Tag Archives: Media

Race: the power of an illusion

In my opinion, Race: The power of an Illusion is a must see documentary.

My favourite part of the documentary was when they proved that I (that is, me, myself, centophobia) may have more genetic similarity to someone of a different ‘race’ than someone of my own ‘race’. Which raises the question – what is race if not a word to explain differences between groups of people?

I could be part of the “dumbo race”

Having now found out that there is as much genetic similarity within a group of people as there is between groups of people, is race simply a term we should use to represent the few visual characteristics that distinguish groups of people – for example, different skin colours, eyes and hair texture. And if so, should we also perhaps use race as a term to distinguish between people with big ears, a large penis or bushy eyebrows.

So why are Ethiopians brilliant at marathons and African American’s great at singing? It isn’t because they are genetically different; it reflects the environmental, cultural and social discrimination which exists in our societies.

The documentary concluded that race – as an objective measure – no longer exists. So stop using it, you ‘racist’ prick.

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The rights of homosexual citizens…

Earlier this week the Prime Minister’s office revealed they were preparing a submission to review the rights of homosexual couples (ABC). Conveniently revealed during Syndey’s annual Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras (the PM is a clever little fella), the laws would give citizens in same-sex relationships equal rights as people in heterosexual unions, in areas such as superannuation, tax and welfare.

However, the Prime Minister has twice rejected ACT legislation which would have recognised civil unions. This state legislation would have given homosexual couples the same rights as heterosexual couples and would have recognised their relationship as a legal union (Your Guide: Canberra, IBN News). It seems the Prime Minister, while recognising that homosexuals shouldn’t be financial disadvantaged, doesn’t believe he has any obligation to correct social inequality.

In the Prime Ministers words:

Well I don’t criticise gay people for that lifestyle, that’s their choice. What I do say, and I don’t apologise for saying, is that there are certain benchmark institutions in our society that ought to be defended and promoted and marriage is one of them and the reason I don’t support gay marriage is that I think it in different ways reduces the status of marriage as so commonly understood in our society, that is partly influenced by the Judeo-Christian tradition of our society, it’s also influenced by other things as well, it’s not only people of the Judeo-Christian tradition, which is obviously the dominant one in our country, who hold that view, others hold it as well, but there has to be a point at which you stand up for certain benchmark institutions. I don’t think that’s intolerant, I think it’s common sense because they contribute to the continuity and the stability of society. (emphasis added: Radio Interview: 891)

Lifestyle choice? Defend Marriage from what? Benchmark institutions? That gays would corrupt, corrode? Reduce the status of marriage?

The Prime Minister believes that the institution of marriage is far more important than the rights set out by the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights. He thinks that because we are influenced by Judeo-Christian tradition, people are allowed to be discriminated against for the stability of society (which happens to be exactly the same argument Mr Bush uses).

Why does the Prime Minister believe that if 5-10% of the population married within their gender the whole institution of marriage and society at large would crumble to its knees? Heterosexuals have done a pretty good job of recking the institution of marriage on their own – Hollywood stars stay married for about the same time it takes to tie my shoelaces.

The Prime Minister’s reason for defending marriage is also a dangerous one. He cannot say that because our society was based on a religion which had certain values, that we can forsake the rights of citizens which don’t fit with that religion. The Christian religion didn’t value women, yet society hasn’t crumbled because women are allowed to vote or have the freedom to choose a career. Many Muslim countries restrict women’s rights. Does that mean because the Muslim religion allows this discrimination we shouldn’t be concerned?

Would society really crumble because gays and lesbians were allowed to marry?

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Read my essay on the rights of homosexuals in Australia.

Coca-Cola launches “Mother”

The energy drink market is one beverage segment Coca-Cola is yet to dominate. This year however Coke will again try to capture the hearts and minds of a new group of consumers with the launch of Mother. Coke will reportedly spend over $10 million dollars marketing Mother as an all-natural energy drink to young men (Sydney Morning Herald).

The campaign includes three 30 second executions (Lemur [above], Turtoad and Monkeydog) featuring animated ‘Amazonian’ creatures.

In response to this challenge by Coca-Cola, V has reportedly upped its marketing budget, released a new product, and created a new advertisement (shown below). Red Bull has also increased its marketing budget but hasn’t yet broken away from its Red Bull Gives you Wings advertising and no doubt will continue to place heavy importance on extreme sport sponsorships.

The energy drink segment is definately a lucrative segment. It is “worth $151 million and is growing by 47 per cent a year. Energy is the fastest-growing category in soft drinks and account for 22 per cent of total drink sales …” Sydney Morning Herald. However Coca-Cola has a task on its hands with Red Bull and V already accounting for 94 per cent of total energy sales in convenience stores. ” Sydney Morning Herald. So, can three brands share the energy drink market?

In my opinion: with Coca-Cola’s distribution network, Mother will have every chance of success. V has already been removed from the QUT (university in Brisbane) cafeteria :( and replaced with Mother (in a special branded fridge). I have also seen supermarkets and petrol stations with dedicated, branded Mother refridgerators and other branded material. Consumers will therefore be encouraged to at least trial the product when there are no other “energy/caffeine” options available. As for the V energy drink advertising: I have heard both positive and negative reviews. I think the advertisement shows a brand forced to join the race, rather than remind. I don’t like it – too sex-centric, not that cleaver.

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Evidence the media does reflect society…

Two things happened today:

Some mothers do 'ave 'em
Betty and Frank Spencer: Some Mothers do ‘ave ’em.
Courtesy: BBC
1. The doctor on tonight’s episode of Some mothers do ‘ave ’em was smoking a cigarette in the hospital. He was in the waiting room with two nurses, nervously awaiting the arrival of Frank Spencer. Frank and Betty were coming to have their baby. Some mothers do ‘ave ’em aired in the mid 70s in England and I am presuming that since the media reflects society, we still hadn’t made the link between good health and cigarette smoke. It seems crazy that 30 years ago a doctor would be allowed to smoke in a hospital.

2. Also today, my younger sister found a Captain Planet figurine of mine (Wheeler – Fire). It was my favourite show when I was a kid. I couldn’t explain what the show was about, so I download the episode below from YouTube to show her. I never realised how good all the characters were and how they really kept hammering on about the environment and pollution. Find out more about Captain Planet here.

Isn’t it amazing how things have changed in the twenty years between Captain Planet in the mid 1990s and Some mothers do ‘ave em in the mid 70s. And also how vividly, television programs and the media reflect these changes back at society. We can look back at these programs decades later and get an understanding of how society thought and acted, not just about the environment and smoking, but about race, gender, sexuality, age and class.

Tonights episode of Are you being served “The Hand of Fate”, also revealed insights into class, gender and race during the mid 70s.

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Australia Post: Part of Every Day

Best ad of the week …This ad takes the generic Australia Post brand and brings it to life. The advertisement is understated and humorous which appeals to me. It communicates effectively that Australia Post is trustworthy and dependable; exactly what I want in a postal service. In my opinion, it has great production and music. And because the campaign consists of seven advertisements which are played on different days, the campaign has a long-life expectancy.

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Subway “New” advertisement tortures Australian Open viewers

Subway’s now old “New” advertisement has tortured many viewers as they tried to watch Seven’s coverage of the Australian Open.

The advertisement stars two people painting a sign which reads “New” and yet can’t think of the word in order to describe something fresh to have for lunch. The other actor (some American actor whom I don’t know the name of, nor care) shouts “New the word is new…”. By this time many viewers have changed the channel or hit the mute button and thus have no idea what the advertisement is actually about.

Let me think…

Get a NEW ad…

Get a NEW campaign… not one advertisement played over and over and over until everyone who ever considered buying your damn product no longer wants to…

Get a NEW Australian personality to star in your ads… someone that we actually know and care about…

Get a NEW media buyer… who realises fast food isn’t a low-involvement product, and in order to convince consumers to buy it you need advertisements which are fresh, new and emotive.

Get a NEW agency… perhaps one that is located in Australia and can tailor your advertising to the opinions and ideas of the local market… and one that doesn’t rely on repeating the word ‘new’ eighteen times in order to communicate that the product is in fact new…

Federal Communications Commission investigates PR “news”.

Los Angeles Times: The FCC is investigating reports that a number of television news organisations have aired video press releases without disclosing the source of the stories. Up to 98 video press releases were allegedly broadcast on 77 stations, in 30 American states, without disclosure. The station’s claim that the non-disclosure was accidental but others disagree, suggesting that the large number of ‘accidents’ suggests knowledge of non-disclosure.

To some extent I already had knowledge about PR news and the extent to which news coverage and footage is supplied to news organisations from PR departments and agencies. However I reckon that this broadcast of PR news really points out some negative aspects of the current media situation, including:

The pressure news organisations are under as commercial businesses to increase ratings/circulations and the decreased emphasis on the presentation of accurate and independent news.

That 24/7 news channels (and the increased air time given to news) puts pressure on news organisations and journalists to fill-in their allotted timeslot (isn’t it worrying that every night there is exactly 30 minutes of news and they finish by saying “that’s how it is this Thursday” or “you’re now up-to-date” when surely some nights there are differing amounts of newsworthy information to broadcast.)

I also am concerned that the public are unconcerned about the validity, independence and range of opinions they are being presented with when they watch news, and tend to unquestionably trust news broadcasters and personalities.

An inspiring person plants a new idea.

I am a little frustrated with business core units at the moment. In order to get my degree I need to do eight subjects from diverse business areas like economics, accounting, business ethics, management, international business and quantitative analysis. This is a total of one year being used to study subjects – which apart from a broad understanding – I will never use.

It is frustrating because it takes away from my participation and extra concentration on subjects that I actually enjoy and would persue as a career option, such as virtual culture, media technologies and advertising strategy.

Anyway I was talking to a student I am doing group work with who is so enthusiastic about university and about her future career. She told me that she really just stopped one day and realised that she wasn't enjoying what she was doing and decided to stop. She went overseas and travelled around and was exposed to a number of different things but looked inside to really discover what would inspire her everyday. Then she did it.

I – always making excuses – replied 'Yeah, I just need some money to go exploring' and she said, well start saving and in a couple of months do it. I have always thought of money as something to save. I have money in the bank just waiting for what; I don't know.

So the plan is; spend it. Force myself to get a job when I become poor (I'm not working at the moment because I don't really know why I would) and probably be a lot happier now rather than waiting to be happier in the future.