The 2017 Caulfield Lecture by Aaron Petit

Today I had gone to the McGuire Hall Lecture which talked about “The Future of Journalism Big and Small”. The lecture was held speaker Trif Alazas who is the publisher and editor in chief of The Baltimore Sun Media Group. He is an award winning editor and has been for the last 27 years and it was very informative on what he had to say. He was also part of the Loyola graduating class of 1988 and had started his internships while he was a student here at Loyola. After talking about what inspired him to become a news publisher and editor, he than began to talk about how media around us changes and what companies have to do to be successful in that change. He said that although we think that news is only newly changing, news companies have always been adapting to the new technology that springs up constantly. Whether it be the radio, television, or mobile phones, news companies and companies in general must adapt to these new forms of technology if they want to stay in the business. Mr. Alazas also began to talk about that although physical newspapers are dying, the news is far from it. Millions upon millions of news articles (especially from the Baltimore Sun) are read from countless people’s mobile devices and computers. It was interesting hearing about how news companies have been constantly evolving and that the Baltimore Sun adapts very quickly to this change. Throughout his presentations, slides of photographers photos were shown showing how engaging TV journalism can be and that you can meet a variety of different people. It was a very engaging and great learning experience.


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..



My Story Assignment Aaron Petit

For my My Story Assignment I’m talking about my trip to the Bahamas Atlantis Paradise island which I went to over the summer. Most of the pictures in the video are pictures I took there using my fathers camera and the rest images of the resort. I recorded my voice using my phone and uploaded the audio file to Adobe Premiere Pro. The same I did with the music and pictures themselves. This was my first time using Adobe Premiere Pro and because I don’t own a mac I could not use iMovie. It took me awhile to figure out the program and once I figured that out the rest was a matter of formatting and uploads. Talking back about my trip to the Bahamas, it truly was a spectacular experience and one I’ll never forget. The only other country I’ve been to other then the Bahamas is Ireland but the Bahamas felt like Florida but kicked up a notch. Instead of damp and rainy weather some or even most days, the Bahamas was always warm and I always had something to do. It was also very educational because of the aquariums throughout the resort. Many of the fish there I saw first hand and some I had never seen before. Although I had some technical troubles at first making the video, I enjoyed making my My Story Project on an incredible experience that I had during the summer.

The Blade Runner, and Its Legacy

The Blade Runner was actually a Sci-Fi movie that I had never seen before. It was always something that I’ve always wanted to watch, but never got the time to get to. I had heard countlessly about the many movies that were inspired by Blade Runner and the countless animated films taking exact scenes deliberately from the movie. So going into this movie I had an idea of what to expect, and it fulfilled that expectation to its highest potential. The Blade Runner is a film that not only delves the viewer into a world that could potentially be ours, but a world full of questions of what makes someone truly human in the eyes of everyone else and what makes us a monster, almost like a mistake made by God. Do we have the right to take the lives of someone or something that we created in our own image? Or is that up to the judgement of God?

As for the readings for the movie, I agree with both of the articles. Both of the articles describe the movie as “essential to rethinking our relationship [with] the world around us”, which perfectly describes the film. In the film, the character being played by Harrison Ford, left the police force because he questioned his line of duty. This duty being to exterminate these androids that are so closely related to humans they’re almost one in the same. They are said to be eliminated because according to society “they are a danger to everyone and aren’t truly human”. Harrison Ford though questions this immediately finding out that some androids just want to live their lives peacefully as humans. Is it really up to Harrison Ford to take the life of someone like that? The articles also state that the film lies “far beyond the fascination of its special effects”. The Blade Runner doesn’t just rely on special effects to make a quick action movie, the movie goes deeper then that. The world described in the film is very much like modern day and the characters are each individually developed by one another. The androids don’t have any unique traits other then their super strength, so they actual resemble normal people adding to the questionability of exterminating them.

As for the movie commenting on humanity and ethics, it questions the law and how the world easily wants to destroy what’s different. Like I said previously, the androids in the film act very much like humans minus their super strength. Also, the women android Racheal even (to an extent) falls in love with the Harrison Ford character which is a very humanistic character trait. This asks the question what makes us human. Are we human if we act, talk, and feel it? Or are we not if were just a puppet made by the genius of mankind? This would be a relevant question even for today because throughout politics we question our actions against countries we don’t truly understand. Do we attack if were attacked without reason? Or we negotiate in a civil manner? Fear is the reason why we attack, and even though the fear of the androids isn’t true in reality, who says it isn’t true with everything else.

2014 Kia Matrix Super Bowl Commercial

Aaron Petit

For the Super Bowl Commercial, I chose to do the 2014 Kia K900 Super Bowl ad. During this ad, a couple is leaving their fancy hotel to have a fancy evening for their date, noted by their fancy attire. As they approach to pick up their car from the front desk, Morpheus from the Matrix movie franchise is there to hand them their keys. However, he has two sets of keys from which to choose from. One is for what he calls “standard luxury” while the other is for a luxury they have never experienced before. The couple chooses the keys from the new car, which is the Kia K900. As they drive Morpheus joins them and discusses what luxury is supposed to feel and sound like. He then begins to sing in Italian opera as the road they drive on slowly explodes as they drive off into the night.

Kia is a car company that has been around since 1944 and is one of the oldest car manufacturers of motor vehicles. They at first started making bicycles and motorcycles but as the generations went on they developed into a car company. They have a network of distributors and dealers covering over 180 countries worldwide and is still a leading force in car companies today. They are a South Korean company, not originating in the United States similar to Toyota which manufactures their cars from Japan. Some of their goals are to become the world’s leading automotive brands but as competition increases, they aren’t struggling but they feel the need to change.

Adding to this need of “change” not only with cars but with their consumers, Kia recently has been shifting and fundamentally altering the way in which consumers perceive their cars and their company as a whole. At first Kia’s cars were perceived as dull-looking vehicles, and being non-luxurious. Many car companies however believe that upscale buyers want cars that are upscale and have cutting edge designs. With Kia’s goal on the line, they felt the need to attract the “younger generation” who want to increase their own image. Jack Nerad, editorial director for Kelley Blue Book states that “It marks a new direction for the brand”, and this was part of their reason to showcase their new car in a Super Bowl ad. An event that millions of fans witness every year.

As for the economics of the Kia, Kia has been steadily improving since the early 2000s. A statistic showed that by the end of 1999 they had increased their production and net profit to $655 million. Their debt also had reduced from 370 percent to 170 percent while their auto sales had increased 59.3 percent and are still growing. Because of this success, it shows that by Kia focusing on the “young stylish consumer” and not solely on the more mature consumer their sales had drastically improved. As of 2015 they spend 17 percent to $649 million on advertising.

As for the 2014 Super Bowl ad, it of course strongly shows the company’s efforts in making their new cars seem as luxurious as possible. Throughout the ad, it is constantly mentioned and said by everyone in the ad. Not only this, but the couple in the commercial seem to have some money, looking very nice and having an image. This adds to the want of the new Kia car because it makes, the younger audience, want to look and feel good. If you drive this car you can be luxurious, and it gives the consumer the illusion that they will look as nice as the people in this ad.

For the psychoanalysis in this ad, many associate opera with being luxurious or elegant in some way. Not only this but by using stunning visual effects and an icon from a classic movie, it draws the attention to the consumer very well. As for the Semiotics or “social meaning” the demographic of the Matrix is actually the audience that they are aiming for. Young adults starting from the ages of 18 to their late 20s. This audience watching the Super Bowl would see this Kia ad and immediately recognize who Morpheus is and would find it interesting to see him in a car commercial promoting sales and knowledge of the car. Morpheus is also a symbol in this commercial because he represents what your path of luxury will lead you, being this car.

Kia wanted to show how they are always changing and trying to understand the demographic they are targeting. By creating a Matrix car commercial, it shows that they know who their audience is and they are trying to compete with other companies. This success again is proven by their increase in sales throughout the years and the amount they spend on advertising.







The Google Search Engine, Determining Our Decisions?

By: Aaron Petit, Thomas DiMarco, Mike, and Mary Kate Buckman

The first Internet search engine was created in 1990 by Alan Emtage and it was called Archie. The Archie Search Form created an industry and medium that Google would eventually dominate. Archie worked a lot like Google, it made the scattered information on the Internet accessible and user friendly by combining a “script-based data gatherer” with a “regular expression matcher” for retrieving file names matching what the user entered. What makes Google different is how it handles that task now that it has become far more difficult. There were only a few hundred websites before 1993 and now the number has exceeded 1 billion. Google manages them all by prioritizing websites using a complicated algorithm which predicts what the user wants to see. Google is popular because it can give its user an answer, as opposed to an endless list of websites. More often than not the thing your looking for will be on the first page.

This success has made Google a powerhouse of information and knowledge. Need to know what the weather will be tomorrow? Learning the answer is as simple as clicking a button. Most of our society uses Google on a daily basis for information, entertainment, or finding an address. While this goes on, however, the information is recorded and the search engine uses it to see what content is trending at the time. As a society keen on what is new and trending it is only natural for Google to funnel our search history into its algorithm, this is how they meet the demand. This allows the search bar to show what was most looked up and or trending, but does this affect our knowledge of the world and how we should think? Possibly so. Nicholas Carr is a pulitzer prize winner that has written extensively on the effects of the Internet, and he says, “the internet will take our ability for contemplation due to the plasticity of our brains.”

The “plasticity of our brains” refers to the brain’s ability to change over time because new knowledge reorganizes and restructures neural connections. Google is an easy and reliable source of knowledge and is able to be used by anyone. Unfortunately, the only information we are likely to read will be found on the first or second page of Google Search. The algorithm determining if something is trending will bring it closer to the top of the list. As a result, even more people will see it and it will become even more popular. On the Internet information reaches people because it is popular, not necessarily because it is true. Even with all the information that the Internet has about a given subject, everyone will see the same links and therefore receive the same information, making waste of the vast majority of the information on the internet. As important as Google has become, this flaw has serious potential dangers.

Screen Shot 2017-01-26 at 11.19.23 PM.png

Google is a free search engine, which means that anyone with internet access can utilize it. It gives widespread access to information and makes today’s technological society possible. For example, there are approximately 2.3 million Google searches worldwide per second. It can extend our visual and audio senses with search results of videos, images, articles, and more, which in combination with it’s popularity can give it power and influence over a large group of people. Studies show that Google can rig elections by swaying undecided voters. “Google’s search algorithm, propelled by user activity, has been determining the outcomes of close elections worldwide for years” according to Robert Epstein. Google’s prevailing impact on people today could have a major negative effect.

Google has largely influenced all older forms of media, namely television and newspaper. In fact, it has somewhat replaced paper maps, encyclopedias, movie theaters, and countless other former mainstream forms of media. Before, people went to those mediums to get information or entertainment, but now people can have a similar experience with a lot less effort and money by looking them up on Google. The older forms of media have either evolved to stay relevant or become obsolete because of this.  Newspapers, for example, are now primarily found and read online, with the number of physical paper editions steadily decreasing. Other mediums such as online television and movie streaming, as well as ebooks and magazines, are being used more as a result of the ease and accessibility by which people can access them thanks to Google. There is definitely a form of medium bias in Google’s search algorithm because it could express the company’s viewpoint on certain issues and influence the opinions of others. It’s visual and audio extension give it major power to influence our opinions.

Read more:
Follow us: @politico on Twitter | Politico on Facebook


Inauguration Day, What This Means

January 20th was Inauguration Day in the United States which many were excited about, but some not so much. With constant protest from non-Trump supporters and the future of America being questionable in the future, many did and do not know what to do. As you see by the image above, many had come together to discuss there own personal reactions to Trumps Inauguration and what the future of America may hold. That’s what many did on this Inauguration Day, and what many would do with the Women’s March happening a few days later. What this Inauguration means for fellow Americans is what we want done in the future. Although many were unhappy with the results of the election, it is people themselves who must come together to solve there own specific problems and come together as fellow Americans. Yes, Trump was elected president, but it is up to Americans to preach there own needs, we cannot change what happens in the past, we need to focus on the future and try to make it better. Being showcased on Twitter, many women supporters being shown during the march raised awareness for women’s rights and civil rights under Trump presidency. By them doing it causes a form a media which showcases what they want to see in America and hopefully influence our new president to follow what they are asking for.