Beauty, Brains, and Body? How Advertising Portrays Women’s Body Image

Advertising & Women’s Body Image

Much has been said about certain features of women in advertising. Beauty soaps, career plans, and dietary supplements are among the most common products advertised for women. These represent the enhancements to the features of a woman—beauty, brains, and body. Among the three, body is perhaps the most advertised topic. Advertisers and creative agencies have long ago created a stereotype and established a standard of beauty: the thinner, the prettier.

We live in a world where people generally perceive Kate Moss to be prettier than Melissa McCarthy. We also live in a place where almost everyone finds beauty and elegance in America’s Next Top Model and humor in The Biggest Loser. What is worse is the ads that fill the gaps between these programs show the same idea. Although the messages these faulty ads convey can be generally untrue, women have suffered from their repercussions.

Advertising Can Never Be Real Life

While our business is advertising, we deeply understand that what we see on TV, print, and the Internet are just reproductions of real life. Although this is the case, the effect of what you see on these media can be serious. In the context of this article, advertising presents ideas and ideals that awkwardly aligned with what real bodies look like. Because of this, women, especially the young ones, tend to imbibe the message and do things in order to look like a catwalk model.

The Culture of Using Thin Women for Advertising

You can’t blame advertisers for using thin women to promote their products. If you’re running a business that sells diet pills, you won’t likely use a plus-size girl as the flagship model of your product. The main problem, however, is the way advertisers deliver the benefits of their products. Instead of encouraging the target audience to get thin because it’s one way to ensure health, companies emphasize the consequences of being fat, like not fitting in your favorite dress, not having a love life, and being at the bottom of the social pyramid.

What You Can Do in Your Advertising

You can’t force the companies to change their advertising tactics, although some brands like Dove, come up with campaigns that break the conventions of promoting beauty. As a responsible customer, what you can do is to be consistent with your mindset that beauty, like any other thing in this world, is not absolute.

Business Card Tips

Learning Basic Business Card Etiquette: Your Reputation in a Small Card

Despite the presence of professional networking places on the web, like LinkedIn, business cards are still great ways to market yourself and your business. Just like any other substantial matters, there’s a definite set of protocols when it comes to handing out these small cards that contain your credentials.  Anyone who has been doing business in a corporate level knows giving it out is not like handing pamphlets or brochures to people who just pass you by.

To display professionalism, it’s important that you know how to distribute them the right way.

Business Card Appearance

Business cards should always be presentable. Make sure they look appealing to the eyes of the prospects by hiring the services of a reputable printing company. The information on it should be correct and updated. Rewriting the details with a pen will gives out a negative impression. Always keep them clean and free from wrinkles and stains.

Business Cards: What You Should Do

Wait for the prospect to ask for a business card from you, unless you’re in a higher position than the prospect. Make sure that exchanges are not awkward, by having a conversation with your prospects first before leading them to the possibility of doing business with them.

Business Cards: What You Shouldn’t Do

Avoid giving more than one card to the prospect. This will give them an impression that you’re compelling them to do business with you. When you’re receiving a business card, on the other hand, never put it in your wallet, in the pockets of your pants, or bag. Other than giving them an impression that you’re disorganized, you also show them that you lack respect. It’s advisable to read the business card before putting it away so that you show its owner that you’re attentive and interested in them.

Never attach business cards to gifts or greeting and condolences cards you’re about to give away. Doing this will only give your recipients an impression that you’re an insensitive businessperson.

In the past, you might have had an impression that such rules don’t exist. Learning all these will help you improve your own art of business networking.

Advertising Metaphors

Metaphors: More than a Figure of Speech But a Powerful Advertising Tool

You see this spot that shows a cheetah wearing the badge of a pizza brand and carrying a box of pizza on its back, and a turtle that does the same. The two animals seem to be racing against each other. Of course, one can easily infer which pizza brand offers a faster delivery service. There are countless ways to get this message across the target market, but using this sketch is a smart way to attract the attention of customers.

Let’s try another example. Luxury retailer Harvey Nichols announced their big sale through an advertisement showing a dead fish surrounded by a squadron of pelicans.  A creative metaphor showing the anticipation of a big sale.

This is the power of metaphor. It’s more than just a figure of speech. It’s one of the most effective ways to extend a message to your customer without boring them. Through metaphors, you can create a brand new message by combining two entirely different images or concepts. If you’re itching to create a symbolic and appealing ad, below are two of the things you need to keep in mind.

Focus on What You Want to Promote

Think of what you’re going to promote, like the product you’re offering or the heritage of the company, and come up with something that will represent it. To make it clear, look back on Harvey Nichols’ sale ad. The dead fish clearly represents any item that will be on their big sale.

Define the Characteristics of What You’re Going to Promote

Take time to specifically determine the characteristics of your products or services. Once you’ve listed all these features down, that’s the time you’ll think of things that will stand for them. For instance, Lego features two connected blocks with the shadow of an airplane. It simply illustrates what your imagination can create.

What’s good about metaphors is they can transcend language and culture. It makes your ads fresh and interesting.

Reputation Management

How Do You Mend a Broken Reputation?

A good reputation is the most essential element to stay in business. The equation is simple: consumers won’t patronize a brand unless they trust it. It takes years of providing consistent quality service to establish a positive image for your company. Sadly, even if you’ve given tremendous amount of hard work and focused all your efforts toward building and maintaining a clean name, it only takes a single mistake to ruin everything. As you can’t completely stay on top of everything, blunders are virtually inevitable.

This is where reputation management comes in. Both small businesses and large corporations need good public relations to protect your brand’s image and salvage your reputation at all times. If your business is involved in any incident that may shake the trust of the public toward your brand, here are a few things you can do to control the damage and patch-up the crack on your reputation.

Be Accountable

There’s no sense denying it if you’re obviously at fault or everything seems to point to you as the guilty party. Take responsibility with what happened. The undesirable event may be irreversible, but your accountability is a positive gesture to restore the public’s trust.

Have a credible spokesperson to represent your company. Your representative has to be a high profile officer in the organization to show people you’re serious about handling the issue. The availability and visibility of top company executives in the midst of a crisis portrays integrity.

Choose Your Medium Wisely

Select the best channel to deliver your message and reach your target market fast. It’s pointless to make a statement about the issue if it won’t spread to the right people. Know your demographic well to choose the most appropriate form of communication.

Launch an Advocacy Advertising Campaign

Draft a long-term plan to ensure this grave incident will never happen again. The public, especially its affected segment, would initially want a quick remedy to the problem, but a mere band-aid solution wouldn’t work to regain their trust and clear their doubts that the same issue will no longer recur.

A positive brand image is a valuable asset. As reputation can make or break the success of your company, you should never take this matter lightly. Always act and react to your mistake, whether it’s big or small.

Aluminum Signs

Aluminum Signs: Successfully Establishing Businesses  

If you’re looking to invest in a signage that’s built to last, then go for one that’s made of aluminum. This material is widely used by many and it’s time you do the same. Even though you can always settle for durable plastics, metals are permanent and give off that strong, lasting impression. Whatever industry it belongs to, your company can make the most of the many benefits aluminum signs offer.

Aluminum is a preferred choice for most industrial materials. In contrast to other metals like iron, it does not rust easily. If you’re planning to use your sign outdoors, you can be sure it will weather even the harshest elements. You can even choose to have it powder-coated for added protection. The finish also makes the surface smoother and more ideal for painting.

Flexibility is one of the things that make aluminum a popular choice. It’s extremely easy to work with. Metalworkers can shape them effortlessly into any form and they can adorn this metal with materials like wood and plastics. No matter how intricate your logo or your desired design is, you can have it in an aluminum signage. The possibilities are endless and the results are well worth the effort. Another quality that makes aluminum ideal for signs it its weight. This type of metal is light, making it fast, safe, and easy to mount.

Apart from these qualities, aluminum is highly recyclable. It can always be re-melted to make an entirely new form. Another interesting thing about this metal is that its recycling process is less expensive and less energy intensive compared to creating it. This is why a huge percentage of aluminum produced in the country came from scrap metals. When your sign is made of aluminum, it’s almost the same as making an environmentally conscious decision.

Through the years, a lot of companies have resolved to use aluminum for their signage.

Uppercase Bookstore

Lessons from Locally-Owned Uppercase Bookstore

Uppercase Bookstore is definitely one bookshop you shouldn’t miss. Other than its great selection of vintage and new books, it has that cozy, intimate feel that will have you sticking around and going through the shelves for hours. The shop also holds regular events where you get to meet fellow book lovers, authors, and other outstanding members of the community.

The Snohomish bookshop, however, stands for more than just books and literary experience. For aspiring business owners, it’s an example of excellent business ownership. Seeing how the print media is doing these days and how competitive book retailers are, what Uppercase Bookstore has accomplished so far is an incredible feat. The bookshop has been featured on The Herald last Sunday and if you’ve read the article, you’ll know that success can be achieved by taking note of these:

Knowledge goes a long way

One of the co-owners of the bookshop didn’t have any romantic notions when she bought the business last year. She actually worked for Barnes & Noble previously and knows exactly what she’s getting herself into. The good thing about it is she was able to apply her industry experience to better position their bookstore with their competitors. The results were terrific, as they keep their new titles to a minimum and price their books comparatively with online bookstores.

Going local pays off

Uppercase Bookstore may not be able to compete with the global market share that retail giants like Amazon and Barnes & Noble have. But what enabled them to survive and reach its 20th year in business this summer is its local marketing efforts. The bookshop maintains a book club and holds regular activities that mainly cater to the people of its town. Also, by making their prices competitive with online stores, they become the obvious choice. While customers would have to pay for exorbitant shipping fees and wait for the package to arrive, they can just drop by Uppercase Bookstore and save time, effort, and money.

Uniqueness wins customers

Other than the warm, cozy feel of the bookshop, it has a few distinct touches that make it stand out from others. It actually has a wall with clocks that tell the time in mythical worlds like Narnia, Panem, and Oz. The bookshop also has a cupboard under the stars that recreates Harry’s bedroom in the Potter books. These are bonuses to their main service of providing the right titles that customers want. They also give these people something to look forward to whenever they shop for books.

Take your cue from Uppercase Bookstore when launching a small business or changing the model of an existing one. This small bookshop shows you that you can achieve and succeed in anything as long as you deliver value to your customers and know how to position yourself against your competitors.

Window Stickers

Why Window Stickers Work

With most marketing collaterals now digitized, you’re probably wondering about the effectiveness and relevance of window stickers – those small, colorful, graphic items that get distributed at marketing events and promotional activities. The answer is yes, indeed, they are. Customers use stickers of brands they’re proud to be associated with. They also love to help with the marketing if they support or they’re satisfied with the company’s product and services.

If you have an upcoming marketing campaign, don’t forget to include window stickers. These marketing collaterals can do wonders for your business, especially because of the following reasons:

Window stickers are widely used

Whatever industry your business is in, you can be sure there will always be someone who’d love to use your stickers. And it all boils down to the design. If you want people to use your sticker, put yourself in their shoes. Think what would convince you to stick it on your car window. These days, blatant promotion is a no-no. Unless you have a really cool logo or a highly reputable brand, the best thing you can do is come up with a creative design and just make your logo or brand elements more prominent.

Window stickers offer flexibility

Who says window stickers are only used on glass surfaces or cars? These days, people will use it on whatever surface they see fit. This is especially true if you’re targeting the younger demographic. You will see them using the sticker on their bags, notebooks, or even on their laptops. Again, it all boils down to design. If you play to their tastes and interests, you won’t have a hard time eliciting the action you want.

Window stickers are cost-effective

Custom marketing collaterals can be costly despite the technology available these days. Still, window stickers remain one of the most cost-effective. The savings go up when you get them in bulk. The materials available these days are also more durable. You can be sure these stickers are great investments, as they’re built to last for a very long time.

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