Category Archives: 101MC

The reason this blog started

Final Letter to Self 2010

Letter-to-self-2010

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When Harry Met Sally 4/5/2010

 <- my programme

Having never seen a play on stage before it was a new experience. And after getting past the fact they weren’t going to start singing at any minute as this was not a musical, I really enjoyed it. Sarah Jayne Dunn and Rupert Hill were fantastic as the leads Sally and Harry, even the American accents. The supporting cast were excellent too. I think the fact that there were only six cast members altogether made it better, as you didn’t get confused between who was who. The whole production flowed and the scene changes were perfect. It was all thanks to the promotion of the theatre tour, else I would have never known it was taking place. Due to the main stars Sarah and Rupert promoting their new roles by taking part in television interviews (and mny love of daytime TV) I saw their interview and learnt that the production was taking place. This lead me to book tickets, despite having never seen the original film, all because they promoted the play and presented it as the genre I enjoy watching. It really was a brilliant night out and a brilliant production, despite the fact that even after seeing Girls Aloud in concert, Dancing on Ice live, Grease and Sleeping Beauty at the theatre I am still not used to the fact there are actual people in front of me (more than likely due to the extensive amount of television and cinema we now emerse ourselves in). Furthermore it secured my idea that I would like to work in theatre promotion (advertising/marketing). I too will be able to be part of intorducing and re-enforcing people’s love of the theatre.

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Dancing On Ice 27/4/10 & 2/5/10

On 27th April 2010, I went to see Dancing on Ice the live tour at Nottingham Arena. I went for many reasons; the first being Ray Quinn and Fred Palascak! I also went because I love the show on TV and wanted to see after buying the previous tour DVD’s how it transferred into a live show and if it was as good as on the DVD. The final reason, was because Torvill and Dean originate from Nottingham, so it was their hometown. I was not disappointed. The whole atmosphere was fantastic and the skating amazing. The show is divided into two halves, the first similar to the television show, but the second half is brilliant as it includes the professionals skating both with and without the celebrities. This gives you a chance to see how amazing the professionals are, in particular Fred & Melanie Palascak. The celebrities perform their favourite routines from the TV series along with some new ones and Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean perform and they are truly fantastic. The whole show was amazing and the only disappointing part was not getting to see Ray Quinn skate Bolero.

Photos: http://www.facebook.com/amberneat.91?ref=profile#!/album.php?aid=2061892&id=1153591252

Videos:

Professionals performing –

Ray & Alexandra –

I actually enjoyed it so much that I went to see it a second time at Birmingham on 2nd May 2010! Which was even more fantastic. The seats were front row and so ridiculously close the the skaters. Their speed over the ice made it impossible to take photographs and you could even hear the blades on the ice. The atmosphere was electric and every single performance amazing. I must admit the best part for me though was shaking Ray Quinn’s hand at the end! An amazing afternoon.

Photos 2/5/10: http://www.facebook.com/?ref=logo#!/album.php?aid=2062517&id=1153591252

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Cadbury World 22/4/10

On 22nd April 2010, me, Carley Bartlett, Chris Thornton and Beth Hamer went to Cadbury World. Went to see how such an iconic brand/company had developed and how it works now and in particular we went to see the advertising section.

Photos: http://www.facebook.com/?ref=logo#!/album.php?id=1153591252&aid=2061526

Videos: http://www.facebook.com/amberneat.91?ref=profile#!/amberneat.91?v=app_2392950137

After the talk we had in our lecture from Dave Pegg and after Cadbury featuring so highly in the advertising museum in London, we felt we had to visit Cadbury itself to find out more. There it gives a complete history of the company, who ran/runs the company, how it the chocolate is made and how the making of it has developed. There is also, most importantly for us, an advertising section, showing adverts from past and present and a pretty amazing working model version of the famous gorilla advert (see bottom of the page). From an advertising/marketing point of view, it is interesting to see how the company developed over the years. They promoted themselves to workers by giving them superior working and living conditions, something that promoted their image as a company. They started off with very simple marketing ideas, using bright and extravagant shop windows to attract their customers. Then, years later they began advertising and this has progressed in so many ways. The adverts have moved on from the jingles and gimics, to focusing on the company image and product content. But most predominantly, creating adverts people will remember. Now Cadbury creates a talking point, their adverts create a buzz, most probably why there is a working model as people still love this advert and it is probably one of their most famous and successful. They also use so much more technology in their adverts compared to earlier adverts, reflecting the changes in media and audience expectations. It was a thoroughly enjoyable day to learn about Cadbury as a company, re-live and re-visit the adverts and of course, the free chocolate!

http://www.facebook.com/amberneat.91?ref=profile#!/video/video.php?v=1426191532149

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Dave Pegg from Cadbury’s 18/03/2010

Thursday 18th March 2010, Dave Pegg Artwork team manager for Cadbury’s in-house design studio, came in to speak about Design, Marketing and Advertising. He spoke about how he had, since leaving sixth form and university, gone on to do a variety of jobs within his discipline which culminated 12 years ago in securing a job at Cadbury’s. I agree that his varied jobs before are all brought together in his job now: illustrator, printer, designer and sculptor all built up to being an artwork manager. They all assist in being able to design and oversee campaigns and launches, some of which have seen staggering success rates.

It was interesting to learn that Cadbury’s design studio was in-house, but it makes sense when you learn that they produce 4,500 design pieces a year worth £9 million; more than all the advertising agencies in the UK put together; which would be impossible to contract out. So quite rightly it is dealt with in-house, enabling them to keep up with the market and also to keep the hefty budgets down in cost as much as possible. Also, as they work in an advance of between 1&½ to 2 years through strategic planning, which would be impossible to control and keep up with if they were dealing with an agency.

Dave Pegg also described and showed some of the adverts for Cadbury’s over the years and how they have changed and progressed. John Cadbury created the first advertisement in 1824, this would most definitely have been something nobody had seen before. Adverts for products did not really exist before then, so would have been something that caught the consumer’s attention and combined with his attractive shop windows would be something the consumer would remember. In 1866, the strength of the product, how Cadbury’s is a premium brand was first introduced. This was the birth of the brand identity. Back then it was backed-up by medical testimonies, which now cannot be used, but instead the idea of the product being ‘Fairtrade’ is highly pushed. There are themes that run throughout Cadbury’s advertising over the years, reinforcing brand identity with the consumer; reminding them that Cadbury’s is the oldest and best. In 1928, Dairy Milk became the largest selling chocolate product which showed John Cadbury’s work had paid off. This resulted in an investment into the advertising, something which is extremely evident now. Cadbury’s have ensured 500,000 saw the cinema units and their special shows in the 1930’s, that the Fruit and Nut adverts increased sales by 73%, and that celebrity endorsements helped launch Wispa. Also that Cadbury World became the second most visited attraction in the UK (second only to Alton Towers), that 18million viewers of Coronation Street saw their campaigns and that £16 million was spent on the gorilla advert in 2009. When looking at the old adverts, it is surprising how things have changed, yet still seem to have stayed the same. The messages of the adverts have been re-used; in the beginning the taste and company itself were focused on, then highlight was on the taste especially when launching a new chocolate. Then there were celebrity endorsements, but now the adverts have become focused on the company and its image once again. This successfully enables Cadbury’s to promote all their products; which are so many more than you might think; all at the same time. By promoting the brand’s image, they encourage brand loyalty and remind customers why they love Cadbury’s. This is a much more effective advertising method, as they do not have to advertise all their products individually, leaving more budget for new product launches. It also helps that these adverts promoting brand image also become viral sensations. For example, the gorilla advert had ½ a million hits on YouTube in the first week. The best part being, it is free advertising.

It was a very interesting talk from Dave Pegg, it gave a real insight into the advertising at such a major company. And with such high investments in their products and advertising their products, it is no surprise that the purple on their packaging is trademarked, after all everyone associates chocolate with that classic purple.

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Exhibition

Whilst in Aberystyth, I visited the Ceredigion Museum: http://www.ceredigion.gov.uk/index.cfm?articleid=14752

Some images of the museum itself:

There was an exhibition of photographs showing the town of Aberystwyth and how it has changed. The first set of photographs were taken circa 1900 and the second set in 2009/2010. Unfortuantely photography was not allowed, but this website does have some of the early photographs that were displayed: http://abertig.com/tig_gallery.php

It was interesting to see how the town has changed over the years into the town that I know it as. The first obvious difference between the two sets of photographs was the quality. The original images were taken with a very early camera and the modern ones used a 12 megapixel digital camera, so the difference was unbelieveable. The old photographs were grainy and blurred, especially in comparison to the modern technology used. The second major difference was how the town has changed to accomodate modern society. Roads have been tarmaced and one way systems created, traffic lights and roundabouts all put in place to help the flow of heavy traffic since the invention of the motor vehicle. In the old photographs there are cart tracks with horse and carts and the simple tracks make our modern road systems look complex. The streets in the old photographs were lined with trees; a fashion of the time; which made it feel very suburban; like that of an american suburb; where now those trees have been taken up to make way for roads. The final difference is how the town centre has expanded; cottages have disappeared and shops, pubs, restaurants, hotels have taken their place. On saying this though, on the whole not much has changed. The majority of the buildings; particularly the second storeys; remain the same as they were in the original photographs except for slight restoration. Fire is the major reason for buildings that are no longer there; most of the buildings that no longer stand in the town were destroyed by one or several serious fires, redeeming them beyond repair. Fire took away hotels, shops, a cinema and a large emporium. This highlights how serious fires were in Edwardian/Victorian times; buildings could be stripped to nothing from one simple ember; a striking difference to modern society. The town is still very similar though, the buildings have been restored to keep them the same and prevent them from being demolished and the new building built; such as the library and new town hall; have been made to fit in with the older structures. It was interesting to look at how the town I know arrived to be the place it is. It made me think about how much society and life have changed and how technology has adapted with it. This has seen the development of the consumer and the audience and now there are target audiences and demographics of the ever-developing media and marketing world. I was also pleased to find a book in the museum shop entitled ‘Enamel Advertising Signs’ by Christopher Baglee and Andrew Morley.

 Along with postcards of old adverts; cadburys, bovril, heinz, hp and many more; and replicas of steel signs.

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Run Papa Run

This film I found to be most like that of a USA or UK film. It was similar to many independent gangster films such as ‘Sexy Beast’, ’The Business’ and ‘Goodfellas’. It had all the conventions of a typical gangster film; quick editing, hand-held cameras, flashbacks and a narrator. It portrayed the conventional ‘rise and fall of the gangster’. As it followed the typical narrative structure, it was easy to follow and really resembled a typical gangster film. The flashbacks help the narrative move forward and gives the narrative a sense of closure when it all comes together at the end. The mix of slick editing and clean-cut camera work mixed with hand-held cameras worked well, keeping it varied. The fact that the narrative stretched over a long period of time gave it time to develop and for the characters to show development. All in all, it was an enjoyable film as it was similar to films of the same genre from UK and America and it was surprising to learn it had not been sold to any international countries.

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Lecture on disability in advertising and our advert

Synopsis of lecture:

Disabled people are excluded from mainstream adverts, despite there being 11 million disabled people in the UK. The stereotype of disabled people is someone in a wheelchair, however only 2.2% of those who are disabled are actually in wheelchairs. There was a case where a female childrens presenter on cBeebies was disabled- she had the bottom half of her arm missing- and after he first time presenting on the programme there were 8,000 complaints to the BBC about her being on the television, these consisted of comments like ; “it forced me to talk to my children about disability”. There are very few disabled people represented in television adverts and very few agencies which hire disabled models. However, there is to be a break-through, as Coronation Street is to have its first disabled character but this is particularly different as the storyline will not focus on the fact that she is in a wheelchair. Big Brother also treats the disabled differently, they make a ‘big deal’ out of them and treat them in a different way to the other contestants. Disabled people tend to be viewed from one point, the physical point, rather than from multiple points, like personality etc, but you woul not judge someone who is not disabled in this way. Every disabled person is different, like every non disabled person is, disabled people have personalities.  There should be more disabled people as characters or in adverts etc- promoting their quality of life- why does the disablity have to diminish the person? Don’t show them in plain clothes. 47% of people become disabled within their working lives (20-50yrs old). And finally, although there are many disabled charities that advertise and do fantastic work, they actually amplify the disablitiy and the need for help.

 Critical Reflection

There really is a great exclusion of the disabled from adverts, I cannot ever remember seeing someone with a disability in an advert, yet I see people with disabilites all the time- working, shopping and living their lives, so why can they not be included in adverts doing all these things? I must admit that before the lecture, my instant thought, my stereotypical image of someone who is disabled is someone in a wheelchair- this is probably because the only disabled characters on television are those in wheelchairs.

The 8,000 complaints there were about the presenter on cBeebies I find astonishing. I cannot believe how parents could find the presenter ‘inappropriate’ – she was a fantastic presenter and the children loved her. Children are shielded from enough as it is, they only see perfection on television, so in letting their programmes be presented by a disabled person itroduces them to the idea of disability and makes it part of their everyday life and stops it from becoming a prejudice in their minds- so I do not know how parents could complain about broadening their children’s minds, thoughts and beliefs.

In regards to disabled characters in soaps, there has been characters in wheelchairs before. In Coronation Street, Ryan’s friend was in a wheelchair and the storyline did not focus on his disability. However, the character of Hayley in Hollyoaks did have storylines quite heavily focused on her being in a wheelchair, but mainly to highlight the prejudices she came up against. For example when someone heard her singing they wanted her in their band, but when they saw it was her and that she was in a wheelchair they no longer wanted her as their lead singer. Also when she fell pregnant, all her friends and her brother thought she would not be able to cope because she was in a wheelchair, which of course was not true. The storylines for Hayley’s character, although focused on her being in a wheelchair, still had a positive effect as they highlighted the prejudices she came up against and how she overcame them and how her life was the same as everyone else’s- something she often said in the soap; why should she be any different because she’s in a wheelchair. But I do feel that it is a good thing the new character in Coronation Street’s storylines won’t focus on her disability, because, like the character of Hayley, it should not stop her doing anything and most importantly being herself and having a personality, which Hayley certainly did. Also, in regards to disabled characters often being put in plain clothes, Hollyoaks never did this to Hayley, the character always wore what any young, twenty-something girl would wear.

I think that every disabled person should be treated the same as anyone without a disability when on any kind of programme etc. – game show, reality, acting or modelling- the disability most certainly does not have to diminish the person and if the disabled person doesn’t let their disability effect their life, then why should others make it do so? The disability should be acknowledged, but then almost ignored as it does not make them less of a person. People should be judged by their personalities and negativity towards a person should be based on bad attitudes, or bad traits in that person, not by how they look. But unfortunately in a modern society where appearance is key, this is unlikely to happen.

After the lecture on 18/2/10 we were asked in groups to create an advert. The brief was to be based on an origianl one given by ‘Clarks’ and was as follows:

And we decided to create an advert that showed someone with a disability included in a group, doing something simple and regular as jumping, because they loved their new ‘Clarks’ shoes so much. We decided that the person with the disability should not be in the centre, as this would attract attention and in doing this, making sure the audience who look at the advert don’t even see the disability at first. Also to show that ‘Clarks’ is for everyone and everyone is included. Also to make the disability not a “big deal” at all- as the brief said. This is our advert:

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The Brits 2010

After watching it last night I felt I needed to write about it as a media piece. I’ve watched the Brits for many years, but this year I found it such a strange programme to watch. It seemed disjointed, which could be due to the audio being constantly muted. It was probably because it was live and live television often doesn’t make very comfortable or easy viewing at all, but especially last night, as it seemed un-rehearsed. Critics suggested it was because it is live and in the huge venue the audience cannot hear and do not listen properly, so don’t laugh at the jokes or applaud at the correct times. But I  really think it makes for uncomfortable viewing and it is about time the pre-recorded it. Peter Kay made quite a good presenter, but even he couldn’t smooth over the cracks in the gallery- he had late cues back from commercial breaks and the VT’s were not smoothly placed in. If they were to pre-record it, it would be smoother and they could edit out things that the celebrities said instead of muting the audio and they could edit out people going the wrong way, gaps and delays etc. I know then though, that it wouldn’t have the controversy that the Brits is infamous for, but it would be much easier to watch at home. At the moment and in particular last night, it didn’t seem to focus on the actual awards for some reason, but more on the speeches and not really either on the performances. There were also problems with audios and ear pieces as well as the VT’s, which for such an organisation as the Brits and ITV I find slightly unacceptable. In particular Cheryl Cole’s (who I found almost unrecognisable, despite being a huge Girls Aloud fan, probably due to the amount of airbrushed photographs in magazines- but that is a whole other debate) performance was out of sync, which I found completely unfair to her as simply doing that performance was hard enough for her. Compared to other awards shows such as the BAFTA’s, Oscars, and various ’soap awards’, it seemed almost amateur. If they pre-recorded the Brits, it could reach the standard of the other award shows.

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The New Domestic Violence adverts (Feb 2010)

I saw this advert on television for the first time the other day. I think it is such a brilliant advert. Although it shocked me at first, by the time it ended I just thought it was really really good. It is similar to the Women’s Aid advert starring Kiera Knightley (figure 1) except it is less hard-hitting. I feel it is a good idea to advertise for awareness of something so important as doemstic violence, as it effects so many women every year. It also is effective that they have targeted a younger, teenage audience, as it can happen to them as well, but it is so less likely that they would discuss it with anyone, probably because they feel even more alone and isolated than adults. The issue of teenage domestic violence was addressed in teen soap ‘Hollyoaks’ (see figure 2) which was hard-hitting but highlighted the issue brilliantly. I think that the new adverts for domestic violence are just the right balance between being effective, something that makes a lasting impression and something that goes too far- like the Women’s Aid advert was deemed to, as it was banned. I belive it is a much better use of advertising revenue and air time than the NHS’s new drinking adverts (see figure 3) as I feel they are pointless in the way they do not make a big enough deterrant to the target audience to stop drinking- something the audience have done as a part of their lives for so long. Whereas the new domestic violence adverts highlight an important issue, not just for the perpetrators or victims, but for those around them, the advert leaves a memory on their minds; whether the outcome be that they think before they hit the next time, or are hit the next time, or when someone they know shows signs of domestic abuse. The advert is a good length and just as you are wondering when it will stop, the character hitting the window appears and then the slogan. Some critics are already saying that it is not just females that suffer abuse, according to statistics 25% of teenage girls suffer domestic violence and a shocking 18% of boys are vitcims too. Some critics suggest that therefore the adverts are sexist, but whilst I agree that both issues should be tackled, it is one at a time and to suggest that it is a sexist advert is a bit strong. I think that there are too many domestic abuse adverts that are banned so to have one that is effective and more importantly is allowed to be aired, means that critics should not be so quick to judge. I think it is really effective to have the abuser or victim (like in the Women’s Aid advert) shown seperately and detached from their abusive or victim state, to show how they are normal and real people and that the abuse does not have to be constantly happening, it can just be infrequent occassions, but it is still serious. I really do feel this is a good advert and really gets the message across.

[Figure 1] Women’s aid advert-

[Figure 2] Hollyoaks  –

[Figure 3]  NHS advert –

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