Social Media and Celebrities

By: Aaron Petit, Mike Filardi, Mary Kate Buckman

Alperstein’s essay states that there are some people in society who are “known” to some extent by all other members of that society. These people are called celebrities, and include well known people such as Emma Watson, an actress, and Kim Kardashian, a businesswoman and pop culture personality. Both of these individuals, like so many other celebrities, utilize the new power of social media to expand and reenforce their celebrity status. This sort of thing can be done through a variety of different methods, but they are all attempting to create the illusion of a personal relationship. This used to be difficult because the celebrity was limited in how he or she could interact with the people, but now with things like Facebook and Twitter, they can communicate in the same way that a friend or distant relative might communicate with someone. This makes the relationship feel a lot less imaginary than it actually is.

Alperstein mentions that because celebrities have become icons and cultural figures, they have  often been used for advertisements, as firms hope to connect their product to the superhuman awe that fans have for celebrities. Emma Watson and Kim Kardashian have taken this a step further with social media. Instead of connecting themselves to a product, which risked turning fans against them, they both use social media to advertise their own projects. For Watson this means promoting her new movie Beauty and the Beast with photos and messages relating to that topic. Her fans won’t turn against her because the reason why they liked her in the first place was because of her acting, and that is what is being marketed. Kim Kardashian has more variety in her social media account, as she is connected a wide range of industries including fashion, smart phone applications, and television programing. In addition to advertising those individual projects, she works to create a distinct and recognizable persona. This gives the fans something to form a relationship with, and she appears to reciprocate this by responding to fan questions and going to her followers for advice. This approach feels more personal to her fans since they feel as if they really know her, as a result they will then be more inclined to support her businesses financially. This talent and skill in social media leads to the conclusion that although Emma Watson is uses social media well, Kim Kardashian uses the technology far more effectively.

Both of these types of relationships are possible because of new social media services. Mediums like television and advertisement could never come close to this level of connection because there was no way for fans to respond to celebrities and so two-way communication was impossible. This two-way communication is necessary to form these relationships, especially the kind Kim Kardashian has established, as they are closer and more personal. Mail and email services that let fans and celebrities communicate before social media could do carry out that function, but not on a scale that would make it an effective marketing tool. In conclusion, social media allows for these kinds of relationships because it combines the massive reach of television and advertisements with the personal connection and two-way communication of mail and email.

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During this past week, Emma Watson and Kim Kardashian have both used social media to stay connected to the public and advertise their products. Emma Watson did not post on Instagram this week, but her latest posts have been about the new Beauty and the Beast movie.

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Emma Watson does not post on social media as often as other celebrities, however, her posts are effective in advertising her products and movies.

Kim Kardashian has a well known and strong media presence. She utilizes social media to advertise her products, such as Kimoji.

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Keeping Up With The Pope

By: Regina McCormick, Julia Mulry, Kate Mazza, Hari Roth

The main points from the Alperstein essay on “Imaginary Social Relationships” was that the media spotlight seemed to focus on people because of some sort of accomplishment they made. Alperstein says that celebrities create illusions of intimacy and enable viewers to cultivate “imaginary social relationships” with the media figures. The production of a celebrity relies on the existence and exploitation of the channels of mass communications. The gap between a persons public image and their private life grew. The viewers only know what the audience told them. Also viewers follow celebrities for a source of entertainment. Two celebrities that we have chosen are Kim Kardashian and Pope Francis. They both have social media, like twitter and instagram, that people follow to keep up with their daily activities and posts. Unfortunately, Kim Kardashian has more followers than the Pope, meaning more people follow her pictures and twitter posts. 

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Both the Pope and Kim Kardashian are active Instagram and Twitter users.  Though they are drastically different figures promoting dissimilar messages, their use of social media catalyzes their fan communication.  The Pope is very cognizant of his multicultural following, and has accounts set up in several languages in order to easily and comfortably reach his followers.  This not only shows his understanding and support for multinational Catholicism, but allows for ready communication globally.  Kim Kardashian uses these platforms, as well.  However, Snapchat is prevalent in her means of mass communication, too.  Kim updates each of her social medias regularly to allow fans to live vicariously through her days.  Kim Kardashian and the Pope both use their social media pages in order to actively maintain relationships with their followers.

The social media styles of the Pope and Kim differ in obvious ways, including the community they outreach to. While the Catholic Church has an estimated population of about 1.2 billion, the Pope only has 10.5 M twitter followers in contrast to Kim’s 50.7M followers. While Kim asks followers for advice, such as protein shake recipes, the Pope offers spiritual and uplifting advice to followers. The Pope’s accounts reach out to all followers and act as a positive, uplifting media to help followers with their faith. This is very far from the way Kim’s accounts act as a social, fashion, and material models for followers.

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Without a doubt social media is the main key in creating and enabling these type of celebrity and fan relationships. The broad span and vast amount of people that it covers allows celebrities with a large fan base is unlike anything that has existed until recent years. Social media is very important to these relationships because it allows one to spread their message to all their “followers” at the click of a button. Without barely thinking celebrities can share an advertisement, thought, or even agenda that will be seen by millions and millions of people. These are the non-intricate relationships that are much more common with celebrities but some such as Kim Kardashian read through their interactions and sometimes personally respond to fans making her seem much more personable and like a real life friend. This does not happen as often as other tweets or comments but when it does it helps build her brand even further. The Pope on the other hand, uses social media differently. On twitter and Instagram he does not respond to his “fans” or followers directly at all. This can probably be attributed to the power and magnitude of his position and the fact that he probably does not run his social media accounts himself. However, just the fact that the Pope has social media accounts makes him appeal to younger audience and keeps the Church up with modern times. In conclusion the Pope and Kim Kardashian both use social media very differently but to their advantages as they try to grow their image, their brand, and their message.

My Story: A Weekend in Paris

By: Thomas DiMarco

My “My Story” project covers the time when I went to Paris for a few days with some people from my high school class.  I chose this topic because, while at first I wanted to write something not relating to myself, I realized that this event was much more personal to me.  Because it was an event that I experienced, I would be able to go more into detail about the emotions I had while on the trip when reflecting on it.  It was an entirely new experience for me and so my time there has resonated, even years after going.

The most difficult part of the project was finding what parts of my time in Paris to talk about and how to make those events not sound generic and boring.

My favorite part, and the part that I am most proud, of this project was the editing of the sound files, photos, and videos.  I enjoyed using a visual and audio template to make a video.  Editing those sound and visual files to work well together gave me the option to create a video that could better keep the audience’s attention and better represent what story I was trying to tell.


Translating Advertising Assignment

Sydney, Chris, Megan


One of the first main points of the essay suggests that consumer behavior and the way humans communicate with each other depend on cultural values.  Each country has their own culture and set of values and beliefs meaning there is no universal culture in the world.  Because each country has their own values, advertising is composed and read differently depending on those values. As a result, without understanding how a culture operates it is difficult to translate a commercial.   

This commercial translates well to the to the American culture. The beliefs and values of most individuals revolves around forming meaningful relationships with one another. The two main characters form their relationship over a McDonalds product, and it makes the commercial relatable cross cultures. In the commercial, the Indian language is spoken, as well as the English language. It allows both cultures to understand the message of the ad.

Although this comerical could have translated into English and would have been just fine but that is not always the case. All over the world words that might be the same, dont always have the same meaning. For example, a UK commercial for Bacardi Breezer in spring 2002 was also aired in the Netherlands. It included a reference to a tomcat. The word for tomcat (kater) in the Netherlands also means ‘hangover’. In addition, the tomcat in the advert is asked whether he has been chasing birds, in English. In advertising the meaning is in the message, not always in the words chosen

Translating Advertisement Assignment

By: Regina McCormick, Holly Lloyd


This commercial uses “global advertising” techniques because it shows the different cultures that uses the Apple iPhone. The Apple iPhone is known for being a ‘smart’ phone and has many ways to translate into different languages. It also brings many benefits to different cultures because of the use of its different languages and the advantages of learning about the different cultures.

The three main points of the essay is 1. New Technology has a big impact, 2. Language is very influential and 3. People’s desires. New technology leads to changes in some aspects of the politics and democratic countries, notably political campaigning and fundraising. New media also effects the way in which public opinion is formed. A lot of people today use twitter as a media source to communicate their political voice and opinions. The growing popularity of online media in the long run, established democracies that are largely responsible for the decline in the readership and profitability of newspapers. The rise of radio and television also brought a new justification for governments to play an active role in overseeing the media. Language is very influential to advertising because different languages will obviously attract different people according to their language that they speak. People’s desires are heavily influenced through advertisements because it catches the audiences attention. For example, people subscribe to newspaper and magazines for the informative and entertaining content they provide. In addition, when advertisers buy space in newspapers or magazines, they are buying the readers’ attention.


Unity For All: Coca Cola, America the Beautiful Commercial

By: Thomas DiMarco, Elisabeth Lutz, Kat Fletcher

The essay discussed many key components used by any company that is advertising its product. The first idea our group is going to discuss is how advertisements and culture go hand in hand. Culture is something that is specific to a certain group of people. It is the clothing, food, traditions, and many other things that distinguish them from everybody else. Culture plays a huge part in advertising. Companies must ensure that their advertisements reaches the demographic that the company intends for it to reach. If a company is hoping to reach a large demographic, they need to be sure that their ad is broad and can be seen as relevant to anyone. But, sometimes a company is advertising to a specific group of people. In that case, the company will use culture to their advantage and tailor their ad in a way that makes it relatable to a certain group of people.

“Culture is the glue that binds groups together.” Culture is a unifying force that allows us to coexist in the same space. Every culture may be different but those who exist within each culture share similar values and beliefs. These commonalities allow every person in that culture to coexist in harmony. According to the textbook culture cannot be separated from an individual. The textbook defines culture as,  “shared beliefs, attitudes, norms, roles and values found among speakers of a particular language who live during the same historical period in a specific geographic region.” In the coca cola ad there were many different types of people that spoke different languages. These people, even though they spoke different languages, were engaged in similar activities that people in Western Cultures, namely America, can recognize and relate to. By including these activities such as roller blading or horse back riding coca cola appeals to many different groups of people that are contained in the massive Western culture. This appeal makes their product more universal and people no matter the age, gender, or ethnic background are engaged by this advertisement.

Another point the essay made is that an individual’s needs, motives, and emotions have a part to play in the meaning of an advertisement.  In this case, the commercial was designed to relate to people who like the notion of diversity in the United States and want that diversity to continue and expand.  It touches our emotions by playing the National Anthem in a slower and more impassioned, while also showing scenes of people having fun, seeing new things, and being with people.  The song is also sung in multiple languages, further emphasizing the theme of seeing new things and being with the people one loves.  It hits two needs that all people share.  The first being the need for excitement and learning, whether its introspective, as shown with the scene with the man riding a horse in the woods, or larger scale, such as with the kid who went to Utah for the first time in his life with his family.  It speaks to a person’s desire to do more than they already are and experience something different.  By putting the song in different languages, it proves this point even further by introducing a larger audience of people into the themes as well as giving the audience more to think about when having their need for new experience to be addressed.  The second need that the commercial introduces is the audience’s need for acceptance and friendship.  The commercial has many scenes that take place in vastly different areas, yet much of the time, these people are with either family or friends.  Along with that, they are all smiling and having a good time.  When not with friends, the people are not smiling and having fun, but instead having a more introspective experience.  By doing this, the commercial puts the idea into the audience’s head that being with other people means that one is happy.  Since it is still selling something, the company’s logo/drink is always in a shot; showing that Coca-Cola, togetherness, and happiness are all part of the same package, and that one cannot be without the other.

Our group chose the Coca Cola commercial shown below. We chose this commercial because it clearly displays Coca Cola’s efforts to ensure that their product is consumed by all cultures. If the song in the commercial was only sang in one specific language, all other cultures would feel that the commercial and product wasn’t geared towards them. Instead, Coca Cola has the song in the commercial sang in several different languages. This helps consumers to feel that Coca Cola is a drink for everybody around the world, not just Americans. The video is ended with the hashtag #AmericaIsBeautiful. This shows that Coca Cola supports the diversity in America and wants all cultures to enjoy their beverage. This is an example of how Coca Cola used culture to their advantage and successfully reached a large demographic.

Advertising Translation Assignment

By: Omar, Hari, Kate, and Julia

The three main points of advertising and its translations in different countries are that advertising is an aspect of culture, its influenced by language, and a human’s wants and needs affects it as well. In the commercial we chose, it showed how advertising is a part of culture because in both of the commercials it highlights the “big brother love-hate” relationship. Even in two completely different cultures, it is still clear that the relationship is still relatable and cute. Our commercial also is influenced by more body language than the oral language; the body language really emphasizes the love-hate relationship in the scenes with the two brothers. The commercial was made to make you feel this relatable relationship between the brothers every time you would drink a Coca Cola, which also plays into the human wants and needs. Humans want to be loved by others and the easiest way is mainly through family relations, and what better way to achieve that than by drinking a nice refreshing Coca Cola.

Translating Advertising Assignment

By: Aaron Petit, Mike Filardi, Mary Kate Buckman

From observing the essay talking about advertising and its translations through other cultures, we determined that the three main points that are talked about in this essay are how advertising 1: is part of culture, 2: advertising is heavily influenced by language and 3: a person’s needs, motives, and emotions have a part to play in the meaning of the advertising itself.

For advertising as part of culture the essay talks about how cultural patterns and organized systems of significant symbols relate to peoples living styles and without those things, people would have trouble living together. This means that advertisements have to relate to these specific cultural patterns and symbols in order for the ad to get across and actually have meaning. When people relate to or find meaning in an advertisement, they are more likely to purchase the product. This is seen in our ad below, as it takes the style and format of an American iPhone commercial and makes a few changes to better fit within Chinese culture. These changes include focusing on apps that Apple assumes its customers in China will be interested in, rather than what is popular in America. For example, the ad focuses more on game apps than advertisements do in America. This is intended to make the comercial more relatable to its audience.

For the essays second point, language heavily influences advertisement across the world. The essay says that even though English is the most well known language out of all, many people are reluctant to learn a new language so all that would be left for the ad would be the image which could be horribly misinterpreted. The language of our ad is all in Mandarin so that the message of the ad can be clearly understood by its audience. This ad was made specifically for China, it wouldn’t translate well in other places if those places did not speak the language, as that audience wouldn’t understand what the advertisement was trying to highlight about the product.

Finally the essays final point being that an advertisement must suffice a person’s needs, motives, and emotions. The essay talks about how ones needs always comes first, for example clothing, and by using this the ad becomes very effective. This connects with the point about culture, if you can connect with someone on a personal level, the product and meaning to the commercial can be more easily sold. In our ad, we see this in the specific apps that are being shown off to the audience. These apps serve a clear need such as providing information, weather updates, or fitness techniques. The ad aims to convince its audience that it is a necessary tool for navigating everyday life. Further, although this ad is not very emotional, a personal connection is attempted when the audience is shown Chinese buildings, actors, and other things familiar to the culture..



A Day In The Life Of Omar Haque

So for my project I decided to make a video that basically shows what I do everyday. What I really enjoyed about making this short film was collecting all of the footage, and just being myself. I decided not to add a voiceover because I thought it would’ve ruined the organic feeling that I tried to create. I was afraid at first that I wasn’t going to have enough footage but in the end everything was alright.