Is Peta Persuasive or Dissuasive?

Peta isn’t doing so well with their advertisements ever since they started in 1980. Peta is an organization that stands for people for the ethical treatment of animals and they are focused on animals are not to eat, wear, experiment on, use for entertainment or abuse in any way. Many of Peta’s ads are known for being sexist, racist, graphic, and shocking which is luring the viewer away from their campaigns.images

Recently their ads are getting worse and I feel like they aren’t getting enough criticism for it. Comparing the slaughter of animals to the Holocaust and treating women as a piece of meat in their ads definitely are getting their view across. I understand that Peta loves animals and doesn’t allow any excuse for the slaughter and mistreatment of animals but these ads are not going to get other people to think the same as them. They are trying to persuade others to become a vegetarian or vegan  but they are doing it at a really harsh angle.

One ad that isn’t that recent really caught my attention when I saw it a few years ago when I was visiting my grandparents in Florida. We passed an awful billboard in 2010 that stated “Save the Whales, Lose the Blubber: Go Vegetarian” with a picture on it of the back of a woman in a bikini. Calling people whales who are not vegetarians is not the best way to recruit new members to your organization.


If I were to write a email or letter to the CEO of the billboard agency it would go something like this:

Dear billboard company,

I recently saw your Save The Whales billboard in Florida and would like to tell you that I am astonished that you would let that ad be up for everyone to see. I am concerned with Peta’s message that they were trying to advertise here because to me it just seems offensive. This ad is a part of their unethical practices that they perform by criticizing people that don’t think the same way that they do. Peta even created their own website of ads and commercials that they have made that have been banned or taken down because they were too sexual or offensive to consumers. That right there, should bring concern to what you are promoting on your billboards by them. 

I found this ad extremely offensive because overweight girls that are called whales or other names often have self-esteem issues, and that can lead to other emotional or mental problems. If an overweight girl sees this billboard and can recognize the image as herself then she will connect her image to a whale. There is enough depression going on in the world and we do not need Peta’s help to create more self-esteem issues in teenagers or anyone dealing with emotional stress. The message that they are teaching should not be disseminated and  your company should help take this down before it causes more problems and offends more people. 

Very Respectfully,

Becca Brooks

Hopefully my message would make the company come to realization that the ad that they are helping promote is making things worse for the public and is not helping advertise Peta’s organization. Peta has a strong Public Relations and Advertising strategy but it is up to the viewer to take it as offensive or to join their side. 


Product Placement Attached

Product placement is everywhere, we can’t escape it when we are watching television shows or movies. I recently watched a 2011 movie No Strings Attached and tried to notice what product placement was subtle and if I ever noticed it before. Within the first 5 minutes two colleges were mentioned and advertised(M.I.T. and University of Michigan) along with a 90210 reference. I was already surprised at how obvious it was to me when I was actually paying attention to it.Unknown

No Strings Attached is a movie about a guy and a girl after college that get back together from when they were 14 years old and hook up. They keep it going with trying to keep their relationship strictly physical but they soon realize that no one can have a relationship without emotions. They both try to suppress their feelings for each other but they eventually know they don’t want it to be just physical anymore. You will have to watch the movie to find out more!

As I continued watching the movie I noticed the amount of iPhones that they strategically used and all of the Stella Artois beer that they were drinking. I researched that the production company actually slightly blurred out the Stella Artois logo on the beer bottle because it was advertising their brand too much and was more like a commercial for Stella than a movie. I thought that was smart that they blurred it out because it looked really obvious that they placed it their on purpose.

I think this product had the most success in being noticed and remembered in this movie because of the frequency it was shown in scenes. I also think it helped Stella Artois become more popular because of the target audience this film was aimed towards. It targeted young single people that are more likely to go out drinking and have a fun time and maybe now they will chose this beer instead of another one at the bar

Unknown-1Toyota Prius, BMW, Audi A3, and Dodge Challenger were also throughout the film that will help their sale rates increase. 7-up, Coco-Cola, and Patron were brand name drinks that were shown during the movie. Sprinkles Cupcakes, Trojan, Under Armor, and USA Today were all product placement in No Strings Attached and were subtle enough were it wasn’t obvious to the viewer that they did it on purpose. Paramount did a great job with the subliminal product placement and messages they were trying to get across to the audience. 

Ashton Kutcher and Natalie Portman were the main actor and actress in the movie and Ashton was also one of the producers of the film. He really knows how to work with product placement and incorporate advertising into a movie unnoticeably. No Strings Attached earned $20.3 million in their weekend gross of the movie releasing. 

This movie had over 30 products that were brought into the making of the movie and watching this the second time made me notice a lot more what was strategically placed. These products were probably chosen because they fit into the film well and would get attention from the audience they were trying to reach. Paramount and the box office made a lot of money from the products they incorporated and from the film being a success. As we watch movies, hopefully we will continue to notice the products that are placed to advertise and sponsor the movie instead of ignoring them subconsciously. 


Recently, I attended an annual event that the Campus Activities Board holds at Towson University called Tigerfest. As many of you may know, this year they changed it from a one day concert to a two day event with many more activities for the students to participate in. Since they changed the event there was a lot more promoting and advertising that had to go into making it successful . These changes had me wondering how the event’s structure would be impacted, their promotions gave a sneak peek, but I still did not have a clear idea. 1622644_664083653651711_1396145049_n

The first day of Tigerfest took place in the University Union after poor weather forced a location change. As I walked into the Union from the 1st floor, I immediately saw a sign that said “Welcome to Tigerfest”. Near that sign, there were other directional sings that pointed event participators in the direction of the different activities that took place throughout the event. This is the first instance of my behavior being influenced, the Campus Activities Board placed these signs in locations that were likely to draw people to that location. That first location was Paws, where they had live music by bands like Kingsfoil and Go Go Gadjet and free food.

After moving past the initial point of entry, the event had sponsors at tables with their products and information about their company. Companies like Zip Car, Free State Clothing, and BeYu were attempting to influence my behavior by laying out their products in a way that intended to entice me to buy their product. They also had representatives at each table that were trying to pull students in to their tables to talk.

On the 2nd floor of the Union, there were a variety of different activities that attempted to influence my behavior. As you walked upstairs, in the middle of the 2nd floor, the Campus Activities Board had set up a complex of tables that contained different activities. On one side of the table, they had Tigerfest and artist t-shirts laid out. People who were passing by the table, would often ask the employees if the shirts were on sale and how much they were. By laying them out in the open and as delicately as they did, they were attempting to entice people into buying their shirts.

On the other side of the table, they had prizes lined up that could be won with raffle tickets, these prizes were high ticket items like an iPad, Beats by Dre Headphones, and concert tickets. People would walk up to the table after seeing these items on display and ask how they could win the prizes. The only way that they could win was by participating in the different games and inflatables that they had set up around the Union, each activity gives the participant a raffle ticket. By placing the items out in plain view to draw people in and then telling them about how they could earn the prize, they were attempting to make people participate in the event.

10246028_696769160385209_2116875584_nI think that overall, most of their methods were successful. I think that they were successful because they achieved a good balance between subtlety and being aggressive. The layout of the event made it almost impossible to not be influenced by at least one activity that they had set up throughout the Union. Most people who passed by a table or an activity stopped to glance or look at what was going on and if it was something that interested them, they would participate in it.

Also, our school is all about having a “Positive Tigerfest“, meaning without any drugs or alcohol and just having a fun time making good decisions. To promote that before the concert they gave out free Rita’s and T-shirts and had people take a large picture wearing them. Giving away free shirts and food always get the college students attention and it is a great public relations strategy.

The event had a lot of different public relations strategies such as holding event interviews of the public and participators. Strategies were continued into the second day which held a concert with Steve Aoki and Juicy J. in the new Secu Arena. Campus Activities Board had great marketing techniques and really knew how to get our attention and keep it where they wanted it. This years Tigerfest(CAB’s event) was a success and hopefully they use some of the same techniques for next years event to make it just as great as 2014.

The Great Impact

“If it wasn’t for the mist we could see you home across the bay…You always have a green light that burns all night at the end of your dock.”-The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. This fiction book has impacted my life from the lessons that are taught in it and influenced me to favorite the roaring 20’s as the best decade. I first read this book in the middle of high school for a class and then recently I saw the movie that did a really good job depicting the novel. The quote above has a deeper meaning behind it; it shows how Jay Gatsby cannot stop focusing on his past and looking back on it. Gatsby_1925_jacket

Jay Gatsby is the main character of the book and was very emotionally attached to another character named Daisy. They were in love years ago but Gatsby went off to war and years later when he came back, Daisy was already married to another man. It was too late but they lived across the bay in Long Island (West Egg and East Egg) and he would reminisce and stare across to her house every night. He wanted to go back to the past so badly and thought that he could still live in it. The only problem was that he wasn’t in the past anymore, Daisy is married and her thoughts about Gatsby have changed. Gatsby thinks that time can heal everything and put it back to the way things were but he soon learns that it does not work like that.

There was a middle man in the movie named Nick (played by Tobey Maguire in the movie) who is there to mediate and help Gatsby think straight and see where he is coming from with what he was thinking. Gatsby never really opened up to anyone besides Nick which made it hard for people to like him because they didn’t understand him and he only had one person standing up for him. “Actions speak louder than words” and although Gatsby was really good and careful with what he said to people, he was barely seen at his parties and was just known in the community as a wealthy guy that throws great parties.

Without spoiling the end of the book, the reader really does get to know who and how people cared about Gatsby. Relating back to the first quote mentioned, Gatsby believed in that green light and kept reaching out further and further towards it until he could not reach anymore. He had used all his strength.


I believe that everyone has a green light they are trying to reach or hold on to. It is really hard to let go of the past and this book portrayed a guy that was facing that challenge of not being able to let go of what he once had. I thought it was very relatable to my life just based of letting go of things or people to overall benefit yourself. As stated in the book “So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.”

The Great Gatsby taught me that the past can be messy but in order to be happy you have to move on with your life. I think this book had such a strong impact on me because it made me think more about going forward. This book made me think about other books I will read in the future. I am not much of a reader but when I do read it is fiction or non fiction books that are relatable or teach me a lesson. Everyone needs to look beyond what has happened in their past and just focus on the present and not worry about anything else. 


Marketing Madness

After watching Consuming Kids(2010) in class I learned a lot more about the whole marketing industry and all the ideas that go behind the creation of products and placement of them. I learned that kids have all the power involved in what is bought through their parents. This movie talked all about product placement in shows and movies such as in American Idol when they purposely always face the coke bottle towards the camera. It is the little things that the viewer doesn’t realize is done on purpose that matters.

ImageBasically the real competition is between what company can nag the consumer the most in order to win their brand loyalty. Brand loyalty is cradle to grave respect which begins after the child is 6 months old because then they can start to recognize brands. Age compression has begun which means children are getting older younger(faster).

In 1984 President Reagan deregulated children advertisements which required a lot of work. Over a thousand products are linked to one movie such as Spider Man or the Ninja Turtles. Brand awareness is everywhere and sponsors is how money is made. 3 year olds and 5 year olds vary so much with what they want so marketers really have to have a target audience to know who they want to buy their product. They focus on the touch stones which is the emotional attachment to characters from what they watch. The promoter has to try and reach the kids away from their parents so that it is the kids jobs to get their parents attention to buy the product.

Overall I learned a lot from this video and definitely made me notice and realize that everywhere you go and look you see brands. They are everywhere around you in stores, on television, even on the road. We are living life by this motto “you are what you have” which is such a ridiculous standard because people then feel the need to try to impress each other with buying expensive products.Image


In the Jungle of Disney Movies

It is crazy to think movies are the same age as me or you. This year is the twenty year anniversary of the Disney movie, The Lion King(1994), which I happened to watch last night. Until i re-watached it last night for the first time since my childhood I did not realize how controversial the movie actually is. It is a very blunt lesson about moving on and learning about death but the writers go about it in a bad way.Image

Simba physically sees that his dad(Mufasa) passed away and then Scar tells him it was his fault. He then has all this guilt on him until the end of the movie when he finally finds out that Scar actually murdered his father by throwing him into the stampede. Is this teaching children to blame themselves for death of a loved one or to get revenge? Either way it is not a good lesson to be learning at a young age because children don’t know any better. 

Growing up in the Disney culture or Disney renaissance means you were born between 1989-1999 which a lot of us in college were. Disney created a way to demonstrate life lessons to children through media and music in their films. Their films involved romances, fairytales, friendships, and power, but also increased the separation of gender roles. Along with sexism, there was racism and violence involved with almost every movie that was released. Of course these problems were only underlying messages in the movies so only certain people paying attention caught on it. 

Movies such as The Little Mermaid(1989) and Beauty and the Beast(1991) started the trend of sending bad messages to little girls. These movies really show how submissive girls are to men and by the end of the movies they both give up everything for the male character. (Spoiler Alert) Also most of the Disney movies show the viewers that there is such thing as love at first sight and you can fall in love and get married to someone within 5 minutes of meeting them. If that happened in reality it would cause chaos and commotion.  


All Disney movies try to hold this “happily ever after” feel and do whatever they can to go from the worst and saddest cases to the happiest ending. The writers really know how to pull at your heart strings and even though it is sometimes portrayed in an animals life, it can be so relatable to everyone.

According to an article written by Leah Pickett, Disney really does shape gender roles and the way we think. She tells us that we now look at these movies to compare and contrast our lives and relationships. It makes us have high expectations about having a boyfriend or girlfriend, but that isn’t how it really should be.

These characters teach children how they should act and respond to the issues of violence, sexism, and love that we encounter. According to some research, Tarzan(1999) can be seen as racist along with Lady and the Tramp(1955) in certain scenes. 

Recently the movie Frozen came to theaters and did a really great job teaching the viewers that girls can also be powerful in society unlike a lot of the other previous Disney movies. In almost every movie that Disney has created, the parents have either passed away or were never present to begin with. This also is another harsh fact that we grew up with watching these movies. These movies have a cruel shock factor that makes them seem so real yet so imaginative. Are we benefiting from Disney movies as entertainment or are we actually learning unacceptable messages? 

What Is A Real Conversation?

According to a USA Today article “How Facebook Changed Our Lives” written by Jon Swartz describes how Facebook turns 10 years old this year. (10 A.F.-After Facebook) The article describes how different life was before and after Mark Zuckerberg’s invention of Facebook. 

“In just a decade, the social media juggernaut has transformed the way we interact.” It is explained in the article how before Facebook people actually had to express their emotions, for example if they were happy they would smile and laugh instead of just sending an emoji that describes it. They refer to pre-Facebook times as ‘intimacy’ and say how it can be bad and good which I totally agree. 


The movie The Social Network soon came out and went into more detailed about how the idea of Facebook actually came about and worked with the viewers. Whenever Facebook decreases with publicity and users, it always finds a way to bounce back to number one in stocks and in the social networking competition. 

I was astonished by the facts in this article, such as when they mention in 2004 1 million people liked the site, and then five years later 250 million people liked it. That statistic seemed to be unbelievable to me but also made me realize how they changed society forever. Contrary to popular belief, Facebook did help society a lot and didn’t just create bad social norms that we now have. Mark Zuckerberg did have a brilliant idea when he first created this, and had no expectations to destroy human interaction. He just wanted to get us out of the email-era we were stuck in and create more connections. 

Most people don’t recall what life was like before Facebook and to be honest, neither do I. Facebook helps you discover new things everyday about your friends, family or just what is going on in society. Another fact within this article I learned was that Facebook has the same amount of users as the Catholic Church has members. I thought that was so fascinating but at the same time I was a little disgusted with that fact. Image

“Is Facebook losing its cool factor?” That is the most recent question asked by Facebook officials. We learn how social networks affect society by asking and researching the kids. Meaning that we try to learn how Facebook, Twitter, SnapChat, WhatsApp, and Instagram affect how people are socially active in today’s world. When you really look into the social interaction in this era with media of all kinds being present, you see how human contact has decreased. 

The article is ended by Jon Swartz saying “AOL opened up people to the internet. Facebook opened up people to each other.” That was powerful because it really did, it really created people to connect with everyone and anyone they wanted to. 

I really liked this article because it taught me a lot about Facebook facts that I did not know. Social media is destroying human interaction face-to-face slowly but we have to learn to accept it and just make the best out of what we can. Social media is even impacting the classroom and workplaces that we are in every day and add to our distractions. USA Today really taught their viewers about how Facebook has changed our lives and the impact it has had. Ultimately, what is a really conversation? Is it over Facebook, over the phone(texting), or in person? Hopefully in person is your answer!