Communicating Professionally

Competitive UO Senior Planner

(23) The “I Can’t Put The Book Down” Feeling November 28, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jen J. Ashley @ 9:53 pm

Have you ever read a book that made you stay up late at night? A book that won’t let you push it away or do anything until it is finished? The worst ones are when the book is part of a series. Then, your life is given up to the series for at least a week, usually two. Your life becomes intertwined with the character’s plight. Why is this? I have a theory …

We become addicted to these stories because they connect with us on some level, which is obvious. But it is how/when they connect with us.  Take the Twilight series; the author, Stephanie Meyer, wrote the main character, Bella, as a plain girl so any tween can place themselves in her shoes and become apart of the story. The authors have control of this aspect, but what they don’t have is control of our situations when we read it.

For instance, I am enamored in the series of The Hunger Games written by Suzanne Collins at the moment. (I highly recommend reading this series.) Without giving too much away, the series is about a young strong girl who fights her emotions about love, family, and most of all survival.  Although I am not fighting for my life this story resonates with my current situation. Authors could not plan for someone to be in a perfect situation as I am to be charmed by a story. When a character in a story is easy to relate to and the reader’s situation all align together, it creates the perfect storm for readership.



(22) Men and Women’s TV Shows: Pawn Stars vs. Antique Roadshow November 27, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jen J. Ashley @ 3:49 am

To me, nothing shows the difference between men and women’s TV shows then Pawn Stars and Antique Roadshow. Basically, the content is the same. People bring in their old stuff and have these experts appraise them and tell them what it is worth. The basic principles of the shows are the same but the formats are very different.

Antique Roadshow deals with all antiques, lamps, tables, pictures, vases and more. When you watch Pawn Stars the only objects they tend to show are weapons, cars, and early revolutionary period items. Whenever a wide scan around the shop happens you an see that most of the items in the story is actually rings, even though you never see them buy a piece of jewelry. They spend the most time talking about money. Just look at the names of the show! To attract male viewers they named it something close to many men’s hearts, porn.

You always hear that women have to drag their husbands ‘antiquing’ on the weekends. The success of this show proves that men actually enjoy looking at antiques; it is just about how you present it to them. Just relate it to money and porn and you have your men antiquing every weekend.



(21) Planning Makes Perfect: Even for Streaking November 26, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jen J. Ashley @ 10:04 pm

I just watched this video on You Tube. Before I continue with my remarks, you have to watch this…



This is hilarious. Not because it was streaking (an activity I am not usually fond of) but because of the expert planning that went into this it was made a success. Unlike most people who streak who are just drunk looking for a laugh, this one was different.  He dressed himself in the appropriate garments for a referee, demanded attention by running out there blowing the whistle and went for it.

If he was an average streaker he would be put on You Tube but with not much of a spike. But this guys got chants from the crowd and almost two and a half million hits on the Internet. It was all because he put some thought into his prank. Just goes to show you, planning will make everything better.


(20) Movies Losing Their Creativity

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jen J. Ashley @ 5:40 am

Have you watched movie trailers recently? It seems that writers have replaced interesting plot lines with gore, action and special effects. I hate to say it, but Hollywood has loss their touch.

If you aren’t seeing a sequel of a movie that was a mild success there is a re-make of a classic.  Most trailers now giveaway the entire movie and if they don’t, it is reasonable enough to guess most plot lines. Take a look at a romantic comedy. First skeptic girl/guy meet, then one dishonors the other. This usually happens through a bet about the significant other. The couple surprisingly falls in love when they find out how they have been wronged by the other. There is a dramatic break-up, sadness, and then somehow they rekindle their love and live happily ever after.

There have been a few good movies recently that I have enjoyed. What most of them have in common is they were great books. Thankfully, authors have not lost their creativity (mostly). Great movies like The Help were great books before. Going to the movies used to be an experience, now I can’t imagine paying for most of them. (In all honesty, I haven’t gone to a movie that wasn’t a date in years.)

I don’t propose an idea how to fix this. Writing a successful screenplay probably has some sort of tried and true formula. With the mass amount of money it takes to make a movie the gross profit has to be enormous. I just wish there was a studio out there who says ‘we have enough money now, let’s make good movies instead.’ Until that day, we will just have to suffer with crappy movies.


(19) TiVo: How Advertising Adapted to it

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jen J. Ashley @ 2:01 am

As I am sitting at home after my food coma from Thanksgiving, I am watching my Mom’s recorded shows and I click on Top Chef. Because it is on TiVo, I fast-forward through the commercials. As an advertising major I thought to myself  “How has TiVo effected advertising?” When my program came back on I watched as the drama of who will have to pack their knives and go when it hit me, advertising is everywhere in this show! Product placement is how advertisers have adapted to TiVo.

Take the show I am watching, Top Chef. You can see Fiji waters placed strategically in view; Whole Foods is elegantly placed to fit all their culinary needs. Many challenges have a sponsor. The one I am currently watching is a Chili challenge where Tabasco was the sponsor. They all cook on beautiful new Kenmore appliances and the prize money is furnished by Glad. Really, advertisers are genius.

Instead of just an advertisement for their product, they have found a way to integrate their products into the shows people already know and love. It seems to me much more effective. Unless you are really looking for it, you wouldn’t know that you are being shown ads. It makes me think, if product placement was banned, how would advertisers adapt to that? Maybe one day we will see…


(18) Are Audio Books Cheating? November 25, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jen J. Ashley @ 6:33 pm

With the amount of reading college kids do on a weekly basis we hardly have time to read something just for pleasure.  I have recently found audio books and have been able to read/listen to many great books I would have never been able to before. Although it is absorbing the book word for word, is it really reading?

No, I am not sitting down by the fire curled up with a physical book watching the words form pictures as I read them line-by-line. Part of the reason books are so fantastic is you are a co-author. Tom Clancy may have written the words, but you created what the characters look like, exactly where the scenery is and their choice of clothing. You learn new words, you can skip ahead and there is a ritual to reading a book that everyone has. There is no doubt that reading a book is a special experience but is listening to one cheating?

Many people read books together, one out loud to the other. How is that different than an audio book? With my family and friends, we tend to go on adventures, which requires driving. Visiting my family is over a two-hour drive in itself. Most the places I drive to do not even have radio service. Listening to an audio book keeps me awake and interested. It gives me the opportunity to read/listen to books I never had time for. Every time I know I am going on a road trip I make sure to buy a new audio book. Listening to a riveting story makes me not want the journey to end.

Whether an audio book is cheating or not is up to the individual. I do not believe it is. It opens more doors for authors to have their story heard by more people. If I offend any authors out there I am sorry, but I will just keep listening to your words instead of reading them.


(17) Marcel the Shell …. With Shoes November 23, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jen J. Ashley @ 4:50 am

I love doing things for a purpose, I really do. But sometimes, the best purpose of all is just to make people smile. One video that does that for me is Marcel the Shell With Shoes On, one and two. Watch …

If the first word that comes to our mind isn’t adorable, I have no idea what it is. Some people may ask “Why did these students create a talking shell?” Why not? Although adorable what I think very fascinating about this video is the writing. The people who did this are extremely creative. From thinking of hand gliding on a Dorito to impaling someone on a hairbrush, there was some ingenious masterpieces of words at work.