Sports Illustrated “Barbie” edition

 

For years both Barbie and Sports Illustrated have faced scrutiny for their depiction of women. Barbie by Mattel has been blamed for the unrealistic depiction of what women ought to look like, and Sports Illustrated has been blamed for portraying women in a demeaning, objectifying manner. Now, both of these major companies are teaming up to show that they are completely unapologetic (which is the title of their campaign).

For decades Barbie has been the #1 toy in the industry, however; as of recent her sales have declined. With Mattel teaming up with Sports Illustrated the marketing team is hoping to boost Barbie’s image and increase sales. In this latest issue, Barbie will be seen along side big name super models such as Christie Brinkely showing off what she is absolutely “unapologetic” for.

The big question here though is: Will this add a more positive effect on Barbie’s image? or will it simply add to the already existing negative ideas?

Barbie, all in all is a toy with a target market of young girls. Sports Illustrated is a sports magazine with a target market of adult men and/or women which uses sex appeal to sell issues. I do believe that no attention is bad attention if you are trying to draw attention to a brand or person; but if Mattel is trying to boost Barbie’s image, and sale in a positive way, I am not quite sure this is the best way to go about it.

Mother’s tend to be very opinionated and unsparing when it comes to things that may negatively affect their children. If Barbie now takes on the role of having sex appeal, and being “Unapologetic” for being unnaturally…flawless; will mother’s take to this? or will it only hurt them?

The marketing and branding team at Mattel have a big picture and have already started a major campaign. How much has been spent on this campaign is unknown, but we can only imagine it must be a lot. How things will turn out is unknown and we will simply just have to wait and see.

 

 

Twitter Observation

               As I look and browse through various public relation firm twitter accounts, and public relation gurus I can’t help but notice many similarities in their tweets.  Many of these profiles posted tweets sharing useful Youtube videos which aided in one’s knowledge of marketing, and many how to videos. Sparkah Media’s profile in particular interacted back and forth with their followers, while other profiles such as PR News mostly posted helpful and promotional links. I admit, all the public relations related twitter profiles I viewed absolutely bored me; it wasn’t until I began viewing the Forbes.com “Must-Follow Marketing Minds on Twitter 2014” profiles that I became interested. Again, some only posted links but there was far more life involved in the tweets connected to the links. One of my favorite profiles belonged to Joseph Jaffe (@jaffejuice). I found his tweets entertaining, even though they weren’t as informative regarding his discipline. His tweets gave an insight of his interests, his strong opinions and even very snippy responses to ignorant followers.

                Viewing the profiles of these marketing minds is literally a free invitation into the life, and mind of these very successful, sought after marketing professionals. Though it may seem hard to get a lesson by simply viewing their tweets, it is also a great way to see the mindset and professionalism required to work in these fields. Many of these profiles are very active, which shows that they understand the growing importance of social media and how effective a simple thought and/or opinion of 140 characters can be.  For example the profile of Melissa Hoffmann, the senior editor of Ad Week’s bio states “Opinions are mine; don’t blame my employer.” I found this to be amusing, and very real of her. It teaches us that marketers and publicists realize the power of their words, and what they say may be a direct reflection of their company which can either greatly or negatively affect them.

                Though these professionals may lash back at some rude responses of followers, and offer their controversial opinions, they are still nothing short of professional in the way the way they speak and word what they say. It shows that it very important to maintain a sense of professionalism in and out of the workforce. Something as simple as twitter and other social networks can severely affect your life based on one tweet/post.

                When learning about the marketing profession, and how to become a force to be reckoned with in the marketing/advertising/public relations field we learn the importance of maintaining good relationships with the brands with which you work. This was clearly demonstrated with all the profiles I viewed. Whether it was a link to a news article, or a link to a Budweiser commercial; these professionals in some way were promoting these brands whilst offering their opinion at the same time and helped to draw the attention of their followers.

                The marketing field is far more lax than other fields in the business world, but this also depends on the firm you work for. Being a “professional” is having the skills required to be engaged in a particular profession. A person working in the field of marketing must possess certain basic skills such as leadership qualities in order to drive a brand forward and manage a team, business savvy, sociologically understanding, technology savvy, and have good writing skills; but simply having these skills may not be enough. A person working in this professional field must maintain the proper behavioral standards set by the company they work for and maintain proper, professional and ethical relationships with clientele and partners.

                Being a part of the marketing culture means that you become the driving force behind many major brands and industries in the world. A marketer can single-handedly be responsible for the success or failure of a company and brand. When one becomes a professional marketer they take on great responsibility, and at all times have to be on their A game in order to push the brand/company for which they work to the top.   

 

Image

Image

 

Re: Discourse Communities and Communities of Practice

The artice “Dicourse Communities and Communities of Practice by Ann. M Johns provides a better insight of what a discourse community is. She argues how hard it is to belong to more than one discourse community due to differing resources such as money as well as the other issues which may emanate.  By cause of the large amount of people which belong to a particular discourse community, despite the shared  goals; it is almost inevitable for many conflicting opinons and issues to get in the way of the equable running of the group. Jonhns implies that it may be useful to invite a third party to mediate and offer an outside opinion.

Belonging to a discourse community may force a person to change many things that make them who they are in order to have a smooth running discource. By doing so, a person may have to change the ways in which they communicate, their values and even their identity as a whole.

Everyone has their own set of ideals, and if belonging to a discource community is what appeals to someone then so be it. However, participating in a group which does not freely allow me to express and be my true self does not appeal to me.

“What Can I Do with a Major in…?”

My major is Intergrated Marketing Communications; this is marketing with a focus in adverstising and public relations. I later hope to work in the field of advertising and public relations and work my way up to becoming a brand manager. To become a brand manager means I will be given the responsibility of managing and overseeing the promotion, sales, and overall image of the brand. I will be required to stay up-to-date with the wants and needs of the industry in which I work and know my market inside and out. My job will allow me to control every angle of the brand, from sale strategies to campaigns and production. The ultimate fate of the brands’ success or failure will be in my hands.

In the field of adverstising and public relations fall many different job descriptions such as:

Advertising Media Planner: An advertising media planner is responsible for the delievery of the advertising message to consumers. This person has to determine the right medium to convey the message; whether it be television, radio, magazine etc. or a combination of them all. 

Copywriter/Illustrator/Creative: This focus puts the person in charge of the writing and illustrating part of advertising. They are required to write, copy, draw ad storyboards, design headlines and design body copy. 

Media Traffic: This personnel is required to select the best space and time in a particular form of media to use in the advertising campaign. They are responsible for being knowledgeable of the particualr demographic in which the form of medium selected will reach, as well as the advantages and disadvantages of using this particular form of medium.

Production Manager: This department is responsible for the actual physical creation of the ad. They must ensure the successful creation of the ad, and maitain good relationships with advertising producers. 

Account Executive: The account executive is responsible for the overall account. This personnel is requried to understand the needs of the customer, whilst coordinating production, creating and implementing the campaign.

Public Relations Specialist: A public relations specialist is responsbile for maintaing the public’s attitude towards the brand and ensuring the best possible publicity. 

Director of Advertising and/or Public Relations: The directors of public relations and/or adveristing are responsible for the entire campaign, except sales. They control the planning, coordinating creation, production process, and budgeting. 

Marketing Organizations

New York Marketing Assosciation (NYAMA):

“The NYAMA raises the profile of marketing and marketers.  We prepare marketers to thrive in new roles, develop expertise and grow new capabilities.  We are advocates for breakthroughs in all aspects of marketing.” 

Sales & Marketing Executives Internetional (SMEI):

“Sales & Marketing Executives International is the worldwide organization dedicated to ethical standards, continuing professional development, knowledge sharing, mentoring students and advancing free enterprise.”

 

Of all the various career paths, being  the director of adveristing and public relations appeals to me the most. I love delegating and working with a team of people in order to finalize a successful task. Being surrounded by creative people, and energy inspires and motivates me; it is the ideal environment I would want to work in. 

 

Sources:

“Careers in Advertising & PR: Job Options.” Careers in Advertising & PR: Job Options. N.p., n.d. Web. 03 Feb. 2014.