Pantene Commercial Analysis V2

In order to captivate the audience to buy their products, Pantene uses several techniques in their commercial that features a bullied deaf girl who learns to play the violin. One of the techniques Pantene uses is emphasis on the sense of sight. The company constantly highlights the sense of sight throughout the commercial by consistently noting how people and objects look; one primary example of this is when the deaf girl’s mentor tells her that “music is a visible thing”, even though, in the context of the story of the commercial, that makes absolutely no sense. Despite this logical error, this very statement becomes the basis for the rest of the commercial; the viewer is even led to believe that the main reason the protagonist won the judges’ affection is because of her appearance as she was performing. While there was no scene showing the deaf girl using Pantene products, the fact that she used them is heavily implied. Throughout her performance, there was less focus on her playing the violin and more on her hair; she didn’t even look human because her hair was being focused on so much; at best, she looked like a moving mannequin.

Pantene also has the two girls – the main character and the bully – express their personalities not only through what they say and do but through their hairstyles. Throughout the commercial, the main character had her hair down and loose, not tied or held in any way, and in the end, it is implied she won the music competition. In contrast, the bully had her hair styled in a tight ponytail, and while she performed well, she didn’t win the competition. Pantene’s message to the viewers, through this technique, is that they should let their hair down (after using Pantene products of course) and they will achieve their goals. This concept is impractical, but Pantene does do a fairly good job in showing the plausibility of the thought.

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Annotating – On the Screen vs The Paper Text

Annotating on the computer screen and annotating on the paper text definitely have their advantages. When I annotate on the computer screen, I primarily use Microsoft OneNote. What I like about using OneNote to annotate is that I have more room to make comments next to the line I am commenting on; as a result, it’s easier to figure out which part of the essay belongs to which annotation. I also have other tools to help me read the text and annotate better, such as the “Zoom” and “Insert Space” tools. As someone who can’t focus on tiny text in books, I really benefit from these tools.

Annotating on the paper text also has its advantages. I tend to become extremely distracted while taking notes online after a certain period of time (maybe after an hour or so), so annotating on the actual text forces me to focus on what it says and to figure out the meaning more so than annotating an online text would do. Even with this difference, I tend to be more lax when it comes to annotating something in a book; I feel that text on paper has more of a permanence to it than text online, so when I annotate in a book, I feel more restricted in my commenting than when I annotate online. Texts that are online – even if they originally came from a book – give a sense of permeability to them; that is, the text invites conversation. Texts in books also invite conversation, but I feel that since they’re bound by paper and a book spine, there is little room for dialogue.

Reflective Blogpost on “Why Tea?”

I keep thinking about the audio recording of my project 1, and I am pretty sure I will be revising the importance of the history of tea in the United States beyond the Boston Tea Party, the elaboration of tea in today’s America, the elaboration of the importance of tea in Dunkin’ Donuts and Starbucks sales, and elaborate more on how coffee doesn’t compare in terms of tea in the United States. I will also definitely be revising my essay to make it more coherent with my thesis: Americans want change, but if it affects what they want, they don’t want the change. I also plan on making a stronger statement with how just simply having Asians coming over to the United States isn’t the sole reason that tea has been so relevant to the American culture today. Additionally, I will also make note of other reasons that tea has become popular (i.e. health reasons, convenience) and how some areas of the country prefer different types of tea than other types and explore reasons why that is, including historical, cultural, and perhaps spiritual reasons.

Why Tea? The Tea Consumption Culture in the United States [FULL DRAFT Version 1]

To create tea, one has to acquire leaves. However, they can’t be any kind of leaves; they have to be tea leaves from South America or Africa “where the majority of Europe’s and America’s [tea] originates from” (Hodge); however, some of these leaves can be from the Asian region also.  After obtaining the tea leaves or the tea bags, the individual must put them in boiling hot – not freezing cold – water. Depending on whether the tea is white, green, herbal, black, or some other flavor, the liquid substance may differ not only in color but in taste. The individual can then pour it into a cup and enjoy it while performing some other task. But, hot tea isn’t the only kind of tea that exists. There other kinds that are favorites back home in Texas: Good ole iced tea and sweet tea. I believe it’s made in the same manner as regular tea except there’s the addition of ice and sugar involved.

“You know quite a bit about tea, Angelica,” you may be wondering. “You must be an avid fan of it.”

Not quite. You see, I’ve had several kinds of tea before, hot and iced alike, but I never did like the texture of the tea nor the aftertaste it leaves in my mouth, no matter what flavor it is. So I never got on board with this mass liking of tea that’s heightened over the last couple of years. Most of my knowledge of tea, actually, comes from observing my family, mainly my mother and sister, and friends. In fact, one of my best friends is a tea aficionado to the point where she even stores packets of tea in her locker.

So I’ve always wondered: why is tea relevant to our American culture? Sure, the influx of Asian immigrants and their bringing of their tea have increased the interest in the beverage. Sure, there are the health benefits. But then, what about German immigrants and beer? Beer and apple juice together have health benefits if drunk in moderation. In fact, light beer “contains ethanol [and] there is . . . a positive effect on heart health” (Ansel). But yet, among adults and definitely among teenagers, they much prefer tea. Why is that?

Thinking about this topic, I have come to this conclusion: the United States of America is just living out its reputation of being “England’s favorite yet rebellious child” per two of my friends who currently reside in England. That means the United States constantly strives to win the favor of the country. In fact, I will argue that the United States never grew out of love for tea and that love only intensified after declaring independence from Mother England.  In other words, Americans want change, but if it affects what they love, they shy away from that change.

One instance in history that exemplifies this is the well-known but misunderstood event called the Boston Tea Party. One might think they know the story: some Patriots dressed up as Native Americans, hijack a few India East Company ships, and destroy the tea, throwing some of it into the harbor. This made the British upset, causing them to tax the American colonists even more. This is the story most schools teach. However, what most United States History teachers don’t mention is how some of the most prominent American figures reacted to this event. For example, Benjamin Franklin, one of the future Founding Fathers, “urged Boston leaders to repay the East India Company for the destroyed tea.” (Carp) Another future Founding Father and future president George Washington “condemned the Boston Tea Party [and] voiced his disapproval” (Klein) over the destruction of the tea. In the end, the Boston Tea Party and tea vandalism wasn’t what brought the American people to rally against the British, but rather it was the multiple occasions of taxation without representation, such as the Tea Act of 1773. Only as a last resort did the American colonists boycott the drink they all loved, thanks to their English ancestors.

So how is this event relevant to the American tea culture of today, 241 years later? Simply put, tea is “semblance of permanence” (Yang 175); this means that throughout the years, Americans have always depended on tea for its good and beneficial quality. However, that doesn’t mean that tea hasn’t gone through social revolutions. In fact, only quite recently has tea evolved from being the choice beverage of the upper class to being an everyday drink that is drunk by the masses.

“Okay, Angelica, but what about coffee? Aren’t we a nation of coffee, not of tea?”

I’m glad you asked.

In a Washington post article by Roberto Ferdman, which was later republished in the Wall Street Journal earlier this month, Ferdman lists all sorts of facts that show that the United States is – as the article is aptly named – a tea drinker nation. For example, he states that in a study done by the U.S. Tea Association, tea sales have gone “from just under $2 billion in 1990 to just over $10 billion last year [2013]”. And why is that? It’s because the availability for tea has increased dramatically. As Ferdman says, “80 percent of U.S. households have tea in their kitchens”. And what happens in the home generally spreads to the outside world. As such, it was reported by the U.S. Tea Association that “more than half” of the nation “drinks tea on a daily basis.” (Ferdman) That is something I can definitely believe, having gone to high school with a bunch of tea drinkers.

What about Starbucks, typically known for coffee and having a shop literally on every corner in major cities? Surprisingly, Starbucks is assimilating itself to the tea culture. Recently, Starbucks has acquired Teavana, a famous high-end tea provider, and “is hoping to become a market leader for tea as much as it has been one for coffee.” (Ferdman) What about Dunkin’ Donuts, also known for their coffee? Well, here’s a twist: the company has referred to the iced tea as “one of its key products.” (Ferdman)

And what about coffee itself? Ferdman’s article also addresses this question. According to his article, the act of drinking coffee has actually been “fairly stagnant since the 1970s.” (Ferdman) If anything, the United States is more of a nation of bourbon and beer than a nation of coffee, despite what the general populace has claimed.

In conclusion, the reaction to the Boston Tea Party from prominent figures at the time had paved the way for the current Tea Culture in the United States. Despite the United States’ separation from England, they kept their love of tea that was fostered by England because of its prominent tea business and even made social revolutions based on the tea. While I am not a tea drinker by any means, I certainly understand now how this nation, from its early beginnings, has become the tea drinking nation it has become now and can certainly understand my family and friends’ fascination and appreciation for tea.

Works Cited

Carp, Benjamin.“7 Myths about the Boston Tea Party.” Journal of the American Revolution. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Sept. 2014. < http://allthingsliberty.com/2013/11/7-myths-boston-tea-party/>

Ferdman, Roberto A. “America Is Slowly—but Surely—becoming a Nation of Tea Drinkers.” The Washington Post 3 Sept. 2014. Web. 16 Sept. 2014. <http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2014/09/03/america-is-slowly-but-surely-becoming-a-nation-of-tea-drinkers/>

Hodge, Austin. “Does All Tea Really Come From The Same Plant? – Seven Cups.” N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Sept. 2014. < http://www.sevencups.com/2011/05/does-all-tea-really-come-from-the-same-plant/>

Hryniewicz-Yarbrough. “Object of Affection.” The Best American Essays 2008. Ed. Adam Gopnik. New York: Mariner, 2008. 167-175.

Klein, Christopher. “10 Things You May Not Know About the Boston Tea Party.” History.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Sept. 2014. < http://www.history.com/news/10-things-you-may-not-know-about-the-boston-tea-party>

Zuesse, Eric. “Final Proof The Tea Party Was Founded As A Bogus AstroTurf Movement.” Huffington Post. N.p., 22 Oct. 2013. Web. 16 Sept. 2014. <http://www.huffingtonpost.com/eric-zuesse/final-proof-the-tea-party_b_4136722.html>

Ansel, Karen. “The Health Benefits of Beer from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.” N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Sept. 2014. <http://www.eatright.org/Public/content.aspx?id=6442463947>

Works Consulted

“About Us.” Tea Party. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Sept. 2014. < http://www.teaparty.org/about-us/>

“Apparently Tea Contains More Caffeine than Coffee. Why Is It That Coffee Is Typically so Much More Stimulating than Tea? | Notes and Queries | Guardian.co.uk.” N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Sept. 2014. < http://www.theguardian.com/notesandqueries/query/0,5753,-25502,00.html>

“Debunking Boston Tea Party Myths.” History Net: Where History Comes Alive – World & US History Online. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Sept. 2014. < http://www.historynet.com/debunking-boston-tea-party-myths.htm>

“Tea Act – American Revolution.” HISTORY.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Sept. 2014. <http://www.history.com/topics/american-revolution/tea-act>

“Types of Tea – Green, Black, White, Oolong & Herbal Teas | Teavana.” N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Sept. 2014. < http://www.teavana.com/tea-info/types-of-tea>

“Where Does Tea Come from? – Yahoo Answers.” N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Sept. 2014. <https://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20111229184641AAvJ3fM>

Ballhaus, Rebecca. “A Short History of the Tea Party Movement.” WSJ Blogs – Washington Wire. N.p., 27 Feb. 2014. Web. 16 Sept. 2014. <http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2014/02/27/a-short-history-of-the-tea-party-movement/>

Carp, Benjamin.“7 Myths about the Boston Tea Party.” Journal of the American Revolution. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Sept. 2014. < http://allthingsliberty.com/2013/11/7-myths-boston-tea-party/>

Ferdman, Roberto A. “America Is Slowly—but Surely—becoming a Nation of Tea Drinkers.” The Washington Post 3 Sept. 2014. Web. 16 Sept. 2014. <http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2014/09/03/america-is-slowly-but-surely-becoming-a-nation-of-tea-drinkers/>

Hodge, Austin. “Does All Tea Really Come From The Same Plant? – Seven Cups.” N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Sept. 2014. < http://www.sevencups.com/2011/05/does-all-tea-really-come-from-the-same-plant/>

Hryniewicz-Yarbrough. “Object of Affection.” The Best American Essays 2008. Ed. Adam Gopnik. New York: Mariner, 2008. 167-175.

Klein, Christopher. “10 Things You May Not Know About the Boston Tea Party.” History.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Sept. 2014. < http://www.history.com/news/10-things-you-may-not-know-about-the-boston-tea-party>

Zuesse, Eric. “Final Proof The Tea Party Was Founded As A Bogus AstroTurf Movement.” Huffington Post. N.p., 22 Oct. 2013. Web. 16 Sept. 2014. <http://www.huffingtonpost.com/eric-zuesse/final-proof-the-tea-party_b_4136722.html>

Why Tea?

To create tea, one has to acquire leave.s However, they can’t be any kind of leaves; they have to be tea leaves. After obtaining the tea leaves or the tea bags, the individual must put them in boiling hot – not freezing cold – water. But, hot tea isn’t the only kind of tea that exists. There is another kind that’s a favorite back home in Texas: Good ole iced tea. I believe it’s made in the same manner as regular tea except there’s the addition of ice involve.d My mother would almost always order it whenever we ate out at restaurants and ask for lemons with that particular beverage; that is, if sweet tea wasn’t available. But it wasn’t just she who liked it. A few friends from high school also really enjoyed iced tea and they’re probably sipping a glass of it right now, assuming the temperature in Texas is above 89 degrees Fahrenheit. Thanks to them, I’ve also discovered there are multiple types of tea, ranging from jasmine to green to raspberry. How can I possibly choose a favorite?

Wait. Why am I asking myself that when I don’t even like tea?

Yes, it’s true. In this tea-loving United States of America, I am part of the minority – so it seems – who does not like the substance very much. Have I tried it? Yes. Multiple times. But I just never got on board with this mass liking for tea that has occurred in the last couple of years. Yet, so many of my friends and especially my mother and sister have. So I’ve always wondered: why is tea relevant to our culture besides the health benefits? When did we transition from dumping tea into the harbor protesting the British to making it a part of our daily lives?

Pantene Commercial Analysis

The Pantene commercial involving the deaf girl who was bullied and who learned to play the violin uses several techniques in order to captivate the audience to buy their product. One of the ways Pantene accomplishes this goal is emphasizing the sense of sight. The commercial consistently highlights how objects and people look, with the deaf girl’s mentor even saying “music is a visible thing”. The viewer is led to believe that the main reason the protagonist won the judges’ affection was because she used Pantene hair products. While it wasn’t shown that she used the hair product, it was heavily implied. There was less focus on her playing the violin and more on her hair. At one point, she didn’t even look human, in my opinion, because her hair was being focused on so much; at best, she looked like a moving mannequin.

Additionally, Pantene also has the two girls – the main character and her bully – express their personalities not only through what they say and do but through their hairstyles. Throughout the commercial, the main character had her hair down and loose, not tied or held in any way. In contrast, the bully had her hair styled in a tight ponytail. Pantene’s message to the viewers then is that they should let their hair down (after using Pantene products of course) and they will achieve their goals. This concept is impractical, but Pantene does do a fairly good job in showing the plausibility of the thought.

 

So Here I Am . . .

So here I am at Hofstra and I’m blogging at around 8:13 in the evening my time. Probably the most dangerous time for me to write because I write too much miscellaneous stuff in the evening that’s not really interesting to the human mind. Writing online, depending on my mood and especially the time of day, though, is a liberating experience for me. To me, writing online is a way to release any tensions that I have from the day, week, month, etc. and it can also be a platform in which I can share my goals, dreams, and accomplishments. However, I also feel anxious when I write online – what kind of strangers will read my work? what if anyone from my class, from my high, middle, and elementary schools reads my stuff? What will they think? Will they contact me if they find something offensive? In that sense, I suppose you could say I’m very self-conscious when it comes to writing online, but, compared to several years ago, I am a lot less so. Before, I worried too much about what people thought of me. The phrase “it depends on who you know” didn’t exactly help my case either. Not to mention the whole “universities and jobs look at your social media” concept is a horrifying thought to me; my career determined by how I use social media? That’s not exactly the most comforting thing in the world, even though that’s probably the point. 

However, as time went on, I became less and less concerned about my digital image. Sure, I try to maintain a sense of decorum and respectability while online; no one wants to interact with a jerk, after all. But, constantly worrying about my image, I found, was incredibly exhausting and took too much of my time when I could be spending my energy on things that actually need it. So now I’m less concerned and I just write what I want: stories, journal-like posts, re-posts, and anything else related. Of course, I still get a little antsy about complete strangers reading my stuff every now and then, especially if they’re from prospective jobs that I might apply for in the future, but it’s not as severe as it was years ago. 

Four Facts and a Lie

My name is Angelica Beneke and I really enjoy traveling, whether the trip is somewhere in the United States or even outside the country. I also like listening to all types of music, including music in different languages; yes, even country music. On that subject, I like watching programs in other languages, especially Japanese. But i have to watch these programs with subtitles or English dubbed. Otherwise, I don’t know what’s going on at all. Writing short stories and journaling are also activities that I do for fun. Sometimes, if I’m inspired enough, I’ll even write stories or journal about programs and movies that I’ve seen.