Spring Break Reflections

So it’s Spring Break for many of us who are on the collegiate calendar, and while many of my Midwest friends have scattered to the sunny beaches of Florida and the musical delights of SXSW in Austin, I’m at home, spending time with la familia and enjoying the quiet life of Northern Indiana.

It’s not so bad…in moderation. I can enjoy a week of this place knowing that it’s only a temporary stay. Any longer and I got nuts missing the recreational opportunities of Bloomington. But it is nice to get away from all of the hustle and bustle, and more importantly, I love the sleep.

One thing you get to do when you come back home is see old neighbors and the people you grew up with. Of all the places I’ve lived, Indiana has been home the longest, so I’ve literally got neighbors who have known me since elementary school and it’s crazy to catch up and realize how fast the years have gone by. This happened a few days ago when I took my aging dog out for a walk and stopped by the home of one my neighbors who has lived on the street about as long as I have. It felt great to tell him I was doing well in school and had goals in mind and a lot of benchmarks I’d already surpassed. Sometimes it gets me thinking, ‘how did I get involved in all of this in the first place?’ I’m majoring in Music Business, and it’s an industry and culture that has easily taken over my life. I’ve always had a deep relationship with music, but I didn’t actually come to college with music as a top priority on my agenda. I knew that if I could I wanted to find a career involving music, but I had no idea what my options were.

So what inspired me to come to college?? COMMERCIALS!

In my more formative years (late middle school and high school), I fell head over heels for commercials. I absolutely loved them! I loved the idea of advertising and chopping up bits of culture, a product message, and a brand image and fitting it into 30 seconds of whatever interesting plot was selected. It’s about getting into people’s heads, without them even having to take an active involvement. While that can seem scary and very “Big Brother”, it’s also really fascinating to draw on how the human mind works. It’s all about semiotics and how we are trained to perceive certain ideas based on our upbringing and surrounding culture. As a big culture vulture, maybe that’s why I love studying it so much. I a part of my studies still focus on marketing and consumerism, so it’s great to make those connections and apply them to real life situations.

Anyway, here is a playlist of some of my favorite commercials.

NOTE: I just want to clarify, that I am NOT some crazy consumerism freak who thinks we should just buy, buy, buy. Our toxic spending society needs to regroup and start consuming and wasting less, and I am fully on board for supporting a country that cares less about the material things. Everyone should check out The Story of Stuff and see some interesting ideas on American wastefulness and consumerism:

It’s HOW we utilize culture and symbols to bring ideas and messages into people’s heads, that really interests me. And yes, it IS a powerful thing, but I would love to see us start utilizing that power for good; spreading messages on how to improve our environment and live healthier lifestyles.

Also, If you notice a lot of the commercials I like also involves setting the themes to music to drive the point more clearly and have fun. This was something I also loved about commercials and got me more interested in the advertising field; setting the tone with a song. I mean they do it not only in ads, but in TV shows, and movies–it’s all about setting the tone in one’s mind so that they can allow themselves to make the appropriate culture connections.

I’m probably sounding really geeky now, but anyway, it’s just been on my mind a lot lately. Luckily I dived into the Bloomington music scene and found some activities much more meaningful to me to decide how I wanted to spend my educational dollar.

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