Thursday, October 31, 2013

Online Assignment #2_Tim Holt

My primary VALS type was categorized as an “experiencer”, which I believe was a correct classification. I believe that my own spending habits unfortunately fall under the VALS definition of an experiencer’s spending habits, which is being a “young, enthusiastic, and impulsive” consumer. I tend to buy what I think may look good or be “cool” at the time when I purchase the item. An experiencer is also classified as someone who “finds an outlet in exercise, sports, outdoor recreation, and social activities”. I would say that this also correctly fits with my personal activities. I’m involved in multiple recreation sports here at the University of Wisconsin-Madison which include football, soccer, and volleyball. I also enjoy going to the gym and playing basketball at the serf while my weekends usually include going to parties and tailgates before sporting events.

My secondary VALS type was categorized as an innovator, which I thought was an interesting classification. The whole point of me taking this VALS survey was to see what advertisers would classify me for my psychographic profile, which essentially just gives the advertiser insight into seeing how consumers see themselves and their approach to life. In this case, I would say this classification is something that may fall under how I see myself compared to my actual approach to life. At the same time I usually enjoy challenges and proving people wrong while my life has a lot of variety to it, which is shown by my different types of friends, interests, and music. Overall, I think the VALS survey did a good job classifying me for my psychographic profile.

Online Assignment #2_James Cho

My primary motivation was an “experiencer” which was interesting but overall inaccurate. The experiencer classification was described as “young, enthusiastic, and impulsive consumers” which I have to admit describes my consuming tendencies fairly well. I tend to purchase random things impulsively; however, for larger, more important items I thoroughly research the products prior to purchasing as any rational consumer would. I found the “favorite things” section of the description the most interesting. For the experiencer, the list included VW, Rolling Stone, Red Bull, and “to be entertained” which I thought was very general because who does not like to be entertained? Of the other items listed, I have no prior enthusiasm for VW, Rolling Stone or Red Bull. I question the usefulness of such systemized classifications of demographics. The classifications are just trade-offs between accuracy and generalization. How many people readily identify with all the attributes from a given VALS type?  What is the effect of specialized advertisements that appeal to specific VALS types? My secondary type was “innovator” which is described as “change leaders and are the most receptive to new ideas and technologies” and their “favorite things” include BMW’s, Wired, sparkling water and “a rewarding experience”. The favorite things section is weird, I don’t like sparkling water or Wired, and again who does not like a rewarding experience. Overall, I identify more with this description of Innovators but most of the attributes are too general for me to consider the VALS type system accurate or useful. 

Online Assignment #2_Alec Cordero

My primary VALS type that I received was Striver, yet I strongly believe that this classification does not accurately reflect my overall personality in a lot of ways. A Striver is described as trendy and concerned with other people's opinions, yet I feel like I am extremely out of touch with the mainstream media and pay little to no attention to the opinions of other people. I believe in free thinking and figuring out the truth by oneself rather than having to constantly rely on the approval of others to make your life worth living. While I believe that money is an important factor in a career, I don't consider to be the most important factor. Being happy with your job and receiving enjoyment out of it pays more than any amount of money in the world. I take the phrase "If you love what you do, you'll never work a day in your life" to heart because I think people should work for a greater purpose besides money. While I am a bit of an impulsive buyer sometimes, I believe that I've become more moderate in my spending as of late. I consider my second VALS type as an Experiencer to be more consistent with  my actual personality because I agree that I am very self-expressive, enthusiastic, and willing to take on new opportunities whenever they arise. I definitely enjoy variety and surprises in my life as opposed to a mundane rat race-like existence. I certainly enjoy exercising, hiking, playing music, and socializing, especially at concerts. I don't spend money on anything besides the occasional band t-shirt, concert ticket, CD, video game, or book, so entertainment is a very important part of my life. I try not to put too much emphasis on image or material objects since I believe that the quality of a person's character exceeds that of his material purchases.

Online Assignment #2_Isaac Ama

After taking the VALS survey, it told me that I am primarily an Innovator.  My secondary personality is Experiencer.  After reading through the descriptions of each, I have to admit, it is quite accurate. The thing that caught my attention most about being an Innovator was the part that says, "Image is important to Innovators, not as evidence of status or power, but as an expression of their taste, independence, and personality." This is very fitting to me, because I don't buy things because they are "in style" or are becoming a huge trend, I just buy things that I like and that are an expression of who I am, but it also says their purchases are often “upscale” tastes, and often the things I like are quite expensive. It also fits me well, because it says that Innovators express all three primary motivations, at least to some extent. After having read through all the other descriptions, there are definitely parts of each that add up to how I am. 
My secondary type of Experiencer is also applicable.  Similarly to the Innovator, I'm very motivated by self-expression. I'm occasionally (more often than I should be) subject to impulse buys, and I become enthusiastic about new things very quickly, but can lose interest very fast. I definitely seek excitement and am very "offbeat". I do a lot of spending for social activities and entertainment.  The biggest flaw that either description had was that as an Innovator I'm supposed to enjoy sparkling water…I hate that stuff.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Online Assignment #2-Max Rosenberg

    The primary VALS type I was given was an “Experiencer”, with my secondary being “Striver”. I can honestly say that when looking at the possible results before hand, I would have labeled myself as an experiencer. Within that VALS type, it is described that we are “enthusiastic about new possibilities, but are equally quick to cool”. We like outdoor and social activities, and love being entertained. These characteristics really do align with my life.
    I am constantly seeking out new opportunities and events to take part in. When I get a new job, or start a new program, I am usually pretty excited about the opportunities they present. I can however say that once I am settled into something, I am looking towards the future for the next activity. I do not like the idea of restricting myself to the same routine/job for too long. Granted one might say you need to do so to gain stronger expertise, but I believe that skills can carry over to different fields easily.
    This survey is freaky in the sense that I actually do have a subscription to Rolling Stone and enjoy the company Redbull—it is very impressive how spot on it is. I also do spend a lot of my income on social activities and food. I do think that a lot of these characteristics are in a college student’s nature. We are all very social, and we want to be up to date on current trends, as well as stay active. We are experiencing a pretty fast and sporadic lifestyle right now, and I am frankly happy to be labeled an experiencer.

Online Assignment_Patrick Rose

           After diligently participating in the VALS online survey, my results show that my primary VALS type is an Experiencer. This is a very accurate reflection of my lifestyle and personal habits and I was impressed by the survey’s ability to categorize my personality so precisely. An Experiencer is someone who is young, enthusiastic about new possibilities and puts forth their energy towards exercise, sports and social activities. I have always been highly involved in sports my entire life and exercise frequently which is very accurate. It also notes that Experiencers are impulsive consumers who spend most of their money on entertainment, clothes/fashion and socializing. I personally love interacting with people in a social scene so this is a very accurate depiction of my personality. However, this particular VALS type seems to emphasize an importance on being “cool” and a very superficial lifestyle which is the only area of the VALS assessment that I would disagree with.

My secondary VALS type, which provides a specific emphasis to my primary VALS type, is an Achiever. An Achiever is someone who is motivated by self-achievement, has a goal-orientated lifestyle and shares a deep commitment to friends and family. This is by far the most accurate portrayal of my lifestyle. I constantly set personal goals for myself whether it is physical, academic or social goals; I have always tried to achieve the highest potential of myself in multiple areas of my life. Overall, the VALS survey provided a very accurate reflection of my lifestyle and consumer habits. I am very curious to see how this will reflect my potential career and future lifestyle.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Online Assignment2_Rykoskey

My first dominate type was Experiencer and my secondary type was Innovator.  I feel like this accurately describes me as both a person and a consumer in many ways.  First the fact that I am motivated much by self-expression, is shown everyday with doing things that will better myself off in ways like working out, staying healthy, looking good, and studying hard.  The fact that experiencers are described as impulsive consumers could not better fit me.  I like to buy things that i might not necessarily need at the time but nonetheless, still purchase because i want it at the moment.  Furthermore, i love doing things for excitement and doing things outside my comfort zone that may be risky but rewarding.  Being predictable is boring, and i like to live a life not knowing what the next day is going to have in store.  Challenges present opportunities for improving yourself, and this thought process clearly fits into the role of an experiencer.  Being a college student, the energy I build up from countless hours of schoolwork and studying often is expelled during sports and other outdoor activities along with social events.  My consumer habits clearly fall into place here, as much of my money does indeed go to entertainment and social events.  With the category focusing so much on this type of lifestyle, spending money on fashion is more of a given aspect.  Looking good makes you feel good, and everyone strives for that, and i feel this aspect is more of a matter if you can afford it or not.  However I think the deciding factor of this aspect in the category is the extent of how "cool" the items and clothes you buy are.  Sadly, I still can relate this to myself since my purchase history often is much more expensive than necessary or needed.

Online Assignment 2_Marlowe Jacobsen

My first VALS type was Experiencer. For the most part, I think this type is accurate. I love trying new things and being adventurous. I like to be up to date on fashion and follow the trends. I would say I do spend a considerable amount of money going out and socializing with my friends. I feel that spending money on experiences such as concerts and new restaurants is entirely worth it. I also enjoy outdoor activities very much. However, they make the Experiencer sound very superficial and materialistic in his/her consumer habits, and I do not consider myself to be this way as a whole. Overall, this VALS type describes my personality and the things consume very well at this point in my life.

My second VALS type was Innovator. I am very success-driven, enjoy leadership positions, and like to have nice things, but this type over-estimated the amount of spending money I personally have. At this point in my life, my parents provide much of my financial stability. I cannot purchase the best and newest things most of the time, nor would I want to. I hope this type will describe me better when I have established myself in a great career. I will always be finding new ways to challenge myself and learning new things. I also hope to have the resources that allow me to do this. The Innovator VALS type generally describes me as well, but as I previously stated, it describes more of what I see myself to be in the future as opposed to right now.

Research Report_Maher_Rykoskey

Luke Rykoskey
Section 310
Research Report

            The article Racial Stereotypes in Children’s Television Commercials goes into much analysis on the marketing effect that advertisements have in regards to the use of ethnic groups as major roles, amount of interaction and appearance rate.  This research was conducted and presented due to children’s susceptibility of trusting what is seen on television as reality.  The article wanted to further advance some previous studies done on the subject and relate them to the national and local population percentage of ethnic groups that should be represented in advertising to children but in fact isn’t.
            The study was piloted by 4 professors of varying backgrounds and expertise.  First, Jill K. Maher, Ph.D., is currently a professor of marketing at Robert Morris University.   She has taught a variety of classes at MRU and other respectable universities for the past 18 years.  Her expertise as seen by the long list of publications she has presented is very expansive but focuses on advertising to children consumers. Next to contribute to the article was, Dr. Kenneth C. Herbst who is an Associate Professor of Marketing at Wake Forest University.  His expertise to the subject consists of branding and trust effects in advertising in addition to affect and cognition in consumer decision making which all directly relate to the consequences described in the article.  Third to donate was Nancy M. Childs, Ph.D. a food marketing professor at Saint Joseph’s University.  Her discipline focuses on the food industry but extends to the obesity challenge including marketing to children and has huge list of publications and even extends advice to the White House.  Lastly, Seth Finn, a communication professor at Robert Morris University.  Obtaining a Ph.D. from Stanford University, his expertise focuses on communication and information systems.
            The publication that this research was presented in was the Journal of Advertising Research (JAR). This speaks a lot to the reason this article was published as the goal of the journal is to advance marketing professional’s knowledge and provide the research behind many new ideas and benefits to the field of communication and media.  The audience as stated by JAR is marketing specialists of all levels and branches of the field.
            Since the aim of the article was merely to educate others, and had an approach to the subject that was undoubtedly accurate, there weren’t any direct responses.  However, quite a few other respectable publications have used the research represented in this article to further other studies.  The authors don't have any motivation as professors other than to educate which sheds more positive light on the article.  Overall this article should be regarded as a provocative subject that provides marketers with a factual baseline to further advance marketing techniques and increase effectiveness.

Works Cited

Maher, J.K., Herbst, K.C., Childs, N.M., & Finn, S. (2008). Racial stereotypes in children’s television commercials. Journal of Advertising Research, 48(1), pp. 80-93.
(2013). About JAR. Journal of Advertising Research. Retrieved from
All personal background obtained from professor profiles on the school websites

Online Assignment #2, Sydney Heyler

Online Assignment #2
Sydney Heyler
Section 310

            My VALS type was Experiencer/Innovator.  According to the VALS descriptions, Experiencers are motivated by self-expression particularly through areas such as exercise, sports, outdoor recreation, and social activities.  Experiencers seek variety and excitement in their lives.  I found this classification very accurate; I love staying active and busy and thoroughly enjoy life’s everyday excitements. The description also mentioned that while Experiencers are easily excited by new possibilities, they’re also quick to cool.  This is something I can relate to as well.  I like a fast-paced life but enjoy some downtime as well.  I cherish time to myself as much as I do being active.
            The one part of the Experiencer’s description that I did not agree with was about being an avid consumer, spending lots of money on things such as fashion and entertainment.  While current trends do interest me, I tend to be a very conservative spender, only purchasing things I really need. 
            The Innovator description fits a successful, sophisticated leader.  This is a title I feel I can relate to.  I enjoy leadership positions and being in charge of groups.  I would much rather lead than be told what to do.  I am also a very ambitious person and strive for success and perfection in nearly everything that I do. 
            The one part of the innovator description that I didn’t quite relate to was the stressed importance of one’s image.  My possessions and belongings don’t necessarily reflect my personal tastes or independence.  I prefer to show those things through my actions, activities and values. 

            Overall I thought the VALS survey did a fairly accurate job of categorizing me as an Experiencer/Innovator with only a few simple questions.  Despite a few mismatched characteristics, the descriptions seemed very applicable to my life.

Discussion Questions_Maher_Holt

1)When was the first the time you noticed racial stereotyping in advertising? Do you have any specific examples? (Ex: Popeye commercials with African Americans, Volkswagen commercial where a middle eastern man blows himself up in the car but the car doesn’t explode, meant to show that the car was “tough”)

2)Research with prime-time television shows that African Americans are often found in advertisements for snack/food products or other products of low value, Asians appear in commercials that symbolize work life, and Caucasians are often found in toy advertisements which are considered “higher value” or more desirable. Why do you think some products are portrayed as higher value and lower value? Who makes these distinctions?

3)Why do you think minorities such as Hispanics are underrepresented in advertisements even though they are more likely to watch more TV on a weekly basis compared to Caucasians?

4)What are some ways advertisers could portray ethnicities equally in Children’s advertising today? Should somebody monitor these advertisements to stop racial stereotyping in advertising? (Ex: include more cartoons that don’t have ethnicities, could also be cheaper for advertisers because they wouldn’t have to pay for actors)

5)If this same type of stereotyping was happening in print advertising compared to television advertising, do you think it would be as big of a deal in the public’s eye? Is print advertising relevant for children nowadays anyway?

6)Results reported by Bang and Reece (2003) show that African Americans rarely appear by themselves in advertisements by themselves while Asians and Hispanics never appear in an advertisement without a Caucasian character. But on the flip side, Caucasian character appear by themselves in 47.5 % of the advertisements that they sampled. What kind of message do you think this sends about racial integration to children and adults about the society we live in today? (i.e. Does it not matter because it’s only advertising or does this have an effect on society?) Do you think children realize this lack or racial integration? What age do you think children start to realize this lack or racial integration if at all? Explain.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Discussion Questions_Goodman_Ryan Wenberg

Ryan Wenberg
J201 Sec. 310

Discussion Questions for In Case of Emergency

1) Goodman already mentions LeBron James, Mel Gibson, and Tiger Woods in his article, but can you think of any other examples of celebrities that have faced image issues?

2) The way BP and it’s contractors pointed the finger at one another during the oil spill showed that the lawyers were in control more than the communications professionals. As a company, is it more beneficial to accept responsibility to save credibility or to deny culpability in order to secure themselves against lawsuits?

3) In the case of BP, Keith Hearit, a communications professor at Western Michigan University, says, “there was nothing that could be done to make it better, but there was plenty that could be said to make it worse. Is it better for a company to just let the story take it’s course in these situations or is it better to try and get in front of the story and risk damaging their image further?

4) Eric Dezenhall is quoted as saying, “Nobody ever says: ‘Oh, that’s wonderful communications. We feel good now.’ “ How much can public relations really affect the way the public views a company after a scandal?

Research Report_Goodman_Heyler

Sydney Heyler
Section 310
Research Report

            In The New York Times article “In Case of Emergency: What Not to Do”, Peter S. Goodman offers a commentary on the mishandled actions of companies in crisis.  The article focuses on three main examples: BP, Toyota and Goldman Sach.  Each of these companies faced large, public disasters and did their best to minimize the realities of the situation.   Goodman (2010) goes on to explain that a company in this situation ought to “disclose it immediately- awful parts included- lest you be forced to backtrack and slide into the death spiral of lost credibility” (p. 1).  In other words, a company that owns up to its mistakes, works to fix them and is honest with the public up front is much more likely to bounce back and maintain the public’s trust.  Goodman does not hide that fact that he is quite passionate about and aggravated by this topic. Goodman (2013) even goes as far as to say, “Children stuck on a scary roller coasters sometimes close their eyes and wait for the ride to end.  So, apparently, do grown-ups heading giant corporations in crisis” (p. 9). This article is rooted in deep economic analysis, a field in which Goodman shines.
            Peter S. Goodman was born in New York City and graduated from Reed college in 1989.  He has worked for several news outlets including The Washington Post (as an International Economics Correspondent), The New York Times (as a key correspondent during the events of the 2008 economic recession) and currently The Huffington Post (as the Executive Business Editor).  It is clear that he has a strong background in business and economic analysis, working for some of the most well known news outlets in the world.  Goodman has received many awards and credentials throughout his career in journalism.  Some of these include the 2005 Hugo Shong Award and a citation in the Overseas Press Club.  Both awards were direct results of his foreign coverage in Asia during his time with The Washington Post.   
            Many different aspects of Goodman’s expertise may have influenced this article, including his novel, PAST DUE: The End of Easy Money and the Renewal of the American Economy, published in 2009.  In a New York Times Book Review, Barrett (2009) describes the book’s major theme by saying, “The fairy dust of easy money — heedless borrowing by homeowners and investment bankers alike — has lost its magic, and now we have returned to harsh reality” (p. 1).  This concept is very similar to the one explored in “In Case of Emergency”.  Both consider the idea of “kicking the can down the road”, so to speak, in an effort to minimize the impeding crisis of today only to experience its brutal realities tomorrow.  The close proximity of the novel and article’s publications suggest that Goodman’s research and analysis in “Past Due” may have heavily influenced and motivated his article “In Case of Emergency”.  The effects of the economic recession were still prevalent as well, creating an audience interested in things such as corporate transparency and financial crisis.  Not only did Goodman spend over a decade researching the origins of the economic recession, but “Past Due” received numerous awards including one of Bloomberg’s Top 50 Business Books.  It is clear that Goodman’s ideas are incredibly credible and applicable to not only this article, but all of his works worldwide.

Barrett, Paul (2009).  The Years of Magical Thinking.  The NY Times.  Retrieved October, 8th, 2009 from /Barrett-t.html?_r=0

Goodman, Peter S (2010). In Case of Emercency: What Not to Do.  The New York Times, 1-10.

Peter S. Goodman (n.d.) Peter S Goodman. Retrieved from