Friends Love Friends Who Read Their Blog :)

Finally a blog where I can brag about my amazing classmates!!  I am so excited to share with all of you the great writing and analyzing that my classmates of Media Criticism do!  I really enjoy Media criticism for many reasons, but one major reason is that I get to learn from my classmates.  At college, there are so many diverse students and I feel that hearing their opinions is what expands our horizons.

In class, we begin by learning new material, and then the class as individuals makes sense of the material from their own ideas and experiences.  We then have a class discussion where we all share our view of the material.  I love the discussion because how one classmate breaks down the material is usually very different from another.  This helps me fully understand the concepts by gaining these different outlooks.

Also, my classmates usually provide examples along with their analysis of the material, which helps me to remember the material long term.  The reason I am telling you this is because our blog is another platform where my classmates and I share our analysis of the material.  I often visit the blogs of my classmates to read their interpretations for fun and also to better my understanding of the material from their point of view.

I honestly have never had a “homework” assignment that has ever helped me to understand the class’s concepts so well.  I really commend Dr. Nichols for developing such a creative assignment that truly helps me better my understanding, not only of the material but of my classmates.  Not only do I enjoy reading my classmate’s blogs, but I love to blog myself!  In today’s age of social media, it is a skill that I now know I should develop further to benefit myself in a career in mass communications.

The first classmate that I want to introduce to you is Alexa Lazerow.  She is a great new friend of mine and her contribution to class discussions is always insightful.  I knew I wanted to use a post of hers for this assignment because of what she brings to class discussions.  I chose to read her post, Disney With A Touch of Ideological Criticism and Political Economy, because I love everything Disney!

First of all, I love Alexa’s opening paragraph.  She is very engaging with the reader and opens with a question for the reader to answer.  I feel that engaging the reader is almost more important than the actual material.  If you don’t engage your writing, then your readers will stop reading you work- and we don’t want that!  Secondly, I really enjoy how she is clear in her writing.  She cuts out the clutter and gets to the heart of what she really wants to say, which is awesome for the reader.  Her sentences are very clear and concise, and I can’t tell you how much I can’t stand run on sentences!

Also, I enjoy the overall style of Alexa’s blog.  She incorporates pictures and videos to accompany her arguments.  In addition, Alexa adds plenty of hyperlinks that lead to outside sources that help the reader to fully understand that concepts she discusses.  Finally, my only critique for Alexa would to maybe shorten her blogs just a bit.  I feel that some readers may skip over some of her great points because of the length.  Other than that, I feel Alexa’s blog is a great example of polished work!

Secondly, I chose to read Allie Wachtel’s blog.  Allie is another friend in my class and we have bonded over our love for everything Bravo!  I was scrolling through her blog and stopped when I saw FRIENDS.  Not only is FRIENDS an amazing show, but it just so happens to be my favorite show of all time.  So naturally I chose to read her post, FRIENDS: The Beginning, Middle & End to read.

As I read Allie’s blog I notice how she uses different styles in her writing.  She adds underlines and bolds text to show her reader the emphasis she feels for that certain piece of writing.  I haven’t seen to many other classmates who incorporate that into their blog like Allie does, so it is very refreshing.  Continuing reading, I like how Allie fully explains the text she is either analyzing or using as an example to back up an argument.

In this post, she is using FRIENDS to examine the different approaches to narrative analysis.  She begins my describing the characters and their overall status in the show.  She explains the relationships within the characters and the basic storyline.  This is great because she isn’t assuming that her reader is familiar with the show.  Even know the show brought in millions of viewers, she is careful to not discuss anything about the show that she hasn’t fully explained.  This is key in keeping your readers in the loop with what you are talking about.

Finally, the only advice I would give Allie is to break up some of her paragraphs.  Shorter paragraphs make the blog much easier to read and they don’t discourage readers.  Long chunks of information lead to readers shying away from your blog because they feel it is too much, or too overwhelming to read.

I decided to choose my final classmates blog to read at random.  I wanted to choose someone in my class who I am not close with, so I can learn more about them through their blog.  So at random, I went through and clicked on a classmate’s blog who I wasn’t great friends with.  Who did I click on?  Nick Keim.  I think he and I have spoken once or twice, but I am excited to learn more about him through his blog!  I chose to read his second post called, OZ: A Narrative Criticism.

As I read Nick’s blog, I see that OZ is actually one of his favorite television shows.  I had never heard of it, but I learned about it because he clearly described it in his opening paragraphs.  He explains the premise of the show and he even shares how the show got its name.  As a reader who had never heard of the show before, I feel that Nick did a great job of fully explaining the show and allowing me to understand his narrative criticism of the text.

As I read through his blog, I really admire how his images really depict exactly what he is saying in his post.  Some classmates just throw up images to make their blogs look aesthetically pleasing, but Nick’s images are true to his analysis.  He also adds captions to his pictures, which I think is essential for readers to fully grasp the importance of the image.  Over all, I really enjoyed Nicks post because I feel that I not only learned about a great television show, but I learned more about narrative analysis through reading his post!

I really enjoyed looking at my classmate’s blogs and learning more about them through their posts!  I feel that all my classmates do a great job of personalizing their blogs and expressing their opinions in their posts.  Dr. Nichols’ use of online technology makes the class current and interactive for the entire class! 

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Let’s Criticize Disney? Hell no!

In my previous blogs I have described hegemony and its significance in media texts.  In this blog I want to take a minute to discuss an instrument used in exerting that
hegemonic power over the masses: Ideologies. An ideology is a set of beliefs or values that influences ones behavior and understanding.  More specifically an ideology is the process of how we, as the viewers, make meaning from what a text presents to us.

For example, News Corporation is owned by Rupert Murdoch, a notoriously conservative businessman.  In the multiple facets of media that News Corp owns, Murdoch’s conservative views can be seen and acknowledged by viewers. These beliefs propel conservative values as “the norm” to views which ultimately alter how we behave in our everyday lives.

Now that you know what an ideology is, understanding ideological criticism should be very simple!  Ideological criticism is the study of ideologies and their saturation of
power.  When you think ideologies, you should think power.  Power that corporate
conglomerates have to make the ideologies that think should govern society seem
normal.  This power is directly related to the political economy theory because it examines how media institutions exert power over the masses through texts.

Elites are able to sustain power over the masses through owning so much of the media.  If the masses are only exposed to certain stereotypes or social norms, then that will undoubtedly shape how they will think and behave.  This theory really looks at ownership and how that plays a key role in propelling ideologies they see fit to the masses.

Ideological criticism is by far my favorite to study because it focuses on the affect that the elites have over the masses because of the power they hold.  I mean, I could it get
more interesting than that!  This approach is different from all the other I have studied in my media criticism class because of its focus on power.

I think it is so fascinating to examine how power ultimately decides what we think about because the elites choose what ideologies to place in their texts and what information makes the news.  I feel like I could write for days about ideological criticism and the political economy theory but I don’t want to bore my readers!

I know you are as enthusiastic as I am but if not, hopefully you are still on board with me!  I have two examples I want to discuss with you so you will better understand the concepts I have described to you.  First, I want to talk about my favorite company in the world: Disney.  I have so much love for Disney, but I will try to contain myself as I discuss it in regards to the political economy theory.

In my media criticism class we watch the film Mickey Mouse Monopoly: Disney, Childhood & Corporate Power. The film talked about how Disney is such a huge conglomerate and how their beliefs and values are perpetuated on to so many people because they own so much media.  Disney doesn’t just make movies; they own theme parks, radio stations, television shows, publishing companies, and more!  Most people just think that Disney is so great and wonderful that it is a good thing that they own so many mediums of media.

Wrong.  Many people (not me) think that Disney doesn’t support the right values and ideologies that they should to their audience.  Disney is secretly criticized by many for their continuous stereotyping of women and race, among others.  This is a concern
because they are teaching young girls that they need to be skinny to be beautiful and fragile to be considered feminine.  Also they are showing their audience that African
Americans are the uneducated and Latinos are animals.

We initially as the viewers don’t see how this is wrong or how it will affect how we perceive race and gender.  We watch films and television shows to be entertained, not to analyze the material that we are viewing.  But when we do stop to analyze, many people are outraged by what Disney is saying to impressionable young children.

I ask myself how Disney goes without being widely scrutinized by society for its obvious neglect to portray the socially correct ideologies in its media.  Do you want to know the answer? That is simple, Disney hides behind innocence.  They are able to basically do and say whatever they want because it is all wrapped up in a fantasy.

Disney is all about believing in magic and living through fantasies.  I can count so many Disney films that require magic to carry out events and ask the audience to believe so
something will come true.  Disney is viewed as the ultimate form of fantasy that can’t be questioned.

I don’t think I can express into words the power Disney has.  Disney not only owns so many facets of media, but they own our hearts.  Even though I can analyze Disney and scold it for their neglect, I will always have a special place in my heart for Disney.
They enchant you at a child and keep you hooked throughout adulthood.  They hold power that shapes our lives and impacts our belief systems.

The real testament to Disney’s power is how it is as beloved today as it was 25 years ago.  Even though Disney is acknowledged to propel negative stereotypes and social roles,
it is still loved by a great population in today’s society.  Disney is a great demonstration of the political economy theory.  Not only do they control many facets of media, but they are not challenged for the messages they send or the values they see are redeemable because of that power they hold.

 Many of my readers are probably saying if Disney can’t be touched, then so what?  Why spend the time analyzing Disney and pointing out their hegemonic power?  I feel it is important to address this issue of political economy and ideological criticism because of the unconscious affect it has on the viewers.  As I explained before, the audience isn’t aware of the values and beliefs that are influencing them as they are exposed to the media text.  They are unconsciously registering in our heads, which later affects us in our thinking and behavior.

I feel it is vastly important to be active as a viewer but to not get crazy with it.  After you are exposed to a media text, I would simply reflect on what you took away from it
and how that may later affect you. Whether it is a reality television show you are watching or even something as basic as a print advertisement.  I would briefly look at what social cues you are observing or how the text is representing gender roles for example.

I am not requesting that you go crazy and analyze every time you are exposed to a media text, I just encourage you to be aware and not to get completely swept away by the wonderful world of Disney.  Something that I know I fall victim to 🙂

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Semiotics? So What?

A simple, straight forward, reality TV show is typically an hour of pure entertainment right?  Think again.  A program as simple as reality television is full of social codes that the audience isn’t aware of.  As I told you earlier, I am in a media criticism class at I have learned about a term that basically covers all the different social codes that are present in all television shows.  This term is called semiotics and it is honestly fascinating.

Now, don’t stop reading now!  This blog won’t be a school lesson, I promise to teach you all about semiotics in a way that won’t feel like learning!

To begin, I want to give you ONE definition so you will be well equipped to understand how I analyze my text.  Semiotics is the study of how social production of meaning is constructed through a system of signs, courtesy of Dr. Nichols.  These signs are embedded in ALL texts.

For example, print ads and television shows all present social codes and signs

The Cast of The Real Housewives of New Jersey

that typically go unnoticed to the viewer.  As a society, we don’t focus on how our reality is socially constructed through the media.  This is a problem because we as an audience are not stepping back to realize the influence these codes have on our perceptions and attitudes.

This all may be a bit confusing, so let me give you a text and break it down to show exactly what I am talking about.  One of my favorite reality TV shows is The Real Housewives of New Jersey.  Now, if you haven’t had the pure pleasure of seeing this show, let me describe the premise of the show.

The show follows the lives of five women and their daily activities.  Viewers get to see the housewives deal with their family problems, friendship drama and the effects of the slumped economy.  More importantly, we get to observe these women spending their millions while wearing over the top fashions.

As you may be able to anticipate, this show is full of signs that in turn become codes.  There are different signs that are commonly used in television shows.  For example, symbolic, iconic and indexical signs are all present in television and they are ever more present in The Real Housewives of New Jersey.  For example, a symbolic code in the Jersey housewives would be the cross necklaces most of the women wear at one time or another.  There is an arbitrary meaning between a cross and the knowledge that a cross represents faith in God.

An iconic sign in the show would be all of the signage that is throughout.  The women hold many fundraisers and charity events which all display advertisements.  When we see the women promote their cause we are seeing iconic signs because they resemble exactly what they stand for.  Finally, indexical signs are the most obvious signs in the show.  I feel it is most apparent through their luxurious lifestyles.  When the viewers see their mansions and Mercedes, we know that the women are rich.

John Fiske

A great way to further understand a semiotic analysis of the Jersey Housewives show is through John Fiske’s codes of television.  FiskeMatters.com states that Fiske is a media scholar, noted professor and media critic who was essential in developing media and cultural studies.  He is therefore an expert on the effects television has on our society and his codes of television will help us further examine The Real Housewives of New Jersey.

Fiske’s first level in his codes of television is reality.  Our reality consists of already existing social codes such as appearance, dress, gestures, behavior, sound, etc.  So when we take the New Jersey Housewives we as the audience are not realizing that their appearance and behavior is their own interpretation of their reality.  The audience stereotypes these women to represent all housewives in New Jersey, when a small percentage of Jersey women actually live lives similar to theirs.  The audience needs to be aware that these women are living in their own reality that is in part dramatized to catch viewers.

Level two tackles the technical codes that are ever present within reality TV shows, and the Jersey Housewives are no exception.  The Real Housewives of New Jersey uses many technical effects to give the viewers the feeling that they are really following these women throughout their daily activities.  For instance, the camera isn’t stationed on a doc.  Instead, the camera man follows these women around allowing viewers to see the camera shake, unlike what you see in a regular television show.

Interview Scene by Housewife Kathy Wakile

 The show also incorporates interviews of the housewives to show the women’s opinions on certain situations that occur. These “interview scenes” give the audience the feeling that the women are talking directly to them, bridging a relationship between the two.

Finally, the show is shot almost like you were watching a home video.  There are short scenes mixed with longer scenes and quick zooming during a scene.  The purpose of chopping up the scenes is to give the producers the ability to change how a housewife is to be portrayed.  For example, one of the housewives is mainly shown being nurturing to her family.  The audience now stereotypes her as a loving mother at all times.

Fiske’s final level in his codes of television is ideology.  For those of you who don’t know, ideology is the ideas and manner of thinking about a group, social class, or individual.  Fiske states that ideology is shaped by representation of ideological codes, like class, materialism, etc.  Now, let’s have a field day identifying the ideological codes in the Real Housewives of New Jersey.

Let’s begin with their designer duds and elaborate lifestyles.  The housewives make a point to comment on each other’s Gucci shoes and Louis Vuitton handbags.  The audience translates this into the materialism ideological code.  Depending on the social position of the viewer, the materialism may be interpreted differently.  For example, wealthy individuals would see nothing wrong with these women spending thousands of dollars on handbags, but individuals of a lower class would see it as ridiculous.

Another ideological code present in the Jersey Housewives is capitalism.  We all know that nothing is done for free in this world and that is no exception for these housewives.  As the show increases in popularity, the housewives seem to be demanding higher pay they receive per episode.

The housewives also take on other jobs to make money for their family.  One housewife has her own radio show, while another has two bestselling cookbooks.  The audience sees the representational code of the women working and then the ideological code of capitalism is accepted.

Now that we analyzed the codes in The Real Housewives of New Jersey, you may be thinking who cares?  So what?  Why does this matter to me?  Well, to answer those questions is rather simple.  As the audience, it is our job to be aware of the signs and codes in television that unconsciously influence our values and beliefs.

We need to be aware that this isn’t the true reality of the New Jersey Housewives.  It is a reality that is constructed by themselves, producers and the Bravo network.  It’s essential that we don’t stereotype all New Jersey housewives from what we see of these five women who are on a reality TV show.

Over all, Ifeel it is important to be aware while you’re watching any TV program for that matter.  Whether its reality TV or a sitcom, the audience needs to stop and think about how the characters appearance is specific to their reality.  Or how the producers and directors manipulate how we see the program through technical codes such as lighting or editing.

My analysis of The Real Housewives of New Jersey was to help you to understand how important it is to be educated on semiotics and the codes in television.  I hope it helped you to understand a semiotic analysis! I know I learned more myself!

References:

Fiske, J. (1987). The codes of television. Television Culture , 1-13.

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Active Audience or Bust?

Hello all! My name is Jennifer smith and I am a mass communications major at Towson University. Currently, I am studying public relations and advertising. I have a love for fashion and hope to incorporate that into my future career somehow. A major component of the mass communications field is the media. I love to study the media and its overall effect on society. Currently, I am taking a media criticism class with the fabulous Dr. Sandy Nichols, and I couldn’t be having more fun learning. In this class, we study how the media plays a vital role in shaping our everyday lives. First of all, you may be asking yourself how the media has acquired this large role in our lives. The answer: hegemony.

For those of you who don’t know what that means, I will help you out. Hegemony is a type of power elites can maintain over the masses. Yes, they have the power, power that has been obtained through their large dominance over mass media outlets. For example, large corporate conglomerates like ABC and NBC own so many facets of the media that they decide what ideas, values, or norms they want to reinforce in society. This may seem too obvious to be overlooked by society, but it’s not. In fact, many people have no idea that the programs they choose to watch are influencing them. All media texts reinforce a common stereotype, norm or value in society, and that is why I feel we should think more critically about the media.

When I say we should be more critical, I mean that we should all think about our favorite media text and its real message to viewers. If we are constantly being exposed to a text that reinforces stereotypical gender roles, we have to admit that it would begin to affect our views on the topic as well. Viewers constantly seeing a woman as a stay at home mother and a man as the working bread-winner will influence the viewers own outlook of gender roles. Reinforcing this gender stereotype will lead viewers to believe that the norm in society is women stay home and men work. We all know that in today’s world this is pretty far from the truth.

I looked around, and I found an article that discusses the strong presence of hegemony in televised sports. The article states that “despite the vast increase in the number of women who actively participate or once played organized sports, research has consistently shown sport media generally provide far more coverage of men’s sports than women’s sports.” I found this interesting because it shows exactly how we need to be media literate in today’s society. I will even admit that I never thought twice about always seeing men’s basketball on TV or men’s soccer. I have seen David Beckham on TV way more than I ever saw Mia Ham. However, the sad part is that I expect to see David Beckham, not because he’s cute, but because men’s sports get the majority of media coverage. But for those of you who don’t pick up on this because you don’t watch sports, let’s take a more recent, controversial media text: The Jersey Shore.

Now this text takes on a whole different stereotype than gender roles. The Jersey Shore has led many of those who watch to believe these young adults represent the entirety of New Jersey. But, for that small population who has never heard of this television show, let me descried it for you. The Jersey Shore is a reality show that depicts the everyday lives of a group of eight Italian adults. However, when I say the show depicts their lives, I should say it depicts their party and drinking skills. I have never seen adults drink and sleep around so much in my life. The show, as you may have guessed, has received flack from the rest of the New Jersey population. They feel that the show is an exaggeration of a very small group of adults who live in Jersey. The cast of the Jersey Shore has honestly led millions of people to believe that Jersey society consists of drinking, sex, tanning, laundry and coined sayings such as t-shirt time.

There is also another group besides the population of Jersey that is outraged by the reality show: Italians. Italians feel that they are being heavily misrepresented because the cast speaks of their Italian heritage frequently. So not only is New Jersey getting a bad rep, but so are Italians. The Jersey Shore is a prime example of how television shapes our ideas and judgments without our knowledge. After viewing a show like the Jersey Shore, many people don’t see how they are feeding into a common stereotype. We are judging all Italians and people from New Jersey as sloppy drunks who do nothing productive with their lives.

MTV plays the Jersey Shore, and they are just as guilty as the cast members for spreading this stereotype. They do this by only showing footage of the cast engaging in controversial behavior. The cast does participate in a job, which does produce some good. However, we barely see them ever working, and if we do it is because they are hung over or drinking during the job. MTV could easily throw in some more footage of the cast being productive, but they chose not to because they want to influence the viewer’s ideas and opinions.

As you can see, it is HIGHLY important that we be media literate! Yes, it’s great to let the message of a media text to wash over us, but we need to be critical of what that message is and how it affects us. So far, in class, my favorite term we have learned is active audience. I feel being an active audience member is crucial in exposing yourself to multiple texts. It’s important not to let ourselves be consumed by stereotypes and values portrayed in the media. I mean, if we take television for example, most of that stuff isn’t even real! It’s not based on reality or the true norms in society. It is created people who want to their ideas and opinions to be the norm, so they write it and throw it on television to spread their ideas. So readers, I leave you with this: Be an active audience member! I promise you will discover all kinds of texts loaded with influencing messages!

 

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Is your Career Worth Sacrificing your Privacy?

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, better known as Brangelina, recently won their lawsuit they filed against British tabloid, News of the World.  Pitt and Jolie are public figures that are harassed in the media daily, but it seems that the article that News of the World wrote just pushed the wrong buttons.  In the article, News of the World stated that it was actually end of Brangelina’s relationship.  They stated that the couple were dividing up their assets and developing a schedule for the children.  Apparently the article had too many details and seemed 100% convincing to the public. 

The couple felt that the tabloid had crossed the line this time.  They had their lawyer demand that the magazine apologize and retract the article.  News of the World refused to recant their statements, so the couple filed a privacy claim against the tabloid.  The couple stated that the tabloid make “false and intrusive” statements about them dividing up their millions and making arrangements to decide the custody of their children. 

Brangelina took the British tabloid to court to settle the matter.  The lawsuit was taken to London’s High Court in January of 2010.  The judge ruled in favor of the Jolie-Pitts and an undisclosed settlement was reached in the court room.  News of the World agreed to the settlement and released an offical apology to the couple.  The couple is said to have donated the settlement to their Jolie-Pitt humanitarian foundation. 

In this case, I do feel that Brangelina had the right to file a suit against News of the World.  The tabloid violated one of the four forms of invasion of privacy: false light publicity.  This entails fictionalized facts, stories or events that leads to a person being portrayed in a false light to the public.  News of the World did just that when they completely fabricated an entire story about the couple.  They made the story seem so real by adding how much money there was to de divided and matters involving the custody of their six children. 

I feel that the judge made the right decision in ordering the tabloid to apologize and pay the couple damages.  I  think that it is very amicable that the couple donated their settlement to their charity.  It shows that they were more concerned with the facts than trying to get money out of the tabloid.  I feel that the couple winning this case shows other celebrities that you can successfully sue when the tabloids go too far.  I think that many celebrities think that they can’t do anything about the grueling press, but when other celebrities step up and try, they serve as the example. 

Many websites, like ABCNews and  BBC News  have posted information about the victory in the courtroom!

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Royal Family, or Royal Embarrassment?

Elegant Pippa in her Maid of Honor Dress!

Oh happy day!  I think almost all of us have heard the joyful news of Prince Henry getting married to Kate Middleton.  That was all the ruckus until the honeymoon stopped short due to other members of the Middleton family.  Soon after the huge televised wedding, photos of Kate’s younger sister, Pippa, were leaked to the media.  Now, these pictures weren’t her helping animals at the pound.  No, Pippa is seen dancing with a half-naked man wearing only a white skirt and a purple bra.  Another photo was released where Pippa is in a skimpy white dress (made of toilet paper) while she is surrounded by bottles of liquor.  Of course, the photos and harsh comments are all over the web.  Websites like the Examiner and the NYDailyNews have articles about Pippa’s “racy” photographs. 

From maid of honor to wild child.

Now, of course this is causing great embarrassment to the Royal family, but it is my job to help decrease the negative publicity poor Pippa is receiving.  I am going to create a public relations campaign to help Pippa come out of this royal embarrassment.  I am going to start by talking with Pippa to create a plan of action.  I advise Pippa that a short and simple press release will do the trick.  We will establish Pippa’s credibility by stating her dedication to her education and her work ethic.  

I will focus on two major elements in the press release.  First, I am going to create a background story for each “racy” photo that is now in the publics view.  I will be truthful, yet vague in the details of the photos.  I’ll start by establishing Pippa’s credibility.  I will discuss her dedication to her education, studying english literature at the University of Edinburgh.  I will also discuss her commitment to the family business.  Pippa works on the families magazine, spending time editing the web edition of the magazine. 

Pippa is seen here in a "dress" made of toilet paper.

Next, I will include brief information about the context of the pictures in the press release.  The less the public knows about the situation, the better.  For the two photos that were released, I will say that Pippa regrets her actions and has made significant changes in her lifestyle as she moves forward.  I will also say that she is very sorry for her lack of judgment in those situations and that the public will see a different Pippa in the future. 

Once the press release is released to the public, I will continue my effort to help Pippa gain back her positive reputation.  I will try to highlight her future positive efforts, whatever they may be.  I will make the public aware of her hard work she does for her families online magazine and her continued efforts to expand her education.  I feel that my campaign for Pippa is effective because it is simple and addresses the issue.  The photos weren’t really that bad; she wasn’t caught doing drugs or anything like that.  I think that my press release and time will definitely heal this matter.  Especially now that Pippa is aware that the media and the public are watching her every move!

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I’m tired of Product Placement. I’m not going to Just Go With It anymore!

As an avid Jennifer Aniston fan, there was no doubt that I was going to miss her lasted flick with Adam Sandler.  This romantic comedy was titled Just Go With It and I was hoping it wouldn’t be a flop.  Before I begin my rant on the outrageous amount of product placement, you should know one thing first.  I have a high attention to detail, its pretty ridiculous.  For example, when I come back from class and I can tell you exactly what my teacher was wearing better than I can tell you what the lesson was on.  I think it’s a gift while my mother thinks it’s a curse. 

Anyways, Just Go with It is about Danny (Adam Sandler) who is a plastic surgeon.  He falls in love with Palmer (Brooklyn Decker) who is a school teacher.  Danny isn’t married but he wears a fake wedding ring to get girls.  He does this by telling a sob story about how is wife beats him, or cheats on him, etc.  He falls for Palmer but she finds his wedding ring and assumes he is married.  Danny then tells her he is getting a divorce and Palmer says she wants to meet his soon to be ex.  So, Danny enlists the help of Katherine (Jennifer Aniston) who happens to be his assistant.  A crazy love triangle ensues when they all vacation together and the truth comes out.  In the end, Danny falls for Katherine and Palmer continues to look for love.

So now that we’ve got that established, let me lay out the obscene amount of product placement that observed in this film.  The product placement was most noticeable in the different major shifts in the film.  As the film starts, we see Danny and Katherine helping patients in their office.  So obviously we have to get a view of the Botox label and Jan Marini facial cream.  Then we get a shot of their waiting area which has the Los Angles magazine displayed, along with Seventeen.

Then the film moves to Katherine’s make-over phase.  Here we see her get to play dress up in Barneys with tons of high fashions brands displayed.  First she tries on a pair of Jimmy Choos, then Louis Vuitton.  Next is the clothes!  She tries on Channel, Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent and more.  Then the film shifts to their trip to Hawaii.  Here, the Hilton hotel gets a great shot and so does the booz.  I’ve noticed that there is an obscene amount of beer and liquor that is used in movies as product placement.  In Just Go With it, Danny drinks his Heineken while Katherine sips her Grey Goose on the rocks. 

I think that product placement serves one major purpose to the film: MORE MONEY.  The writers and producers get more money from the brands that they place in their movie.  This is because the brand/product is getting air time that will be seen by millions of people!  The idea of product placement is great in terms of the brand owners and the movie’s producers, but for the audience it’s just down right annoying.  I don’t know how many times I’ve seen movies just zoom to a product and stay there for a couple of seconds.  This is 1. obvious and 2. annoying.  When the products are in the background they are harder to notice, so viewers don’t mind as much.  But at some point someone’s got to say enough is enough.  It’s getting to the point where a good portion of the movie is just frames of products.  I’m giving you my $10.50 to be entertained, not to be subconsciously trained to buy a certain product. 

I believe that the bigger the products initial reputation, the more likely the audience will remember the product.  For example, familiar products like Apple, Sony, Bud Light, etc. get better recognition because they already have a long, established reputation.  I feel that new products that are placed in movies are just a waste of everyone’s time because the audience doesn’t remember them once the film is over.  Some even say that Adam Sandler is the new poster child for product placement because his movies are so saturated with it!  Anyways, I hope that product placement will at least stay the same and not continue to grow in movies!

Check out BrandChannel where you can see the product placement in the latest movies!  Including Just Go With It!

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