24 hr update: Missing Malaysian Flight

Early this morning the China southern Airlines jet disappeared out of thin air, leaving the public concerned and investigators on their toes. The plane happened to vanish while en-route to Beijing, holding a total of 239 passengers; 12 of which were crew members. The airline stated that the plane passed its most recent inspection, and had never had any problems in the past. They lost contact while the plane was at 35,000 feet; showing no signs of bad weather before losing connection.

 The most unsettling news recently released was that two of the passengers aboard the plane were carrying stolen passports. The stolen passports were confirmed to be of an Italian and an Austrian that had been reported stolen in Thailand. Officials in the investigation have stated that it is still in its earliest stages and that they are continue to search and consider all possibilities, which now includes acts of hijacking and terrorism.

“At this time, we have not identified this as an act of terrorism,” said the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity Saturday because of the continuing inquiry. “While the stolen passports are interesting, they don’t necessarily say to us that this was a terrorism act.”

Ahmad Jauhari Yahya, the chief executive of Malaysia Airlines, addresses the media as the search for the plane continues through the night.  When pressured with questions regarding the security lapse and stolen passports he replies by stating that their airlines had no confirmation from the Malaysian authorities that passengers had boarded with stolen passports.

Currently, Malaysia, Vietnam, and the U.S. have dispatched guard vessels, naval ships, and aircraft to search the surrounding waters. They have also prepared a team of scuba divers  for Sunday to search the waters where they believe the plane could have crashed. 

The idea of this possibly being the deadliest commercial airline since Nov. of 2001 is terrifying.  I tried looking on the airlines website and have yet to find any press releases, or information notifying the public. Talk about crisis communication! Even though nobody knows where the plane is or what happened – if they’re even survivors, it is still the company’s responsibility to remain in contact with the public. If they have nothing to update us on in regards to the disappearance then they could at least comfort the blow by informing the public of how well trained the staff is during a time of hardship.  It looks poor on their part to not have anything on their website this far into the investigation.

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/09/world/asia/malaysia-airlines-flight.html?hpw&rref=world&_r=0

Olive Gardens New Makeover- Good or bad move?

ImageDue to Olive Gardens 13 percent drop in customer traffic and decline in revenues for the year 2013, they decided it was time for a makeover. By rebranding themselves with a new logo and change in menu they hope to drive in more customers. But will giving Olive Garden a facelift and more trendy image be enough?

Olive Garden is not the only one suffering; other well known, fast moving companies have been in a downfall this past year. Darden inc. is a multi-brand restaurant operator, and the owner of Olive Garden. They also own and operate: Red Lobster, Bahama Breeze, Longhorn Steakhouse, Yard House, Seasons52, Eddie V’s Prime Seafood, and Capital Grille.  

“We’re making a transformation to the brand,” Olive Garden spokesman Justin Sikora told The Huffington Post by phone. “We’re moving away from some of the things we’ve done in the past — traditional Tuscan warmth — and embracing a more contemporary Italy.”

According to an Olive Garden spokesman, Justin Sikora, the old beige and forest green logo with swirly font and a 3D grapevine just screams the 90s. They are trying to bring a more light and modern look to their company.  Along with this new and improved rebranding, they plan to start renovating the restaurants; avoiding the old “Tuscan Farmhouse” looks by bringing in a more contemporary style. Lastly, more important than their style is their food, Olive Garden plans to revamp their menu; offering “more protein-forward items” and small dishes on the “lighter Italian fare menu”. For all those pasta and breadstick lovers, don’t worry, the breadsticks, salad and alfredo are all safe!

From a pr perspective I am curious how the abrupt change will affect their traffic and sales. I personally like the old logo more, but perhaps that is because I am all too familiar with the restaurants old style. It is a place my family and I go for everyone’s birthday, following their old slogan “when you’re here you’re family”. Most big chain, family restaurants thrive off of -loyal customers, so will changing their current image push-away current regulars? It’s a risk they are willing to take.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/03/01/olive-garden-changes-menu-design_n_2791869.html

Lynx. Get dirty.

ImageLynx, solely based out the UK and Ireland, produces all over body products for men including; shower gel, deodorant, and cologne.

This advertisement reels in men through objectifying women and using her as a sex toy. The audience for this product is clearly towards men, primarily between the ages of 15- 30 years old. This large age range holds the main stages of a man’s life I feel fits the persona of this company.  It reaches out to teenage boys who then transition to adults. Let’s be honest, through these stages men in our society desire sex. Companies know that they can gain their audiences attention through visual advertisements focused on sexual objectification.  The poster’s main focus is on an exposed woman, clothed in mud, asking for a man’s attention with the two written words “wash me”. You don’t notice unless looking in the bottom right hand corner that the ad in fact represents lynx new shower gel. It is ironic that the ad shows a girl in need of a shower and yet the product is for men.  On the company’s Facebook page their about me site states:

The Lynx Effect is all about helping you up your game – Look Good, Smell Good, and Feel Good. Because when you’re at your best, your chances are too…

Their message is that by using our products, washing yourself and smelling like lynx you can attract any women you want. You will smell good- therefore feel and look good; hence why you will up your game and get any woman you desire. It just goes to show how our society is bombarded with sexual messages across the media. Companies see it in the fact that sex sells, so why change a good thing, a trend in marketing that practically sells itself.

http://www.genderads.com/page3/slideshow-8/

https://www.facebook.com/lynxeffect/info

Google Maps gets up close and personal with polar bears

ImageGoogle has paired up with Polar Bear International to help bring awareness of the species and their struggle to survive against climate change. Google maps placed cameras around Churchiill, the Canadian tundra, to allow viewers a 360 degree look into the lives of the animals. This device will greatly help by not only bringing awareness of the suffering species, but also informing users of the consequences that come from global warming.  Through October to November the cameras get a first eye look out onto Hudson Bay as the polar bears wait for the water to freeze over.

Google is always testing the limits of its all-seeing eye, and the tech giant’s newest project puts its relentless reach to good use.

I think that with this advancement in technology, we can do a lot more to make the world a better place. The “all-seeing eye” gives viewers across the world an inside look at the struggle these animals fight with everyday in order to survive. It ties in well with today’s current trend in society; going green.

They also created a short video, displaying the conservation and animals up close and in action. To read more about the newly installed cameras or to view the polar bears live read Googles newer blog posts: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2014/02/wandering-in-footsteps-of-polar-bear.html

Ad week also discussed the device in an article: http://www.adweek.com/adfreak/google-creates-street-view-worlds-largest-polar-bear-neighborhood-156022

Armpit of America

Image“Armpit of America”

Dove’s new deodorant ad has created a lot of backlash. Many have  commented on how they have chosen to now boycott the company’s products. What is it that has created such conflict? It’s their new campaign “Armpit of America”; a new billboard that advertises Dove’s deodorant products.

They said that the idea of the billboard was one that should be taken positively. Dove’s billboard is to create and redefine New Jersey’s reputation. They weren’t surprised from receiving backlash, however it was unexpected for Dove to be getting so much backlash when the ad wont even be placed until July of this year.

The billboard reveals women in a plain white tank showing her underarm; with the headline:

“Dear New Jersey,” the Unilever billboard says, “when people call you ‘The Armpit of America,’ take it as a compliment. Sincerely, Dove.”

Dove’s senior marketing director, Matthew McCarthy, commented on the negative feedback from customers by stating:

“The message that we want to get out there is that the armpit is not a bad thing,” also ensuring, “and we stand for caring for the armpit.”

I personally think that the Advertisement is risky they could have came up with a better way of advertising for deodorant.  Armpit is known for being a dirty word, it has negative meaning behind it, and by advertising New Jersey as the armpit, they are essentially coming off as advertising them as “the worst place in a given region”. They stated that they plan to change the preconception of it as dirty, but that seems like a large challenge to overcome.

http://www.businessinsider.com/dove-calls-nj-americas-armpit-in-new-ad-2014-2

http://www.adweek.com/adfreak/dove-billboard-tells-new-jersey-be-proud-being-armpit-america-156035

 

Share A Real Moment With Coke: My response

Coca Cola is already a well known brand and they don’t need to do much to advertise their current products, so instead, why not throw in something real, relatable; something to grab viewers attention and make them laugh.

Shannon Lowry, a classmate of mine, recently blogged about the new Coca Cola ad. Their commercial is a big change from their previous ad “America the beautiful”, one that received a lot of controversial up lash.   Their video focuses more on a current social issue then it does their product, but they did it, and they did it well. They call it the “social media guard”, very similar to the plastic cones dogs wear. It is ironic because, just as Shannon pointed out, when I first saw the video I instantly thought cone of shame.

Coca Cola is trying to portray the message that too many people in today’s society are fixated with their phones. They miss out on life when their tied to their screens; missing out on life then  ties in with Coca Cola’s slogan “Share a real moment with Coca Cola”.  It is about the moments in life we should take hold of and spend with those we love.  Their video was well thought out and could be reached by a broad range of consumers; teens, young adults, parents, grandparents, families. I think that Coca Cola did a great job of bringing a real social issue to life and in a relatable yet comical way.

Read more on Shannon’s Blog here: http://shannonplowrycom475.wordpress.com/2014/02/25/share-a-real-moment-with-coke/

WhatsApp

On February 19th Mark Zuckerberg, Founder of Facebook, announced the new partnership with WhatsApp, also stating that their entire team will be joining Facebook. Mark put out a media release on Facebook informing the public of the mobile device and their mission for the newly added company with Facebook.

“Our mission is to make the world more open and connected. We do this by building services that help people share any type of content with any group of people they want. WhatsApp will help us do this by continuing to develop a service that people around the world love to use every day.”

The WhatsApp allows you to connect with your Facebook contacts as well as you community. It is an easy, reliable mobile messaging service.  Mark commented that although Facebook and WhatsApp have combined, the mobile service will continue to work and operate independently within Facebook. 

“WhatsApp had every option in the world, so I’m thrilled that they chose to work with us. I’m looking forward to what Facebook and WhatsApp can do together, and to developing great new mobile services that give people even more options for connecting.”

Mark’s release was a great way to inform the Facebook community. He was positive and speaks optimistically for the future of the newly added company. They hope to help WhatsApp connect and grow; becoming a worldwide mobile messaging service.

From a PR perspective I think that it was a smart move for WhatsApp to partner with Facebook. Facebook is one of the largest most popular and highly well known social media sites in the industry. I think that Facebook is the best way for the company to receive brand awareness. Most businesses have Facebook pages and pay for ads on Facebook, so what could be better than being an actual Partner with Facebook?!

https://www.facebook.com/zuck/posts/10101272463589561