Category Archives: WP

No Pizza For You

The Daily Currant, an online fake newspaper similar to The Onion, came out with a satirical article criticizing Mayor Bloomberg and the “Big Gulp” soda ban in New York. In the article, Mayor Bloomberg is at a pizzeria and asks for a second slice. The owner tells him he’s reached his slice limit. “I’m sorry sir. We’re serious,” Benito insisted. “We’ve decided that eating more than one piece isn’t healthy for you, and so we’re forbidding you from doing it.” He suggests the Mayor visit several restaurants if he’s still hungry; that way he’d be at least burning more calories from walking.

bloomb

Despite this fictitious nature of the article, the Daily Current brings up one side of a hot topic debate lately; How much of a say should government have in the American diet? Using the Soda Ban as a base for my approach, I’ve explored multiple sides to the issue.  Opposingviews.com holds this opinion:

The health board, the judge stated, is not authorized to “limit or ban a legal item under the guise of controlling chronic disease.” In other words, even (supposedly) good intentions cannot justify abuse of government authority.

But what other intention could Bloomberg have besides genuine concern for the skyrocketing obesity rates in the slums of NYC? A conspiracy for increased government control? Doubt it. I find it hard to believe that the health board doesn’t have the authority to limit/ban an item to control a chronic disease. Cigarettes are banned for people 18 and under to control lung disease and cancer. Drinking five Big Gulps of Mountain Dew undeniably contribute to obesity, diabetes, and malnutrition.

A systems approach needs to be taken when addressing the issue of obesity and general malnutrition. Parents and children need to be educated on how to make healthy decisions, and healthy alternatives need to be available for them to choose, which would actually increase consumer freedom.

For me, I don’t necessarily think that government control is a bad thing if laws are built on good intentions. If the FDA really has the health of the American people at heart, well researched decisions can only improve the quality of life of the people.

I think that Bloomberg is offering a simple solution to a very complicated problem. What do you guys think?

WP 5/07

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Papa’s Story

Marketers spend much time and energy figuring out how best to create brand loyalty for their clients. Brand loyalty can be described as the extent to which consumers are faithful to a brand (repeat purchases), regardless of marketing pressure by competing brands (Business Directory).

An effective way to create brand loyalty among todays consumer is to create a narrative your target audience can relate to. “Storytelling—in its many forms—is one of the most powerful tools for presenting the truths of your product, service, or brand” (MarketingProfs). A storytelling approach can “help brands more empathically interconnect with the buying minds of their customers. There is simply more for them to hold onto” (MarketingProfs).

Lets look at this narrative Papa John’s put together in 2011.

“Stories are slices of life that can subtly reflect bits and pieces of common ground between consumer and brand” (MarketingProfs).  In what ways does “Papa John Telling the Papa John’s Story” execute this well?

Nostalgia. John Schnatte, CEO begins his monologue by reminiscing about when he was young. “When I was growing up as a boy, my mentor was my papa.”  The audience relates, thinking about their own experience growing up.

Family values. Speaking warmly of his grandfather, he says that since the beginning, Papa John’s has never forgot what mattered most. “He had a fanaticism of doing things in a high-class manner…One of our fundamental beliefs from the get-go was we were gonna be a family run, independent pizzeria–no matter how big we got.”  Even though Papa John’s is a franchise with over 4,000 stores nationwide, Schnatte asks that you still think of the company as a mom-and-pop shop.

Just like you. When I was fifteen I was wershing [washing] dishes…and I hated washing dishes and the…brothers gave me a raise, and I got to make pizzas. I worked as a dishwasher for close to five years. I hated washing dishes. I got a raise. Now I’m starting to relate to this guy! Throughout the video, we see scenes of this millionaire working side by side on the assembly line with his “teammates”, laughing and getting his hands dirty, “saucin” and “slappin the dough”. This can make an audience think he’s in the kitchen making pizza. He’s not.

Care about employees. “The thing I am most proud of today is our 80,000 team members worldwide, they don’t do anything second rate…[they] put their best foot forward…We founded Papa John’s with two simple premises: take care of your people, and make the best pizza you can.” Papa John’s isn’t like other companies that treat their employees badly. Schnatte cares about his workers and values them so much he calls them his teammates.

Do you think Schnatte really feels this way about his teammates, after comments he made suggesting Papa John’s would cut employees’ hours and raise prices in anticipation of the Affordable Healthcare mandate?

Better Ingredients, Better Pizza, Better get a second Job

Are you loyal to any brands because of a story you were told? Research the WHO behind the marketing in order to distinguish between what the company wants you to see and what’s actually there.

W/P Option 2: 04/19

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Pizza Hero

It Could Be You

In November of 2011, Domino’s Pizza released their new app and advergame, “Pizza Hero“. An advergame is a game expressly created for the purpose of promoting a product or service. Pizza Hero is awesome. The player is taken through the entire pizza making process, having you knead dough, spread sauce, add cheese and toppings, cook the pie, and slice and box it. You compete with other users because based on the quality of your pie you are awarded points. The better you get at the game, the more challenging it gets. The difficulty isn’t the only thing that increases. As you play, you get hungrier, too!

The point of an advergame is to get people thinking about your product, but Pizza Hero goes one step further. If playing this game has you salivating at the mouth, have no worries, you can order a pizza for delivery right from the game itself!

Pizza Hero does it right. This advergame is playing off of Domino’s famous transparency campaign, allowing the public to “participate” in what goes on in the Domino’s kitchen.  The game graphics are realistic enough to make you hungry for a steaming pizza, and at the end if you decide to act on this hunger impulse, you can order a pie from the app itself.

For a few decades now, there have been shifts in the percentage of people who make their own meals at home. The numbers have been steadily decreasing as people rely more and more on take out and delivery for dinner. Pizza Hero is sort of interesting in that it allows the consumer to “participate: in the pizza-making process so that at the end when they pay the delivery driver it’s almost like they made it themselves. What do you guys think about Domino’s Pizza Hero as an advergame? Entertaining, persuasive, or both?

WP 4/08

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Pulling the Cheese : Domino’s Food Styling and Pizza Porn

You’re sitting at home watching TV when a pizza advertisement comes on. By the end of the commercial, you’re salivating in your mouth at the images you just saw on the screen. You pick up the phone, call Domino‘s and order a pie for delivery. You’re impatient, eagerly awaiting to take a bite of the slice you just saw on TV. 20 minutes later you pay the delivery driver and open the box, expecting to see this:

Pizza Porn

Pizza Porn

But what you really see is this:

“Food photography (or food porn as it’s deemed in this age of Food Network plate-ogling) can make you hungry with a mere glance.  But it’s not easy to get things looking so appetizing and alluring. It takes a ton of skill, timing, artistry, and even some house hold items you should never put in your mouth.” – Fox News

Ever wonder what the process of making a Domino’s commercial looks like? Take a look:

“Food stylists are amazing. They have to do many things to the food to make it look beautiful…They use many tools to make that pizza look the best.” – Hand Model, Domino’s Pizza

It takes “150 people to get down 30 seconds of camera time…if we’re lucky, we get one shot an hour.” – Sam Fauser, Domino’s Pizza Chef

I never thought that they would cut the pizza using a sawzall, or screw down the crust so the cheese will pull just right. It makes sense, I mean how many times have you pulled a slice out of the box and took the cheese off the whole pie?

Although Domino’s released this video to be more transparent, as part of their famous “Oh Yes We Did” campaign, they certainly are not the only company utilizing food styling. Almost every food commercial, photograph, and television show employ at least a little bit food styling to make the food look beautiful.

I haven’t decided yet where I stand about the ethics of “Food Porn”. It’s not unlike other commercials which use different means of persuasion (i.e. beautiful people, humor, values, flattery, straw man). To me, it’s just another important aspect of being media literate. Questioning food media production should be considered thoughtfully like any other kind of media. Some people argue that Food Porn does not practice good ethics, and can be misleading to consumers. What do you guys think? Should you be able to photograph your cake and eat it, too?

WP 3/22

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Fallacious Pizza Advertising

The average American living in a city sees an estimated 5000 advertisements a day. Rarely is a blank space unfilled. It is becoming increasingly important to view these ads with thoughtful criticism. Identifying fallacies (errors) in arguments as they are presented to you can help you to become more media literate, educated consumer. The top three pizza chains spend just over  half a billion dollars annually on media (Domino’s $185.5 million, Pizza Hut $219.6 million, and Papa Johns $112 million). They are no exception to using fallacious arguments to ultimately persuade the audience to buy their pizza.

The pizza commercial above depicts a heartfelt conversation shared between a father and his son over pizza at CiCi’s. The father is ranting about consistency in baseball while perusing the buffet. The son is listening intently. Toward the end, the son calls his Dad out on taking three different kinds of pizza, negating his father’s point about consistency. The Dad laughs off his son’s cheekiness, and they go to enjoy their meals.

This is an example of one type of emotional fallacy called sentimental appeal. The goal of using a sentimental appeal is to distract the audience from the facts by using “powerful images that evoke emotions in support of that conclusion”(Everything’s An Argument),  the conclusion being in this case that you can be a good Dad, too by bringing your kids to CiCi’s! This warm commercial encourages “Dads to take action in their kids lives”; the only solution for deadbeat Dads to strengthen relationship with their kids to grab a slice at CiCi’s and call it a day. Despite the superficial message, it has good value and CiCi’s is engaging in responsible communication.

Another fallacy in pizza advertising can be applied to the photo above, depicting an artful crop circle stunt done for the promotion of Papa John’s new 100% whole wheat crust. I have to admit, its a clever idea. I do not have the nutritional  expertise to know all of the benefits of eating whole wheat pizza crust, but I do know that healthy sells. Taking a “health” approach in food has been a major trend in food marketing in the past few years. The above crop circle is a creative example of an argumentative fallacy called bandwagon appeals. “Bandwagon appeals are arguments that urge people to follow the same path everyone else is taking” (Everything’s An Argument). Utilizing current trends often driven by mass media can be an effective way to market your product. When viewing advertisements, the audience must remember that they aren’t always so transparent. Papa John’s celebrates their new 100% whole wheat crust, which connotes healthier pizza. In order to become an informed consumer, the audience should educate themselves on how the dough is processed, but also on other ingredients that go into the pizza like cheese and sauce. One slice of a 14inch whole wheat crust cheese pizza from Papa John’s has “280 calories, 12g fat, 38g carbs, 5g dietary fiber, 13g protein, 730mg sodium” (Fitness). So, although the whole wheat crust might be the better alternative compared to the original recipe, if health is the primary concern, consider going elsewhere for a slice. Creative campaign, though, and Papa John’s is still participating in responsible communication because all of the nutritional information is available to their customers if they are interested enough to look.

WP 3/1

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