Archive | October, 2010

BLOG POST #7: Creative Strategy and Concepting

25 Oct

Just one question for you to answer this week:

What is the creative strategy behind this TV spot?



BLOG POST #6: Advertising Industry

18 Oct

Essentially the advertising industry is the persuasion industry. Advertisers persuade consumers to buy certain products or services, or to take certain actions.  As you know, the industry is not without criticism. For better or worse, advertising shapes social norms and contributes to economic systems.

We began to talk about this idea a few weeks ago and I’d like to continue that conversation this week. We’ve also touched on the ethics of advertising.  So, I am asking you think about them both in terms of the advertising industry as a whole.

Over the summer, I found an interesting blog post about persuasion. I would like you to read that blog post and discuss how it relates to the advertising industry.  Thinking points include:

  • When is advertising persuasion and when is it manipulation?
  • Does intent really matter when you’re trying to make people spend money?
  • Is there a difference beside advertising a product and asking consumers to engage in an action, such as volunteering time?
  • Can you draw a line in the sand, so to speak, that would delineate persuasive advertising from manipulative advertising?
  • Is it fair that there exists a multi-billion dollar persuasion industry?


11 Oct

In celebration of fall break and your completed situation analyses, there is no blog post due this week!

Enjoy your weekend!

BLOG POST #5: Advertising and Society

4 Oct

They’re so cute! How could they be harmful? Who doesn’t want kids to eat well and be smart?

Despite the witty charm of the Frosted Mini-Wheats characters, claims that they were making about children’s attention improving were found to be false. Even though claims about attention and cognitive ability were found to be problematic, Kellogg’s began to develop a campaign for Rice Krispies suggesting that they were good for children’s immune systems.  Again the FTC found this problematic.

This issue is relevant to this week’s discussion for a few reasons.  First, it addresses what is and is not ethical in advertising.  Second, it establishes a standard for the “reasonable consumer” in terms of food products.  Third,  it demonstrates that the FTC, like the FDA, is willing to exercise its rights in terms of consumer protection from misleading claims.

So, my question for you this week is whether you think advertising overstepped its boundaries in the Mini-Wheats case. Some thinking points:

  • Did the FTC overreact? If so, how?
  • Would the reaction have been different if the ad was geared more toward adults, without animated characters in it?
  • Was the advertising unethical?  If so, is there such a thing as ethical advertising?
  • Should we even be talking about this? Who cares about whether cereal is accurately represented. There are bigger issues in advertising.
  • Is there an ad you think is worse than the Mini-Wheats ad and that the FTC should have addressed?  If so, please discuss the ad in your post and bring a copy with you to class (or place the URL at the end of your post).