Friday, March 27, 2009

Who cares?

Okay, so I'm going to let loose on this one. We talked about the Livestrong bracelets and how EVERYBODY had one. In like a week it became the coolest thing to be seen wearing. I wouldn't even be surprised if a lot of the people wearing them didn't even know what they were signifying. I didn't have one, but I thought that what they stood for was good and motivating, and if people wanted to wear one, good for them. 

I understand the importance of being an individual and how people want to express themselves by wearing unique things. But who the frick cares if everybody wants to wear the same wristband. If it means something to them, then they should wear it. I think calling that 'conforming' is stupid and single-minded. What if wearing one means something different for each individual? Doesn't that make that person unique in their own personal way, even if it is not seen outwardly? 

I wear an orange wristband every single day. It may not be stylish or what's "in" right now, but I wear it because it has significance to me. I'm not wearing it to stand out or to be unique. I'm not wearing it to fit in or join a fad. I'm wearing it because of what is written on the band. 

I know that we judge and make assumptions, in one way or another, every time we look at another individual. When we come in contact with a new person, we look them up and down and make a presumption or conclusion about why they're wearing what, and what kind of person they are, or what they like, the list goes on and on. I think it's important not to jump to conclusions and make a decision about someone based on what's on their wrist or what brand of shirt they're wearing. There is way more to a person than what kinds of clothes people wear and what brands they like. 

Friday, March 13, 2009

Ads, Brands, and Logos

When we walked around campus this week writing down every logo and brand we saw, my eyes began to grow wider and wider. After only 15 minutes of walking around, we were able to write down close to 200 brands and logos. It's no wonder that we are completely overloaded everyday with brands, ads, and logos. 

What's even crazier than the massive amounts of ads we see everyday, is the ability that we have to see a logo and know what it's representing within a second. When I was walking around campus looking for brands, it was amazing how I didn't even have to think about what the logos represented. I would see a brand, like the Swoosh and immediately write down Nike. I would see three lines on a shoe and think, Adidas. I would see two golden arches and know it was McDonald's. These logos are SO familiar to us, they almost become second-nature to us. We don't even consciously have to process in our minds what we are seeing, we don't have to decipher what these symbols mean, we just know. These types of logos are super effective because they have become easily recognizable, unique, and universal. Basically, if you didn't recognize the Nike Swoosh, people would think you were from another planet, that's how ridiculous branding in our society has become. 

Another interesting aspect of branding is what we associate that particular brand with when we see it. For instance Wal-Mart, some may think, "inexpensive", others may think, "ghetto." The most critical aspect of creating a brand is that when people see it, they associate positive feelings with it. I know that I have bought the well-known brand at the grocery store, even though it was more expensive. When I'm looking for sneakers, I tend to buy only Nikes because I have been pleased with every single pair I have had. But it's more than that, I'm sure I could find great shoes in other brands, but my loyalty lies with Nike. Why? I'm really not sure. I guess I think they are cool. How did I come to this thinking? Probably good advertising.