Wednesday, April 16, 2008

How A Murder Should Be Advertised

In 1927, Will Rogers wrote an article in The Daily World about the content of violence and murder in mass produced newspapers. It's truly a shame that bad and upsetting news attracts more people but it happens. A death of a celebrity is far more interesting than a celebrity who gets married or has a baby. "Death get twice the notice than births do in the papers. Nobody wants to know who was born, but everybody is anxious to know who dies, and the better known they are the more anxious they are to read about their death." When someone dies everyone talks about it and they wonder how it happened. They want to know what the reason is. There is a mystery. When it comes to happy news, there is no mystery. What you see is what you get. You read it and accept it. It makes as to why there is a lot less attention concering the happier news. Rogers goes on to talk about murder, he says that, "It's best not to have a woman do the murdering. A case like that holds little for a little, but when it comes to a trial it loses interest, for the people want to see a case where there is some chance of conviction. Get some church member mixed up in it if possible, and you won't have much trouble along that line." It's completely crazy that a difference in gender changes attention too. People think that men are more dangerous and that women are more innocent. Women can get away with more. There is more excitement and suspense when seeing a man on trial than a woman because there is more of a chance that he will be convicted. He will get punished. It's interesting what really catches peoples' attention

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Lewis W.Hine

Lewis W. Hine, a photographer who followed the steps of Jacob Riis took photography to another dimension, leaving aside the contemporary attributes of the 1800's. Having to face the demands of the Progressive Era, he approached photography with the intentions of recording history through the lives of workers in America. After years of dedication devoted to social reform, his pictures of child laborers were the ones that proved his influence in society. Being a “staff photographer for the National Labor Committee, Hine traveled tens of thousands of miles, gathering visual evidence of violations of child labor laws, often under trying circumstances”(Social Photography, Lewis W.Hine).

Social photography is not meant to entertain the eyes; it is work that is done to create consciousness to those of heart, even the heartless. It penetrates through the thoughts of an individual persuading them to make a change. A documentary photograph is not meant to be beautiful or altered; it is not an art of work, it is a proof of injustice. For Hines’, “Social photography was for him and educational process; a picture was a piece of evidence, a record of social injustice, but also of individual human beings surviving with dignity in intolerable conditions. “More than anyone else in his generation, Hine shaped a style for engaged, sympathetic social documentary photography, and thus provided a model for the famous Farm Security Administration” (Social Photography, Lewis W.Hine).

Even though social photography can serve as a tool of information, it can also move us and persuade us to make a change, perhaps create consciousness of the circumstances surrounding the lives of those who are captured behind the lenses of a camera. You can see a picture of a child with dirty clothes by himself sitting in a corner, and someone’s first reaction would be that the child does not have responsible parents, but if they look beyond and understand the circumstances that surrounds this child’s life, your interpretation can take you to a different dimension, bringing the factors of poverty to justify his conditions, the same factors that in many cases justified the hard work many children were destined to do in order to provide for themselves and help their families.

Now, let us take a glance under Brooklyn Bridge at 3 a.m. on a cold, snowy night. While these boys we see there wait, hudled, yet alert, for a customer, we might pause to ask where lies the power in a picture. Whether it be a painting or photograph, the picture is a symbol that brings one immediately into close touch with reality. It speaks a language learned early in the race and in the individual –witness the ancient picture writers and the child of today absorbed in his picture book. For us older children, the picture continues to tell a story packed in the most condensed and vital form. In fact, it is often more effective than the reality would have been, because, in the picture, the non-essential and conflicting interests have been eliminated. The picture is the language of all nationalities and all ages (Social Photography, Lewis H.Hine).

Social photography captures an image that makes you ponder beyond the limits of imagination, therefore, bringing you to a stage of awareness. It is not a moment that can be overlooked, social photography becomes static in the mind and it makes you analyze in depth the reasons of why the object or the person in the picture was of interest to the photographer. There are not assumptions on a social photograph, which is documented. There is always a need to look beyond and scrutinize what we will normally accept at a quick glance.

Promoting “Lucky Strike”

The importance of the case “Promoting Lucky Strike to Women” is that it signifies and exemplifies the origins of modern public relations. At the time (1920’s), new ideas related to consumer behavior were being explored. Public persuasion became an important angle to analyze and although the Lucky Strike campaign makes it seem it is easy to sway public opinion, the reality is very different.

· 1920’s not socially accepted for women to smoke outdoors or in public places
· ATC-Lucky Strike- G.W. Hill campaigns aimed at women.
--- Parade of freedom-Women lighting torches (cigarettes) outside
---“Reach for a Lucky Instead of a Sweet” - Next year sales up 200%
· Target: Health-Fashion-Women Interests. Smoking as health aid to lose weight, look slim
· New advertising, marketing, public relations ideas in the 1920’s
--- Green is hope, spring, victory, plenty. Suggests calm, peace, serenity
--- Use of Green in Fashion -New York-Paris. Lucky Strike pack colors
· Entertainment industry -Many women in the movies were now smoking.
· Ads featured movie stars and personalities showing Luckies as appetite suppressants.

The ad on the upper left features Billy Burke, the Good Witch in "The Wizard of Oz."

“Age-old customs, I learned, could be broken down by a dramatic appeal, disseminated by the network media.” Bernays P.93

Many consider Edward Bernays (psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud’s nephew) the father of modern public relations. He believed manipulation of public opinion could be achieved by using psychology.

Bernays and G.W. Hill worked together to plan and develop new media campaigns for the Lucky Strike brand. In essence, they pioneered the Public Relations use of psychology to create public persuasion campaigns and bring attention to the extreme power the various media outlets can have on society when properly utilized.

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Monday, April 14, 2008

jacob riss

Jacob Riis used his camera to create a documentary on life on the streets. He put together a montage of photos with caption titled, “As the other half lives.” Jacob knows from experience how life was on the streets. After emigrating to the United among hard times, his only companion was a dog which was killed by a police officer. After that moment, Jacob decided that it was imperative that people saw how the other half lived. The streets were over run by crime. Little children were forced to live in gutters, as many of Jacobs photos depict. Little was done to prevent the travesties because many may not have known the extent of the problem. Child labor was an issue that many didn’t know about, or simply didn’t care. Jacob was allowed into factories to take pictures because he got a job with The Sun. his many photos and documentaries, awakened others to what was actually occurring in their city. Many slept in 7 cent lodges or even passed out in bars. Time were rough for many but Jacobs efforts made people aware. His many photos of poor old woman sleeping in rooms unfit for anyone, images of gangs on Mulberry street, and babies sleeping over grates in the streets as people passed by, made many realize that something had to be done.