Tag Archive: america


Haiti’s Plight

The poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, Haiti suffered a mighty 7.0 magnitude earthquake ripping Port-Au-Prince sending shockwaves as far as the United States and Jamaica in the Caribbean. I did not feel the quake but I do feel the pain and the agony that the Haitian people must be feeling. Imagine a country with poor infrastructure, poor people, ¾ of the population unemployed, most government agencies destroyed, mass graves etc etc. That is how impoverished the Haitian people are today. Forget about the US dollars you hear they live on, when it rains in Haiti it pours causing major flooding. I am grateful that it isn’t raining there because it would have been a worse position to be in for rescue efforts. To say their lives were better would be an understatement but in 30 seconds everything changed. As one survivor puts it “it happened so fast”.

President's Palace

Before Tuesday none of us were thinking of Haiti, we may have known the grim realities there. We were busy trying to ride through our own mountains – unemployment, recession. For now, others are suffering and they need our attention. Today and for many more months and years Haiti will be seeking all the help they can get to rebuild the country they once had.

In the past days, many charity organizations and corporate entities have been furiously soliciting funds and clothing for the millions of people who have been dislocated from their homes. Jamaicans, Americans, Canadians, Russians and others around the world are playing their role in assisting the Haitians. Because of Jamaica’s proximity to Haiti it will be the last check point before all the donations arrive in Haiti from the Caribbean region.

I must say I have been addicted to the coverage of the Haitian Earthquake on CNN and online (Twitter and the various online news agencies) and I am now taking a break to pen this post. It has been a wonderful coverage from CNN. They may be low in ratings on politics in the US but they are performing excellently in bringing the latest news over there in Haiti. It was reported earlier today that the Haitian people are becoming more frustrated with relief efforts. This and many other things like looting, breakout of diseases, more of the injured dying etc can be expected as the country still without basic amenities like electricity and water supply heal from the tragic event.

We may never go to Haiti or see the place with our own eyes. I am sure you have seen the images and videos from the area as they tell a grim tale of what happened on Tuesday. As the days go by we will be bombarded with advertisements pleading to donate funds to help with the relief efforts there. You can HELP!

Tips on Helping Haiti

  1. Donate only to established agencies.
  2. Do not provide confidential information when donating funds.
  3. Be wary of scammers who are on the loose because more people are giving.
  4. Give with love and a grateful heart.

You may be wondering how you can help. I would suggest sending money. There are many text lines open to donate to the Haitian people in their darkest moment.

I texted to my local line here in Jamaica and it felt good. I received a text later saying that “To date Jamaica has raised J$2.3 million for the Haiti Relief Fund.” That is equivalent to US $25, 813.69. Oh damn. I seriously thought it would have translated higher. Oh well, there you go. Goes to show how weak my Jamaican dollar is.

I texted 'HELP'

To the Number 162

Confirmation

Further Confirmation

Go donate. You can HELP! Watch your money feed those hungry people.

Advertisements

If you are new to this blog I have a deep, deep passion for Marketing and Advertising. I will forever appreciate this field and any business that really use the basic skills to advance their companies and their products. I appreciate it so much because it is the only thing I know.

Advertising has been a sore point for many people. The impact advertising may have on potential viewers is great. Creators of advertisements understand this fully and they will exploit the opportunity while being legal to persuade the consumer to purchase a product or to buy into a service. Consumers therefore have a responsibility to take these advertisements with a grain of salt. There is a line in advertising that ad creators try not to cross and this is being deceptive. I have an issue with adverts deceiving people, misleading them to the point where they consume the product and it does not perform the way it was intended to.

We live in the 21st century where everything has to look posh, awesome, appealing and appear to be the best. With demands from companies and an emphasis on profits to be made, pressures are placed on creative teams to create an advert that will rival the competitor. Not only to compete but also to make the advertisement so appealing those consumers will demand the product. Creating an advertisement should take time. Determining the image of the product, partnering that with the right talents, choosing the music, the lighting and the camera angles are all some of the factors which the creative team has to take note of. A whole slew of other considerations which make the final product appealing and persuading.

Can you imagine the thoughts that go in to advertise fashion and products for the face and hair? In developed markets like London, Europe and United States of America where the quality of advertising is high, it takes much effort to produce.

An advertisement in question in recent days is one produced by L’Oreal. The ad features Cheryl Cole (judge on X Factor, huge celebrity in the UK) who in the advertisement praises the product Elvive Full Restore 5 hair care line for making her chestnut “full of life, replenished with healthy shine”. The fact is Cheryl Cole’s chestnut was not entirely her real flowing hair. Should we be having an issue with advertisements like this?

C Cole

Beauty has come under scrutiny many times before and this will never be the last. I have an issue with people having an issue with this advertisement.  First and foremost females who wear extensions do not refer to their hair as fake especially when it blends in with their ‘real’ hair especially when their real hair accounts for much of what you actually see. Females can also confess that when commenting on a friend’s hairstyle they don’t say “Your wig looks good!” instead they say “your hair looks good.” This is in the context of wearing extensions coupled with your real hair. Now if your entire head of hair that I am seeing is from a plastic package then we can conclude that your hair is fake and you are indeed wearing a wig.

Personally I do not see anything wrong with the advertisement because an advert of that nature for it to be effective it has to have some form of fantasy (lies oops) to it. In the advertisement clearly not all of the talent’s hair is false and you would have only known that if you know what extensions look like and if you have worn them before or read it online. The celebrity in question has made extensions apart of her routine look so to say she has done this and it is deceiving to people is ridiculous.

I also have an issue with advertising critics who claim that adverts should be appealing to the normal person. Therefore, advertisements of this nature – fashion related will make ladies feel insecure and affect their self esteem. Rubbish! If an advertisement is going to make you feel bad, you felt bad long before you saw the advertisement. I will not buy the argument that advertisements should ever start using normal people to sell the products. If this worked more companies would have been doing it. Dove has started that trend – saw the features of Oprah but I do not like it. It contradicts the image and position of what the product has established. L’Oreal mentions in their ads ‘because you’re worth it.’ The marketing campaign works because they use celebrities who everyone seems to aspire to be. That image of everything looking right cannot be compromised. It is not by chance the make-up is always right. It is not by chance they are always smiling and telling you how wonderful the product makes them feel and look. It is all a strategy to make you walk to the retail store and purchase the product.

Stop complaining oh how she isn’t wearing her real hair. I must confess I know nothing about hair extensions and rightfully so. However, the first time I saw the advertisement I did not think about her extensions, I thought about the obvious she has great hair and any girl who uses the product will experience the same thing because they are worth it. When I buy facial products which I desperately need to look the way I do lol I don’t want to read or see that the product will make me look normal. I am looking for it to say it will give me clear skin and all those good things. So consumers gravitate to products which makes them look, feel better than they previously did – takes them to a higher level.

Stop again, did you see the advertisement. Really? Watch again and look at 0:21 seconds. At the bottom of the screen it says “styled with some natural hair extensions.” That is all the advertisement needed. Of course in that 30 second advertisement all you were looking at is her ‘real-hair’ and the outcome after using such a product. From an advertising, model-talent’s perspective that’s all that matters – you looked at her hair and wished you had it.

Click reply at the top of the post or Reply located at the right of the first comment to have your say.

How September 11 changed the world?

This piece is dedicated to all who lost their lives and who lost families, friends in the 9/11 attacks on the United States of America.

The entire world changed on this day, September 11, 2001. I was standing on what is called the ‘front page area’ of my school when I heard what happened on this sad day. I saw teachers running about to offices to view live coverage from New York and other parts of the USA that were attacked. Back then I heard the World Trade Centre was attacked and I remember wondering “What is that?”

afp20090911175608217

Today, our rights have been altered in some way, how governments handle events, economies shaken, diplomacy, security procedures, travel rules, etc have all changed because of the terrorists attacks on September 11, 2001.

I watched footages from the major networks who replayed the exact coverage as the events unfolded. What struck me was the moment President Bush was told by his aide that the country was being attacked. You saw a man that was shocked and scared but at the same time who had to hold his composure. He had to because as a leader but more so a President you do not want to be seen in a frantic mode that is not in control of the situation. I found that very interesting that even in a moment where you are being attacked certainly not in control he gave an image that was thoughtful, and composed.

Many in the western world were sad and saw it as unbelievable because no matter how independent your nation may be; we are in some ways affected by what happens in the United States of America. As people grieved thousands in Israel celebrated the loss of lives shouting “God is good.”

On September 11, 2001 for those who thought terrorism was not an immediate threat instantaneously saw the impact of this because it happened to the greatest nation in the world the mighty USA. President Bush’s presidential term was now aimed at this attack; finding the perpetrators. The 9/11 attacks dubbed Bush the war president as he was fervent in finding the attackers. This attack changed US politics as Bush’s approval ratings shot up to the highest in history plummeting to over 90%; but we all saw in times coming to the close of term, his numbers trended downwards.

Years later millions of people all around the world remember the events that took place on this day. We regret the passing of so many lives but we are even more cognisant of the fact that there are evil men and groups in our world whose aims are to kill and terrorise people. We must support efforts and wars that will bring to justice those who will kill us in a moment. How we fight wars that is another issue.

Have you ever been in an enclosed area and smell the fumes from someone smoking? Doesn’t it annoy you? It must be weird being annoyed by a smell. I am upset, agitated, and infuriated when I smell a smoker and the smoke from their activities. I cannot fathom why someone would smoke their way to their death beds. We have heard of the many side-effects and ramifications for smoking cigarettes. For crying out loud go far far away and kill yourself with the fumes. Why make the rest of the world suffer in your unhealthy agony? I cannot imagine what goes on in the lungs and inside the body as they inject those crazy chemicals in.

Obama the Savior

Obama the Savior

My heart goes out though to all of the many addicts to smoking. I really blame them for their conditions and addiction to cigarettes and wish that they would change their lifestyle to a healthier one. Many families are being separated by those family members who smoke for a lifetime and end up dying from complications. There are however, solutions and many alternatives smokers can make to live their lives better.

In America alone 46 million people light a cigar. We have heard many times of the disadvantages for smoking but the information does not move smokers to stop killing themselves silently. They are addicted and so drawn and warped into smoking that they cannot and sometimes find it hard to end a life addicted to its contents. One would think businesses would stop making cigarettes so harmful to the body. No. They are manufactured and marketed to entice the innocent. Many young people are becoming addicted to smoking and the trend must be stopped. How many young people should die because of this addictive substance? Worldwide between 80,000 and 100,000 kids will start smoking everyday. No public service announcement can save those kids. Parents should become involved in parenting once again and ensure that their young children are not being killed early.

I have not felt the urge to smoke, never. I wonder what would prompt someone to light a cigar then. Of course, we can blame society, the culture and all the other factors that motivate our actions. I think our culture has a lot to do with this nasty trend. In Jamaica and many other parts of the world it is acceptable if a teen smokes in public. He/She is seen as unique, special, cool, fun, exciting the list goes on. What if we had generated a culture where we speak out against killing our hearts and our bodies? The price we pay to provide health care to these lunatics who are walking dead bodies waiting to happen must end now.

Side Effects of Smoking Cigarettes

  • Tobacco contributes to many cancers.
  • Smoking causes heart disease.
  • Smoking causes fat deposits to narrow and block blood vessels which lead to heart attack.
  • Smoking is a slow way to die.
  • Smoking causes heart attacks and strokes.
  • Carbon monoxide robs your muscles, brain and body tissue of oxygen, making your whole body and especially your heart work harder. Over time, your airways swell up and let less air into your lungs.
  • Causes impotence in men.

The list goes on but I decided just to highlight those.

I want people to realize the dangers of smoking and their lives. We are having a heated discussion on health care reform in the US. The fact is people must take personal responsibility for their lives and take steps to live a healthy lifestyle. In 1998 alone, USA spent $72.7 billion on people with health care problems associated with smoking. We are in 2009 that cost would never be decreased but increased. We are setting up ourselves for a huge problem with heart issues and strokes hitting younger people if we create a culture where smoking is accepted. I agree when any government that comes down hard on smokers. They must be taxed to the point where they cannot afford the product. Then we will see this horrendous habit by millions changed.

Can someone tell Obama to make this a teachable moment? He is for crying out loud, spewing fumes into the White house on a regular basis. He must be confronted and a team used to stop his addiction to smoking. If he doesn’t……..Oh my God!