Movie Theater Popcorn

In my opinion, there is nothing like going to the movies and getting some delicious buttered popcorn.  Right after you walk through the movie theater doors you are overcome by the smell at the snack counter.  You make your purchase, probably spending a little too much money, and make your way into the theater.  Whether you enjoy sitting in the front or the back, you find a seat and settle in.  You are probably there before the previews so the lights are a little brighter and some advertisements are playing on the screen.  You figure you might as well eat some popcorn while you wait, but little do you know, this makes you immune to the advertisements on the huge 22×52 ft screen in front of you.

How could that be possible?  You are watching the advertisements in front of you while enjoying some of your popcorn, but you are not processing the information.  Well, a recent study by Cologne University has found that “chewing makes advertising ineffective.”  They did a test by having participants sit in a theater and watch advertisements.  Half of the participants were given popcorn while the other half was given a sugar cube that dissolved very quickly.

You may have noticed in advertisements, they repeat the name of the product they want you to buy multiple times.  In order to learn this new information given to us, we tend to mime the act of speaking even if we aren’t saying anything aloud.  Apparently, our brain simulates muscle movements in our throat and mouth to repeat the word that is new or repeated to us.  However, this study found that if your mouth is preoccupied with chewing, you will not be able to repeat these muscle movements and therefore don’t remember the information.

What does this mean for movie theater goers?  It could be that those of us who don’t want to be persuaded by advertisements will start chewing anything before our movie starts.  The companies advertising in movie theaters may want to rethink how they get their message across if people are too busy enjoying their popcorn to pick up on their cues.

Information about the studies mentioned can be found in these two articles: http://www.theguardian.com/science/2013/oct/13/eating-popcorn-cinema-advertisers

http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-10-14/eat-popcorn-be-immune-to-advertising

Advertisements

YouTube Dancing and Tweeting

Once again for this post I’m going to step away from film and television and focus more on social media and dance.

This past week on campus, an Ohio State student organization called Dance Connection hosted a master class on campus.  It was a hip-hop class taught by Desmond Beasley, a well-known choreographer and YouTube performer, which was available to all students in the RPAC.

I have been dancing since I was three and have continued on through my college experience.  I have found it amazing how much dance has grown with new shows such as So You Think You Can Dance and Dancing with the Stars.  However, how dance has grown on YouTube has been very interesting to watch as well.

Nowadays anyone can post on YouTube whether it is cat videos, fan videos or crazy Harlem Shake videos that can have hundreds of views within minutes.  In addition, dance videos seem to be a big part of YouTube, considering I only knew of Desmond Beasley from watching his performances on the Internet.  Everyone knows Psy from his Gangnam Style move and people can watch the evolution of dance through a video with over 230 million views.

Demond Beasley

Psy

Evolution of Dance

YouTube has grown into an amazing medium where over 6 billion hours of video are watched every month.  For more statistics on YouTube use and viewership go to http://www.youtube.com/yt/press/statistics.html.

After the class I tweeted to Desmond Beasley and Dance Connection to discuss the event and thank him for coming to campus.  It is very helpful that Desmond Beasley and Dance Connection have a Twitter so I could contact them directly through that medium.  Overall, social media today really speeds up the process of communication and allows people to contact one another through public information rather than needing a cell phone number.  Also, YouTube has become a source that can put anyone in the public’s eye.  Here are some people who were made famous directly through the Internet: http://mashable.com/2012/11/15/internet-famous-people-2012/.

Top Hats, Jeans and 3D Glasses

For one of my communications classes this semester, I have an assignment to make an advertisement for a company on Photoshop.  The assignment focuses the visual and verbal parts of an ad that really gets the reader to pay attention or not.  When I was looking through some examples my professor gave us, I came across this Coca-Cola ad that really stuck with me.

Coca_Cola_Movies_ibelieveinadv

At first I almost bypassed it entirely because it just looked like a normal Coca-Cola ad with weird colors involved.  However, I took a closer look at the group of words on the bottom of the advertisement which gave such a huge meaning to the image.  “125 years at the movies” offers such a quick and simple context to the visual part of the ad, and made me realize how much meaning can be put into a few images and words.

From black and white to color to 3D, movies have grown tremendously since their beginning.  Starting from movies like Touch of Evil and Schindler’s List to films with groundbreaking technology and 3D effects such as Avatar and any high action movie, the movie-going experience has become very similar to how we experience the world.  The color and 3-dimensional aspects of films nowadays allows the audience more of a chance to escape from their world, and enter a story that they can almost touch.  In addition, even though going to the movies used to be a huge event where audience members would dress in their finest clothes, today it still exists as a long-lasting entertainment medium that brings people together to enjoy a wide range of stories.

I was very captivated by this advertisement and loved what a powerful message it had in the small amount of content.  It goes to show how strong messages can be even if they don’t have a large amount of information.  More and more companies and professionals are using social media, such as Twitter, as a tool to reach out to more potential clients or buyers.  With 140 characters, Twitter is a very fast and simple medium, but this advertisement goes to show how effective a small amount of material can be.  In addition I enjoyed that Coca-Coal didn’t simply focus on its own brand, but sent a very powerful message along with it.

The Twitter Chat

I’m going a little bit off the topic of film/television today and am focusing more on twitter and the conversations that can stem from a question.  Last night I participated in my first twitter chat, and I have to say it was a little overwhelming at times.

The #Tchat offers weekly chats about interesting and relevant topics in the workplace.  This week the chat was specifically about different generations and how they relate to each other in work environments.    The chat started at 7 p.m. and at first it was a little confusing since everyone was just checking in with others in the chat.  I said my hello and was pleased when a couple people welcomed me.

Once the chat started, I hung back on the first question to see what the topic of discussion was and how people were responding.  There were so many rapid responses that it was a little hard to follow at times, but it was fun hearing what other people had to say, especially since those who were chatting were part of different generations.  They all had differing opinions on the subjects throughout the chat.  I also was very excited what I was retweeted on some posts I made because it let me know that people were enjoying what I was saying.

I felt it was interesting talking about different generations, however, a lot of stereotypes were thrown around in the chat.  I appreciated when some people pointed this out because I believe different generations can learn a lot from each other, and it shouldn’t be a competition.  I do feel technology can separate us sometimes, but it is the employers job to make sure everyone’s ideas and experiences are welcomed in the workplace.

Overall, I thought this twitter chat was very informative, and it was really fun being able to have a conversation with others and hearing their opinions.  I definitely would like to take part in a chat again in the future.

Want to Know What It’s Like to Be a Celebrity? Just Ask Them

Ever since that little blue bird came to be in 2006, Twitter has grown tremendously spreading hashtags and 140 character messages.  Millions of users log on everyday (or just click the app on their phone) to see what is going on in the world and what other people are tweeting.  What you see all depends on who you follow whether it be news twitters, joke twitters, character twitters or business twitters.  However, a huge advancement in social media came when celebrities started interacting with their fans through twitter.

Find the top 100 followed celebrities on twitter here: http://twittercounter.com/pages/100

It doesn’t matter if it is Lady Gaga, Ashton Kutcher or Barack Obama; as a society we love to see and hear what celebrities are doing.  Twitter became a medium that a huge amount of celebrities joined where they are able to communicate with their fans in a very quick and simple way.  Not every question is going to get answered by celebrities and not every tweet will be seen, but the ones they do answer seem to make people’s day.

While I was watching an episode of “Glee” the other day, I was looking through my twitter account and started watching what Darren Criss was tweeting during the show.  Leading up to air time most of the cast were reminding everyone to watch the show that night, but he was one of the only cast members who tweeted while the show was on.  He even tweeted about finding hidden things in the episode, and if people got the right answers he would send them something.  Celebrities that tweet during their shows can really connect the audience with the episode.

Screen Shot 2013-10-09 at 11.31.51 PM

Read more about celebrity twitter chats here: https://social.ogilvy.com/5-secrets-of-a-celebrity-twitter-chat/

A lot of magazines always say that celebrities are just like us, and sometimes they are.  They tweet about the shows they like and encourage their followers to watch them as well, just as we tweet about the shows we like and encourage our friends to watch them.

The series finale of Breaking Bad, for example:

Screen Shot 2013-10-09 at 11.36.43 PM

Not to mention the fact that celebrities tweet on a daily basis, which helps to give us a glimpse into their daily lives that we idolize.  Whether it be them tweeting about getting ready for a photo shoot, movie premiere, awards ceremony or hanging out with their cast, celebrities on Twitter have an incredibly large following.

Just for fun, here is a video of Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake having a Twitter conversation:

The Influence of Movie Trailers

Whether as an audience we realize it or not, movie trailers are usually what influences our decision to go see a movie or not.  Whenever I want to go see a movie, I will probably watch a few trailers to see which one sparks my interest the most.  Some will be more exciting or more dramatic than others, but in the end they are the promotional element of a movie that has the biggest impact on me.

An article in the New York Times last February talked about how the trailers for five of the nine nominated films up for Best Picture at the Academy Awards were put together.  They each used different parts and elements of the films at different times, which really has an affect on how the audience views the film.

For example, the trailer for “Silver Linings Playbook” followed the same chronological order of the movie.  It only revealed a few moments about the end of the film while most of the trailer focused on the beginning and a small amount of the middle of the film.

Watch the trailer for “Silver Linings Playbook” here:

The trailer for “Lincoln” was different because it jumped around a lot more between the beginning, middle and end of the film.  In addition, for the first 40 seconds of the trailer the shots of Lincoln are all from behind.  Stephen Garrett, a man who owns a trailer house for documentary, independent and foreign films, said that this technique in the preview “set[s] up Lincoln as an icon.”  Not showing Lincoln’s face makes the audience recognize him by his top hat, beard and the role he had in American history.  When Daniel Day Lewis’ face is finally revealed, it tells the audience what the film will be like and how that actor will play this iconic character.

Watch the trailer for “Lincoln” here:

For more information about the different trailers for the nominated Academy Award films go to http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2013/02/19/movies/awardsseason/oscar-trailers.html?_r=0.

Personally I feel one of the hardest movie trailers to get right is for a comedy.  Sometimes the trailer reveals too much about the film and puts the only funny parts of the movie in the trailer.  When this happens, the audience is usually disappointed when the actually see the movie because they were expecting more than what they saw in the trailer.  Other comedies seem to have just the right amount of jokes in the trailer, and make the audience love when they get more than they were expecting when they see it in theaters.

Lastly, the music during a trailer can be very powerful in getting the audience to connect with the snippet of a story that is being presented to them.  The type of music that is playing will tell the audience right away what kind of movie the trailer will be promoting.  If a pop hit is playing then the audience can usually assume some form of a comedy or upbeat type of film.  A slower/emotional song could be for a drama, an unknown yet powerful song could be for an independent film and a very dark song could be for a thriller/horror film.

All the elements of a trailer need to work together in order to get the audience interested enough in paying to go see a new film.

Who Doesn’t Love Harry Potter?

Ever since J.K Rowling released the book “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” in the summer of 1997, a worldwide phenomenon has rapidly developed from a total of 7 books and 8 motion pictures.  The young boy wizard charmed his way into everyone’s hearts, with a little help from Warner Bros. Studios who brought the magic to the big screen.  Throughout the book releases and movie premieres, Harry Potter has grown a tremendous amount with merchandise, theme parks and tourist attractions.  Even though the books and movies have come to an end, the world of Harry Potter keeps on growing with a little help from advertisements and marketing.

Of course being a huge Harry Potter fan myself, I have been to many of the attractions and have purchased a lot of merchandise from the movies.

This summer when I was studying abroad in London, I was able to go on the Harry Potter Studio Tour in Levesden.  I had heard about it through commercials and online advertisements, and thought it would be something I would really enjoy.  I ended up going twice while I was abroad because I absolutely loved it.  Being able to walk on the sets and see how how the special/visual effects were done was an amazing experience.  That’s not to say there weren’t promotional items everywhere you looked, though.

1186283_10151832161319165_1281917229_n

Me at the Harry Potter Studio Tour

An audio guide lead by Tom Felton (Draco Malfoy) was available for extra purchase.  You could also ride a broom in front of a green screen and pay for photos or videos of it.  Lastly, an incredibly large merchandise store at the end of the tour was filled with items from the movies and people who simply wanted everything.  The tour also has different promotional events that happen as the seasons change to draw in new visitors and entice new ones back.

1234884_10151832166599165_1169007704_n

Merchandise Store

In London there are also bus tours you can take to see multiple filming locations from the movies, including a cart sticking out of the wall at the famous Platform Nine and Three-Quarters.  Of course these attractions come with professional photos you can purchase and a store at the end of the journey as well.

996723_10151499082904607_796402259_n

Me at Platform Nine and Three-Quarters at King’s Cross

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is a theme park that has made its way to the United States to Universal Studios Florida.  It has been so successful and has boosted the Universal park’s ratings/attendance so much that they are expanding the one in Florida and building a new one in California.  You can buy Butterbeer, a wand, or anything else you can imagine from the movies, while enjoying Harry Potter themed rides.

422501_10150587732999165_1291564743_n

My mom and me at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter theme park in Florida

The last movie, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2”, came out in 2011 but there are still a large amount of promotional activities and advertisements for all the new attractions.  While in London I saw posters for the tours everywhere I went and buses with huge Harry Potter signs plastered on the side.  There are also advertisements online for the theme parks or for any merchandise anyone could ever want for a Halloween costume or simply to have for their collection.

Screen Shot 2013-10-06 at 12.45.17 PM

Warner Bros. Website

1175557_10151832158669165_1952877310_n

Buses around London

Harry Potter may be over but it looks like people won’t be tired of it for a very long time.