Archive for September, 2013

A few years ago pepsi decided to make a small series called Uncle Drew. The idea is to take an up and coming young talent in the NBA, in this case Kyrie Irving. Have him dress up as an old man and go to a local basketball court and play against regular people in disguise. I find this advertisement particularly effective because every aspiring athlete dreams of playing against their favourite pros. It allows the viewer to live a fantasy and at the same time the very realization of how elite professional athletes are. I think Pepsi did a great job at creating something that will cause a buzz, and allow the powers of social media to share the video. Pepsi has continued to make uncle drew videos and have currently made 3 up to date. Pepsi did a great job at creating a fantasy as well as appearing cool and hip by associating themselves with basketball.

I saw someone post this on Facebook and got me thinking about this weeks topic of conspicuous consumption. Being as Instagram is a photo uploading and sharing site, these people can now ‘flaunt’ their wealth to a larger audience all around the world and in doing so have created a huge fan base with thousands of followers. In many cases these items that they are taking photos are really ridiculous and unnecessary (private jets, cars, expensive bottles of alcohol, jewelry, etc) but in today’s society we purchase these products to stand out and impress the people around us because they make us feel good about ourselves. Why do you think these people have so many followers? Is it just because they are rich? Do people look at these images and ‘dream’ of what it would be like? What makes us want to follow these people who flaunt their wealth?

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Trevor Marshall – Non-Conformers

Posted: September 30, 2013 in Uncategorized

As I was reading through the Adorno and Horkhiemer essay this past week, I came across something that I found interesting. They say that people who do not conform to the culture industry are subject to economic impotence, intellectual powerlessness, and are seen as an eccentric loner. This got me thinking about today’s society, and how more and more people are not conforming to society and the culture industry, they are known as hipsters today. Now Im sure there were hipsters back in the World War II era, although obviously not referred  to as hipsters. This deviance of not conforming to the culture industry has just recently in modern times been addressed and handed a name. It was just interesting to me to think about how Adorno and Horkhiemer would respond to the term “hipster”. Would they applaud it for going outside of the culture industry? or would they say they they are still being deceived? Who knows, it is just an interesting topic that I came across in my readings that could eventually lead to some further exploration.

A few years back, Reebok hockey released an ad where Max Talbot and Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins shot hockey pucks into Sidney’s drying machine in his basement and had a contest to see who could get more pucks into the machine. What was interesting about this ad was that when the advertisement was viewed online and got to the 1 minute mark of the video – the advertisement stops and you are unable to see the rest. However, when it stops, a text on the screen appears and says “Like our Facebook page to see who wins the contest!”, and links you to their Facebook page. Once you like their page, you are now unable to watch the second half of the video. Pretty interesting marketing tactic to not only entice consumers to watch the full commercial and buy into the Reebok product, but at the same time it works as a twofold process by garnering Facebook ‘Likes’ on their page and they can now reach a wider audience. Attached is a video of a small portion of the commercial.

The reading “The Culture Industry” by Theodor Adorno and Max Horkheimer for this week’s upcoming class really stood out to me and lead to my reflection on the formulaic media which we consume daily. As Adorno and Horkheimer outline in their piece, almost all of the art that we consume follows the same framework. While reading this, two romantic comedy films, ‘Friends With Benefits’ and ‘No Strings Attached’, which follow nearly identical plot lines, came to mind. I found a YouTube video that outlines the similarities between the two films, which I believe does an excellent job exemplifying the concepts which Adorno and Horkheimer suggest in their piece “The Culture Industry”.

Colin’s post regarding the video called, the 4 Chord Song really encapsulates and illustrates many ideas discussed in, “The Culture Industry: Enlightenment and Mass Deception”.  It got me thinking about an argument made by Adorno and Horkheimer regarding the idea that culture, “impresses the same stamp on everything.  Films, radio and magazines make up a system which is uniform as a whole and in every part” (3).  They also argue that “under monopoly all mass culture is identical and the lines of its artificial framework begin to show through” (3).  I found this argument very relevant to the music industry and this idea that the same formula is often replicated or imitated within songs.  This can also be said about the film and television industry, where certain formulas, such as the use of antiheroes, become increasingly used e.g. the Sopranos, Dexter, Mad Men, Breaking Bad, etc..

Here is an example of this in the music industry which I came across.  You will see in the first ten seconds how the formula is replicated is One Direction’s Song

The Clash- Should I Stay or Should I Go

Live While We’re Young

I came across this video on YouTube that shows a montage of video clips from popular 2011 music videos that are indirectly promoting a product. I thought that this was very interesting, as I never thought of music videos as being a form of advertising, and I never really fully acknowledged the fact that particular brands were being used. We all know that product placement is used frequently in TV shows and movies, but after seeing this I noticed that more and more music videos are promoting brands and particular products. 

Some of the music videos that this video montage specifically focuses on is Lady Gaga’s music video for “Telephone” and Britney Spear’s music video for “Hold It Against Me” – both of these videos have been viewed on YouTube over 90 million times – making this a very effective way to promote products to a younger generation.