Saturday, June 29, 2013

Read first react later... :3

                                                    (Click to see larger version)

For this week’s Media Log theme is Media and Body Image. The picture posted above is a Kraft advertisement for their Zesty Italian dressing product. It shows actor, athlete and model Anderson Davis (in this case, now dubbed as ‘The Zesty Guy’) lying down on a red striped picnic cloth, naked, with a basket containing wine, a cluster of grapes, what appears to be small miniature pizzas served on a chopping block and a bottle of Kraft Zesty Italian dressing next to it. For censorship and decency reasons, his private parts are covered within a portion of the picnic cloth. The picture’s caption ‘Silverware optional’ and the advertisement campaign’s slogan ‘Let’s Get Zesty’ along with the Kraft Foods Incorporated logo can be seen in the upper right corner of the advertisement. I appreciate the style where the logo and the slogans are minimized in the corner so that the viewer would focus more on the model and what he is implying/the product he’s endorsing.

Personally, I find nothing wrong in this advertisement because as I learned in a few business-related seminars that I have attended because it has the factors that make it into a good advertisement picture: it is colorful, eye-catching, and it targets a specific group of people, or gender, in this case the female. Other audiences however, find the advertisement the advertisement as quoted by a conservative group "One Million Moms" to call the advertisement ‘disgusting’ and calling out to Kraft Foods Incorporated that ‘it has gone too far’. Other people (mostly females, from what I’ve read on the comments) however, feel a little scandalized and awkward because well, it’s not everyday that you see a well-muscled man almost nude with only a part of a cloth covering his private parts, and what is ludicrous is that no one would ever think that this was for an Italian Dressing.

I don’t see what the fuss is all about. Judging from the positive comments and feedbacks from the other advertisements on YouTube and Kraft Foods’ website, people actually LIKE The Zesty Guy. There have been comments like ‘I would buy every single bottle if it came with one of those guys‘ and ‘He can dress me that way any day’. Even males are reacting positively to this kind of approach to advertising. As once said during the numerous business seminars that I attended: “If it works, it works.” So what if some people are getting offended by the advertisement? If it makes Kraft Foods money then I see no need for them to change their marketing strategy.

My theory is that some people today react negatively to men being sexualized in media is because it is so rare and unusual unlike in the past where women are constantly sexualized in media so many times (some examples would be magazine publications such as For Him Magazine [FHM] and Playboy magazine) that it becomes common. When I presented the advertisement and the negative responses of women to it to my female friend, she was a little miffed because
“it's sexually provocative and uses men as an object of desire for a marketing strategy which is fine by me since it seems effective, but the bullshit thing about that statement is, that it's being done with women for years.”

I end this blog by saying that yes, to some, this advertisement might offend some people but a majority of those who buy the product advertised enjoy the change where a man is used to advertise in a sexy a product instead of the age-old woman so I suggest to Kraft Foods to continue making these types of advertisements so that people would appreciate more of a ‘change in the scenery’ because in the end, it is just another salad dressing advertisement.

Some The Zesty Guy TV commercials (courtesy of

The Zesty Guy Gets Steamy - KRAFT Dressing Commercial

The Zesty Guy Shows a Little Leg - KRAFT Dressing Commercial

The Zesty Guy Says Hey - KRAFT Dressing Commercial

Friday, June 14, 2013

VOCALOID music brings races together.. :D

Hatsune Miku is a voice synthesizing program developed by Crypton Future Media. Her name comes from the Japanese words ‘hatsu’ meaning first, ‘ne’ meaning sound and ‘miku’ meaning future (literal meaning: sound of the future). She is part of Yamaha’s VOCALOID2 (vocal + android) synthesizing program. But to some, she’s more than a voice program that can create songs electronically. In some countries she is considered a diva, where she is idolized by millions of fans. She even has concerts not just in her home country of Japan but even as far as Los Angeles, USA. You may be asking, how can something created digitally achieve the same popularity as that of famous singers like Rihanna, Taylor Swift and other real life singers? How can one explain this phenomena? The answer is in her fan community (or ‘fandom’ for short). Let me emphasize that she has MILLIONS of fans worldwide. These fans show their devotion to her through covers of her songs, fan-arts, CG, cosplaying in anime events, using her voice program to make even more songs of her and watching her live concerts just to name a few. Of course, some would argue that she’s not a ‘real‘ singer because her voice comes from a program and her concerts are just a hologram of her performing with a live band so therefore she could not be deemed as a ‘real‘ singer. Her fans, however, would of course defend against this accusation fiercely.

Based on Google Chrome Japan’s advertisement featuring Hatsune Miku and her song Tell Your World, we get glimpses on how the program is used to make songs, from synthesizing Hatsune Miku’s voice, making the instrumentals, and artists illustrating the cover art. Once the song is finished and uploaded into the internet, fans would start to interpret the song in their own way. Some do instrumental and vocal covers of the song, others would cosplay Miku and dance along to it. When VOCALOID songs are made, one person does not do everything for the song is a collaboration of everyone. Think of the concept of a band. We have the band members playing different instruments, but these people don’t have to be of the same nationality. We could have an American singer, an Asian drummer and a European vocalist. When making a VOCALOID song, many of the international community are involved. For example, a song could have a  composer from Japan make the lyrics, a Filipino musician arrange the instrumentals and an American programmer who can integrate dance models into the song and bloggers who can help promote the song through the internet. A VOCALOID song is an international collaboration and is thus a product of others worldwide.

Basically, the advertisement features a song by the VOCALOID community for the community. The song was composed to showcase that there are numerous stories to tell within the VOCALOID community/fandom. As the last line of the advertisement flashed; that everyone is their own creator. The song and the advertisement tells us that no matter who you are, VOCALOID music will help connect us all and thus empower and strengthen the community and everyone worldwide through music.

Google Chrome commercial:

Original Tell Your World video:

(Please feel free to comment and leave suggestions).. :DD