Advertising using Celebrities

Advertisers usually use big names to advertise their product. Why do they do so? Picture this: an ordinary girl next door versus a huge celebrity who is known for her beautiful complexion, both featured in an advertisement for a skincare product.

Most people would overlook the ordinary girl, but stop and look at the celebrity and take note of the brand or product she’s using. Some will think, maybe using the same product as this celebrity will make my skin look as beautiful as hers.

The advertising industry is all about branding, and nothing  works better than using a celebrity to sell your products. But the magic of this also extends to public service announcements, special causes, or charities as well. If your favourite celebrity is an advocate against animal cruelty, you’ll definitely start taking notice of the issue, and most likely, do something about it as well.

This happens because some people worship their celebrities and idols, and want to be like them. As they say, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

In Geller’s article, she mentions about Taylor Swift, the young country music sensation, who was featured in the Got Milk? advertising campaign.

In this campaign by Body by Milk, they feature celebrities promoting the goodness of milk to encourage youths to consume milk. Many other young celebrities such as Miley Cyrus, Demi Lovato and Jordin Sparks have been featured on this campaign too.

According to Geller, Swift appears sporting tight blue jeans, cowboy boots, a guitar…and that trademark white mustache, of course. Her statement reads: “Drinking three glasses a day gives you protein that encourages lean muscles and calcium which makes strong bones. So, milk is definitely something that is a priority for me.”

With that statement, which fan of Swift wouldn’t start picking up the milk carton to follow in the footsteps of this famous and successful star?


Wendy Geller‘s article Taylor Swift is Milkin’ It was published on Yahoo! Music on 17th November 2010.


Radio: The Mind Theatre

I listen to the radio whenever I’m in the car, cleaning my home, completing my homework on the computer, and the list is endless. The radio is a powerful medium as it gives its audience a chance to visualize a scene in their mind.

How often do you think of an image when you listen to a radio advertisement? Most likely every radio listener would have a picture in mind when they listen to a radio ad.

How about the deep-voiced radio announcer that conjures up the image of a suave middle-aged man or the high-pitched deejay that sounds like she’s inhaled helium?

Many of us would have experienced tuning in to odd-sounding deejays, but some great radio announcers have that innate ability to charm us with their smooth and velvety voice, keeping us tuned in at all times.

Whenever people talk about radio, the phrase ‘radio is the theatre of the mind’ comes into association. Radio is the home to music, latest news updates and also advertisements, though the airtime programming and content of radio station vary from one to another.

In multi-racial Malaysia, we have radio stations broadcasting in a variety of languages, namely Bahasa Malaysia, English, Chinese, Indian and other local dialects, to cater to every group in the country. Malaysian radio stations also differ in genre as how they differ in terms of language.

Referring to Ho’s article, the latest radio station to hit our airwaves, Capital FM, features programmes tailored exclusively for the modern, confident, urban woman.

“It’s going to be something we haven’t heard on Malaysian radio for a really long time, in that, we are going to be – I daresay, the first women-centric English station.

“All our shows are going to be geared towards women’s issues and things that affect women from an urban perspective. Women make up about 50 percent of the population and it’s a big chunk of the marketplace that hasn’t had a voice. It’s a great opportunity for us to give the modern woman a voice,” says consultant Aanont Wathanasin.

Those of you who are thinking of checking Capital FM out (88.9FM in Klang Valley) should tune in to writer-turned-deejay April Kuan on weekends, who will be presenting Global Passport on Saturdays and Jazzscapes on Sundays.

According to Ho, there is a Zen-like quality about Kuan that comes through when she speaks. She currently does voiceovers for commercials and has also been known to voice “smooth and sexy” characters.

Other local celebrities and radio personalities such as Joanne Kam, Asha Gill, Patricia K, Xandria Ooi, and Sheela Haran are also the deejays of the newly launched station, as well as jocks Joey G and Liang. Through the mostly predominant female deejay line-up, they are hoping to give Malaysian women a ‘voice’ to be heard.

I think this is a great development for the Malaysian radio scene as there are usually more male deejays on most radio stations, and hopefully through Capital FM, women would be given a ‘voice’.


Fiona Ho‘s article The all-new Capital FM is tailored exclusively for the modern urban woman was published on The Star Online, 1st December 2011.

K-pop idols (clockwise from top left: TVXQ, Wonder Girls, Big Bang, SS501, Super Junior, Girls' Generation)

As observed by Lina Yoon, the internet is a must-have tool in today’s marketing strategy, and no one uses it better than Korean music agencies that manage big names in K-pop such as Girls’ Generation, Super Junior, TVXQ, SS501, Big Bang and Wonder Girls, to name a few.

Twitter, Facebook and YouTube are popular social networking sites on the internet, and chances are that most youths today have an account with each of these three top networking sites. Korean artistes are reaching out to a global audience through these popular social networking sites, bypassing traditional mass media such as television and radio.

Bernie Cho, president of DFSB Kollective, a Seoul-based agency specializing in the international marketing of Korean pop acts shared that “Social-media-savvy K-pop stars are now tweeting, YouTubing and Facebooking their way up music charts across and beyond Asia,” proving that the trend is indeed one of the main driving forces behind their global recognition and success over the recent years.

Even Taeyang of the Korean boy band Big Bang, who released his first solo album, Solar, online, managed to hit No. 2 on iTunes’ R&B sales charts in the U.S. and No. 1 in Canada, a first for an Asian artist. This all happened without any promotion in North America for the album, which was recorded in Korean and targeted fans in South Korea and Japan, all the more proving the efficiency of  social networking mediums.

The internet brings the world together, and nothing describes this situation better than Allkpop.com, an English-language, U.S.-based Korean pop blog that caters to international fans, which generates more Web traffic than any Korean music portals in South Korea. The blog’s monthly readers more than doubled in a year, from 1 million in 2009 to 2.2 million in 2010. The blog actively implements all the popular social networking tools in the website, as their fans can like them on Facebook, follow them on Twitter, as well as subscribe to their YouTube channel.

Under the name Apple Girl, Kim Yeo-hee, 23, became a YouTube star in March 2010 when she posted three videos on the video sharing website. In her first video, Kim played music with the applications of four Apple iPhones and sang Beyoncé’s “Irreplaceable.” Two days later, her name became the most searched word in all major Korean search engines. She then released her debut digital mini-album in May 2010. In an interview she said, “I wanted to become the Korean version of Justin Bieber. But I never imagined so many people could be interested in what I do.”

As we can see, the new media is quickly replacing the traditional media in the rapidly changing modern world in an effort to reach out to a more bigger audience that spend and increasingly more number of hours per day in front of their computer browsing the internet. And this is the way that most marketers should strive to follow to gain more recognition to their products.

Journalism should be following the flow and the changes of time in order to keep itself updated. And this means, new media and social networking media is the domain that journalists need to embrace and conquer to make their mark on the writing landscape.


Lina Yoon’s article Korean Pop, with Online Help, Goes Global was published on TIME.com, 26th August 2010.

According to Watkins and Proud’s article on Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher’s divorce, the pair was forced to give up on their marriage when counselling sessions descended into ‘intense’ rows.

Moore, 49, and Kutcher,33, couldn’t communicate without fireworks, and other issues that led to the eventual break up were The Two and a Half Men star’s alleged infidelity with 22-year-old party girl Sara Leal.

From my point of view, the article is written in a way that it is framed to point at Kutcher as the cause for the couple’s split. This could be seen from the use of quotes and choice of information disclosed by the writers on the situation.

‘She still loves Kutcher but feels he went too far and disrespected her and their marriage in a way that can’t be taken back. She really tried everything she could to forgive him and accept his apologies. At the end of the day, the public humiliation and the example she was setting by staying in the marriage just wasn’t the right thing for her.’

Party girl Leal revealed that she shared a night of passion with Kutcher at the Hard Rock Hotel in San Diego, and the writers have also inserted a quote from her interview with The Sun. This is done to frame that Kutcher had caused the divorce after Moore found out about his fling with Leal.

Moore is made to seem as the victim in the divorce by the writers as they shared her statement that she was filing for divorce with ‘great sadness and a heavy heart’, and hinting at Kutcher‘s infidelity, Moore added ‘As a woman, a mother and a wife, there are certain values and vows that I hold sacred, and it is in this spirit that I have chosen to move forward with my life’.

Framing is done is this article through words and also images of Moore and Kutcher, which shows the strain of the divorce on their health and appearance.

This article is written to evoke similar feelings and emotions in audience, especially women who have been victims of adultery and had been through divorce proceedings.

The writers are framing the readers’ minds by making them empathise with Moore and they are also playing on the importance of first impressions, which in this case is Kutcher being blamed for infidelity. In the future, most people would remember that the cause of their divorce would be him straying outside of their marriage.

There are also elements of the framing of objects, in which the writers choose to frame one of the three different classes of objects, which is the actors, in this case, celebrities such as Moore and Kutcher.


Jade Watkins and Amelia Proud’s article ‘The fighting was intense’: Inside Demi and Ashton’s Kabbalah counseling sessions was published on DailyMail.co.uk, 19th November 2011.


Subramaniam’s article on Sharon Crow is written in a very conversational tone, as the target audience for the blog are mostly teenagers to young adults.

Dubbed the ‘mini Beyoncé by music critic Simon Cowell, Crow is a bubbly and soulful 13 year old aspiring singer.

Her abusive past is also revealed in the article. Quoting her adoptive mother Barbara in an interview with New York Post saying, “She was born a crack baby and actually lived in a crack house and suffered a lot of abuse. But she is totally unaffected by it. She never looks at (her past) in a sad way. She looks at it as that is what made her the person she is”.

The inserted quote is meant to send a message to young singers and young kids who might be struggling as of now that success will eventually come if you can be optimistic about life.

Crow’s recent rendition of I’d Rather Go Blind on the show puts her as a frontrunner for the US$5 million top prize, and owing to the fact that the author needs to draw in the attention of the readers, links to videos showing Crow’s talent on the show is also included in the post.

Short and sweet, yet having all the necessary information on The X-Factor contestant, the article definitely captures the attention of its intended audience.

Therefore, to ensure that article reach the right target audience, the style of writing and the medium used to present it is also important. Additional tools such as videos and related links also helps to add the ‘oomph’ factor to a great article.


Nitha Subramaniam’s article Remember the name: Rachel Crow was published on Galaxie Blog, 12th November 2011.

Visual Essay

Hi guys,

Here is the collage I’ve created for my visual essay assignment. Can you guess the theme?

Below is the photoshopped or modified version of the collage. Hope you guys can give some comments on it!

Bieber and Gomez getting cosy during a hockey game in Canada

As much as celebrities’ lives are for their fans to know, somehow some their private moments, well… are meant to be kept private.

The latest buzz in the entertainment industry is teen sensation Justin Bieber and his pop star girlfriend, Selena Gomez was photographed kissing and cuddling at a hockey game in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.

They were apparently photographed getting cosy throughout the game, but yet they did not try to hide their public display of affection.

But the questions is, is it ethical to ‘stalk’ celebrities as they go about their daily lives, taking note of their every moment and photographing them as discreetly as possible, and then print the photos for the whole world to see?

I guess it all boils down to the conscience and ethics of the journalist or photographer, if he or she thinks it is right to do so, then they would go all out to do it. If not, they would not want to reveal private information.

Generally, journalists and reporters are nosy and can sniff a story from a mile away. And readers and fans alike crave for the latest updates on their favourite celebrities. Who else better to satiate their curiosity?

What goes around comes around, and being a journalist isn’t an easy job, for every day you face ethical challenges.

But at the end of the day, doing what your conscience tells you is the right thing to do is definitely the best way to go around balancing between work and ethics.


Ann Pride’s article Puck-er up! Teen couple Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez can’t stop kissing and cuddling at Canadian hockey game was published on DailyMail.co.uk, 24th October 2011.