Who needs a Kickstart?

What do all good commercials have in common?

Image result for Kickstart

All good commercials have a Kickstart!

Well other than most being in the Super Bowl, all good commercials grab the audience’s attention just long enough to get the idea out. Finding common grounds to reach everyone is hard so I will discuss briefly why humorous commercials don’t always work. Throughout this blog, I hope to give you an idea of what it takes to create a good commercial by using one commercial as a guide. Please take a few seconds to watch the following commercial. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6n_K6wuC5cw

This may seem like another boring commercial at the start but then it takes a weird twist to create an instant classic. By taking a simple idea and throwing in something such as a puppy monkey and baby all fused together, this commercial had everyone talking for months after Super Bowl 50. I still think about this commercial sometimes because it had a hold on me that stuck for the past couple of years. Speaking of the Super Bowl and all the commercials we have grown to love, why is this the one I have picked from the long list.

Honorable mentions may include but are not limited to, most of the Doritos commercials, Budweiser, and the other little ones.

This Mountain Dew commercial showed up and took everyone by surprise literally. So what makes it so great? Well, that’s just it, this commercial was surprising to the whole audience. It didn’t wait for the audience to pay attention, it made us. I personally don’t like to watch long commercials about a drink or a car dealership, so a quick out of no-where commercial such as the one above is perfect.

A good commercial needs to be effective and informational, some say it’s all about being humorous as well. This I disbelieve, too many people have different opinions on what is funny and what is not. Making a humorous commercial might split your audience in half just by the way some people perceive a joke. Quickly grabbing someones attention with a loud noise like yelling “wow that’s a low price” or having a puppy/monkey/baby appear is what catches an audience. Some might think it’s funny to see such a weird creature and others might not, yet it still catches the attention of the audience and gets them to wonder “what in the..”.

Right after their hook in with the Narnia like creature grabbing the attention of the audience. They begin showcasing their new product even if it was just a small part of the commercial. The new Dew kickstart wasn’t even the center of attention but was involved in just enough close-ups so the audience gathered why this was a commercial.

To review what makes this commercial great, it captivates the audience. It gave us something new and out of the ordinary to grab our attention. It was quick to get the product out before a loss of interest and created a connection to the product from the weirdness the commercial created. Shortly after this commercial was released people were looking all over to get some of this new kickstart because of a puppy, monkey, and baby. That is why this commercial is so great… Dilly Dilly!

By: Stuart Bryan, Business Major

Do You Hear What I Hear???

 

woman wearing headphones standing beside man

Photo by Nicholas Githiri on Pexels.com

Listening to me and Hearing me are two different things. How well do you listen? According to PR Daily, less than two percent of the country’s population, have had formal education on how to listen. Did that not just blow your mind, because mine is flabbergasted. We communicate everyday with people from around the world, only to realize what we are saying to each other is only being heard, and not comprehended. I have three quick points on how we can enhance our communication skills, by simply improving our listening abilities.

  1. Pay Attention
  2. Open Your Mind
  3. Interact

These tips do not have to be completed in order, but it is much easier to understand the conversation if you do. Let’s break these tips down into a simpler form.

  • Paying attention is the key to any conversation. This allows the sender and receiver the opportunity to feel each other out. It is also needed to retain pertinent information.
  • Open your mind to all ideas whether you feel like they are good or bad. You never know what someone else can bring to the table, not to mention we all fall short of knowing everything, so always be willing to learn something new.
  • Both the sender and the receiver should interact with each other. By doing this the other knows if the message sent is clear. Interaction could be as simple as eye contact or a nod of the head. The point is you are letting the other know you get it!

I have found in relationships with others in my life, communicating effectively is so important. Not understanding what someone is trying to tell you after they have said it over and over and you have heard it over and over is beyond frustrating. That is why during the communicating process, we must openly listen to each other and pay attention to the details in the message so that we can respond to effectively. Considering there are so many cultures that make up our country, some ways of getting a message across will vary. These steps might not work for every situation, but they can assist with the process.

Generation X – Bridging the Gap in Leadership

There is no clear decision when “Generation X” begins or ends, it is typically said that is starts in the early 1960s and ends in the early 1980s. Generation X follows the baby boomer generation and are often referred to as “Gen Xers”. “Gen Xers have been called everything from slackers to disloyal, from dumb to just plain bad” (O’Bannon, 2001). It seems that this could not be any farther from the truth.

Gen Xers come from a time when the divorce rate in America was skyrocketing. “Between 1965 and 1977, the divorce rate in America doubled. Over 40% of Xers come from broken families, and 12% of elementary school children grew up as “latchkey kids,” responsible for their own welfare after school until their parents returned from work” (Zill & Robinson, 1995). Although no one realized it at the time, this taught the Gen Xers how to be self-sufficient. It also taught them how to handle difficult situations.

Gen Xers are looked at as being responsible for bridging the gap between the baby boomers and millennials. Carolyn Wiethoff states, “Gen Xers grew up in the information age, and they are quite comfortable with technology. Politically, they grew up as America’s global power was declining. In the business world, Generation X saw a record number of corporate bankruptcies, Wall Street scandals, and massive corporate downsizing.” They have shown they are capable of being tech savvy, such as millennials, and exhibit leadership skills shown by the baby boomers.

Gen Xers were forced to be responsible and handle adversity at a young age. This valuable skill translated to the workplace and created great leaders. In a study published by DDI, it looked at more than 25,000 leaders spanning 54 countries and 26 major industries. They found Generation X accounts for 51 percent of leadership roles globally (Neal & Wellins, 2018). Their ability to be responsible and handle adversity has showcased their leadership skills.

Gen Xers are viewed as loyal employees, but also value time spent with their families. This can be directly related to how Gen Xers were raised. They take pride in spending time with their families because it was something that was taken from them at a young age. They understand the value of family and what it can mean to their spouses and children.

Their life experiences have impacted the way they communicate, act, and react to the world around them. Their experiences have given them the tools to communicate to both younger and older generations. They have risen to leadership levels without sacrificing the value the of family. This can be directly related to their upbringing. They were shown family and financial instability. In turn, they have made it a priority not to repeat history.

Sources:

Neal, S., & Wellins, R. “Generation X-not millennials-is changing the nature of work.” 11 April 2018, https://www.cnbc.com/2018/04/11/generation-x–not-millennials–is-changing-the-nature-of-work.html

O’Bannon, G. (2001). Managing our future: The Generation X factor. Public personnel Management, 30, 95-106.

Wiethoff, Carolyn. (2004). Management Basics: Managing Generation X . Indiana libraries, 23(2), 53-55. https://scholarworks.iupui.edu/bitstream/handle/1805/1343/Management%20Basics.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y

Zill, N., & Robinson, J. (1995). The Generation X difference. American Demographics, 17, 29-32.

By: Tyler Houchin, General Studies Major – IUPUC

If You Post It, They Will Come….

Welcome to the X204 Project!  We are a group of business communication students at Indiana University – Purdue University’s Columbus campus.  Together, we are exploring workplace-oriented communication topics in a social media format.

Failure to practice good communication habits can stop your forward career progress.

Beginning in September of 2011, we will post weekly topics focused on communicating effectively in a business environment.  And, as real communication is a two-way street, we welcome your feedback!