Archive for May, 2010

Accent on London

By Jean Grow

Picture of building in London with the British flagWe wrapped up our London ethnographic brand tracking on Monday. If there was one constant that made our visit a success it was everyone at Accent. Robbie was an extraordinary guide, making London come to life at every turn. Natasa, and her staff, made our time in London delicious on every level.

After more than a week of agency visits and tracking brands in culture the students have become fine fledgling ethnographers—with many thanks to the inspiring words of Alfie and Adam at Flamingo International.

Our agency visits helped us see the sweet spots that underline British advertising. Lucy at Wieden+Kennedy encouraged students to take chances and be willing to make mistakes. Gareth and his team at EuroRSCG demonstrated global branding brilliance with three case studies. Students left with a deeper understanding of global branding—inspired to consider the possibilities for advertising justice with the tck, tck, tck campaign.

Off we went to Manchester to learn about British B2B, from the best of the best at IAS. More on that in my next post.

We ended our time in London making a cultural collage with contributions from each student—none of which could be purchased. Check our their interpretation of the collage in the form of headlines posted in the comment section.

More from the north soon.

Jean Grow is an Associate Professor in the Advertising/Public Relations department at Marquette University. This summer, she leads a global brand tracking class through London and Prague to explore advertising across cultures. Follow her class’ blog at

The Dirty Business of BP’s Corporate Reputation Cleanup: Examining the PR Response to the Gulf Oil Spill

By Jennifer Janviere

If the situation weren’t so catastrophic, one could almost focus on the irony: British Petroleum, one of the world’s largest oil companies, spent millions re-branding itself as “Beyond Petroleum,” the eco-friendly oil company, only to eventually be linked to one of the country’s worst environmental disasters.

Over one month since the Deepwater Horizon rig failure and millions of barrels of crude oil leaked into the Gulf of Mexico, the company is still at a loss for containing the spill. The effects are already apparent in Gulf Coast communities: oil washing up on beaches, damaging both the natural landscape and the industries on which the local population depends, such as fishing and tourism.

How does a company respond to a devastating crisis with such long lasting implications for so many people? Immediately following the rupture, BP sprung into action, attempting to settle for damages with the people of the Gulf Coast. The company offered residents a cash settlement in exchange for residents and businesses waiving their right to later sue the company, that is, until this was quickly halted by a U.S. District Court and the Alabama Attorney General. Continue reading ‘The Dirty Business of BP’s Corporate Reputation Cleanup: Examining the PR Response to the Gulf Oil Spill’

24 Hours in London

By Jean Grow

Jean Grow's Global Brand Tracking class ouside Vinopolis in London.It’s amazing what a good night’s sleep can do!

We began my first full day in London with a visit to Vinopolis. There, Will Brix provided us with an amazing brand experience, sharing the fascinating back story of Bombay Sapphire.

Then it was off to Borough Market. There, in the world’s longest continuously running public market, students conducted some ethnographic fieldwork.

We wrapped up back at Vinopolis for wine tasting—thanks Will—and dined on Indian tapas at Imli in Soho.

Jean Grow is an Associate Professor in the Advertising/Public Relations department at Marquette University. This summer, she leads a global brand tracking class through London and Prague to explore advertising across cultures. Follow her class’ blog at

Fun for News Junkies: 200 Moments that Transformed Journalism and State of the News Media 2010

By Kathlin Sickel

What interesting times these are for journalists and media professionals:  from the flowering of such Internet-based communication systems as Craigslist and Wikipedia early in the last decade, to the 2009 introduction of Foursquare and the Nook—and in between the emergence of the Blackberry, Second Life, Google News, MySpace, YouTube, iPhone, and, well . . . just so much more. There’s no missing the fact that we’re living through an era that is transformative for much of the world as we know it, and in particular, for the spheres of news and information.

The wonderful, always-educational Poynter Institute has just introduced a new interactive graphic that tells the story of this transformation, by focusing on 200 key moments that occurred in technology and news through the last decade. In addition to new developments in technology, these are moments that witnessed the growth of some new business models and the failure of old ones, the adoption of new tools for journalism, and the creation of social media as a news provider.

Poynter’s “200 Moments that Transformed Journalism, 2000-2009,” is an interactive display that is easy to navigate and understand. It very clearly shows the steady growth throughout the decade of  Internet use, blogging, social bookmarking, mobile phone use, texting, and—at the end of the decade—the beginning of entrepreneurial, digital journalism. Of course, it shows too, the corresponding losses the decade delivered to newspapers, and the newspaper industry’s struggles to survive, even if in altered form. Continue reading ‘Fun for News Junkies: 200 Moments that Transformed Journalism and State of the News Media 2010’

Putting to Use What I Learned in Communication 101

By Carole Burns

Wakerly Technology Training CenterLast week I attended the AcademiX 2010—Webcast exploring how open access is transforming learning in higher ed sponsored by Apple.  The main conference was live at MIT and Northwestern University. I attended virtually at Marquette. I was joined by our technical support and multi-media specialist as well as the University photographer. All of us sat around the Wakerly and watched on the 52″ LCD panel I use for training.  It began as any technology conference will, with a few glitches, but soon things were up and running smoothly. We paid attention as the speakers covered topics on how Mac technologies are being used to enhance education.

The webinar encouraged attendees to Tweet or follow the conference on iPhones, iPods and iPads. My research for my PhD focuses on the use of technology to assist with social skills so this was an important opportunity for me to experience first hand how the disconnect of immediate response to social cues (facial expressions of other attendees), and disconnected interaction would have on my interest in continuing with the topic. Continue reading ‘Putting to Use What I Learned in Communication 101’

Global Branding Across Cultures

By Julia Fennelly

Beginning today, students from Marquette University and Drake University will be leaving for Europe as part of a three-week cultural immersion course—Brand Tracking Across Cultures: Ethnography of Global Branding in London & Prague.

The course is designed to bring culture and branding to life within the context of the global marketplace, through our travels to London, Manchester and Prague. We’ll first visit a thriving economic hub and then move on to a swiftly emerging market, making comparisons as we go.

The goal of the class is to expand our cultural sensitivity and knowledge while garnering hands-on experiences in the global marketplace. We’ll be using ethnographic research methods to track product segments across the cultures of these two European Union countries. The class is working in teams to track brands in three sectors—beer, cars and fashion apparel—uncovering cultural codes through the patterns we find.

We invite you to make comments on our blogs and follow along on our travels over the next three weeks! Bon voyage!

Class Blog:
Beer Sector Blog:
Cars Sector Blog:
Fashion Sector Blog:

Julia Fennelly is a Senior Account Executive at Branigan Communications. She is currently pursuing a master’s degree in advertising and public relations from Marquette University. Connect with Julia on LinkedIn or on Twitter @JuliaFennelly.

The News That’s Not Reported

By Steve Byers

The New York Times’ Frank Rich used the White House Correspondent’s Dinner over the weekend as his example in a discussion of how television has given up covering the news, noting the 24/7 cable “news” stations covered the dinner but not a bomb threat in Times Square.

It reminded me of a friend who is woefully ignorant of what’s going on in the world despite listening to talk radio and watching television “news.” He also regularly reads online news. Recently he asked another friend “Was there some controversy” about the 2000 presidential election. When the constitutional crisis was explained, he said, “Oh, yes. I guess I did hear something about it.” Despite listening and watching talk and “news” programs, he doesn’t have a clue about what’s really going on.

Rich decried television, especially the cable version, for its willingness to ignore facts that don’t fit its political slant. That’s a deep concern of mine. Presenting facts is at the core of journalism, and something we insure is instilled in our students. Is that going to work against them in finding jobs?

Steve Byers is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Journalism at Marquette University’s Diederich College of Communication.

The opinions expressed here are those of the individual authors and do not represent the views of Marquette University or the Diederich College of Communication.

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