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Archive for December, 2008

Timed Writing Preview

1. What is meant by the word “brandlords”?

Brandlord is not actually a word. It is derived from the word landlord. Brandlord refers to the companies that have dominated the market, meaning most people know the brand and possibly buy a product from that company. The “lord” part refers to the feudal system and how the brands are taking control of the consumers.

2. What is meant by the phrase “develop a relationship with consumers that resonates so completely  with their sense of self.”

The companies don’t directly state, “Buy our products.” Instead, they indirectly sell their products by advertising in a way that relates to the consumers. These advertisements generally de-emphasize the product and focus more on what the consumers want. Therefore, the companies are making a connection with the consumers. By looking at advertisements, consumers feel as if they are part of the “brandland” (what they are selling).

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This post is a response to two articles, one from Joonang Daily and one from AFP about Korean hagwons and cheating in schools.

I think both articles are very biased. The first one portrays most Korean students as English-challenged. This is certainly not true. I have seen many students and my friends who speak English better than most Americans (writing and grammar). Especially, the students from the Minjok Foreign School are highly proficient in fields of literature, math, and science. The article also does not apply to our school, because most of us were born in the states or lived there for a long time. Although our English-subject grades might not be good, most of us can speak English as if it were our first language. The part that angered me the most about the Joonang article was the last paragraph, which stated that Koreans tend to plagiarize. We know what plagiarism is; however, the reporter makes it seem as though the Koreans are all plagiarizers. He states that four Korean students were expelled because of plagiarizing, but he should also include some statistics about how many American students get expelled everyday due to plagiarism.

The second article generally portrays students as cheaters. I understand that cheating has become a major problem in all schools. It is a serious problem in SIS as well.  I also understand the author’s growing concerns about the future generation. However, this article is too general and narrow at the same time. It is general in a way because it combined all of its statistics. If we saw the data more accurately (statistics of cheating in rich/poor neighborhoods, statistics of stealing in rich/poor neighborhoods, etc.), we will probably see that cheating and stealing is not much of a problem in highly-educated districts. i think the part about how students in Christian schools cheat more does not really have to do with religion, because many students attend Christian schools for the quality of the school, rather than the religious side.

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Part 1: Some campaign definitions we must know before we can move on!

Parody: a humorous or satirical imitation of a serious piece of literature or writing.

Rhetoric: the undue use of exaggeration or display

Campaign: a systematic course of aggressive activities for some speicifc purpose.

Logic: the science that investigates the principles governing correct or reliable inference.

Fallacy: a deceptive, misleading, or false notion, belief, etc.

Part 2: Watch Videos

#1. Slate Video

#2. Time for Some Campaignin’

Part 3: Find 3 Quotes

Quote #1: “His attempt to paint my husband as a man, he is not a war-monger, he is not a man who is gonna throw an elderly out on the streets and cut out their social security. That is a terribly thing to do and say about anybody.” (Nancy Reagan)

Quote #2: “Unless you want this liberal wuss in command” (John McCain)

Quote #3: “He talks of himself as the new leader of the people, but he can’t tell us where he’s going to lead us” (Hubert Humphrey Ad)

Part 4: Implies

Implied #1: Nancy Reagan is implying that Jimmy Carter is a liar who has no respect for others. She also implies that her husband is a very good man, suitable for the job of president.

Implied #2: John McCain (not approve by him) states in the cartoon that Obama is a “wuss.” This quote implies that Obama is too weak to become president and that Obama is too weak on Iraqi issues.

Implied #3: The Hubert Humphrey Ad implies that Richard Nixon is not a good leader because he can’t even lead himself. In a broader sense, this ad is implying that Nixon is not eligible to become US President and that Nixon is not trustworthy.

Part 5: Fallacies

History of Campaign Ads: This video contains many historical campaign ads. Some ads attack the person directly, like the Hubert Humphrey ad and the Anti-Dukakis Ad. These types of ads only attack the opponent and state that the voters should vote for the candidate because the opponent is a bad leader. We also noticed appeal to popular opinion in the Carter Ad, when he interviewed many people who spoke against Reagan’s aggressive policies. His ad made it seem like many people opposed Reagan’s plans. Appeal to authority was evident in the Humphrey Ad when a movie actor spoke against Nixon. The video itself had some biases and fallacies. For example, it made hasty generalisations by saying that all politicians resort to slash and burn tactics, even the ones (like McCain) who proposed laws that banned attack ads.

It’s Time for Campaignin’: This cartoon clip of major candidates in the 2008 elections uses parodies and satires to attack/make fun of nearly all candidates. For example, we see John McCain in a hospital saying that his health is okay (even though he has a gland). We also see past presidents like Bill Clinton next to pretty girls, bringing back the infamous scandals in the 1990’s.

Part 6: Logical Fallacies in one of the Clips

The Budweiser ad I think has some good examples of logical fallacies. The ad showed a group of friends drinking Budweiser, and they seemed to be having a very nice time. They greeted themselves by saying “wazzup?” The obvious fallacy is the hasty generalisation-that drinking Budweiser can make you happy, get along with peers, and even make some profit (like Dexter on second floor doing his stocks). From the ad, we do not get any information about the beer itself, but more on what the beer can bring. The parody to this ad was also very clever. The once happy friends now have to leave their houses because they are economically unstable. Dexter loses all of his money that he put into the stock market. This commercial was aimed at attacking the current administration and how because of them, the lives of millions of Americans changed. This is an example of correlation implies causation. The ad is stating that with Bush’s poor handling of the country, people are losing money, losing houses, losing jobs, and much more.

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*This journal is a response to the video Merchants of Cool.

In the 21st century, teens have become a major tool for earning profit. It is reported that teens spend 100 billion dollars annually and convince their parents to buy 50 billion dollars more. Teens are becoming more favorable customers because they are exposed to more ads and most have access to television or internet during the day. They also have the ability to persuade friends and parents to buy an item. In order to grab teen’s favor, small and big businesses are always “coolhunting.” Coolhunting is advertising or selling what teenagers think is cool. Coolhunters predict cultural trends and use it in their products or items that teens will think of as “cool.” Once that “cool” is found, hunters market to children as if they are not. They become “cool” themselves.

Everyday, we as consumers experience the method of marketing called coolhunting. For example, the three major video-game companies, Sony (PlayStation), Microsoft (Xbox), and Nintendo (Wii), recently competed each other by making new video-game consoles. Nintendo won big time when they accurately predicted what teens needed the most. By making games that make you not only entertains you, but also develops your thinking skills, Nintendo won the hearts of many boys, girls, and even parents. Parents were willing to buy the Wii because the game was helpful to the development of adolescent minds. On the other hand, Xbox 360 and PS3 was a failure because the consoles were too expensive (when the economy was not doing very well) and most of the games were violent/harmful games that had to do with killing or bloodshed. One PS3 is $600 dollars in America, a wrong choice made by Sony in a time of company failures, sub-prime mortgae crisis, and falling stock markets. More teens are also disgusted by violence they see everyday on TV, or maybe even their neighborhoods. Personally, I stopped playing violent video games when I heard the news that Cho (VA Tech Massacre) got the idea of mass killing from gun games. Additionally, in the 2008 presidential election, we saw Barack Obama making a Facebook page to gain support from teens and adults on Facebook. The benefilt of succeeding in coolhunting is also very rewarding. Forbes recently announced that the Nintendo Wii helped raise Nintendo’s profits by over 43% in one year. The company’s share climbed 113% in just one year. According to Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, 73% of teens able to vote favored Senator Obama.

From the Frontline video, we also noticed Sprite “coolhunting” and grabbing teen’s attention by being part of them. They held a hip-hop party that looked “cool” to most teens. Similarly, Viacom’s MTV is also a form of “coolhunting.” By featuring new movies, clothes, cars, and settings that look “hip” and “cool” MTV is actually advertising products through their shows. I believe that coolhunting is an effective and useful way of selling products to teens. Before the Nintendo Wii came out on the market, the company was on the brink of bankruptcy. Now, it is one of the most stable companies in this global economic crisis. Both Nintendo and President-elect Obama show how effective coolhunting is. However, coolhunting also has drawbacks. The five media magnates (Viacom, Universal, Disney, TimeWarner, Rupert Murdoch) are sometimes harming teen’s lives by influencing teens in a negative way. For example, MTV often shows music videos of famous rap artists in fancy sports cars and new Jordan shoes, along with beautiful women dancing in clubs. These type of ads might look “cool” but for some teens who live in the slums, the ads only give harmful influence. For example, teens often steal Jordan shoes that cost up to $300, steal cars, and attend clubs illegally, just to look cool to their friends. Therefore, coolhunting can definitely be a useful tool to increase company profits, but it must be used in a mutual way so that both the producer and the consumer gains from the method of advertising.

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Above: The latest Nintendo Wii

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Original Article: http://www.tvacres.com/admascots_marlboro_man.htm

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Q) Write a concise one-paragraph analysis of the ad as an example of visual argument (what is it that the ad is trying to portray or imply?)

This ad was similar to the one that was posted our class blog. It portrayed the Marlboro Man in a cowboy suit. As usual, he looks very relaxed and calm in the open fields. The main logical fallacy is appeal to emotions. This ad appeals to many men in their thirties and forties who want to look tough, like an American cowboy, and also be relaxed. Hasty Generalisation is also applied because the ad assumes that the cowboy is relaxed and happy because of Marlboro cigarettes.

Q) Look at the Marlboro parody (”Bob, I’ve got emphysema”). What is the point of this parody? How is it an effective example of a visual argument?

The point of the “anti-Marlboro” ad is to poke fun at previous Marlboro ads that portrayed movie-like cowboys, handsome/tough/healthy middle-aged men, who smoked Marlboro cigarettes. The ad is basically stating that Marlboro is unhealthy because even the people who advertised the product became sick due to cigarettes. This is very effective because it pokes fun at a very popular and famous advertisement that persuaded millions of men to smoke Marlboro products. With the quote “Bob, I’ve got emphysema,” all the glory of the Marlboro Man (and more importantly, Marlboro Cigarettes) is destroyed.

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If I had the right to vote in this election, I would probably vote for John McCain. For America, Senator Obama might be well-suited in times of economic crisis. However, I am a Korean and Senator Obama has shown signals that harms Korea. Most importantly, John McCain supports the KOR-US FTA and Obama does not. Currently, Korea is in an economic crisis as well; therefore, we need to increase our economic activities with various nations. I believe that the FTA will be a stimulus for achieving increased economic activity. Senator Obama, on many public occasions, stated specifically that he will cut trade with South Korea to increase domestic industries. However, his belief does not fit the American title as a global leader. It sounds more like “I don’t care about what happens to other nations as long as America is #1.” From a Korean’s perspective, we have currently risked our health to achieve the FTA. Everybody in the world knows that the US Beef that Korea is currently importing is not the same beef that everyday Americans eat at nice diners. The beef that comes into Korea currently is low quality, old beef that might be infected by Mad Cow disease. However, because importing US beef will give Korea more chance of succeeding the FTA deal with America, the government has decided to import the beef despite the fierce opposition of the people. It would be unfair to lose the FTA opportunity for Korea, and if Obama becomes president, it is almost obvious that FTA will not be completed between the two nations-at least for another four years.

Many people seem to believe that if McCain becomes president, American economy will surely collapse. However, McCain’s economic policies has a high potential of succeeding. First, he stated that he will decrease federal deficit by vetoing every single bill that has to do with spending. The US deficit is currently over 10 trillion dollars. However, Obama has proposed for spending for 500 billion dollars more. Secondly, I like the fact that McCain chose Sarah Palin as his VP. He is trying to bring change and showing us that he is a maverick. In contrast, Obama chose Joe Biden, a famous/veteran politician who seems like an average American politician.

The thing that angers me most about Senator Obama is his view on FTA. On the third presidential debate, he stated that Americans lose too much from the FTA. This is certainly not true. For example, Koreans imported hundreds and thousands of tons of US beef. Obama stated as an example that Americans import hundred-thousands of Korean cars while Koreans import only thousands of American cars and said that it was not fair for the Americans. But, Korea is 1/100 the size of US. Furthermore, Koreans don’t need as much cars as Americans, because the land is so small and public transportation is so developed. Finally, the gas prices in Korea do not fit American cars. Most American cars are indifferent about fuel-efficiency (Hummer, for example). So, it is unreasonable for Koreans to pay $300 every time we go to the gas station just to ride an American car. If Americans produce high-quality, fuel-efficient cars, then Koreans would have definitely bought a lot of American cars. I believe that the cause of failing American motor companies such as Ford and GM is not because of Hyudais and Toyotas but because of their poor job of maintenance. The reason why Americans aren’t buying American cars is because Hyudais are better. It is much cheaper, fuel-efficient, and there is a great warranty (10 year/100,000miles). When the rest of the world was making hybrids and electric cars, GM and Ford was making Hummers and Escalades, some of the most fuel-costly cars in the world. Why is Obama blaming American failures on Koreans and Japanese? Instead of blaming, Senator Obama should investigate why American industries fail domestically and globally. He should also reconsider his thoughts about US losing in the FTA. If it wasn’t for the FTA, how would US import cheap crops from Venezuela and Colombia?

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