Thursday, March 8, 2012

Ellen DeGeneres Builds Laughs and Brand Recognition on Oscar Night

Why do you think consumers resonate with brands shown through film, television and celebrities? 

During the Academy Awards as Hollywood celebrated the art of cinema, jcpenney launched its new commercials starring their spokesperson Ellen DeGeneres. The commercials brought in positive brand awareness and were marked as the "most effective spots to air during the Hollywood telecast," says Stacy Schilling from the Examiner.

I became a fan myself of the commercials for its sense of humor and also for its clear delivery of the message. The commercials successfully informed the viewers of the new jcpenney shopping experience in a humorous tone that was not obnoxious nor irrelevant. 

Does entertainment promote the message of a brand or product in a clearer and less monotone style? Do you believe celebrities add success to a companies brand recognition? Are media consumers more willing to watch an ad rather than read one? 

I am interested to hear what you think! 


Celebrities Get Beat By Their Own Tweets

Social media is a powerful promotion tool for all users--those looking for a job, businesses striving to increase brand recognition, and celebrities connecting with fans and fellow celebs to mold their brand image.

I want to direct our attention to celebrities and their uses of social media. In my previous blogs, I have mentioned that celebrities are a brand. As a celebrity, one must be aware of his or her actions and think twice about statements they make, for it can make or break a career. I read an article by Jenni Maier from The headline of the article is Dear PR People: Please Stop Letting Celebrities Tweet...need I say more?
The headline brings up a great question--should celebrities be forbidden to write their own tweets? And if so, does that mean celebrities should not even own a Twitter account? Recently, we are constantly hearing about a celebrity writing a controversial tweet that created negative hype. Maier states that "within 24 hours the tweets are deleted and replaced with a vague apology tweet that you just know was quickly crafted by an anxious PR person."

I believe in freedom of speech. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion and diverse perspective which is an individual's greatest strength. If a celebrity makes an ignorant, racist, sexist comment then that is their fault. Of course, the statements tend to lead towards enormous stress and embarrassment from not only the celebrity but the publicist as well. Cases of Twitter-misuse is the celebrity's problem. In other cases, some celebrities use Twitter in a beneficial way to promote a cause. We should not generalize the celebrity misuse of social media; thus, we should not punish all celebrities from using social media sites.


Saturday, March 3, 2012

The Walt Disney Brand


That word is how I define Disney. My first vacation trip took place at the Most Magical Place on Earth--Disneyland.  I was four years-old and I was hooked. Let's just say that my family and I have a brick placed at the Disneyland Park, where we insist on visiting it every year.

The Walt Disney Company has built a brand that is recognized all over the world. The company ranges in four business segments: media networks, parks and resorts, studio entertainment, and consumer products. The Walt Disney brand principles resides within each segment, and therefore, grows each year with increasing success.

I came across this video from the Disney Institute. Matt Ryan, Senior Vice President of Brand Management for the Walt Disney Company describes how successful companies, like Disney, leverage brand identity.

Ryan states that having a brand means having a clear proposition in the market so that people know what you stand for. Your identity is what can make your brand stand out from all the clutter in a competitive market base. He also talks about the importance of customer relationships. A company that understands the essence of universal principles that stand the test of time, will remain successful for eternity. The impact of our actions also defines a brand. "It's not what we make, but how we make it," says Ryan. This short clip provides the values of a company brand but also emulates the Walt Disney identity that has distinguished itself from competitors decade after decade.


Friday, March 2, 2012

Gatorade Finds A New Face

Emmett Jones from Sports Business Digest wrote an article referring to Gatorade's recent multi-year partnership with 2012 NFL Pro Bowler, Cam Newton. The company is working with Newton to not only add a face to the sports drink brand, but is also using his athleticism for scientific research to study how Gatorade increases his on-field performance.
To read the article go to:

Now why would anyone want to make Cam Newton a representative of their brand? Alright, I am a little biased considering I am from the University of Oregon. I am still bitter from the loss of the 2011 BCS Championship game.

In all seriousness, Newton is an impeccable athlete. Not only did he lead the Auburn Tigers to win the 2011 BCS Championship (grrrr), he is also the third player to win the Heisman Trophy and be the first overall pick in the NFL draft all in one year. Newton now plays as a quarterback for the Carolina Panthers where he became the first rookie quarterback to throw 400 yards in his NFL regular-season opener.

Regardless of his athleticism, Newton is also a loyal consumer of Gatorade products. It is important to find a celebrity that uses the company's brand as well as one that fits the values of the brand. As a face for a company, one must believe in the product and represent it with a substantial amount of knowledge. Just placing a popular, pretty face on Gatorade's brand would not be ethical. The fact that Newton is and has been a longtime consumer of the Gatorade products makes him the perfect face for Gatorade.


Thursday, March 1, 2012

Product Placement: Effective and/or Annoying?

According to the World English Dictionary, product placement is the practice of a company paying for its product to be placed in a prominent position in a film or television program as a form of advertising.

I came across a blog published in 2008 that list The 10 Most Shameless Product Placements in Movie History. The blog, written by Jeff Steinbrunner from, describes a handful of past films that “disastrously stepped over the line” when it came down to product placements practically starring as a character. 

One of my personal favorite films mentioned on the list is Steven Spielberg’s 1982 science-fiction flick E.T. the Extra Terrestrial.  The product used was Hershey Reese’s Pieces.

For those who have not seen the film or for the who have forgotten, the main character, Elliot, coaxes the abandon alien to his house by strategically arranging a trail of Reese’s Pieces candy.  According to, the choice of candy was made months prior to production when Spielberg looked for a partnership with a candy company that would guarantee promotion for his film. Hershey made an agreement to produce a million dollars’ worth of film advertisements and they placed E.T.’s face on the candy’s packaging.
Here's a Reese's commercial celebrating the 20th anniversary release of the film. Twenty years later, and the candy still has an association with the film!

This brings me to some questions: Do you think product placement makes or breaks a movie? Does product placement annoy you or do you tend to not even notice the product advertised in a film? 


Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Let Me Be The Judge Of That!

If you are anything like me when it comes to watching sports, you most likely yell at the television and scold an athlete for not making that goal, home run, tackle, hole-in-one...well, you get my drift. But who am I to criticize a professional athlete when I am sitting on the couch eating an unhealthy amount of oh-so-good sea salt and vinegar chips?

I like to feel knowledgable. I like to pretend that my words are valuable and sense no one of professional athletic expertise is around to put me in my place, I proceed to coach the players on television. It is a tough job but someone has to do it.

For NBA fans who are passionate about basketball, this year's annual All-Star Weekend was one of the best yet! For the first time, fans were the sole dunk contest judges via Twitter, SMS and website-based voting, according to Sam Laird from Mashable.
Big kudos to the NBA for wisely using social media to interact with fans in a strategic fashion. Although social media is a major tool in marketing, public relations and advertising, the strategy behind the use of social media sites is what makes or breaks a plan. The number of "likes" on Facebook is not a substantial measurement of success/awareness. The NBA's strategy of an interactive approach to reaching fans through social media will possibly become the influencer for other professional sporting associations in terms of connecting with fans.


Saturday, February 18, 2012

Saturday Night Live, Can You Help Me?

One of my secretly long-lived dreams is to work on Saturday Night Live (SNL). A fan for years, I have been slightly disappointed with the show's recent seasons. Unfortunately, the show does not consume the spark that it used to have but I still watch it because of the brand. SNL has aired on television every year since 1975! It's a classic. Even Ben and Jerry's ice cream company came out with a new flavor called Schweddy Balls, named after a SNL skit featuring Alec Baldwin as Pete Schweddy.

I recently finished former SNL writer/cast member, Tina Fey's book Bossypants. In her book, she talks about the hectic-fun-stressful-memorable environment when working for SNL. One of the highlights of her career was portraying Sarah Palin, who was running for Republican Vice President at the time. During one of the late-night episodes, Palin was featured in one of the sketches. You would wonder why someone like Palin who got mocked so frequently on the show would want to show her face around the writers and crew  after all the things they said about her.

The answer: publicity. This is the reason for every SNL host. They are usually coming out with a movie or they are "what's hot" in the tabloids. Not only is SNL helping the celebrity promote his or her movie/brand and in some cases giving the host an opportunity to clear the air over public scandals, SNL is also crossing fingers hoping that ratings will go up based on the choice of host. It is all strategic.


Friday, February 17, 2012

Use Tweets To Help You, Not Hurt You

Christine Erickson from Mashable Entertainment wrote about hip-hop artist Chris Brown's recent activity on Twitter and his unwisely use of the social media tool in her article, "Chris Brown Isn't Dead, But His Twitter Handle Almost Is." She asked readers, "If you were Chris Brown's publicist, how would you handle the situation?"

After Brown performed at this year's Grammys, Twitter users were sparking a controversy mentioning the performer in a not-so-positive light starting trending topics such as #wifebeater. To make matters worse, "Brown responded to the hate with a strongly worded tweet," says Erickson. If you are interested in the artist's exact responses and for more information on the story visit this link:

Celebrities are a form of brands. Their uses of social media is to promote themselves and what they have to offer. Unfortunately, when responses like Brown's are created with no thought to potential consequences, the public loses trust in that brand or in this case, celebrity.

If I were Chris Brown's publicist, I would start reacting immediately and write a statement of apology. What would you do?


Baby Wins!

According to USA TODAY, Doritos takes the win for this year's best Super Bowl commercial. USA TODAY/Facebook Super Bowl Ad Meter started the competition online, marking the first time for consumers to pick the winner versus the traditional voting made by preselected panelists. Voting began after each of the 55 commercials aired on which advertisers spent up to a record $3.5 million for each 30-second slot.  

The record-breaking price for this year's ads sparked quite a controversy. The public began questioning if "Super Bowl commercials are really worth that amount of money?" If you search for that question on the Internet you will discover numerous amounts of articles and blogs ranging in all opinions. USA TODAY's Bruce Horovitz, Laura Petrecca, and Gary Strauss responded to this topic stating, "For the Super Bowl's 38 national advertisers, this was also the Social Bowl. Never mind that they spent upwards of $230 million on just the TV advertising time. The purpose of most of the spots was to drive consumers to share the spots with friends, buzz about them and the brand and then try to find out more about the product."

With today's technology providing us with products like TiVo and DVR, many viewers can now fast forward through commercials, and you can bet that most do.  But on the day of the Super Bowl, my theory is most viewers watch mainly for the creative ads and take their bathroom breaks during the game (that is, of course, assuming your favorite team is not playing). In marketing, wise advice is to market to those who are listening. Those who are willing to listen to you are the ones who will tell their friends and family; therefore, growing brand recognition. $3.5 million is a great chunk of cash but for a Super Bowl commercial, I say it's worth it.


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Help me, help you

On one of my past blogs, a fellow blogger asked me, "What are your views are on using celebrities for building brand recognition; do you think it's played an effective role in getting even more of a consumer base?"

While I personally believe that celebrities are great "tools" for building brand recognition, celebrities can also direct certain audiences against a brand.  One of my favorite celebrities today is Ellen Degeneres. To me, Ellen is a sincerely generous, kind and downright likable human being. She recently became the new spokesperson for JC Penney. However, because of her sexual orientation, a conservative group called One Million Moms is bashing the department store for choosing Degeneres as the face of the brand. Despite your own personal opinion on this subject, we have to remember there are various diverse target audiences in this world with different views and morals. Perhaps having Degeneres as the new spokesperson will cause JC Penney to lose some groups of customers; on the other hand, perhaps JC Penney will gain a new group of customers.

It all comes down to company morals. According to Us Weekly, JC Penney's CEO Ron Johnson stated "Our company was founded 110 years ago on The Golden Rule, which is about treating people fair and square, just like you would like to be treated yourself. And we think Ellen represents the values of our company and the values that we share."

Here is a clip of Degeneres addressing the issue on her show:


To read more about Ellen Degeneres partnering with JC Penney go to:

Thursday, February 2, 2012

The Reality of Entertainment PR

I read an article today posted by Lorra M. Brown from Ragan's PR Daily. The article is about the not-so-glamorous industry of entertainment and fashion public relations. This is not news to me. From the beginning of my PR sequence in school, teachers have informed me that event-planning and entertainment PR is exhausting. "Be ready to have multiple backup plans," they always say. I believe their advice.
To represent something or someone is a big deal! That is quite a load of responsibility to be carrying over one's shoulders; therefore, people have to appreciate the amount of work public relation practitioners accomplish.

In my blog I have talked about entertainment used as a marketing and advertising tool. As far as fashion shows, you always see celebrities sitting in the front row watching models walk down the runway wearing the marvelous creations of top designers. The relationship between celebrities and fashion designers is an important step to market a designer's art of clothes. Viewers tune into red carpet pre-shows before popular award ceremonies to watch "who is wearing who." The line "who are you wearing," means a dress is more than a dress, it is a name. Ah, the beauty of branding.

Take a look at Brown's article to learn what really goes down in fashion and entertainment PR:


Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Celebrity Faces On All The Right Places

One of my favorite shows on television right now is ABC's Modern Family. If you have not seen it already--watch it. The Golden Globe Award winning show is witty and the entire cast play off of each other swimmingly. Did I mention Ty Burrell (actor who plays Phil Dunphy on the show) graduated from the University of Oregon?  Go Ducks!

Another main star of the hit show is Colombian actress, Sofia Vergara. Vergara plays Gloria Pritchett, a strong-headed woman with a voluptuous figure and remarkable beauty that comes with a very thick Columbian accent. Her humor and loving personality has captured audiences and big brands as well.

One of the bigger brands she is representing for is the new Diet Pepsi TV campaign. According to the "Celebrity Brands" blog, Vergara uses her "wit and charm to dance her way past a cast of suitors in a sultry Miami nightclub to get to a refreshing can of Diet Pepsi." With the popularity of Modern Family helping Vergara become a recognizable and appealing actress, PepsiCo was smart to use her as the face of the new Diet Pepsi.

Check this blog to find more marketing campaigns that Vergara is associated with:…-diet-pepsi/


Saturday, January 28, 2012

Are You Ready For Some Superbowl Commercials?

I'm not going to lie, I am deeply saddened that my San Francisco 49ers did not make it to the Superbowl this year. However, despite my disappointment I am excited for the upcoming football festivities, including of course, the commercials.

We all have our personal favorite Superbowl commercials from past seasons. A variety of factors contribute to the imprint an ad makes in our memory. These factors can include humor, touching moments that made us tear, music that gave us goosebumps, or a hot celebrity that glued our eyes to the television. Regardless of the reason, they all brought our attention to a product or brand.

Ad Age came out with a list of "12 Ads That Changed Superbowl Marketing."

This list captures the essence, importance and power of snatching a commercial spot during the Superbowl. Entertainment stands as an excellent tool to grasp viewers' attentions to a particular product or name.

Checkout this teaser for one of this year's Superbowl commercials. Bueller...


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

How to Make a Kardashian

I admit it- I keep up with the Kardashians. The shows, the family, the gossip news...I love the entire Kardashian brand. If you are like my group of friends or any other normal person for that matter, you probably wonder "why and how did this family become a cultural icon?" I can help answer that!

Her name is Kris Jenner. Jenner, married to Olympic athlete turned reality star Bruce Jenner, is the mother-manager for all of her daughters and runs her own business Jenner Communications. Jenner has used skillful branding and marketing tactics to keep her family in the limelight.

According the PerkettPRsuasion writer Johanna Lucia, the brand is worth an estimated $65 million! This money comes from multiple reality shows, their clothing boutiques called Dash, Sears Kardashian Kollection, perfumes, weight loss supplements, and cosmetics--just to name a few. If the Kardashian brand is successfully rising, why wouldn't you want your product associated with them? Well, after Kim Kardashian's scandalous 72 day marriage, the brand is starting to sink. Skechers ended their contract with Kim as the company's spokesperson and tabloids are losing sales when a Kardashian is on the cover. This makes you think--although associating a celebrity with your brand or product can grasp a certain target market, celebrities are also human. Humans make mistakes; mistakes that can ruin your brand. Take a look at this blog to read more about the changes of the Kardashian empire.


Thursday, January 19, 2012

Ladies and Gentlemen...

Welcome to my blog! I am currently a senior at the University of Oregon working my way to graduate in June 2012 with a major in Public Relations and minors in both Business Administration and Communication Studies. As a member of the American Marketing Association club at UO, I am familiar with basic marketing tactics used to sell a product or brand. As far as non-academic goes, I am fascinated in the area of entertainment. I am a reality-show guru as well as an avid tabloid reader. I have taken courses on the history of cinema and love every aspect of film.

By combining my interest in the entertainment industry with my knowledge in PR and marketing, the topic I will be focusing on is how entertainment is used as a marketing and advertising tool. With the use of social media, I hope to gain inside information from entertainment marketing tactics, build relationships with others interested in this topic, and create great content that I can continue building for others to read and perhaps intrigue entertainment corporations to hire me.

I hope you enjoy!