Saturday, November 28, 2009

Safety Alert: Advocacy Group's Annual List of "Trouble" Toys Includes Several Items that May Be Toxic, Choking Hazards . or Just Plain Annoying

By: Roseanna Sonnenfeld


      The U.S. Public Interest Research Group's 2009 list of dangerous toys was released this week.  It was somewhat of a relief considering all of the troubles the toy industry has dealt with over the last couple of years.  But the organization warns and still feels as if there are many items, including some from leading toymakers that parents should be aware of and steer clear of.  Among the hazards include toys that pose potential choking hazards, toys that have potentially toxic chemicals in them, and toys that are excessively loud.  There are also several toys that do not necessarily pose a hazard but come uncomfortably or dangerously close to violating the restrictions.


      The fact that we have a research group that tests all of these toys is significant.  There are so many different restrictions, I feel like it would be hard for these research groups to even keep up with everything that they need to check on.  I am not a parent but I think for many parents, they probably appreciate this very much.  Because of these restrictions, parents can be calmed with information letting them know what is ok for their child to play with and what is not ok for their child to play with.  I do however think that there are some guidelines or restrictions that could be avoided if some parents would give or pay more attention to their kids.  I don't think that I would give my child a toy with potential hazards to it and then leave them alone for an amount of time.  If you think it could be harmful don't give it to your child.  But I am sure that is easier said than done.



Good News for Retailers: As Black Friday Approaches, New Survey Shows Moms Plan to Increase Spending By 32 Percent This Holiday Season

By: Roseanna Sonnenfeld


      Despite the estimated poor outcome for holiday shopping this year as most Americans continue to struggle through the recession, a new survey from parenting website BabyCenter has a brighter outlook on retailers.  According to this survey, mom shoppers plan to spend more on presents this year than they did in 2008.  Poll respondents said they plan to do their shopping online as well as in stores.  There was also more polled who said they would be giving home-made as well as store bought gifts this year.  The results of this survey show both the temporary and the permanent effects of the recession on families and also shows what is really becoming important in these families lives-caring for each other.


      This article is encouraging.  I think it is good to see that despite the economy and everything that is going on within it, family is still something that is very important to people.  I think it is good for moms to be concerned with caring for families and their children around the Christmas season.  For some kids, Christmas may be one of the very few times that they get any kind of special gift from their parents.  For parents to realize this and still want to present their kids with something at Christmas, even though maybe financially they cannot afford it, is a beneficial thing for parents to do.  I think it also shows a kind of defiance against our crumbling economy.  It shows that people have come to not be so scared of what is going to happen within their families financially and just spend that extra money around the holiday season.  I think that parents need to continue to be smart with the money that they are spending around the holiday season but it is good to see that moms are aware of what’s important.



Saturday, November 21, 2009

Right Sarah, Wrong Crowd: Fox News Plays the Wrong Crowd Video in Palin Coverage: Network Says It Was a "Regrettable Mistake"

By: Roseanna Sonnenfeld


      Fox news was caught making a bigger deal out of Sarah Palin's book tour than it is in reality.  They showed a much larger gathering from other irrelevant footage.  They apologized for the error calling the incident a "production error."  But many are thinking that this wasn't just a "mistake."  Fox did the same thing while promoting Palin last year during the presidential campaign.  They apparently had shown a huge crowd at a not-so-well attended event.


      Not only is it bad enough that Fox got caught once doing this but twice.  You would think they would have learned their lesson.  Doing this sort of thing just makes it bad for everyone all around because it jeopardizes the credibility of not only Fox but also of Palin and who she is working with.  From different perspectives it could seem as if Palin and who she is working with may have wanted this promo as a benefit towards her and her new book.  But really it is Fox who is thinking that by doing this it will allow Palin to have a better representation of her.  It is good that they like her and what she is doing but that is no reason to bring negativity to her career with this mistake.  Hopefully they have learned a lesson through the negativity that has come from this or maybe the third time will be a charm.



AOL Targets Tween Girls with Launch of New Blog: New Site JSYK - Text Speak for "Just So You Know" - to Feature Mostly Original Reporting

By: Roseanna Sonnenfeld


      AOL has launched a new culture blog called JSYK, targeted towards teens.  The new site will feature plenty of updates concerning celebrities such as the Jonas Brothers and Miley Cyrus, lots of exclamation points and most importantly, about 70 percent original content.  Two AOL staffers have been assigned to the site, along with reader contributions.  JSYK adds to AOL's growing content targeted at kids and parents. 


      I think that this is very smart of AOL to launch this type of new culture blog.  With technology being such a big part of everyone’s lives launching this new blog is something that will probably be very successful for them because of the target audience.  The average age of kids who are getting on the internet also seems to be getting younger which will draw in more kids to this new culture blog.  Especially because of the updates on celebrities such as the Jonas Brothers, Miley Cyrus, and other teen celebrities. 


      I love the idea that JSYK's content is targeted at kids as well as parents.  This just adds to the possibility of this new launch being successful.  When the kids are targeted along with the parents, I think it makes the parents feel more comfortable because they know that the content is safe.  Also having two AOL staffers being assigned to the site will help with making sure that the new culture blogs will be what the audience is looking for or what the specific target audience is looking for because they will know exactly what AOL wants to present to its audience.  Having outside publishers is good for having another point of view or broader spectrum on things but I think because this is targeted towards kids and parents, having their own staff is a much better option. This new culture blog seems like it could be something interesting and exciting for this target audience to check out.



Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Social Media Boosts Airlines Images

By: Brooke Shanholtz

I recently read an article discussing airlines jumping into the world of social media. There are a few airlines, such as Southwest and JetBlue, who have been engaged in the social media world for a couple of years but there are many who have been slowly entering the use of this medium.  Christi Day, a communications specialist for Southwest, manages their twitter page and states that, "It is the most efficient way to share news, whether it's to our customers or to our employees." She reports that Southwest continues to grow by 7,000 followers a day. Many airlines use Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube to promote their services and specials. These airlines have reported the social media as a booster of their image. 


Many people may remember the bad image United Airlines received because of a posted YouTube video. After a bad experience with the airline, country singer Dave Carroll posted a song and video he produced about his horrible experience. The United Airlines broke his guitar and were not very helpful with the situation. His song was titled, “United Breaks Guitars,” and he sang about how he should have chosen another airline or just used a car. This video has received over five million views. Talk about bad publicity!


Social media sites are a positive tool and can be a great image booster. But it is important for organizations to maintain a positive relationship with customers because they too can use social media to share their feelings and ideas with the world.


Daily Dog. (2009, October 30). Airlines Finding a Silver Bullet with Social Media: Carriers that Engage in Facebook et al Successfully Boosting Brands, Reaching Customers. Retrieved from

Monday, November 9, 2009

Is your "foot-in-the-door"?

By Colby Morris

What does it mean to have one's 'foot in the door?' Is it painful?
Where did the phrase come from? How can it be used today? Is it used
for persuasion, propaganda or both? Is it a technique that is
successful? What do researchers say about its effectiveness?

When given the assignment to analyze what and how the phrase, 'Foot in
the Door', is used as a persuasion and/or propaganda technique, I had
no idea I would find so much research and information available. This
paper and the related blog may be used as both an informational source
and a forum for discussions which I look forward to starting. I have
an interest in investigating this phrase, as I've heard it used all of
my life. I hope after my education at Northwest Missouri State
University, and after having this class with Dr. John Fisher, I just
may have my 'foot in many doors' leading me to a successful future!

History of the phrase

Gary Martin, founder of Phrasefinder in 1997 suggests, "The phrase,
'foot- in- the- door' means an introduction or way in to something,
made in order that progress may be made later." (Martin, 1997). While
Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, describes the phrase 'Foot in the
Door' (FITD) as "a compliance tactic that involves getting a person to
agree to a large request by first setting them up by having that
person agree to a modest request" (Wikipedia, 2009).

When I first read those two meanings, I felt the FITD technique
sounded deceptive in nature. When I hear the words, 'tactic' and
'setting someone up', I think of a technique that would always take
advantage of someone or something, making them in one way or another
victim. Yet as I researched, I have come to think very differently
about the phrase, FITD, and see it as a very valuable technique that
when used correctly makes a win-win situation with no victims at all.

The first uses of the phrase started way before the 1800's and it was
used in a very concrete, literal way. It literally meant something
physical, like your foot, stepping into someone's house, or using your
foot to keep a door from closing. After that, the phrase became a
classic persuasion strategy used to sell something by going door to
door. The salesman would have the hardest time getting his or her
'foot in the doorway' after knocking on a stranger's door. Many times
all they would get is a door slammed in their face, rather than an
invitation inside. I know today that sometimes I will hide and
pretend I wasn't home when I realized it was a salesman, or stranger.
It always feels weird pretending to 'not' be home, but it also saved
me the time and prevented me from being talked into buying something I
cannot afford and/or do not need. As Richard M. Perloff puts it, "If
they (salespeople) could just overcome initial resistance - get a
'foot in the door' of the domicile - they felt they could surmount
subsequent obstacles and make the sale of Avon perfume, a vacuum
cleaner, or a set of encyclopedias. Going door to door is out of date,
but starting small and moving to a larger request is still in vogue."
(Perloff, p.248).

I think the majority of people use the phrase, FITD symbolically, and
in a positive, innocent manner. If I wanted a really important job, I
would not want my application to go into a pile of hundreds of them go
into. I would say, 'If I could just get my foot in the door, I know
they'd hire me.' Now 'how' to go about 'getting my foot in the door'
is where the process and research become important.
Many experiments have been done to test the effectiveness of the 'foot
in the door' technique. Researchers want to know if this tactic will
work well to persuade people to comply. For example:

In a classic study, Freedman and Fraser (1966) arranged for
experimenters working for a local traffic safety committee to ask
California residents if they would mind putting a 3-inch 'Be a safe
driver' sign in their cars. Two weeks later, residents were asked if
they would place a large unattractive 'Drive Carefully' sign on their
front lawns. Homeowners in a control condition were asked only the
second request. Seventeen percent of control group residents agreed
to put the large sign on their lawns. However 76% of those who agreed
to the initial request or had been approached the first time complied
with the second request.

Participants were more willing to volunteer to construct a hiking
trail if they had agreed to address envelopes for an environmental
group than if they had not acceded to the initial request (Dillard,

Individuals were most likely to volunteer a large amount of time for a
children's social skill project if they had initially assisted a child
with a small request-helping an 8-year-old get candy from a candy
machine (Rittle, 1981).

There have been more than a hundred studies on the FITD technique over
the years and all of the results show in one way or another the effect
is 'reliable and occurs more frequently than would be expected by
chance' (e.g., Dillard, Hunter, & Burgoon, 1984). Some other classic
FITD experiments were early studies with psychologists testing. For

A team of psychologists telephoned housewives in California and asked
if they would answer a few questions about the household products they
used. Three days later, the psychologists called again. This time,
they asked if they could send five or six men into the house to go
through cupboards and storage places as part of a 2-hr enumeration of
household products. The investigators found these women were more than
twice more likely to agree to the 2 hr request than a group of
housewives asked only the larger request (Freedman, J.L. &Fraser, S.

More recently, persons were asked to call for a taxi if they became
alcohol impaired. Half of the persons had also been asked to sign a
petition against drunk driving (which they all did) and half had not.
Those who had signed the petition (complied with a small request) were
significantly more likely to comply with the larger request of calling
a taxi when impaired compared to those who had not been asked to sign
the petition (Taylor, T.,& Booth-Butterfield, S.1993).

There have been more than a hundred studies on the (FITD) technique
over the years and all of the results show in one way or another the
effect is "reliable and occurs more frequently than would be expected
by chance" (e.g, Dillard, Hunter, & Burgoon, 1984).

Positives and Negatives

Now that we have so many media outlets to persuade the public of one
belief or another, the 'Foot in the Door' strategy is used in both
positive and negative ways. We are hearing persuasion and propaganda
and are totally unaware at times when it is happening. One example
would be through commercials. We may not even be paying close
attention to a commercial on the TV or radio; but a tune, picture, or
phone number given in a song, slips into our subconscious and comes up
in our minds much later. The use of the FITD technique is great and a
positive strategy for politicians, marketers, recruiters and more.
Yet it should be used in an honest, fair and helpful way, which does
not happen on too many occasions.

The Internet is now one of the main places propaganda and persuasion
tactics are used and too often, abused. Criminals of all kinds use
the FITD technique to influence people of all ages. They trick people
out of their money, make false promises and worst of all use their
'foot in the door' tactic to hurt innocent victims. The impact on
teenagers is tremendous. Just a click on the computer can take an
innocent teenager, accidentally, to places they should never have had
the chance to look at. Child abusers use the Internet to get their
'foot in the door' and slowly persuade a person to agree to a small
request like sending them a picture and then later get the person or
child to meet them some place. People, especially young people, are
so easily persuaded to do things that can put them in such danger and
many times lead to their death. This happens just by letting a
perpetrator get their 'foot in the door' and into one's mind. They
can change the behaviors and thoughts of the victim and use it over
and over before they ever get caught. Detectives have advanced their
techniques in catching these criminals, but all too often they are too

As Anthony Pratkanis and Elliott Aronson point out, "Every day we are
bombarded with one persuasive communication after another. These
appeals persuade not through the give-and-take argument and debate,
but through the manipulation of symbols and of our most basic human
emotions. For better or worse, ours is an age of propaganda"
(Pratkanis and Aronson, 1991).

The use of the FITD technique is great for politicians, marketers,
recruiters and more. The use of the Internet has accelerated the use
of persuasion and propaganda to the point of no control, and that is
scary. Today people are overloaded with information.

Have the tactics and multitudes of ways we receive communication on a
daily basis been a good thing or a bad thing? For the very first
time, people are communicating and discussing issues all over the
world in a completely uncensored way. Is that a good thing, or bad?

Sites and References

Burger, J.M. (1999).The foot-in-the-door compliance procedure: A
multiple-process analysis and review. Journal of Personality and
Social Psychology Review, 3,303-325.
Dillard, J. (1990).Self-inference and the foot-in-the-door technique:
Quantity of behavior and attitudinal mediation. Human Communication
Research,16, 422-447.
Freedman, J.L. & Fraser, S. C. (1966). Compliance without pressure:
The foot-in-the-door technique. Journal of Personality and Social
Gueguen, N. (2002) Foot-in-the-door technique and computer-meditated
communication, Computers in Human Behavior,18, (1),11-15.
Perloff, Richard M. (2003) The Dynamics of Persuasion: Communication
and Attitudes in the 21st Century. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates,
Inc.Publisher,Mahwah, New Jersey. (2) 247-249.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Who's Watching the Parents? New Nielsen Research Finds the Average Pre-Schooler Watches More Than 32 Hours (!) of TV Every Week

By: Roseanna Sonnenfeld
      TV usage is the highest it's been in eighty years among kids aged 2 to 11, according to new research.  Nielsen findings show that children ages 2 to 5 are watching TV for an average of more than 32 hours a week, while those ages 6 to 11 are viewing more than 28 hours of TV weekly.  These stats include live and recorded TV, as well as VCR and game console usage.
      This is a really sad statistic if you ask me.  What happened to playing outside, finger painting, making projects, and running around with friends on the playground?  I figured the numbers were up there but this is really high for this age group.  I guess I am used to the old fashioned way of kids having fun, which meant going outside and hanging out or making messes.  I probably feel this way also because I grew up on a farm where we spent a lot of our time outside doing things.  I have an older brother, so when we were little we spent time outside digging in the dirt or playing make believe while helping our parents around the farm.
      On the other side of it, I also can see why the numbers for this are high.  I babysit two kids for a few hours every afternoon that are in this age group.  After we get back from school, have a snack, and do homework, there are a lot of times when it is much easier to just go sit in front of the TV set and watch a recorded show than to get coats and shoes on again and head outside to ride bikes around.  So I assume, like this example, for a lot of people it is much easier to just tell the kids, "Go put on a show and watch TV," than it is to actually have to do something active.  But instead there needs to be an effort made, for the benefit of the kids, when it comes to telling them to "go play."

New Survey Says Americans have Increased Use of Online and Radio News Sources, While Daily Newspaper and Television Use Drops

By: Roseanna Sonnenfeld


      According to a new study, Americans are increasingly turning to online and radio sources for news and information, while relying less on daily newspapers and television.  "While traditional media isn't going away any time soon, this does change how we as marketers reach these sought-after consumers," says marketing, social media and public relations blogger Dave Fleet.  According to a credible survey conducted by Opinion Research Corporation, daily newspaper usage dropped 4.1 percent and television usage dropped 3.6 percent, while radio usage increased 2.9 percent and online usage increased 1.9 percent.


      I think it is interesting to see how from year to year the traditional usage of media percentages are probably going to keep dropping.  It is good that there are people conducting these surveys so that like this article says, marketers can reach consumers with what they are wanting.  I also think that it is important that like the article says, traditional media will not be going away any time soon.  I still feel like I rely on traditional media and what it has to say about what is going on from day to day.  The internet and online sources for news are great and really help a lot of people to be in the loop.  But for those who are used to the more traditional usage of media such as the Saturday morning paper and the 10 o'clock news, getting rid of these traditional uses of media would be a huge adjustment to their everyday lifestyle.



New Study Finds Facebook Users More Affluent than MySpace Crowd - Bloggers and Tweeters Tend to Be City Dwellers

By: Roseanna Sonnenfeld


      A new study from the Nielsen Company has found some interesting facts about social media and culture.  According to these results, Facebook and Twitter users have more money and tend to live in urban areas than the rest of the nation. 


      I grew up on a dairy farm out in the country outside of a very small town.  I now am at college where I have access to the internet but when I go back home I do not.  At my house back home, we do not have Facebook/Twitter let alone internet.  Some may think that this is a burden but not really.  There is so much more to do than look at Facebook and Twitter all day long.  While at home on the farm I have plenty to do and plenty to keep me busy instead of being hooked onto the computer screen 24/7. 


      So responding to this article, it is completely understandable to me as to why more Facebook/Twitter users seem to have more money and tend to live in more urban areas.  Because in rural areas more of your time is spent outside compared to urban areas where more of people’s time is spent inside.  If you are outside completing tasks in rural areas you are not going to take time to check somebody’s Facebook status.  Also, in urban areas people will spend more money on things such as their internet use because they are using it more often and depend on it more.  Because of this it would certainly show that these Facebook/twitter users have more money.



If Everyone Hates You, Where Can You Go? Where Else - Television: Dog Torturer Michael Vick to Star in New BET Documentary

By: Roseanna Sonnenfeld


      Michael Vick, ex-convict, dog-abusing pro athlete has been reinstated into the NFL.  He has also now been signed to star in his own television series.  The show is about Michael Vick and his against all odds struggle to make his NFL comeback, and how his troubled childhood and other factors shaped a behavior pattern that resulted in his 2007 arrest.  The NFL star commented on his reasoning behind this new project for himself, saying that he just wants people to really get to know him as an individual and that he has made mistakes in the past and wishes it had never happened.


      One part of me thinks that this is a good thing that Michael Vick wants to do for himself.  He wants to get rid of the accusations that people have about him from the past and wants people to know him for who he is now.  I think it is a good motive that he has for himself.  Everyone does make mistakes and should be given second chances so why not him, he's a human being too.  But another part of me thinks, no way should you expect people to forgive you just because you are a celebrity/athlete.  You screwed up so don't expect people to forgive you based on this new personal show that allows us to take a look at your life.  There is also the point of, who really cares?  There are so many more things that I think about during the day that do not involve whether or not I think Michael Vick is becoming a better person after all that he has gone through in his life.  There are already enough reality celebrity TV shows out there that nobody cares about, why should this one be any different?   



Friday, November 6, 2009

By Mandy Smith

Ethics and Visual Persuasion

Visual impact in advertising is used to stir feelings and persuade human emotions and actions. Visual messages can have many influences viewers in on my any different levels. Visual images are truly pervasive in persuasive communications. They grab viewer’s attention effectively enough to affect their emotions. Great examples of how visual persuasion affects people’s emotions through ethics would be Prolife movement, and the fight to put a heavier warning signs on cigarette cartons.

The Prolife movement is focused around resisting abortion. They believe that fetuses and embryos are people and think that charges should be pressed if a woman commits an abortion. This movement uses a type of activism called “the truth display” where protesters display pictures of aborted fetuses in a general area hoping to ignite feelings of grief, anger, and sympathy.  Some of the members of the group believe that this is the most effective way of explaining their position, through visual imagery. Visual images like pictures of aborted fetuses can almost create emotional plea instantly. It is such a controversial topic and people feel strongly about their sides. This is a campaign that can create emotional guilt, depression and can have an impact on people’s future actions.

            The TRUTH which is an anti tobacco campaign is set up to remind people of the dangers of smoking. They once created a body bag display during the Real Salt Lake’s home game on September 20. The body bags were to visually exhibit the deadly results of using tobacco ( After the body bags were placed next to the display that read something like, “nearly 440,000 people die every year in the U.S. from tobacco-related causes equivalent to 50 people every hour of every day.” Being able to see death in a quantitative manner and in such a grotesque manner would be an effective way of getting a point across. It would be like saying “do I need to draw a picture?” 

            Also illustrated on the cigarette packets of American smokers soon will be labels displaying gruesome colored photos showing a mouth conquered by cancer, black lungs, and rotten gangrene feet. “It’s the only one that smokers remember more than anything else. Even after nine years,” says David Hammond (as quoted in Mashori). Research shows that using visual images are more effective in these kinds of cases. Hammond also stresses that “pictures are more likely to catch people’s attention and told hold people’s attention over time,” (as quoted in Mashori) If a smoker has to look at a picture of what smoking can cause while they are smoking they are more aware of it. If you can see the consequences you are better off not experiencing them.

            People use visuals because they work. They use them to reach out to their viewers to get a reaction, create emotion, and try to make a difference while also having the potential to be more effective than other modes of communication. 


"The TRUTH Anti-Tobacco Campaign to Feature Body Bag Display at Saturday's Real Salt Lake Game - OurSports Central - Independent and Minor League Sports News." Minor League Sports News on OurSports Central. Web. 18 Oct. 2009. <>.


Mishori, Ranit. "A Heavier Warning: Cigarette Boxes Will Soon Display Evidence of Ill Effects -" - nation, world, technology and Washington area news and headlines. Web. 18 Oct. 2009. <>.



Scheidler, Ann. "Strong Reactions Pro and Con Mark Sixth Annual Truth Tour." Web.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Music as a form of persuasion

By Amanda Sevits

It is very obvious in this day and age that persuasion is all around
us. Music, however is one of the most widely used forms of
entertainment whether it is for recreation, or even personal use,
music can always been seen as a form of persuasion. With the
expanding use of iPod's, satellite radio stations, and various other
music players, it is no surprise that most people turn to music as a
sense of comfort. People of all ages are jumping into the "music
pool" and embracing all of its many wonders. By downloading and using
music affiliated websites such as iTunes, Pandora, MySpace Music, and even Yahoo Launch, it shows just how great of an impact
music has had in this past century, and even before then.

When it came to defining music, I found that music is said to be "an
art of sound in time that expresses ideas and emotions in significant
forms through the elements of rhythm, melody, harmony, and color"
according to I completely agree with the way that the
website explains the word and don't think I could have possibly said
it any better myself. Music has been around since the beginning of
time and it has continued to grow and adapt along with the people
producing it. Music can be used in a variety of different ways as
well. Some groups of people use music as a form of religious worship,
or recreational use while others may use it for therapy purposes or to
release anger and emotions. When it comes to the actual act of
persuading someone with music, I believe there are different ways of
doing so in order to appeal to different audiences. For instance, you
aren't going to try and persuade a group of teenagers to buy a CD and
play them swing dancing music to do so. Different generations of
people are accustomed to different kinds of music that they grew up
listening to. In order to appeal to specific audiences through music,
you would have to know a great deal about their time, as well as what
music influenced their progression through life in order to get
through to them.

I know that for me personally when it comes to music, it is a
definite release no matter what kind of mood I'm in. Whether it is
sad and gloomy or excited, I know that I can always rely on my CD's or
my iPod to brighten my day just a little bit more. The kind of music
that I listen to changes with my mood as well, as I'm sure most people
would agree. If I'm "down in the dumps" a little country music will
make me feel better and if I'm getting ready to go out with my
friends, a little rap or rock will do the trick for us every time. I
could never cut music out of my life because it plays such a major
role in my stress level especially, by allowing me to vent.
Everybody's preference in music type is also going to sway the amount
of persuasion that takes place. Whenever people listen to music that
explains their thoughts, it allows them to connect on a deeper level,
which in turn allows the music to serve as a persuasive tool. By
musicians and producers knowing this, they know exactly what kind of
songs to produce in order to ensure their fans and success rate.

Overall, I would say that music is one of the top forms of persuasion
all over the world. No matter what country or region is being looked
at, there is bound to be some form of music either listened to or
played throughout. I am very thankful that music plays such a major
role in my life, solely due to the fact that it never goes away. This
shows how persuasion is prevalent in music, and has been for
generations now. Artists, songwriters, and producers all know that
with every song produced they are fighting for attention, fans, profit
and even success. By persuading their fans to listen to and follow
them, they people and ensuring their success and survival in the music

Works Cited
Bostrom, Robert N, Derek R. Lane, and Nancy G. Harrington. (Fall
2002). Music as Persuasion: Creative Mechanisms for Enacting
Academe. Retrieved from
Jowett, Garth S. and Victoria O'Donnell. (1999). Propaganda and
Persuasion: Third Edition. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications,
Various Authors. (2009). Random House Publications.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Images in Advertising

By Mike Stadler

No matter where we look, whether it is online, the television, or in magazines we are consumed by the bright colors and slogans of the advertising images presented to us.  Each company has their own logo, but inside these logos they will have unique images for their products that they sell.  Why are images so important in advertising? We have been attracted to the pictures from a very young age and those habits will stick with us forever.
 The most important part of an advertisement is the image that it presents to the intended audience.  The image could present an average guy drinking a beer while talking to a good looking woman.  This image tells the male audience that if you drink this beer then you will be able to talk to women like that.  It could also present the image to women that drinking a beer in a certain manner is attractive.  The first example is known as indirect advertising (Phillips, 2005).
Indirect advertising allows the company to give off more messages then the spoken one.  For instance a beer company is advertising the quality of their beer, but there are multiple messages being conveyed through the images.  “Clearly, advertisers have come to believe that making indirect claims can confer some advantage over making direct claims” (Phillips, 2005).
The importance of the use of images in advertising has increased with the popularity of indirect advertising campaigns.  There are many reasons for the switch from direct messages to indirect messages, but the biggest is the amount of time consumers actually take to read or listen to the intended message.  Most consumers will look at just the pictures in advertisements and only if the picture captures their attention will they read the intended message.  Each of these specially designed ads try’s to create an identity for the company.  The identity created through advertisements will allow the consumer to relate to the company logo and take notice to these ads through brand awareness.
Brand awareness is defined as the extent to which a brand is recognized by potential customers and is correctly associated with a particular product (Brand Awareness Definition, 2009).  One of the key components of brand awareness is the company logo.  This logo needs to be something unique to the company that their target audience can easily identify with.  It could be something such as the Nike swoosh, the Chanel C's, or even the Clydesdales of Anheuser Busch.  If the logos serve their purpose each time they are seen by the consumer it will trigger reaction from the consumer to the logo, from the logo to the product, and hopefully the product to the consumer.
Now that the advertisements have persuaded the consumer to buy the product they will be met with more techniques to try and persuaded them even further to buy products they had not planned on purchasing in the first place.  If they choose to buy online they will be met with brightly colored advertising banners and special discounts.  If internet shopping is not quite their style then going to the store could be even worse when it comes to persuasion.  At the store the everyday items are kept in the back.  This will force the consumer to go pass the multitude of isles and temptations that can pull on any consumer’s wallet.  Organizing the store in this way is just one of the tactics used.  Some of the others include no clocks on the walls creating the illusion that time is not a factor.  The next form of persuasion at the store uses brightly colored packaging at a child’s eye level to induce the "I want's."  These products that appeal to children will use characters that the children have seen on TV advertisements, once again coming from the indirect form of persuasion.
Images play a vital role in today’s advertising campaigns and will continue to be utilized as a tool to persuade and draw consumers to products.  As consumers we are constantly influenced by these images and choose what we will inevitably purchase.  What will be the next image that convinces you to buy that latest necessity?

Brand Awareness Definition. (2009). Retrieved September 27, 2009, from

Phiillips, B. J. (2005, June 22). Indirect persuasion in advertising: how consumers process metaphors presented in pictures and words. Retrieved September 27, 2009, from

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Not a Moment Too Soon: Celebrity Rights Finally Defended in Tinseltown as Schwarzenegger Signs Anti-Paparazzi Bill Into Law

By: Roseanna Sonnenfeld


      California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has been pushing on the state legislature to pass a new anti-paparazzi bill.  Although Americans may still be struggling with paying mortgages and finding jobs, under this new law, it is now easier for celebrities to sue media outlets that use photos that invade their private lives.  The former movie star signed a number of bills recently all that are putting some kind of restriction on what is illegal and legal for the paparazzi.  These bills are also permitting celebrities to file lawsuits against media outlets that use these photos or recordings from paparazzi.


      Well, my first thought is thank goodness he is their governor and not ours.  My next thought is hopefully next election will have a different outcome.  What is governor Schwarzenegger thinking?  There are so many more problems and troubles in that state such as the bankruptcy they are battling than whether or not celebrities are getting the wrong kind of attention from paparazzi that leads to everyone seeing it.  I do think that paparazzi are a problem for celebrities and the paparazzi can be very disrespectful and ruthless when it comes to some of the photos that are taken.  The paparazzi can also be ruthless and hard hearted when it comes to how they get those photos of celebrities.  But part of me thinks, hey you asked for it when you signed your life away to being famous.  So yes, I’m sure that some celebrities are pretty excited about this new bill but let’s ask the rest of the state of California what they think about it.  Governor Schwarzenegger should be spending time and money on economic, state, and the people’s problems like most all other governors are doing for their states.  I bet the state of California is sure glad they elected him now.



Auto Industry Recognizing that to Successfully Launch Electric Cars, Marketers Need to Change Perceptions and Foster Familiarity


By: Roseanna Sonnenfeld


      Automakers are now realizing that the biggest obstacle that they are going to have to overcome in bringing electronic cars out onto the market is the fact that consumers don't have a clear perception of how these cars work/run or about what these cars are exactly.  It is an unfamiliar subject or object that surrounds the whole unique maintance and fueling process of this new breed of car. 


      The new Ford Focus is due out in 2011.  It looks to be the new major vehicle for the future.  The Ford industry has equipped this car with new necessities as well as a few old.  This allows drivers to have a more comfortable feel to this new vehicle.  "That makes the technology less scary and more familiar-and, actually, sager.  Because if you jump from an (electric car) to a regular car, you don't want to have to remember very different (conditions)," Nancy Gioia said, reports CNET writer Martin LaMonica on a network blog.


      Getting a new vehicle out into consumer’s hands that is economy friendly is a great thing.  I think it is great that the Ford Company also realizes that they need to make it a new vehicle that is comfortable for consumers to have.  I know that for me, a new electronic car is something that I would automatically gear myself away from.  And the biggest reason for this is because of the unknown about the vehicle or being uncomfortable with it.  For Ford and any other car companies who are going to be selling this kind of new economy friendly vehicle, I do agree that the biggest challenge for them is going to be informing consumers about it and everything that comes with it.  In this way they are giving the consumers more than just an unknown to go off of.



Consumers don't know how electronic cars operate

By: Roseanna Sonnenfeld

      Automakers are now realizing that the biggest obstacle that they are going to have to overcome in bringing electronic cars out onto the market is the fact that consumers don't have a clear perception of how these cars work/run or about what these cars are exactly.  It is an unfamiliar subject or object that surrounds the whole unique maintance and fueling process of this new breed of car. 

      The new Ford Focus is due out in 2011.  It looks to be the new major vehicle for the future.  The Ford industry has equipped this car with new necessities as well as a few old.  This allows drivers to have a more comfortable feel to this new vehicle.  "That makes the technology less scary and more familiar-and, actually, sager.  Because if you jump from an (electric car) to a regular car, you don't want to have to remember very different (conditions)," Nancy Gioia said, reports CNET writer Martin LaMonica on a network blog.

      Getting a new vehicle out into consumer’s hands that is economy friendly is a great thing.  I think it is great that the Ford Company also realizes that they need to make it a new vehicle that is comfortable for consumers to have.  I know that for me, a new electronic car is something that I would automatically gear myself away from.  And the biggest reason for this is because of the unknown about the vehicle or being uncomfortable with it.  For Ford and any other car companies who are going to be selling this kind of new economy friendly vehicle, I do agree that the biggest challenge for them is going to be informing consumers about it and everything that comes with it.  In this way they are giving the consumers more than just an unknown to go off of.