Monday, April 10, 2017


United Airlines is yet again in trouble for bad behavior. Shortly following the leggings incident occurring just last month, in which the airline stopped three young girls from boarding a flight due to their lack of compliance with their "company benefit travel" dress code, United has managed to enrage customers again within 30 days. 

In this incident, passengers and onlookers alike were left traumatized after witnessing a man being dragged off of an overbooked flight leaving from Chicago.

The eventful flight was overbooked by 4 passengers, and when no one volunteered to give up their place when asked, airline security forcibly removed a doctor who protested that he needed to see patients the following day. Following the incident, the airline released an statement apologizing for "the overbook situation". 

After these two controversial incidents, it's safe to say countless people are calling for a boycott, and taking to the Internet to spread their cause. 

Clever Internet users are utilizing the company's slogan and tactic of encouraging consumers to "follow your wanderlust" and share travel pictures, twisting the message to display the harsh reality through wit and humor. 

The incident and public response has spread across varying outlets of social media like wildfire, sparking a huge PR issue for United Airlines that will call for serious attention. How the company aims to fix their image is a problem that is will take time to solve, requiring in-depth knowledge on how to navigate the public's sensitivity and feelings as well as the best method on how to reach them. 

Tuesday, April 4, 2017


It's no secret that brands and companies around the world have sunk their teeth into social media, progressively learning more and more about this new direct link to the consumer. As booming companies have grown more familiar with these outlets and how to speak the consumer's language, one brand in particular has excelled in their ability to relate to the culture and sense of humor of the public, especially the millennials.

Wendy's has taken the Twitter world by storm, embracing our generation's harsh sense of humor and appealing to our sense that the company is "one of us". Their voice reflects one of an individual user as opposed to a multi-million dollar brand trying to market their product, a tactic which has had immense success.

Twitter users across the globe have embraced Wendy's online sass, launching a buzz around the company's epic comebacks and shutdowns aimed at anyone brave enough to take them on via Twitter. 

This constant and witty banter with customers, competitors and critics alike has without a doubt harnessed the attention of the Twitter world, thus allowing the company to increase their brand awareness through the utilization of a relevant and millennial-friendly channel. This marketing strategy is quite effective, as it gets people talking about the company without directly advertising its brand. 

Wendy's serves as an excellent role model not only for companies struggling to reach their audience through a relatable and "cool" method, but for anyone looking for a killer comeback. 

Tuesday, March 21, 2017


As time has progressed, communication has become more and more consumed by technology, with keeping in touch being more heavily focused on screen to screen and less on face to face interaction. With social media constantly becoming more prevalent in teens' daily lives, the long lasting effects on various aspects of their wellbeing are starting to reveal themselves. 

Researchers at UCLA's Brain Mapping Center discovered that when teenagers' photos gain more and more 'likes' on their social media pages, their brains' reward centers respond in a similar way to winning money or seeing a loved one. With this instant gratification that coincides with receiving a lot of positive feedback comes a desire to feed the ongoing obsession with social media, thus increasing usage and allowing the use of apps like Instagram and Facebook to become second nature.  

Because one's teenage years are such a crucial time for social learning, how teens interact on a daily basis can have a long-lasting impact on their development of social skills. Research has shown that with the rise of social media, people are learning to read likes and shares instead of facial expressions. Therefore, instead of face-to-face interaction where we can see a person's emotions via physical and verbal cues, we are now gauging people's reactions and responses via the number of likes, retweets, or shares we receive. 

Therefore, our time spent on social media is having an altering effect on the brain, causing it to adapt and grow. While our ability to read the subtleties of facial expressions might be becoming duller, we are much quicker at monitoring what's going on among a group of friends. While the changing of skills can be argued as a strength or weakness, it is clear that social media is having a greater impact than one might think. 

Tuesday, March 14, 2017


Corinne Olympios. For any viewer of the most recent season of The Bachelor, this name brings up a mix of emotions. Notorious for her outrageous behavior and legendary one-liners, this contestant was painted as the season villain practically before the first episode had even finished airing. While her constant calls for attention easily rubbed many the wrong way, the online community slowly started to sing a different tune as the season developed with regard to Corinne. 

So what caused the change of heart? From night one to the post-season interview, Corinne stayed Corinne through and through. Although her personality and comical antics didn't budge, her portrayal on camera slowly morphed as the weeks progressed. Interviews, camera shots and even background music showcasing Corinne changed from showing a hated and shunned villain to a fun-loving comedic relief. 

With the change in producer tactic came a change in viewer attitude. In comparing tweets and conversations about the contestant from the first night to the last, it is drastically obvious how differently the audience received her. During the final night of the show where a live audience is included, countless fans can be seen wearing t-shirts and other merchandise showcasing some of Corinne's most notorious quotes, showing their support and love for the contestant.     

Above tweet: composed early on in the season
Above photo: example of available merchandise 
Whether people have grown to love Corinne as a genuine person or simply as a joke, it is clear that the public has accepted and embraced her. This newfound acceptance is a direct result of how she was marketed as a person by the producers, indicating the power of portrayal. 

Monday, February 20, 2017


With the wide array of social media outlets available, Vine was a category in its own. Similar to Instagram in its scrolling and viewing capability, this app allowed the user to post and view brief, 6-second videos ranging in entertainment value/genre. This app was not only responsible for videos going viral, but users as well. Many Vine account holders quickly became "vine-famous", racking up followers and launching into stardom. 

One example of how this mobile app skyrocketed a user to fame is the teenage Canadian singer, Shawn Mendes. Mendes started his career by posting videos of himself singing and hanging out with friends, first gaining popularity with lovestruck teen girls (he is just SO dreamy), then with the industry. Since his rise, Mendes has come out with multiple chart-topping hits, thus granting him credibility as an artist. 

Mendes is just one example of the many young Vine stars that gained popularity through this user-friendly app, so when it was announced that this app would be shut down, disappointment among users and celebrity-hopefuls was obvious. 

Following the announcement of the app shutdown, a statement was released giving users a glimpse of hope. Although the majority of the app's features will no longer be available, the app will carry in a new form. Re-branded as "Vine Camera", users will be able to either post the brief videos to Twitter or save them to their phone. 

Although the app will live on in some form or another, the long-term repercussions of this drastic PR misstep remain to be seen. Users continue to mourn what Vine used to be, causing people to wonder where this app will go next and what will remain of it.  

Monday, February 13, 2017


It's no secret that the modeling industry is famed for being cut-throat, ruthless, and unapologetic, an industry that is next to impossible to actually make it to the big leagues. But if you look closely to recent industry trends, you'll notice one catalyst that has started launching girls as young as 15 into instant stardom, causing iconic designers, agencies, and brands to take a second look at the fresh faced girl on the photo in front of them. 


This booming social media outlet has allowed young models to share glamorous and enviable photos of themselves lounging by a pool, out with friends, or simply a flawless selfie, resulting in an ever-increasing following. Becoming "insta-famous" has often resulted in big names in the industry to take notice when they otherwise wouldn't, illustrating how invaluable this social media site is to countless aspiring models. 

Being a famous Instagram model has molded into a career all in itself. These online celebrities earn quick cash by posting selfies and tagging a brand in their post, thus encouraging their countless followers to try out the latest fad or brand. To the rest of the world, this lifestyle can appear flawless. However a model known only on Instagram is ultimately hoping that an agency will stumble upon their account, take them under their wing, and offer a real career in modeling. 

Take model Alexis Ren, for example. This 19-year old was launched into Instagram infamy when the online world caught notice of her suntanned skin, easy going personality, and a waist so tiny it could only be explained as defying physics. Since finding fame at 15, Ren has accumulated nearly 7 million followers and a list of modeling clients including Calvin Klein, L'Oreal, and Express. 

Ren is just one example of a phenomenon swiftly working to define a generation, illustrating yet another expansion of the power of social media. 

Tuesday, February 7, 2017


Oh, Super Bowl 2017-- yes it was quite the devastating blow. As an Atlanta fan and native, I have truly never seen more grown men brought to tears. With that being said, let's get down to what's really important: the commercials. It was a mixed bag this year, with many crowd favorites showcasing an array of techniques and emotions. 

One favorite that hit the heartstrings was Audi's tearjerking ad. Images of a young boxcar-racing daughter paired with voiceover messages of gender equality definitely hit on an issue that is occupying many people's minds.

Not every company opted for the emotional route. This was evidenced in Buick's witty and humorous ad that also managed to sneak in big names in the business, including Cam Newton and supermodel Miranda Kerr.

Kerr explained her decision to sign on to the ad because she found the commercial "cute and fun". Although the ad doesn't give a punching message like that of Audi's, you can't argue against the ad being just that-- cute and fun. This ad has quickly become a favorite, showing that there is no limit to what route to take regarding the emotion and style of your ad, you can still reach your audience regardless.  

Although many of the ads struck a chord with the audience in a positive way, some companies completely missed the mark. One ad that's had people talking for how disturbing and just down right uncomfortable it is was the sexy Mr. Clean ad. The company opted for the humorous route, but just ended with a lack of understanding.

While Super Bowl LI will forever leave a bad taste in many fans' mouths, it was a night of witty, emotional, or weird entertainment for those that really just showed up for what happens between the downs.