Waking Up to the Neverending Clutches of Advertising

I hope I’m not giving Management students a bad name by never blogging, but I swear, it’s only because I want to only blog when I have something brilliant (or hilarious) to share. As a marketing student, I am very interested in advertising campaigns, and consider myself to be very media-savvy. Right now I’m reading Terry O’Reilly’s book,  The Age of Persuasion on how “marketing ate our culture.” So far, I’m loving it. In the first chapter (aptly titled “clutter”), Terry talks about how while we know we are overexposed to advertising and marketing, there is no limit to how many new ways marketers will look to promote their brand or product to customers. Terry also talked about how there is no real way to know how many ads a person encounters during a day as the ranges provided are so broad (he quotes 300-15,000) Being the brilliant student I am, I decided to conduct my own experiment and test my own exposure.

Yesterday, I set out to test how many ads, brands, and impressions I could register in a day. Starting right from the moment when I woke up, I tracked everything as I made breakfast and got ready to go to school. I wish I had set an estimate before I started counting, but I didn’t think fast enough. Any guesses for how many impressions I hit before I had even left my house???

148.

148!!!!!

My mind was blown. Then I had to get myself to school. I would decide to test advertising ideas a few days after a provincial election was called, so there are campaign signs everywhere. I passed 22 on my way to school (fun fact: I think the 22 signs were between two parties, but I was so busy counting and driving, I couldn’t say for sure. Campaign saturation already? I think so!). Between election signs, real estate signs, bench ads, bus shelters, car stickers, radio ads, and store signs, I hit 94 additional ads during the 5 minute drive to school. I found myself very stressed while driving trying to consciously count all the ads I encountered, while still remembering to follow the rules of the road (distracted driving, anyone?).

The drive to school brought my total ad impressions to 242 before 8:30 in the morning. Holy crap! Once I got to school, I settled in to do some study all morning and decided to do hourly tracking of the ads I encountered. Facebook, Gmail, Twitter, and the general internet added so many impressions to my count. The worst offender? YOUTUBE. One thing I found particularly interesting was that early on, I found myself avoiding Facebook and Youtube just because I didn’t want to count any more ads. Because I was also counting every time someone walked by me with an identifiable logo, I wasn’t getting much studying done, but lots of data collection was happening!

The noon total? 323. And that is not a perfect number by any chance. I decided to count an impression only once, unless it was presented in a fresh way. (Ex: I only counted my Tim’s cup once. Until a second coffee miraculously found it’s way to me, I didn’t count the Tim’s logo again, or I would have been counting every time I look at the same cup.) Also, as I mentioned with Facebook and Youtube, I was actively avoiding ads by playing iTunes instead. I was also trying to not look at people as they walked by, because every time I did I had something new to count. A perfect study this was not.

Lunch was brutal for me. Hitting the SU food court – there are ads everywhere!!! Lunch total: 123 ads in less than 40 minutes while sitting in one spot and just looking around.

The crazy amount of numbers luckily slowed down in the afternoon because I had the good sense to sit in a less busy area. I continued my count until 10:30, when I called it a night and allowed myself to give into the unending pool of internet and physical ads.

From waking up to calling it a day, total ads encountered: 791

So… What’s the point? What did I learn? What do I plan to do with my data?

I’m actually not too sure, but I definitely find the data interesting. Overwhelmingly, I can say there are too many ads everywhere! Everything blurred together, and it would really make me reconsider my advertising plans as someone in the industry. Can you imagine how high the number would be if I listened to the radio all day? Or if I took public transit? Or if I lived in a more populated city? Total madness.

By far the strangest ad/logo I found was on my contact lenses. That struck me as very odd. I also really think ads in the washroom stalls are preying on the innocent, ha ha. You can’t get away!

If you have any comments, I’d love to hear them. I encourage you to give this experiment a try! Even if you don’t do it for the entire day, it would be interesting to compare numbers, and like I mentioned above, I tracked every hour of the day.

I’m going to ponder this experiment for a little longer, and I’m gonna finish O’Reilly’s book. Expect a follow-up post sometime soon.

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Chillin’ for Charity! | Lindsey

When students come together and unite against a cause, it is a pretty damn cool thing. This past Thursday, 52 management students came together for an annual event called Chillin for Charity. It’s an event where students raise money, and then jump into an outdoor pool filled with ice water in support of the United Way of Lethbridge. It is organized by the JDC West club, and I am immensely proud to say that I was a part of the event this year.

 

Helping in the planning of the event was a great experience. It is crazy how many stakeholders are involved in holding an event on campus. We had utilities, facilities, grounds, CRDC, housing, the Students’ Union, Sodexo, Risk and Safety, and many other campus groups involved in the implementation of the event. We set up the hot tub the night before, and began filling the pool at 7AM (it took 2 hours to fill!!), so it was an early morning for sure!

The jumps began at 11AM, and we had several celebrity jumpers! Marketing professor Mike Madore kicked off the event, followed by Dean Ellis of the Faculty of Management, Dr. Andy Hakin, the VP Academic for the University, and Dave Adams, the mens Basketball coach jump. Of course, all the JDC West delegates jumped as well, and sported sexy costumes while doing so!

In the end, we raised over $20,000 for the United Way! The event would not have been possible without all the help from the campus community, as well as all of the raffle item donors – the Bookstore, Free and Easy tours, Boston Pizza, Staples, and Studio 54!

Thanks so much to everyone who was a part of this fabulous day!

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Wednesday Night Event: Eyes on the Middle East | Lindsey

So in the midst of exam and project madness, I’ve already talked about the importance of keeping the balance between school and a social life. But we also need to make sure we are still making time for our friends, and supporting them during the November craziness. In keeping with this theme, I’m going to tell you all about the event I’m going to tomorrow night, and invite you all and encourage you all to come out as well. A little cultural perspective, a movie, refreshments, and hanging out with me? It can’t be all bad!

My brilliant and fabulous friend Amy has been working on an Applied Study all semester with Amnesty International. She has been working tirelessly to plan an event called Eyes on the Middle East: Film Night and Panel Discussion. The event runs from 7-9pm at the Lethbridge Library.

Amnesty International Lethbridge & the Lethbridge Public Library will show the film Arab Spring and following the video a panel discussion on the human rights issues arising out of these conflicts will take place. It’s a free event, and there will be snacks!

I also think it’s especially important to keep in mind that while we are stressing and think the end of the semester is the end of the world, there are people around the world who are in far worse situations than us. It’s going to be an insightful event, and I strongly encourage you to attend! Support your fellow U of L students!
Refreshments will be served, admission is free.

For more information on the event, click here.

Also, stay tuned for a future blog post, because after this event, I am pulling a legitimate all-nighter to babysit a pool of ice water and a hot tub for my JDC West event, Chillin’ for Charity!

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Recap: Basketball Home Opener | Lindsey

On a long weekend when most students head home for the weekend, what better thing to do to entertain everyone else than the Pronghorns’ Basketball Home Opening Weekend? The game was also the only time Tims was open on campus all weekend, so that was also the win!

I attended the Men’s game with about eight friends, and we had a blast. We did catch the end of the Women’s game, where they won!

For the first time ever, there is a beer gardens open on the track during games. I don’t think many people know about these yet, as they weren’t that busy.

During the breaks between periods and the half, Athletics put a bunch of time into entertainment. Our mascot Luxie has a t-shirt gun that he nearly killed someone with (just kidding!) but it seriously shoots so far!

The U of L Dance Team also made their premiere performance this weekend, and they were really good!

My friend James was selected to be the halftime entertainment. He had 2 minutes to make as many shots as he could for various prizes. He made a layup (worth a Pronghorn backpack) and a foul shot (worth a $20 giftcard). He ran out of time for the 3-pointer and half-court shot (worth a hoodie and a $300 prize pack, respectively).

The entire evening was fun, and made better by the fact that from the very beginning, the Horns took the lead, and they held onto it and played hard right up until the end, with the final score being 88-61 against the UBCO Heat.

I’ll definitely be back for more games this semester, as it was fun and a super cheap night of entertainment. Student tickets are $3, or you can buy a Herd pass for $30 which gives you unlimited access to any sports game.

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The Importance of Balance | Lindsey

Obviously, as a university student, school and grades matter. You want to make sure that you aren’t wasting your time (and money) here if you’re not going to be doing a good job in your classes. But underneath the constant barrage of group work, papers, and exams, it can be hard to remember to make time to visit with friends and family, relax, and waste an entire evening watching tv or going to bed early.

It’s so hard to justify taking the time off, but it is so necessary! I’ve found that pretty much right after Halloween (which is going to be awesome), student burnout starts to kick in, if it hasn’t already.

In case you’re in too deep to see the signs of wearing down, I’ve listed a couple of surefire signs you’re reaching burnout, and ways to combat them!:

  • Make sure your friends are able to harass you to chill out. If they no longer recognize you walking down the hall, maybe that’s a sign it’s time to hang out with your buddies for an evening or for a quick lunch.
  • If your eyes have rings resembling a raccoon circling them, it might be time to get to bed early! You’ll feel so much more refreshed in the morning, and I’ve found I’m way more productive calling it a night early and getting up early, than pulling an all-nighter and dragging all day!
  • If your daily coffee intake is greater than 4 cups a day, perhaps you should consider green tea? Some people think it wakes you up better than coffee, and it’s definitely healthier!

I’m sure you all have a list of things to do when you’re stressed, but my main piece of advice is to be proactive and fix the problems before they arise! Study hard, just make sure you are leaving some time in your day for the “life” balance. 🙂

 

 

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JDC What?? | Lindsey

Firstly, wow am I ever awful at maintaining this blog. Secondly, how on earth is it October already?? I hope you all had a fantastic first month of school, and are starting to settle into the “study, study, study” mentality required to do well for school.

My excuse for such a poorly maintained blog is something I’ve been alluding to all summer. JDC West – the largest student-run business competition in western Canada. 11 schools will compete in January at the competition in Edmonton, but in the meantime, we’re all recruiting and training our teams. I’m the captain of the U of L team, and so far, we’re having a blast!

We spent the second week of September recruiting like crazy. We painted the UWall an absolutely obnoxious shade of orange (our team colour), we had tables in Markin and the Uhall Atrium, and we handed out orange suckers in class presentations like mad people. The end result was almost 80 applications for 46 spots!

That translated into sport and social tryouts over a weekend and Wednesday evening, and 58 interviews crammed into 5 days (while still getting to class and finishing all assignments in time!). I was crazy to think that last Monday, after having completed interviews and team offers, that life would immediately return to normal. Apparently, it’s taken a week to transition. I have finally done laundry (it’s probably been almost a month due to lack of time and loonies – I was wearing clothes I hadn’t worn in a looooong time last week!), I’ve loaded up on groceries, caught up on my readings for class, and now – I’m catching up on blogging.

This has been a very long post essentially just talking about how busy I am. How does this relate to you? Plan ahead! I ended up being 45 minutes late to a meeting this week because I was operating off the wrong schedule (phone vs. google calendars vs. paper calendar) – this is so easy to fix! Make sure you’re constantly looking ahead so that an assignment, group meeting, or holiday (holy crap it’s Thanksgiving next weekend) doesn’t blindside you!

I promise to try and be better at blogging regularly. Have a great pre-TURKEY week!!!

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The end of an era

So while today was the start of classes for everyone on campus, it was also a monumental day for me in that it was the first day in 20 months where I was not in the Recruitment and Student Life office at 8:30am. My ridiculously long co-op placement-turned-summer job officially ended at 4:30pm on September 6, and today I felt a little lost.

I don’t transition well – this much I know. When I first accepted this co-op placement in January of 2010, I was so stressed. My parents were concerned about co-op (the thought I was quitting school), I was freaking out and dealing with being bad at a program I had thought from the time I was 15 I wanted to be in, and my routine was getting shaken up – when you work full time, you don’t get to take naps in the middle of the day, or make random road trips in the middle of the week, because if you do, you won’t get paid.

But, like most cliches, it was the decision that was hard to make that was the most rewarding. I spent the first four months learning the ropes, and cultivating friendships with people I will never forget. I then spent 12 months working my ass off, learning new things everyday, and becoming more confident in my professional abilities. This May marked another change, in converting into a summer student with reduced roles, working with my best friend every day, and finally getting to have a normal summer job, where I worked hard(ish) from 8:30-4:30, but then never took my work home with me, which was awesome.

And now it’s done, and to be honest, I’m so sad. While I am ridiculously excited for what this semester will bring, walking out of the Recruitment office broke my heart. I’m so glad my first day as a student was crazy-busy (not with class, mind you), because otherwise I would have been totally bummed.

Apparently, I’m not so good at letting go. But this will be the best semester yet, and the point of this dramatic blog was to encourage you to get involved in things that put you out of your comfort zone. Sign up for a co-op, even if it doesn’t sound like exactly what you picture yourself doing, because you’ll never know how great it could be. Join a club where you know absolutely no one, because you’re guaranteed to make some friends that way! And never stop looking for the next “big thing.” As soon as you do, life will get boring.

So have a fabulous semester everyone! I can’t wait to see how phenomenal your experiences will be.

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14 days from now, the madness begins

Wow – two weeks today until your university adventure officially starts. In two weeks, you’ll be MOVING to Lethbridge, into your new home (be it residence or off-campus), meeting new friends (and future colleagues), and taking a huge next step.

NSO is going to be awesome, and it’s going to answer any of those last-minute questions and “what-ifs” you may have. If you haven’t registered yet, shame on you. Just kidding. We don’t shame here at the U of L, but I do strongly encourage you log into the Bridge, RSVP “Yes” to NSO, and get your butt down here early.

Thursday night is going to be hopping with a welcome, games, prizes, dinner (yum!) and then activities with your Crew. The fun will keep going until 11p.m. (if you can stay up that late), and then it’s up bright and early the next day! You’ll learn the secrets of academic survival and staying healthy on campus, in addition to picking some special interest sessions that appeal to you. There will be lunch, more Crew activities, and definitely more fun!

Then on the weekend, 100 lucky campers are off to Rookie Camp (it required registering in advance and sadly all of the spots are full), but everyone else gets to kick back and have fun in Lethbridge! There will be free fitness classes on Saturday and Sunday, volunteer opportunities, movies, activities, and trips around town.

Lastly, Tuesday will be the crazy “First Day of Class Eve”, and will showcase a large booth fair with displays from many campus departments. In the afternoon, your individual faculty sessions will take place.

So, SIGN UP for NSO!!! You’re going to love it, you’re going to meet so many new people, and you’re going to have so much fun. And, myself and the other bloggers will be kicking around, so make sure you stop by to say hi!

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Fueling your passion (or addiction, as it were)

There are sometimes things that you do throughout your life that may change once you move to go to school. For me, it’s horseback riding. Way back when I lived in Okotoks, I started riding jumping horses, and what started as a once-in-a-while pastime quickly turned into a full-out addiction. Soon I was at the barn numerous times a week, I worked cleaning stalls and working horse shows on weekends, and spent as much of my time with my “horsey” friends as possible.

Shortly before we moved to Claresholm, my parents bought me my first horse (an off-the-track jumper), named May. She was a gorgeous horse that taught me a lot about responsibility, as she needed to be fed twice a day, her stall had to be cleaned, and she had to be ridden (no all-inclusive boarding barns in Claresholm!). She was what led to my getting involved with 4-H and can totally be to blame for my constant source of poverty – horse shows cost money, there’s always new tack/equipment/toys that can be purchased, and of course, vet bills. Unfortunately, as is common for off-the-track racehorses, May had some pretty serious joint issues that started to become a problem as she got older, and eventually, it was time for a new horse.

Through 4-H, I was able to get a loan and with the help of my parents bought a different kind of horse – Annie, a quarter horse rockstar who could do everything, and she marked my switch from English riding to Western (eventually the allure of jeans over breeches got me! And the pretty silver on all the equipment…).

With Annie, I had three years of riding almost every day (usually at 6am – before school), and learning a lot. We were pretty successful at the local horse shows, and when it was time for me to go to school and make a decision, I knew I had to sell her. I wouldn’t have time to ride everyday, I couldn’t afford to board her in Lethbridge, and there was no way my parents were going to look after her three times or more a day. It was a big decision, but I ended up selling her to a great family, and using the money I got from her to help pay for school.

This past weekend I volunteered at a horse show to help out, and it was an absolute blast. The point of this entirely long-winded blog is just to let you know that even as a poor student, you can still do the stuff you love. I have a friend who did Air Cadets, and he still gets to fly because he volunteers to help instruct the younger kids. If all else fails, you can always find a new, cheaper passion, like painting or singing. Just kidding – no matter what your passion is, there are still ways to be involved, even as a poor student. Sometimes it just takes a little extra creativity.

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Weddings, Moving, and Football

Wow – it is crazy how quickly summer is passing by! Only four weeks until classes start! In the meantime, I’ve been keeping busy with weddings, moving (and movies!), and football.

This has been an amazing summer, in that my friends are starting to get married. This weekend will be the third wedding this summer, and each one has been amazing and beautiful. It’s a little strange for your friends to start getting married – I feel like we’re really becoming grown-ups!

Last weekend I officially moved into my new place, and it is amazing! My bedroom is huge (all my furniture fits!), and I am getting better at the moving process each time. My advice to all of you new high school graduates (if it’s not too late), is don’t get a lot of stuff! I remember in my first year moving into res, and me and my three roommates each brought a toaster, frying pans, etc. To date, I have never needed that damn toaster, and every place I move into I move more and more stuff back to my parents’ house for “storage.”

Also on the topic of moving, make sure you plan ahead. My little brother just graduated and moved out, so it’s interesting to make comparsions between our two moves. Make sure financially you are prepared – your first month you need to have rent and a damage deposit! Something you might run into is requiring tenant insurance. I’ve lived in 6 places since my parents’ house, and this is the first place that required me to get insurance. What it does is essentially covers my things in case of theft, water damage, etc. It’s pretty cheap, and you might be covered under your parents’ home insurance, but it’s something to look into!

Lastly, let’s talk football, specifically the CFL! Up until last night, it’s been a great season for the Edmonton Eskimos! Even with the loss last night, this is the first season we’ve been 5-1 in so long. This might be our year! And despite how sad I was at the Esks’ loss, my day was brightened significantly when the Roughriders lost too! Hah – Bri!

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