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Media Blog Reflection

Overall, keeping this media blog has greatly changed the way I look at the media I consume. When I began this unit, I did not really pay attention to the types of ads I got and the various messages in the media I consumed. Instead, I focused mainly on the surface-level concepts and values it provided me with. However, using the techniques I learned in class, I am now able to analyze the messages I am recieving on a deeper level. For instance, before this unit, when I saw an ad for a product I had previously been interested in, I treated it like it was just a funny coincidence and ignored it. However, now, when I see ads like that, I stop to think about what data companies might have about me that shows them my interests, and whether I really want to purchase everything that I am being advertised. Also, after this unit, I have overall bought less than I typically would, since it showed me how advertising targets our cognitive dissonance to be so effective. Because of this information, …
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How Marvel Movies Use Character Arcs to Increase Sales

Over the past 10 years, 8 different Marvel movies grossed over 1 billion dollars.  While this seems like an enormous achievement, it is very easy to see why they proved to be so successful when analyzed further.  Marvel is able to create lasting connections between their audience and their films so easily because of their use of characters and plot threads that go between various movies.

  As the attached diagram shows, the key trait of the Marvel movies that make them so popular is their interconnectedness. Characters' journeys do not just take place in their own standalone series. Instead, major plot and character developments can occur in any movie from the studio. Ultimately, this draws audiences in through a variety of ways. When a viewer becomes attached to one character, they cannot get the full experience with that character by solely watching their standalone movies. Instead, they must watch other movies that the character appears in, which may require them to watch even …

How to Break the Cycle of Objectification in Advertising

Before writing this article, I decided to try out an experiment. I planned on going through all my "recommended" articles on Google and counting how many I went through before I saw some sort of advertising objectifying women. Sadly, the results were even worse than I expected. The very first article I clicked on had explicit advertisements of women, despite the fact that the article had nothing to do with the ad in question and the fact that I always click "Not interested" and "Stop showing me this ad" whenever I come across this kind of ad on the Internet. Ultimately, no matter how hard someone tries to escape this type of objectification in media, it will always be prevalent in the modern era.
  As addressed in the documentary Miss Representation, companies' objectification of women in advertising leads to both men and women treating women like objects and giving them impossibly high physical standards, increasing the already high amount of sexis…

How Media "Crossovers" Can Harm Consumers

One of the most popular video games of the last year was Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, a fighting game whose playable characters are iconic gaming characters owned by several different companies. The appeal of crossovers like this is obvious: people get to see their favorite characters across a variety of media franchises interact, and can be exposed to new media that they might enjoy. Therefore, it seems like crossovers are an obvious way for companies to expand their audience and to establish good relations with potential competitors. While many companies were once somewhat hesitant to develop crossovers out of fear of their brands being misrepresented compared to competitors, the concept has grown much more prevalent in recent years.

However, despite the surface-level appeal of crossovers, they can often have negative side effects on the consumers. For instance, one of the most prohibiting factors of crossovers is licensing fees. Because companies must receive compensation in exchang…

How The Internet Serves as Free Advertising

My mom has recently developed a habit of sending me pictures of all the memes featuring "Baby Yoda" from the Disney+ series The Mandalorian whenever she finds them. While I enjoy looking at the memes, a part of me thinks about how they are essentially serving as free advertising for the show. The modern Internet culture that has developed around short-form entertainment like memes and video clips has served as a tool for media to spread from person to person more easily than ever before. Ultimately, the corporations that produce this media are able to get increased sales based on advertising that they never paid a cent for.
  While "word of mouth" advertising has always played a role in getting people to consume movies, TV shows, and other forms of media, the Internet has taken this concept and brought it to a new level. In a world where anyone can communicate with everyone else on the planet whenever they want to, discussion of popular new media can grow far big…

The Game Awards: How Companies' Advertising Diminishes Video Games as an Art Form

The Game Awards (known as TGA for short) is an annual live awards show streamed over the Internet focusing on highlighting video games from the past year that excel in various categories. Similarly to other award shows like the Oscars, the companies being nominated typically take the show very seriously by investing a large amount of money into advertising at the event. However, unlike most award shows, the majority of the audience is not actually watching the show to see which games win rewards. Instead, most viewers care far more about exclusive trailers and reveals for upcoming games that are showcased for the first time.
  Overall, the general consensus surrounding TGA 2019 (which was on Thursday, December 13) was that the show was disappointing for its lack of compelling new information about upcoming games. The award winners themselves did not cause significant controversy, but the fanbase still viewed the event as a failure purely because they did not get as many previews at …

Datamining in my Everyday Life

Whenever I was browsing YouTube or Instagram, I always found it odd that it seemed like many of the ads shown appealed directly to my personal interests. While there have always been ads that completely do not apply to my interests at all, a majority of them have at least one aspect of them that seems to connect directly to the types of things I personally enjoy (especially those I searched about online). I did not think too closely about these ads until I watched the film "The Persuaders" and realized that I was most likely a victim of datamining.
  The advertisements I receive online all have extremely obvious correlations to the things I search for. I frequently see ads for video games and movies online because those are the types of things I tend to watch videos and read articles about the most. Moreover, the ads I get typically tend to be from companies that I read about more frequently, like Disney and Nintendo. As a result, it is clear that companies are aware of my…