Product Placement

After reading some of the reaction about the American idol Chapter and the Topic of Product Placement; I couldn’t resist from talking a bit more about this. It is all about product placement now. Not just in American Idol, but in most TV shows and even movies. Is the new best way of advertising. Before Advertising agencies spend a lot of time trying to create great TV commercials that will call consumers attention, but now, that is not useful anymore. The only time I can think where people actually watch commercials is on the Super Bowl; but that is because through time it has become popular for having all this companies showing the best commercial advertisement and competing almost between each other to be the best; other than that,no one really watches commercial anymore. Going back to product placement, is not only in American Idol or in TV shows, but product placement in movies is big now. Almost every movie you watch has product, placement; I would say, some are basically just product placement throughout the whole movie. In the following link you can watch some product placements in movies.

A movie that I think is mainly based on product placement is “The Terminal”. If you have not watch this movie or have watched it, but never payed attention on how hey are always advertising through product placement, I heavily encourage you to watch and pay attention to all the brands that have product placement in this movie. I couldn’t find a clip that specifically shows the product placement, but if you just watch the movie for a moment you will see is not a  very hard task to find all the brands placed on the movie.

Just to finish, I would say, Product Placement is the new way of advertising. Companies will not stop advertising to us; they will just find new ways to do so. Before they had a space to do it outside the show, if that is not working now they will be in our shows. So in he future I just see more product placement, and to a certain point maybe our shows will be all about selling us a brand or a product.

9,200 ft Closer to the Sky

Quito, Ecuador is my home town. You might ask why that title. Well, aprox. 9,200ft is Quito’s elevation over the sea level, making it the second highest capital of the world after La Paz Bolivia. This small but rich town does have a website, administrated by the city council. The biggest problem with this online community is that most of the time is not working (temporarily down). Here you can find all the events organized by the municipality every month, such as cultural, political and sports events. They also have a CONTACT US link, where people can send any type of concerns they have with the city. They can either ask for future events, promote their event or complain about any damage in their neighborhood streets, etc. You can also see many pictures of Quito, us well as toursts interest places around the city. Most of the time you can find announcements from the mayor about the city and what is being done at that time, such as street construction or any future benefits for the community. You can also find a section where you can donate money and see all community service programs that are being held by “fundacion Reina de QUITO”.

In general I think it is a very informative website; although I feel it should give the community a chance to participate, such as a comment section. I feel that it is not enough with the CONTACT US section, because that is not really letting the divergent voices from the community go out. I feel they basically do that because they feel that would take a lot of control from the city council, and probably that would cause them some problems. The other big problem is that the website is down most of the times. They should really find another internet server to solve this problem. On Facebook you can find many QUITO groups, or QUITO TOURISM groups, where people are actually allowed to participate and interact among the community itself and some virtual visitors. Groups of this type are the ones which give space to the community for discussions of certain current conflicts that are happening in the city. For example, on a Facebook group from the Quito community, they were discussing if bullfights tradition should be banned or not. This was a huge debate where you could see all the community discuss  about the topic no matter where in the world they were. I find this a very interesting opportunity we now have thanks to the online communities; although as seen in this same groups this can bring problems such as speculation and a lot of insults, making it at many times a disrespectful debate. Here are the links for both the City Council website and Facebook Bullfights discussion group. Enjoy!

Facebook: 24 hours online

So today as most days when I came back to my room at night I went on Facebook, checked my notifications, wished Happy B-day to my friends, responded some messages, and after I had nothing else to do on Facebook I decided to check the News Feed to see if something interesting was going on in “my community”. For my surprise I found a video that one of my friends posted that really made me reflect of what has Facebook become for many people. Ironically, I watched this anti-Facebook video on Facebook. I personally believe that Facebook is a great communication tool in many different aspects. As we discussed in class, Facebook has been one of the first social networks that has kept the “online” world very close to the “offline” world. What I mean by this is that because most people are on Facebook, this has become a communication tool that helps people keep in touch with their social life at all times. Events are posted on Facebook, you get invitations to the events, after the events you can go on Facebook and probably find pictures of this social reunions, you can talk to your friends without having to physically be in the same place, etc. Personally in my case, Facebook has helped me keep connected to my friends back home and people who I have known my entire life, who live around the world. I can see what they are doing, how their life is going, if they are studying or working, if they are single or got married, and even occasionally I can even chat with them. All this might sound great; but to what level are we really just using Facebook as a tool to keep connected to our social life? Has Facebook actually become our own little online life? This video really shows you things we all have experienced on Facebook that makes you reflect how this communication tool has become for many a lifestyle or a life it self. I know people who literally are connected 24 hours to Facebook. My friend has Facebook application on her BlackBerry so every second she gets notifications. She takes pictures with her phone and post them on Facebook, she stays hours deciding on which should be her profile picture, and while doing all these, she has already missed valuable hours of real socialization with her real friends. Because of her addiction to Facebook, she ends up socializing with people just through posting on their walls instead of interacting with them when she has them in front. She carefully selects which pictures she should upload to Facebook to keep up with the profile she has created on Facebook. Basically, she has created a life on Facebook that consumes most of her time. Many people stop living their life to live this virtual customized life they have created. I have always been pro-Facebook, and i still am to a certain point. As I said before I think that in many cases Facebook has become a great engine to communicate and keep connected with your friends no matter where you are in the world. For my mom it has been a tool to reconnect with those friends she has lost contact with because she lived in many different places during her younger years; and this social network has gave her this great opportunity. The problem comes when you stop living your real life in order to live a fake, virtual life that you have designed for yourself on Facebook. As most things in life, Facebook has its positive and its negative side; although, I think that we all need to be aware of how Facebook is actually influencing our lives because we are all in risk of being consumed by the virtual world and the online community. I would really encourage to watch this video. Believe me, you will identify with it at many moments. Here is the link: Please tell me what you think about this video and make a reflection of your own life and tell me how consumed do you really feel?


Rejected to be accepted!

I think we can all agree that “Rejected” is a very strange video; although with a deep message behind. It was incredible to see all the different versions of this video and how people have taken this ideas and made them their own in their re-editions of it. I start wondering why people put that much attention to this video. Is it because it is funny, or is it really because people have understood the message behind it and agreed with it and wanted the world to know that they supported this ideas. From some videos I can say that many people just found it funny and just kept joking with it; although some of the re-editions made me believe that people actually got the message. I think that the video shows the power of big corporations and the media, and how many times they shape our lives. Even if we don’t want to be influence by it, we need to accept that to a certain point they do have some power over us and shape how we live our lives, what we think of others, etc. I think that having this video become so important to the point that it even won an Oscar, proves that even if corporations and the mainstream media have a lot of power over us; thanks to convergent media we are now able to express our opinions, and in a way have even taken some of that power from the media, becoming ourselves mass communicators through new mediums like blogs, YouTube videos or through social networks like Facebook. After all, sometimes you have to be rejected to open everyones eyes and finally be accepted.