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Showing posts from October, 2016

Canadians Think America is Great despite America's Lack of Purpose

Sometimes it's easy to take the negative approach to public relations. Trump wants to make America great again and everyone seems to know what's wrong with America. Then a group of Canadians decided to send a love letter to American voters through their campaign Let's Tell America It's Great.

Sounds great.

Considering how close the world is watching American elections right now, this bit of positivism reminds us how important this election is to everyone in the world. After all isn't the pursuit of happiness the most American of all our values? But ask the average American if they're happy and a lot of them would say no. I suppose I should admit, I'm one of them.

In fact we're less happy than right before the Great Depression. Why? People might suggest it's low wages or an inability to live the lifestyle previous generations have enjoyed, but I suspect it has more with our lack of a sense of purpose. There is no space race, no dream of American hom…

Pepsi Max rebrands itself as Pepsi Zero.

Pepsi Max was designed around the height of Energy Drinks and aimed at the male demographic (aged 20-40) because it was mostly a female demo that drank diet drinks. They even used Jeff Gordan (Nascar driver) as a spokesperson to gain the attention of rugged, testosterone filled guys. It seemed like a good idea. However, with cola sales in decline Pepsi has decided to rebrand Pepsi Max as Pepsi Zero Sugar. The branding still includes "maximum taste" on the can, but clearly they've shifted gears. At least, here in America.

Ironically, while the brand Pepsi Max has struggled with consumers in the U.S., in the European market the brand has outsold it's traditional Pepsi products to become the focus of the company's attention. Yet the market seems to constantly misunderstand Pepsi's message when it comes to branding the product. Often they're giving away cans of Pepsi Max in city centres in Europe with "educators" to spread the gospel of zero calor…

Golden Corral Coupons?

One of the most amusing restaurant in the South East of the United States is a chain cold Golden Corral. They offer Vegas style buffets for, about $10 per person. We're talking a 1/4 mile long buffet with a chocolate fountain, cotton candy and comedian Jeff Fox Worthy as their celebrity spokesperson. Their public relations has varied over the years in my opinion and their outreach on social media (apparently the responsibility of each private restaurant) is rather lackluster. They've suffered several negative publicity problems from a YouTube video of the kitchen in a dirty disaster to news stories about multiple people getting sick. There was even a hoax of a man kicked out of the buffet for being too fat and eating too much.

I've had my run ins with them as well. A few years back I received a letter from Golden Corral's legal team asking me to remove a coupon from a website that I owned (now defunct). While the legal team was cordial and rather friendly about the mat…

Ford Mustang: The Unexpected

What do you get when you flip stereotypes on their head? Take a red Mustang, a bit of male misogyny and a blonde female stunt driver who plays it dumb and you get some marketing gold. I'll admit I was secretly hoping for more whimpering from the victims, similar to the Jeff Gordan and Jalopnik Taxi video for  Pepsi Max (see below).

None the less I loved the story and the adventure that this advertisement takes us through. It does feel like it's lacking a punchline and needed a bit more of a focus on the actual product: the Mustang. While the product takes a backseat to the comedy, overall this is one of my most favorite publicity stunts that I've seen in awhile.

Paradigm Blindness in Public Relations

Introduction: A few words can change your world view. Take for instance the case[1] of the warship on a collision path in poor visibility.  The captain radios the other ship, demanding that they change course ten degrees. When the voice on the other end rebuttals “no you change ten degrees”, the captain becomes irate and threatens the power and size of his warship. “Be prepared to feel the full force of this warship”, he declares. The voice responds, “okay, but this a lighthouse”. Lighthouse, one word. The captain went from paradigm blindness to awareness with just one word (Caleb Rosado, 1997).
Topic: Paradigm Blindness in Public Relations
Paradigm[2] Blindness[3] is a term used to describe the phenomenon for one’s dominant paradigm to prevent an individual from seeing viable alternatives (Thomas F. Patterson, 1997). In essence, the way in which we construct our view of the world often limits our ability to see pieces of the larger picture. In public relations, paradigm blindness result…

War Games: Globalized Public Relations of Western Ideology

The world has almost forgotten, forgotten the way things used to be. We’ve chosen to forget the ideologies of the world that existed before the bombs, the wars, and the dark nights. “History is but a myth that mankind has decided as fact” (Assume 2006). After the Great Wars, America wrote the world’s history, and later with the fall of Communism, capitalism under the guise of freedom and democracy became the world ideology (Steger, 2009).  Its goal, globalization, and spreading the ideology around the world. As with any ideology, there are those who may choose to oppose it, to challenge it, and therefore, it should come as no surprise that International Public Relations was created by western powers to combat dissent to the Western Narrative. Utilising Herman’s and Chomsky’s Propaganda Model we can layout the framework for why public relations is inherently westernised, and that media is embedded into the markets system as a result of capitalism dominance (Herman 2003).
One could argue…