, I stumbled upon posts from The Wall and Social Media Today, that talked about Facebook being “King”. It made me wonder if that meant that it was king of all social media. While it may seem true, ever since Facebook’s development, a variety of new and different social media outlets have risen. SnapChat, Instagram, Tumblr, and Pinterest are some to name a few.

Newer additions to social media have their own contribution and uses for their users. This made me question: What is most needed in PR and advertising? If Facebook appears to be king, is it “King” for PR? Or how about for an advertisement campaign?

There is no question that social media will go away or no longer be of use, because our society has already experienced it. We will only continue to use many different forms of it to live in the new media age today. Personally, I find new media to be the different forms of communication that involve the internet and technology in order to connect, collaborate and create any kind of content may it be for personal use, education or business. So, the conclusion I’ve reached  concerning the best social media to use for PR/Advertising is: It all depends. It depends on what you’re doing and what audience you want to reach.


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Studying the Super Bowl

February 4, 2013 by tsarain · 1 Comment · Uncategorized

As a student aspiring to work in advertising, learning must start somewhere and with something.

For me, my learning is starting this Sunday evening on my couch with the Super Bowl.

When I was younger, I remember gathering with family and friends for the Super Bowl, but since I wasn’t a football fan I’d only watch the commercials.

Today I planned to  kickstart my learning by immersing myself in an array of different commercials by “watching” the game. I don’t know much about football or the technicalities of everything advertising, but I can analyze this year’s advertisements and see how companies communicate and connect with their consumers.

After seeing some of the commercials, I noticed that social media is definitely a tool that brand names and companies are turning to in order to further spread the word about their products.

America’s favorite cookie, Oreo is using hip new  Instagram (social media application that aims to grant their users with a quirky and new way to quickly edit and share their images) to get #igers to share their favorite part of the Oreo cookie. At the end of their “Whisper Fight” commercial, I was surprised to see they were encouraging users to get connected with Oreo through Instagram. I was surprised because Facebook  and Twitter are usually what brands and companies use for their social networking.

Oreo being a little different using Instagram,  reaches out to more users showing how important social media is as a tool that  gets consumers and target audiences aware and excited for their product.

I think this is absolutely great. Not only because I’m a fan of Instagram, but also becauseI feel this gets consumers to interact and become a part of advertising in a different way instead of interacting with statuses and tweets, users are using images.

When I tell others that I’m interested in working with advertising, almost everyone brings up the negative stigma attached to advertising and how advertising usually makes people feel insecure and not good or beautiful enough. With brands and companies interacting with consumers through social media, they aren’t specifically  stating that their consumer should be this way or that, instead they are asking for their participation and making their consumers a part of their advertisement. This helps go against advertisement’s negative stigma and brings consumers closer to advertising. I feel that one of the contributing reasons as to why some individuals aren’t excited or amazed by the power of advertising is because they don’t’ know what kind of work goes into it. They are only aware of the messages advertisements send. Now with companies using social media,brands don’t have to send as many messages about their product to the public, they now have their consumers and audience talk and do the message sending about their products instead.

What do you think of your favorite brand names and companies using social media just like us?

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