The Blurred Line of Advertising and Publicity

Advertising, or the way of transferring information from an identified party to a specific audience, can take many forms. “Traditional” advertising usually refers to TV advertisements, radio, print ads in newspapers and magazines. New and online media would include online ads, banner ads, ads before online video, social media advertising, and the like.

Native advertising includes promotional messaging on your own sites and property. Advertorials are advertisements that look like editorials, which, knowing our lovely nation, many people get duped by.

Advertising campaigns can take all of these activities, and roll them together. Which is a good thing. An “integrated” campaign is becoming more and more common.

That means the industry is catching up. But those of you who regularly read this stuff, already know that.  Why are we going over this again?

Because many business owners don’t see the relevance. Case in point: BrewDog.

BrewDog got some noted publicity because the owners said they would rather “set their money on fire” than invest in advertising.

Yet they do publicity stunts. Invest in outrageous packaging and product development. And get this: they are going to host their own TV show about beer.

Did we miss something? You see, the BrewDog owners meant traditional advertising, because its true, many craft beers do not need to have the big production TV commercials. Their money is better spent on the nonconventional stuff.

But please refrain from acting high and mighty, saying that you wouldn’t spend on advertising. Because you definitely are.

I think that is the thing that ticks me off the most, the people who don’t call their advertising activities, advertising.

Stop it. It’s advertising. Deal with it.




Are We More Accepting, Or Do We Care Less?

My interest in the fascinating change of human behavior and societal norms continue.

2012 was an interesting year for us humans. We faced the end of the world more with curiosity than fright. Our interactions became noticeably less face-to-face and more digital. And it turns out that multi-tasking, sitting more long periods of time, and not being happy all takes time off of our lifespans.

However- coffee, turns out, is not only good for you, but can replace protein or energy drinks before a workout.

I guess I’ll take the good with the bad.

And now, with the start of 2013, it seems that our perception of attractiveness (as well as the attempt to be attractive) is changing.

According to the NPD Group, a group specializing in consumer research, the number of people dieting has been decreasing at a sharp rate. This year, 20% of adults said they were on a diet, compared to 31% percent in 1991. In 2012, 23% of women said they were on a diet, compared to 34% in 1992.

During a time when obesity is considered a “disease: in America, the decreasing amount of people dieting is interesting. But the study continues.

The study looked at- and rightfully so- about people being overweight and attractive. In 2012, only 23% of people said that people who are not overweight look a lot more attractive. In 1985, 55% of people thought so (mind you, “overweight” in 1985 would be much different than the “overweight” of 2012. Likewise, being in shape in 1985 would be different than its counterpart).

Yet, as the study continues to point out, there are 50 million Americans on a diet, with 27% of them are on it for more than a year. Up from 22% in 2004.

These facts go back to the question raised in the title, are people just becoming more comfortable with the fact that people will be overweight? Is the paradigm shifting?

Too early to tell.

As the waistbands get bigger in America, looks like our perception lens changes with it.


Respect Your Roots

“Remember where you come from.”

That phrase carries a lot to it. As we go on in our lives, it is easy to be lost in the present, and in the future. We see that all around us. People are worried about where they are going to be 5 years down the road in their career, where they will live, when a good time to buy a house, all the way to the trivial, if their sports team is going to win, to catching episodes from their favorite show, to being on time to a recreational game.

And that’s okay.

How fortunate are we that we don’t have to worry about shelter. About being thirsty. About getting from Point A to Point B.

About being free.

The title of the this post “respect your roots”, has many meanings to me. It helps me appreciate history. It helps me examine how I got to where I am today. I wish I could say that I got here all by myself, but history would tell a different story.

Example: I have been catching up on Charlotte history, and in the early 1800’s, over 30% of Charlotte’s (sometimes known as Charlotte Town back then) population were slaves.

Or “bonded people,” as the historical account recounts.

Now, Charlotte has one of the biggest African-American populations in the U.S. (top 10). And here I am, free, in my fourth year co-owning a small business (with a white guy) and getting married (to a white girl).

Respect my roots, I will.

I enjoy history because it gives a flavor to the present and future. It helps us see what’s been done, and what we can do to either repeat it, or correct it. We can look at our families, the organizations we are a part of, and see how all of them have grown out from their roots.

History isn’t abstract, as some people think. Second to learning first-hand, history is the best way to learn, discern, and think.

Let us all remember to respect our roots. It’s a history lesson worth more than we think.