Product Placement

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When you consider your own position in the consumption of a film, which is interrupted at the most exciting point of advertising. It is no surprise that most recipients are annoyed by commercials. During a commercial break, many viewers are mentally absent, leave the room or switch over. This figure underlines the statement that traditional advertising possess a low attractiveness. The decreasing acceptances of commercials require new, entertaining and believable advertising. As a result product placement is such an innovative communication and advertising strategy and is gaining more and more popularity. In a German survey conducted in 2004, 49 percent of the companies said that they are operating product placement.

Under the term product placement I understand “the targeted placement of branded products which companies arrange in the real plot of a movie or television program.”

I am very interested in this issue, because we mentioned product placement in the “Introduction to Journalism” class and I also found an article in Poynter as well as in the New York Times about the discussion about the use of product placement during broadcast news programs. In addition there was a huge discussion about the use of product placement in the European Union, if it is allowed to have it in the television or not. But since April 2010 it is allowed in the German private television. The German TV station “ProSieben” made the beginning and broadcast the first placement as part of the show “Schlag den Raab”.

In the United States, one wonders about the strict regulations in the European Union regarding the product placement. While the European Union countries are obliged to mark the content according product placements, there are no such restrictions in the United States.

With reference to the discussion in the United States about the product placement during broadcast news programs I have to emphasize that I think it is not really appropriated to have cups of McDonald´s coffee on your desk during the news of the morning show. In my opinion this circumstance raise questions about possible conflicts between the arranged promotion and the news content. Because for example think about a negative story about McDonald´s like rotten meat in their burgers, do you think it will be reported about it in the same way, even though the TV station make advertisement for them. I am really not sure what to think about. But I am convinced that if they continue to report about McDonald´s in the future, it will be very difficult to do this truthfully and honestly. However it is great to see that there are still three major network morning shows, ABC´s, CBS`s and NBC´s, which do not accept fees in exchange for product placement.

I have to come to the conclusion that product placement can really increase awareness of the brand and create a positive image, but you always should try to integrate the product very good in your movie and not doing it too obvious because this annoys people as well as a commercial break.

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“Everybody is a journalist”

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In my “Introduction to Journalism” class I learned that the Web 2.0 is an interactive medium with collaborative and interactive games as well as a user-created content. In the lecture we also called the Web 2.0 the read and write web.

First of all I would like to define what the term Web 2.0 means. Web 2.0 is a term that was made popular at a conference from at O’Reilly Media in 2004. This is not a new technology or a new form of the internet, but a label, which is used for a new phase of Web development. At which the exchange of information, the interaction and collaboration of the users are in the foreground.

Examples of Web 2.0 are blogs, podcasts, wikis and social networking, where everybody can write, edit, read or add comments, pictures or articles.

One factor I am wondering about is, if Web 2.0 makes really everybody a journalist, because we are no longer passive, now we all can be active producers.

 

I am not sure if we can really call someone a journalist who is just twittering: “I am eating a chocolate” or blogging something about their crazy shopping day. I have to conception that as a journalist you should have creativity, interpersonal skills as well as awareness that you have a social and socio-political responsibility. Therefore I would say that really not everybody is a journalist.

“Joe Sixpax is as well a journalist as a miracle healer is a doctor!” Stephan Ruß-Mohl

Nevertheless everyone has a different understanding and definition of a journalist. For example according to the German Journalists´ Association a journalist is “full-time involved in the dissemination and publication of information, opinion and entertainment through mass media”. In Germany, any person can call herself a journalist even without an adequate training, because the job title “journalist” is legally not protected.

Another factor of the Web 2.0 is if we should talk about a “social media revolution”, because with the Web 2.0 we are the web.

 

And also according to the lectures YouTube video “Web 2.0 – The machine is us/ing us” we have to rethink a few things, like copyright, ethics, privacy, identity, love, family and even ourselves. I my opinion this are very good things that we should consider. One really important point I want to mention is copyright, because nowadays there are many young people who do not know that they are liable to prosecution if they are for example copy a whole Harry Potter book and post it on their blog. Often they do not know or even ignore that you must have legal consent to use another´s creative expression or “intellectual property”. But there are also exceptions of copyrighted material that can be used without the author´s permission. For example if credit to the source is given or if the work is for scholastic or research.

I have come to the conclusion that the Web 2.0 is really a “social media revolution” for all of us, maybe not all of us are journalist with the new Web 2.0, but I really agree that all of us have to rethink a few things regarding this new Web development, because “social media is about people”.

History Interview

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Can you imagine a time in which you receive your news only through newspaper and radio? Can you think about a time in which you receive your TV news only once a day and not be every minute up to date like nowadays? I bet not…

With regard to these questions it was so interesting for me to interview my host grandparents Bob and Marty about how they experienced the time with only a few news media. Bob was born in 1941 and Marty in 1943 and they have been married since 1961. Therefore, they share the most experiences with news media, so I decided to interview them together.

They can remember that as kids they got their news from three different kinds of newspapers: the Globe Democrat (in the morning), the Post Dispatch (in the afternoon) and the Star Times (in the evening). Marty remembered that young boys under the age of 16 delivered the papers, because one of these boys was her sisters’ boyfriend. After their marriage they read two different kinds of news magazines: “American” and “Life”. Whereas “Life” included more news, the “American” included more advertisements and short stories.

But that was not their only news media, because when I asked Marty about her first radio, she answered proudly that she got it in 1945 as a Christmas present – and she still have it. With the radio she was able to listen to her favorite weekly soap opera “Hill Top House”. During this time the two main radio stations were “KMOX” and “KSD”. The great thing about the radio was that now news was available around the clock. But not only that, because when Marty got her first inside radio in 1959 she was ask to receive FM too and not only AM. In addition the radio was a record player too.

Another form of news that Bob and Marty mentioned was the desk or table phone. It is a totally different kind of news, but for me it is a really funny and interesting thing. They told me that their phone was always connected with three other parties, who had the same number like you. So if your phone would ring, it would ring in four separate homes too. And if the call was for you the other people were supposed to hang up. “But if you wanted to hear some news from the other people than just stay tuned”, Marty told me.

Furthermore one news media which is still very important is the television. Marty and Bob had their first black and white television when they were kids, in 1949. In the forties there were only news on the TV and in 1950 were the first program introduced, a comedy called “I love Lucy”. With reference to the news during the fifties John Cameron Swayze was a popular news commentator. Than after Swayze’s retirement the Huntley – Brinkley Report took over, which was the NBC television evening news program. Only news on the TV – that made me think: What was on the TV before and after the news? They told me that there was just an Indian Head test pattern, to adjust the picture.

In 1967 they had their first colored TV, which was still without a remote control – unbelievable nowadays. Major events that they watched on television and which they always keep in mind were the news replay of Kennedy being shot, in 1963 as well as the lunar landing on the moon, in 1969.

Taking everything into consideration I come to the conclusion that two generations earlier hearing and watching the news was like a family event. They all had to be at a certain time in front of the radio or TV. Nowadays, the consumption of news is more a personal matter. Nearly everyone has his / her own IPhone to get news every minute. On the whole I have to say that I hope that in the future we still will have newspapers and radio news and no substitution of all these Medias.