Monday, December 12, 2011

Jay Gatsby and rappers such as Jay Z and P.Diddy

Comparisons can be drawn between Jay Gatsby and that of rappers like Jay Z and P.Diddy. Jay Gatsby would throw lavish Jazz age parties and live an extravagant lifestyle, leading everyone to become curious over who he is, what hes done, how he makes his money and what ladies he has in his life. these curiosities are then spurred on further by the fact that he is hardly ever around or hardly ever even makes an appearance at his own parties.

This is much like that of modern day rappers such as Jay Z and P.Diddy who splash out thousands of dollars on throwing massive parties which they sometimes don't ever make appearances, like that of Gatsby. In addition to this like Gatsby, Jay Z and P.Diddy have earned some of their money through doing dodgy deals and shifty illegal occupations.

Another comparison which can be drawn between Gatsby, Jay Z and P.Diddy is all the rumors and speculations which surround them - with Gatsby it is because no one ever sees or talks to him and so don't take the time to find out the truth about who he is or how he has made his money. With Jay Z and P.Diddy its with the press who make up stories and make up relationships about them and other celebrities causing a rift in the celebrity network, who then print these stories in their magazines and papers - spreading the rumors.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

The Only Way is East Egg

Drawing comparisons from The hit ITV series 'The Only Way Is Essex', in which we see a direct comparison to The Great Gatsby and how the theme of high-society exists today. Like Gatsby, The characters from TOWIE are self-made. They are not born into upper class, however they live an upper class lifestyle. The characters from the series are self involved, notoriously extravagant and party driven. This ties in precisely with the kind of characters from the novel.

The above link explains the kind of lifestyle the characters in the show have. They are superficial and pretentious. This can be compared to the character of Nick, whereby on page 5 he mentions 'I lived at West Egg, the - well, the less fashionable of the two' we are immediately introduced to a distinctive difference of districts and how one is preferred over the other. An exact parallel to Essex and the attitude which surrounds the residents. The friendships in the show are known for breaking down regularly due to rumours and cheating. This can be seen to exist in the Jazz Age when the book was set, in The Great Gatsby, Tom cheats on Daisy with Myrtle, who by the affair is cheating on her husband and similarly, Daisy cheats on Tom with Gatsby. We can see an intertwined relationship disaster, just as in the show.

Other than cheating, there are shallow attitudes within the plot of the novel, which ring true to the show. The characters in the show are known for talking about each other behind their backs and do not hold much respect for one another. Just as when Gatsby dies, no-one other than Nick and Gatsby's father show up for the funeral, none of Gatsby's 'so called' friends attend. It provides a chilling response to the attitude high society have towards relationships.

In fact, the part in the novel whereby Nick goes to meet Daisy for the first time in years, Tom is described as having 'arrogant eyes' and when Nick makes his way to the garden, after being shown around the house, Jordan and Daisy are both said to be 'wearing white'. Jordan seems very condescending, as if she is looking down on everyone by 'balancing something on her chin'. The scene set by Fitzgerald mimics the type of scene you are likely to see on the ITV series. And so we see a relation of The Great Gatsby existing today.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

The Great Gatsby -Society and Class

The Great Gatsby is set among wealthy, educated people, who have lots of leisure time and little
concern about people who are not in their social milieu. Nobody’s concerned about politics or spiritual matters but everybody cares about how they are perceived socially. Those who do come from other classes seek and envy the glamour and lifestyle that they see in the elite. Jay Gatsby, the protagonist, is able to attain a certain amount of wealth, but he cannot fake education or social behaviors that only come with "old money." The novel’s two main locales, West Egg and East Egg, are distinguished also by class. East Egg represents "old money" while West Egg represents the nouveau riche. East Eggers consistently look down on West Eggers for precisely this fact. Class and wealth are virtually indistinguishable from each other, but if a person lacks education, then he is clearly not part of the upper echelon.
These different worlds can almost be seen in the reality- drama series 'Made in Chelsea' and 'T.O.W.I.E'. Made In Chelsea is meant to represent East Egg (old money) whilst Jersey Shore would be West Egg (new money)
Made In Chelsea
The Made in Chelsea cast are meant to represent the privileged, rich, glamorous cast. Some of the characters have gone to private school, spend most of their lives livivng in Chelsea and Kensington where most have shopped in Sloane Street. Others are portayed as living off their 'parents money' as some parents and ancestors invented the Jaffa Cake, Digestive and Rich Tea
biscuits but also created Topshop.
Jersey Shore
Jersey Shore is a hit MTV reality show that premiered in the summer of 2009. The show follows the lives of eight Italian ''guidos'' and ''guidettes'' as they drink and party. There fake tan ways have lead them to be a phenom that many people spend their weeks watching. This has lead the once average Joes to now start thier own empires revolving around cosmetics, star in talk shows and DJ in the most exotic parts of the world. Not only are they making money off people watching them but they are now considered to be celebrities as they are 'paparazzi-ed' every where they go and each have thousands of followers on twitter.

Friday, December 9, 2011

American Socialites and the Great Gatsby

One of the main themes of The Great Gatsby is the sociology of wealth; mainly, those who have recently risen to riches without any connections and therefore know nothing of subtle social signals. Fitzgerald portrays them as not possessing the elegance, taste and subtly that those born into money do –instead they are greedy, graceless and vulgar.

You can argue this applies within society similarly today. It’s for this reason I decided to research and write on American Socialites today in relation to the socialites in The Great Gatsby . Those who grow up with wealth do not feel the need to tastelessly show it off – at least to the same extent those new to it do – whereas those who are new to the socialite scene just superficially spend and show off their money in hopes of rising within the circle. A good example of this would be the (possibly “old”) Hollywood ‘IT’ crowd. While most were born into a wealthy family, if they are introduced to fame they suddenly become greedy for more and need to find ways of attracting it instead of working for it. The best example would be Kim Kardashian.

Introduced by Paris Hilton to the socialite scene, she didn’t become known until she released a sex tape, and then scored a reality TV show with E! a few months later. As she doesn’t really “work” (sex tape and reality TV show don't really count...) to earn her money and fame, she has to come up with new ways of gaining the public’s attention and “love” (or hate, which ever gets her attention) and has to out do herself each time. In contrast, often children born to "stars" usually don't choose a silimar life - those who have a brush with the police or try to follow their parents' legand might gain attention - and choose to keep privacy and use their inherited money wisely. Trying to bring up a good example is hard as they are hardy ever in the media once they're 10 or over.

The example of Kim Kardashian is true to The Great Gatsby painting of the new generation and newly rich kids being materialistic, vulgar and simplistic; while this is not true for not of them, it remains a growing fashion for alot of American Society and is now the American Dream for alot of American kids.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Coca-Cola Christmas Adverts

The brand Coca-Cola has been around since 1886, and since its creation and aggressive promotion has become a household name, even when in the 1970's the brand went on to connect Coca-Cola with fun, friends and good times.
The iconic Coca-Cola Christmas advertisements started in 1971 when the company made the decision to associate their products with Christmas and Santa Claus to remind customers that Coca-Cola could be drunk all year round and not just in the summer. Since then Coca-Cola's Christmas advertisements have always drawn consumers attention to the fact that it is a family suitable brand, this is due to the image of Santa Claus draws in children and the Christmas season making Coca-Cola suitable for all ages. The recurring image of a jolly, kind old man with rosy cheeks and twinkling eyes is the most popular view of Santa Claus which is known today world wide - making the brand bring together various different countries into the season of Christmas.
Today it is known by many people that once they have seen the Coca-Cola Christmas advertisement - they know that Christmas is here which provides proof that it is such a well known and traditional family product which focuses on the values of family and bringing everyone together all around the world for the Christmas season.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Apple Mac Advert

The link above, is an animated Christmas TV advert, advertising the Apple Mac featuring the Mac’s rival, the pc. Two people are representing each, computer, the Mac represented by a a man who looks to be in his early twenties who is interested in putting his differences aside for the holiday season, and the PC who is represented by a much older man who displays bitterness towards the Mac in the advert.
In the advert both ‘PC’ and ‘Mac’stand either side of Santa Claus, which appeals to the public as it is a festive advert. They are also singing a rendition of ‘Santa Claus is coming to town’ however ‘PC’ spoils the song by slipping in a sales pitch towards the end. The key intention I got from this was to portray the PC as only being interested in selling, whereas the Mac is portrayed as possessing Christmas spirit, through wanting to get along with PC and not mentioning his product, representing the image of a happy community who are interested in the ‘real’ meaning of Christmas and not the consumer side.
I think the significance of the PC being represented as an older figure is interesting, as it enhances the Mac character as young and vibrant, introducing the image of the Mac being the ‘ultimate upgrade’ a newer and exciting product. The fact that PC is bitter towards the Mac and feels the need to deliver a sales pitch, suggests perhaps the financial worry the PC possesses of the Mac overtaking it, in the consumer world. Apple tries to appeal to the public in a clever way, as it at no point promotes itself having a better product but instead uses the PC’s supposed arrogance and bitterness to portray itself as the better and most honest party.

Another advert I came across was this alternative advert in which PC asks Mac “Do you know why I love this time of year?” to which Mac replies “Because it’s the season of peace on earth?”, which ties in with the Mac representing the true meaning of Christmas to appeal to the public. PC instead replies “No it’s because we can be animated, and we can do anything”, and he proceeds to show Mac what he can do which could represent the arrogance of the company. Towards the end of the advert, a rabbit says he is going to the apple store to pick up some last minute gifts, to which PC pushes a snowman on to the rabbit. This could represent how the company wish to sabotage Apple, and don’t believe in an honest way of selling which in result gives Mac a honest and reliable image which the public would prefer.
I think the advert is effective as its main value is to promote its own product to sell, which it achieves. It does this in a clever way as through the PC character trying to promote itself at every opportunity we instead are attracted to the MAC who appears to value the public as people, rather than just for their money. This is ironic as the Apple Company have created this perhaps untrue bitter and money obsessed image for the PC, to shift opinions in their own favour. Through the portrayal of the PC character, Mac have managed to make all PC users into a stereotype, by using an old business man in a brown suit, which also creates the image of a mundane, everyday product. This contrasted against the Mac character who is described in the Mac vs. PC article as an '20-something, self satisfied hipster' poses the question who would you most want to be like?'.

Not So Old Spice

The Link will take you to an advert for 'Old Spice'. Old Spice began in 1937 with it's first product called, Early American Old Spice.

The brand is now aimed directly at women for men, dominated by shaving soap and aftershave lotion. What's interesting is that the advert has applied to the changing statistics, that women make the majority population. It has found a way of attracting women to encourage men to purchase the product. What's resonant in the advert is that it is in keeping with American ideology. Giving a direct example to what women expect from men in society; handfuls of
diamonds and owning a horse and boat. What it shows is not only that your man should be like
this, but what every man should be like and it gives an example of what constitutes an attractive lifestyle from a woman's expectation.

Comparatively the kind of advert shown in the 30's is as below...

The interesting thing about the ideology shift is, as mentioned, this advert now attracts the females market. Arguably the 1930's advert above does the same thing, however the emerging 'consumer culture' has introduced a link to lifestyles even when the advertising for this company first began. Again we see links to success in American culture, men with important roles in society use this aftershave and everyone should want to be successful. There is a constant notion throughout the American lifestyle that success by sense of virtue is manifested in all area's, whether it be The Bill of Rights, Horatio Alger Myth or in the above example, not so Old Spice.

iPod Touch Ad - "Share the Fun"

The advert's title tells yous straight away that the ad is going to convey the notions of friendship, sharing, diversity and fun. You can tell the advert is modern by all the effects used, to pass the iPod and connect the people onscreen. Apple is a fairly modern company, and despite being founded in 1976-77, has gained really gained increased popularity in the last ten years - since the invention of the iPod. Since gaining popularity the company feels the constant need to update it's self and follow the technological demands of the world that we live in. This is shown by the fact the iPod now has a touch screen and more of the interesting apps shown in the advert.

To appeal to wide audiences, the Advert shows the American need for diversity - in both the apps shown and the people modelling the device. Firstly, music isn't actually shown on the iPod until the end of the advert. Before we see it's main use, we see new games, the camera, some form of I-Messaging, social networking apps and other functional uses the iPod now contains that can connect you not only your friends but the rest of the world. This also shown in the advert at around 18 seconds in - when the girl starts off by herself on screen, and is then joined by four friends; all of whom are connected to her via the iPod.

The advert also shows diversity by the models/commercial actors featured. Not all are white Americans; there are some African-Americans, Asian-American, and Hispanic. This is partly to show and connect with the world wide audience that Apple has, and the sense of equality that America likes to think it has and portray in it's media.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Smirnoff Vodka Advert

Smirnoff Vodka

"SMIRNOFF is the world's number-one premium vodka brand, and it's important for us to communicate that in everything we do. In our continuous effort to assess our appeal, we recognized the need to update the SMIRNOFF image to make a contemporary statement about our portfolio of quality products. Consumers are more interested in premium brand attributes and our research reveals that our new look communicates to them this all important 'style' and 'quality' distinction."- Sharon Lichten, Smirnoff Brand Director.

Smirnoff Vodka is an iconic brand as many people all over the World recognise not only the brand but have tasted their drinks. Smirnoff has revamped the image of this iconic brand to reflect both the brand's Russian heritage and modern successes. The bottle is very creative and can almost be seen as being fashionable as the bottles features reflect broad shoulders something that is very much current in fashion design. The sharp colours used to represent all the different flavours and the logo draw inspiration from awards bestowed upon Pierre Smirnoff as an Official Purveyor of the Imperial Russian Court in the late 1880s.

“We see different people from different cultures not simply enjoying great nights-they're making them. From New York to Johannesburg to Bangkok, from intimate gatherings to concert halls, we've turned our camera on creative people around the world-hip hop artists, dancers, friends-creating extraordinary nights.”

These campaigns are interesting as they show case adults who are unique and different who enjoy dancing, signing showing off their talents no matter whom and what they are. The thing that joins them together is Smirnoff Vodka. The fact there are so many diverse people in this advert could represent the different flavours Smirnoff have to offer. Another way to look at the advert is that you need Smirnoff to have ‘An Extraordinary Night’ that you will never forget. Smirnoff Vodka is the choice of adults whether they are young or old enjoy socialising out with friends or at home having a quiet drink.