Journalism: Advertisement effects

My Journalism course instructed me (Joseph) to observe ways in which I was influenced through media messages. As is their nature, advertisements tend to appeal to the feelings of prospective customers. Although I rarely buy things which I had not previously (and meticulously) considered purchasing, I noticed there is one way in which I am severely affected by advertisements.

While at Texas Roadhouse, I was looking over the menu, and I noticed some scrawled wording under the beverage section which read “Slow brewed Sweet Tea”. On the end of the word “Slow”, a cowboy hat was perched. I was leaning towards purchasing sweet tea instead of the considerably less-pricey glass of water.

I naturally like sweet tea and the words “Slow-Brewed” implied that extreme care and effort were put into the creating of the said sweet tea. “Slow-brewed” is much more appealing to me than “Instant”. “Slow-brewed” implies discretion and timing were considered important while this tea was created. The second thing which appealed to me, was the Cowboy hat, located on the scrawled wording. It (along with the theme of Texas Roadhouse) appealed to the inner “southerner” which is engrained in me. Believe me—if that hat had been a flat-brimmed skateboarder’s hat with a NY Yankees logo on it, I would not have bought that sweet tea.

The sweet tea advertisement, though it contained no catchphrases, effectively persuaded me to nearly purchase their product. It did so because it caught my attention through its marketing of sweet tea is distinctly southern, and through creating the impression that time and care were invested in its creation.

Through the observation of this fact, I now know that I am susceptible to advertising which markets itself as something which is “southern”. From now on, I will definitely use discretion when buying things marketed as such.

By the way, the Slow Brewed Sweet Tea tasted great!


Elijah's Poem

Elijah wrote this poem for a reading assignment:

The Place

I went to a place
Where the zebras do race,
But it wasn't a zoo;
It had elephants too,

When I tried to feed one
It was hard to get done.
For what did that silly elephant do?
Instead of the carrot, it sucked on my shoe!



Once again, we bring you a post which is part of Joseph's FLVS Journalism class requirements. This post pertains to the question, "What does it mean to be ethical?"

Being ethical, as described by the Webster’s New International Dictionary is anything, “Of or relating to moral action, motive, or character.” That, understandably, is hard to understand unless we define what morals are. Morals, as defined by the same dictionary are “Characterized by practical excellence, or springing from, or pertaining to, man’s natural sense of what is right and proper.”

An ethical and morally upright person will make the right choices. What the “right choice” is, however, is impossible to define apart from the Bible. God’s word defines sin as “lawlessness” (1 John 3:4). God’s word is the absolute authority which is “the law”. Thus, an ethical and morally upright person will follow the laws of the Bible.

In the case of the situation described in the lesson—where I observe a friend of mine sharing personal information with a stranger online— any decision made would be handled with care. As a Christian, I would handle this situation prayerfully, and I would seek the advice of my parents before making a decision. However, the steps I might take could be the following.

I would first approach my friend, and tell him that their choice to share personal information was a dangerous one and must be resolved. I would then suggest that they approach their parents regarding how to resolve the issue. If they are defiant, I would come back with another friend who could provide more insight on why it is important to talk to our parents. If this approach did not change their opinion—I would go to my parents and explain the situation. They would be able to carefully handle the situation in an appropriate manner.

The harder a decision may seem, the more important it is to successfully resolve that said issue. Insight from parents is almost always the best choice, when something may be hard to determine. For adults, parents—or respected older men and women can provide insight on life issues.

Ethics apply to everywhere in our lives. In Journalism, acting ethically can be harder than most may think. The temptation to print sensational news, pull from other stories, and act dishonestly is constantly a factor in the workplace. Doing the right thing—obeying the Bible—may be hard, but is always beneficial.


The Holy Bible

Webster’s New International Dictionary