MK 354 Spring 2010

April 25, 2010

Longer school days

Filed under: blog #10, Uncategorized — mtamayo26 @ 9:44 pm

The article I chose deals with President Obama purposing longer school days and shorter summer vacation for students. He believes because students spend little time at school American children are at a disadvantage with other children around the world. However, while it is true that children in many other countries have more school days, it’s not true they all spend more time in school. “Kids in the U.S. spend more hours in school (1,146 instructional hours per year) than do kids in the Asian countries that persistently outscore the U.S. on math and science tests — Singapore (903), Taiwan (1,050), Japan (1,005) and Hong Kong (1,013). That is despite the fact that Taiwan, Japan and Hong Kong have longer school years (190 to 201 days) than does the U.S. (180 days).”

The extra time would be intended for core academics, more time with teachers and for students to get help if they have fallen behind. The article also mentioned leaving the school open after classes and on weekends as an optional place for students to spend their free time in an enriching environment. The Goodwill offers after-school programs for young boys and girls to continue learning outside of the classroom with instructors and mentors to help them with their schoolwork. Ultimately, the programs offered by Goodwill are similar to those that would come from having longer school days and shorter summers, except Goodwill offers its programs to children who are underprivileged who seek the extra help with their academics.

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April 12, 2010

Common Ground Community

Filed under: blog #9 — mtamayo26 @ 2:30 am

As long as there have been homeless people sleeping in New York City, there have been social workers and city officials trying to persuade them to leave. Workers of nonprofit organizations such as Common Ground Community help those without a home find places to live. According to the New York Times article “Times Square’s Homeless Holdout, Not Budging,” Heavy is the only homeless man left in New York City, and he’s well…not budging. He has been living in the streets of Times Square and day after day is offered a place to stay by social workers, which he declines. While he is not open to any interviews, in the past he has said he wants to stay because he protects the streets of his neighborhood. No one is pressing Heavy to leave because he’s seemingly harmless; he has become iconic in the neighborhood. “He is a sweetheart,” said an 82-year-old woman who gave her name as Nanny and stopped to talk near her home on 48th Street, where she has lived for 44 years. “He sees me coming and says, ‘Hi, Mommy,’ and I say, ‘Hi, honey.’ And I give him his quarter, and I go on with my business.”

While Goodwill does not provide housing for those individuals in need of homes, it can provide them with the tools necessary to build future careers. Had Heavy accepted the offer for a place to live 15 years ago when Rosanne Haggerty, President of Common Ground Community, offered he could have been in his own home with a job today. Nonprofit organizations such as Common Ground Community and Goodwill help less fortunate individuals in two very unique ways, however, both share a common goal, of helping those less fortunate are able to lead healthy and thriving lives.

April 5, 2010

Graduation Day

Filed under: blog #8 — mtamayo26 @ 10:25 am

According to a Newsweek article published in February 19, 2010 titled “Why Minority Students Don’t Graduate From College,” the United States once held the highest graduation rate of any nation. However, now it stands at tenth; causing a concern that the rising generation will be less educated than the previous one. Although many financially disadvantaged and nonwhite students aspire to go to college, their desire to graduate falls short. At the University of Wisconsin 81% of its white students graduated while only 56% of its blacks students graduated within six years. At the University of Northern Iowa 67% of its white students graduated by only 39% of its blacks students graduated.

Hillary Pennington, director of postsecondary programs at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, who has closely studied enrollment patterns in higher educations says “Some critics blame affirmative action—students admitted with lower test scores and grades from shaky high schools often struggle at elite schools.” Another problem is that colleges are getting more expensive, so some students can’t afford their education. Leaving the school with the first year or so of tuition, and the student leaves without a degree, a lot of debt and off the track to a successful career.

Goodwill is an organization that helps individuals with barriers to succeed, much like college dropouts, who struggled in the past and are now looking for any outlet to help them advance in their careers. Goodwill has always been an organization that has helped adults learn the basic skills needed to work, but more recently Goodwill has offered programs to children and young teens to help with their education. With after school programs, summer camps, and weekend retreats Goodwill is there to guide underprivileged children in the right direction from early on so they can succeed later in higher education schools.

March 29, 2010

Tea Party

Filed under: blog #7 — mtamayo26 @ 2:28 am

Tea Party activist, Tom Grimes, found his new calling after he lost his job as a financial consultant. He single-handily organized a local group and a statewide coalition with over 200 activists protesting the government’s takeover of health care. Like Mr. Grimes, many Tea Party members became involved in this organization due to today’s economic distress. Activists all share the same story that they had lost their jobs, or perhaps watched their homes drop in value, and they found common cause in the Tea Party’s fight for lower taxes and an improved government; despite many of them relying on the government programs for help.

While many only joined this movement until they find a real job, some are so invested they are putting their savings into work that they argue is more important than a job. Diana Reimer and her husband for example needed to sell their home for money, however they were told the house would sell nowhere near as much as the value they originally paid for it, leaving them with no money to pay off their mortgages. Diana Reimer then got a job working retail at a department store however when volunteer work for the Teas Party left her struggling to find time for her real job she decided to quit the paying job for an organization she found to be more important.

Goodwill being an organization dedicated to finding people with barriers to work jobs, I don’t think they would condone Tea Party activists choosing to spend their time protesting than looking for a fulfilling job. If you have the means to work, even if it’s not a desired job, the opportunity should be embraced.

March 21, 2010

A Google Love Story

Filed under: blog #6 — mtamayo26 @ 11:21 pm

An American student decides to study abroad in Paris. While there, he meets a French girl at a local café. Weeks of dating turns into months of a long distance relationship, which results in the American student deciding to go back to Paris permanently. The couple eventually marries and continues their life together—happily, of course.

This story is taken from a Google commercial, which ran on this years’ Super Bowl. Google told the story in an unconventional fashion, from the perspective of the young man using the Google search engine to help with his romance. A simple search of study abroad programs in Paris turns into meeting his French love, marriage, and a need to know how to assemble a crib.

According to Made to Stick, stories are teaching tools and are told to highlight unexpected, resourceful ways in which people have solved problems. This commercial shows how Google can be used to solve any problem from impressing a French girl, to finding chocolate shops in Paris, to long distance relationship advice. While Google is a big enough company to go without advertising, this commercial evokes unexpected emotions of happiness when thinking about this search engine.

February 22, 2010

a not so credible ad

Filed under: blog #4 — mtamayo26 @ 11:28 am

With this chapter being on credibility, it was particularly challenging to find an advertisement, because I’m what the Heath brothers call a “skeptic.” The only campaign I could think of that uses statistics or the “Sinatra Test” were the Truth campaigns, so instead I took a different route and chose an advertisement that doesn’t prove to be very credible, and that’s the Kristie Alley for Jenny Craig ads. While some could argue since she is or was a celebrity, she could be considered an “authority.” The Heath brothers explain that people trust the recommendations of celebrities they like, but in the case of Kristie Alley, I don’t think very many people are too swayed by what she says or does.

The commercial not only failed to chose a reliable endorser, but it also lacked the use of compelling details, the use of statistics, or proven real life experiences (The Sinatra Test). With this commercial, where are the details that make me believe Jenny Craig is better than any of the other weight loss programs? Where are the statistics and the numbers to prove this program works? Had the Jenny Craig commercials also included “nonauthorities” to prove their system worked, more people would feel like they could lose the weight too.

The only thing this commercial has going for it is Kristie Alley, a women who goes up and down in weight so much, I don’t think anyone would trust the weight loss system she’s on.

February 16, 2010

Have It My Way

Filed under: blog #3 — mtamayo26 @ 12:58 pm

If someone were to ask me who is Burger Kings number one competition, the first and only fast-food chain I would come up with is McDonalds. So when California’s Jack in the Box challenged Burger King’s famous tagline, “have it your way,” I was a bit surprised after watching a Jack in the Box commercial when they used the line “have it my way.”

What I got from the chapter on concreteness is that it is a way to simplify what you’re talking about, to make it relevant to your audience. While some of the examples used a “show” not “tell” approach, like with the math problems, as long as your audience can visualize what you’re talking about then you’ve done your job. So with the “bucks for acres” project, instead of saying they need money to conserve 40 percent of California they broke it down to say they wanted to save 2 acres every year for 20 years.

With the Jack in the Box commercials, the commercial didn’t necessarily show you what you’d be getting if you went there instead of Burger King, but they did tell you what they offer and what Burger King does not. They made it simple, they questioned Burger King’s “have it your way” tagline, by going and asking them for what they wanted, which in this case was breakfast in the afternoon. When the Jack in the Box spokesperson was told they couldn’t have what they wanted, the spokesperson simply said you could get breakfast at their place. Their point was that you can get what you want, when you want it at Jack in the Box.

February 8, 2010

Audi Green Car

Filed under: blog #2 — mtamayo26 @ 3:26 am

What stuck out to me most in this chapter was the idea that humans adapt quickly to patterns, and that the only way to break these patterns is for something unexpected to happen. In the new Audi Green Car commercial, Audi took to exploring some of the negative patterns and habits many individuals have developed which are hurting the environment. Everyday patterns the commercial chose to include were ones such as packing groceries into plastic bags at the supermarket, throwing batteries in the trash instead of recycling, using regular light bulbs instead of eco-friendly ones, and so on. The objective of this ad was to make you realize it is important to stop your usual routine and to join the green movement, in a humorous way. Not until the last few seconds of the spot did the Audio car come on the screen as the smart choice for driving.

So what makes this commercial sticky? It’s surprising. It’s surprising because when you think car commercials, especially luxury car commercials you think sleek and formal, not funny and unique. The chapter talked about surprising being a component of stickiness because it’s unpredictable. The Audi commercial involved cops on segways, an anteater, people getting arrested at the supermarket- definitely not predictable.

The Audi commercial also started with things completely irrelevant to cars, which made me want to watch it. The book called this the “mystery factor” of stickiness. You watch to find out how it ends. I was curious to know what the cops on segways had to do with protecting the environment. At the end of the commercial, these cops fined everyone but the Audi driver, because the Audi Green Car is a step in the right direction for a greener earth.

January 29, 2010

The Whiteboard Campaign

Filed under: blog #1 — mtamayo26 @ 5:21 pm

While UPS isn’t usually thought of as a very exciting company, their more recent Whiteboard campaign gives a refreshing look at the benefits of using their services. To be honest I didn’t even hear about this campaign until a group of my friends, self-proclaimed “cool guys,” made me sit down and watch every Whiteboard YouTube video you can think of. I thought to myself; if this campaign resonated with a bunch of 20-year-old, sports loving, party-going, college guys, there has to be something UPS is doing right…right?

Well, after reading the first chapter of Made to Stick, I began racking through my brain trying to recall the latest campaigns running in everyday media. Low and behold, I couldn’t think of anything sticky to write about, let alone one that efficiently got to the core message without any distractions. Then I remembered the Whiteboard campaign, what about this campaign made my friends want to waste what seemed like hours of watching these television spots. Well, the commercials are simple, they get right to the point of what UPS wants to bring you- besides packages, they want to bring you great service and reliability.

Every commercial delivers a simple message about the company’s benefits to attract more people to use their services. Before I get ahead of myself, let me explain a little about the string that ties all the commercials together. Basically there’s a guy (kind of awkward looking with his button-down shirt and long brown hair), standing in front of a whiteboard, depending on what the topic of the specific spot is, he’ll draw the corresponding pictures. Think pictionary, with words. So one spot will be about the accessibility of using UPS, another talks about international shipping, another about good customer service, another on not “morning delivery” but “UPS early morning delivery,” and so on and so forth. Each spot focuses on getting its message across in a simple yet efficient manner. So, even though at first I may not have liked the campaign, in the end at least it stuck.

http://www.whiteboard.ups.com

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