Need a 105-inch Samsung HD TV? Me too.

Samsung UN105S9 Ultra HD TV 105inch

A sign of the world we live in.

105 Inch Curved 4K Ultra HD 120Hz 3D Smart LED TV

105 inches. Really?
Does anyone need something so big?
Even if you can afford it, should you buy it?

The kicker?
Price: $119,999.99

Don’t worry though, shipping is free with Amazon Prime.
Thank goodness.

What is better are the sarcastic, funny comments left by Amazon Reviewers poking fun at the ridiculous size & price of this TV.

Some Example Reviews of the 105inch Samsung TV

Amazon Reviews - Samsung HD TV

Have fun reading the comments

Check it out: 105 Inch Curved 4K Ultra HD 120Hz 3D Smart LED TV

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Apple iPad Air Pencil TV Ad Videos

Apple iPad Air Image

What Makes a Good TV Ad Commercial?

I love this this iPad Air Pencil Ad video. It’s beautiful, it artsy, it brings out emotions, it shares how the product could be useful and it’s memorable.

I’ve always thought that a good TV commercial should be able to connect the viewer with the product in several ways.

  1. Connect thru a specific emotion that the company wants to tie to the product
  2. Connect thru showing the relevance of the product to the viewer by painting a picture of how they may use the product
  3. Connect by showing off features of the product the user would get excited about
  4. Connect with either humor, art, or some form of creativity to make it memorable
  5. In the end, viewer should remember not just the commercial but the actual product!

Apple iPad Air Pencil TV Ad

Thus I’ve always been a fan of Apple Commercials. For the most part, they do a fantastic job of hitting each of these points. I can think of a more than a few commercials that simply shoot to capture an emotion while teaching you nothing about the product. These are the commercials you rave to your friends, but forget what product it was for. Others show a lot of functionality, features and specs but overload the viewer with things they aren’t all that interested in thus never answering the question of why I would want or need this product.

  • See some of their latest ads below and share your thoughts.
  • Any other examples of very good (or very bad) commercials?
  • Which company does way too much of one of the above, but not enough of another?

Apple – Pencil – iPad Air TV Commercial

Apple – Life on iPad – iPad TV Commercial

Apple Product Introduction Video

Also these “how it’s built” videos really helps build the perception that Apple products are high quality, high class, and makes me want to buy one even if I don’t need it.

Apple – Introducing iPad Air

Apple – Making the All-New Mac Pro

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Product Placement: A Reflection of Reality or Sneaky Advertising?

TV Product Placement Advertising - Subliminal

Product Placement: Reality or Sneaky Advertising?

Love it or hate it, product placement in television, movies, music videos and even Broadway plays is here to stay. Product placement is the art and science of getting a company’s brand featured in a popular movie or television series with the implied endorsement that goes along with the placement. Broadcasting & Cable reported that two-thirds of advertisers use product placement as part of their marketing plans, most of which (80 percent) is used in television, according to an Association of National Advertisers survey. With this proliferation of products in the media, it’s difficult to know just how such use of products in media affects the general public.

The Best and the Worst of Product Placement

Opponents of product placement contend that this practice is unfairly influencing the American buying public. However, not all product placement in movies and television is divisive. Some placement is just plain fun. In fact, there are even awards for the best (and the worst) use of a product in a movie or television program. In 2010, Toyota Prius was recognized as “Best Role in a Supporting Product Placement.” Its award got us thinking: when you see a Prius in a movie, does it help or hurt Toyota sales? It is hard to say without seeing the figures but we do know that Prius is by far the best-selling hybrid in the U.S., capturing more than 50 percent of its market.

One very well known product placement comes to mind is when Mars famously passed on allowing M&Ms be the candy that lures E.T in the film. Hershey’s agreed to have it’s Reeses Pieces be used and soon after the film debuted, their sales went through the roof. Other examples are Exxon paying $300,000 for it’s name to appear in Days of Thunder. Pampers paid $50,000 to be featured in Three Men and a Baby. Ray-bans also benefited from it’s exposure in Risky Business.

Apple, whose products appeared in 17 of the 40 top-grossing films of 2011, received more than twice the exposure of the second most visible brand. Apple maintains that it doesn’t pay for placement. Still, its mention in the top seven films of 2011 amounted to approximately $50 million in free advertising, according to

Where Product Placement is Worrisome

Proponents of product placement argue that real people use branded products; why shouldn’t movie and television characters use similar products? They say that to use fake labels makes the production look fake. However, where product placement crosses into that gray, uncertain area is the fact that these ads (and aren’t product placements really ads?) aren’t labeled as such. Unsuspecting viewers (like our children) might just assume that everyone uses an Apple computer or drinks a Pepsi. Perhaps the most worrisome aspect of product placement, as discussed rather eloquently by Edward Wasserman in “The Ethics of Product Placement,” is that it blurs the lines between art and advertising. Would Hemingway write a special scene into a novel just to accommodate an advertiser? Would Francois Truffaut insert a scene especially for product placement?

The Bottom Line

Eliminating product placement in media is probably not realistic, or maybe even desirable. After all, brand names are a part of every day life. We—and our kids—see them everywhere. However, like all media viewing, responsible parents need to be aware of what their kids are watching and help to counter the endorsements inherent in product placement with real life common sense.

Share Your Thoughts!

  • Do you think Product Placement just a reflection of reality or sneaky advertising?
  • Do you know of great product placements in tv shows or movies? The Good and the Blatant?
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Children TV Shows Options on Amazon & Netflix

What are our kids learning from television? The Federal Communications Commission says children currently spend more than three hours a day watching television. Although the FCC has enacted provisions that require broadcasters to improve and increase the educational content of children’s television, there is no consistent way to ensure that what children watch has any redeeming qualities.

Child Watching TV

flickr image by Jerine Lay

57 Channels (And Nothin’ On)

Children’s television, by and large, neglects education and jumps right to banal programming. Although “Spongebob” is entertaining, there isn’t a lot of educational value in watching Mr. Crabs or Patrick wade their way through thirty minutes of silliness. Of course, “Spongebob” is just one of dozens of examples of children’s television that is simply there for entertainment and not to teach children lessons.

There is even less family-friendly programming during traditional family viewing times in the evening after dinner. There are reality television shows in which people run around half dressed, sex is implied if not practically explicit, and there are comedies that might be funny for adults, but are inappropriate for kids.

Enter Amazon

Amazon is combating the current state of children’s television by attempting to create shows that will also be educational. The company is developing “Sara Solves It,” a show in which two friends, Sara and Sam solve math-based mysteries each episode. In some ways, this may be a 30 minute episode reminiscent of Electric Company and other similar television programs. “Creative Galaxy,” described as an interactive art adventure series, is another program Amazon is developing.

Parents who are interested in finding quality programming for their children will be able to vote with their pocketbooks to determine whether more programs and episodes will be made. The won’t be at the mercy of networks and their advertisers, forced to watch what is already on television. Parents can order these programs directly into their homes and watch them with their children any time they like.

Netflix is Following

Netflix is producing a TV adaptation of the upcoming Dreamworks children’s movie “Turbo.” The show, called “Turbo F.A.S.T.” is about a snail who dreams of being a racer and the glory that would come from it. Then, through an accident, he is able to achieve his dream.

Streaming services are significantly less expensive than cable packages, though more limited in many ways. But if you don’t watch very much TV and are comfortable with content options of Amazon or Netflix, you can get them for as little as $8 a month, compared to approximately $30 a month for a bare-bones cable package, notes Direct2TV.

If children are going to watch television for hours a day, it looks like they will have plenty of educational options moving forward.

  • Do you know of any good children shows on Amazon or Netflix? Please Share!
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FCC considering allowing F-Words & Nudity on Network Television

FCC to allow Profanity & Nudity on Network TV?

Federal Communications Commission FCC Logo

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced that it is considering dropping current broadcast decency standards that ban explicit profanity and “non-sexual” nudity. This means that if enacted, the new FCC policy would allow networks to use profanity and frontal female nudity regardless of viewing hours. This includes times when children may be watching.
You can read the full press release in this PDF.

What can I do to help stopt his?

The FCC will accept opinions and comments regarding this proposal during the month of April. I urge you to let you voice be heard. Moral & decency standards on television and in movies have degraded over the years. What is considered the norm of “acceptable” has shifted many notches for the worse. This would be a huge blow to those who want to protect their children (and themselves) from being exposed to profanity and nudity.

Current broadcast laws prohibit expletives and nudity, even if brief. Networks like NBC and FOX has worked to overturn it over the years, but the Supreme Court has upheld the law as constitutionally enforceable by the FCC. Thus it is ultimately FCC’s decision.

Step by Step instructions to Submit FCC comment

Submit your comments to the FCC during the month of April urging them to reject such changes and why it would be a horrible idea to remove such a crucial boundary of decency. You must make a formal comment via the FCC site.

Here are some instructions.

1. Go to this FCC FORM
2. Enter the code “13-86” in the “Proceeding Number” box and fill out the few remaining required fields.
3. Enter your comment in the text box provided and click “Continue.”
4. From there, review your comment and click “Confirm.”

Here is a sample comment you may submit via the American Family Association:

I oppose any changes to the current FCC indecency standards that would allow television and radio stations to broadcast expletives and nudity on the public airwaves, even if brief or “fleeting.”

The Supreme Court has confirmed the FCC’s authority to enforce policies regarding expletives and nudity, especially during times when children are likely to be watching or listening.

Relaxing the current policy would not serve the public interest and I urge the FCC to reject all proposals that would allow for the broadcast of expletives and nudity on FCC-licensed stations.

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Band of Brothers TV Series [Review]

Band of Brothers TV Series Logo

Band of Brothers TV Series Review: Story

Band of Brothers is ten-part HBO TV series about World War II, based on the Band of Brothers book written by historian and biographer Stephen E. Ambrose. Band of Brothers received considerable attention because it was produced by Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks who both worked together on “Saving Private Ryan,” another realistic World War II movie.

The series follows Easy Company of the 2nd Battalion who is assigned to the 101st Airborne Division. It follows their experiences from before landing in Normandy to the end of the war. The events are based on real life accounts from the soldiers of easy company. Before every episode the surviving members describe their experiences, often in tears thinking about their fallen friends and the experiences that will forever haunt them the rest of their lives.

The series mainly focuses on Major Richard Winters (1918-2011), played by Damian Lewis, as he grows into a leader and strives to keep his band of brothers together and alive. However different episodes often highlights different soldiers of E Company, and their various experiences. Through out the series you get to know each of the character from the first time they step onto soil, to hard veterans, battle tested, growing into leadership roles… for those who survive through the battles. As a viewer, you get to experience both the forming and loss of relationships as well as the hardship of war life especially mentally and emotionally.

Band of Brothers Soldiers LogoBand of Brothers TV Series. Is it Clean? Safe?

Band of Brothers by no means should be shown to children. It’s a war movie, and a realistic one at that. Just like Saving Private Ryan, there are plenty of realistic violence. There is also plenty of cursing, which of course is expected as it is a war movie.

There is also a sex scene in the beginning of episode 9. Avoid it. It is explicit and completely unexpected as all the episodes up to this point was clean in this area. Why the directors chose to add this scene is beyond me as it seems completely out of place.

Band of Brothers TV Series: Morals? Opinions?

Personally, I loved Band of Brothers. Though it may be hard to follow all the characters as the cast is large, you can easily sympathize with the various characters as they struggle mentally and emotionally through the war. The loss of key people are disheartening but there is also a sense of triumph as the various characters grow up, and step up as is needed. As the title says, you can definitely come to appreciate how these men draw together, put their differences aside and become like brothers. Every battle is tense as you don’t want anyone to die or get hurt. The struggle of dealing with death is a big theme as well.

Major Winters - Band of Brothers

Major Winters – Lessons on Leadership

Major Winters is a person to be admired, someone who deeply cares for his men and does everything in his power to protect them and train them properly. Watching him grow from a fellow soldier into highly respected leader has many lessons packed in itself. He leads by example, he is always in the front lines, he seeks to understand his men, he is decisive, he follows the rules, he cares deeply about his men, he thinks through how his interactions with his unit affects their morale, their behavior and the level of respect he needs to command the unit. An example is when Major Winters reprimands his his Lieutenant for gambling with his soldiers because he says he should never put himself in a position from taking from his own men. A leader must always give in every way to the people you lead. From the beginning, he slowly earns everyone’s respect and you can see how it plays out with each of the characters. There are many other men you can compare leadership qualities with such as E Company’s first commander, Herbert Sobel (great trainer, but horrible leader), the mysterious Captain Ron Speirs (everyone feared but respected him), and Lieutenant Norman Dike (who no one had confidence in).

Major Winters Quotes about Leadership

Band of Brothers TV Show“The qualities you are looking for in a leader include: Does the individual have the respect of the men? How do you get the respect of the men? By living with them, being a part of it, being able to understand what they are going through and not to separate yourself from them. You have to know your men. You have to gain their confidence. And the way to gain the confidence of anybody, whether it’s in war or civilian life or whatever, you must be honest. Be honest, be fair and be consistent. You can’t be honest and fair one day, and the next give your people the short end of the stick. Once you can achieve that, you will be a leader.”

“You maintain close relationships with your men, but not friendship. You have mutual respect for one another, but yet you have to hold yourself aloof, to a degree. If you are too friendly, it works in a negative way when you need to discipline your men. You can have your men’s respect and friendship, but there is a point where you have to rise above this relationship and make sure they are following the orders that are in effect for everybody. In leading groups effectively, you have to rise above camaraderie. You have to be fair to everyone. Everyone must know that they are treated equally.”

Major Winters

The Pacific TV Series LogoThe Pacific – Band of Brothers Followup – Quick Note

NOTE: “The Pacific,” the followup mini-series covering WWII battle in the pacific is NOT A CLEAN MOVIE. It is unlike Band of Brothers which was relatively clean throughout. Also “The Pacific” less centered around brotherhood and leadership but more centered around the degrading psychology of men – Highlighting how innocent people’s mind becomes jaded and ruthless in war. Thus the series is much darker.

  • How did you like Band of Brothers?
  • Any addition lessons to note?
  • What was your favorite episode?
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MTV TV Series “Skins” – Most Dangerous Show Ever?

MTV Logo MTV“Skins” the Hottest New TV Show

“It is one thing to be documenting reality, it is an entirely different matter when you are manufacturing a representation of the youth lifestyle…”

A new MTV show “skins” started in January 17 with 3.3 million viewers, 2.7 million of them within 12-34 age range, making it the largest show launch in MTV History. Show creator Bryan Eisley called it “a very simple and in fact rather old-fashioned television series about the lives and loves of teenagers, how they get through high school, how they deal with their friends, and also how they circumnavigate some of the complications of sex, relationships, educations, parents, drugs and alcohol.”

Sounds like a good TV show that helps us see the true lives of teenagers right?

The Parent Television Council calls it “the most dangerous program that has ever been foisted on your children.”

Let’s be clear, MTV has no qualms promoting this show to a young audience, yet the show is rated TV-MA. It even uses actual teenage actors rather than adults depicting teens. One actor is as young as fifteen. The show has been accused of child pornography due to the nudity shown with underaged actors. It’s been called the most racy show ever. But even more telling is how the advertising world had responded.

Advertising Sponsor’s Response to Skins

Advertiser after advertiser, sponsor after sponsor has pulled out of these series due to it’s controversial content. Subway, General Motors, L’Oreal, Wirgley, Taco Bell, Dominos, Foot Lockers & Schick. Good riddance. Perhaps much of the decision was more of a brand play than anything as stated…

“There are few advertisers that are willing to put their neck on the line for any show… there is no lack of youth to reach in the marketplace. Why court backlash when you can find this audience somewhere else?” (Advertising Insider)

Though to their credit, many of these companies protested the underage sex and heavy drinking.

“It was never our intent to endorse content that could offend our consumers,”  Wrigley said in a statement. “Any ads that previously aired during the show were part of a broader advertising plan with the network [MTV].”

I just wish they would of just said “It was never our intent to endorse content that is WRONG”. Rather than what offends consumers. The decision should be made regardless not because of self-preservation.

However, when the advertisers pull their sponsorship, that means the money is not there which hopefully would deter networks from heading into this direction. So though the motive might not be correct, none the less we should be thankful the advertisers have pulled out their sponsorships.

“Skins” as a Moral Teacher?

This isn’t the only show focused on youth “life” and youth transgressions. In fact to no one’s surprise, Hollywood is obsessed with sexualizing teen girls, according to a study released by the Parents Television Council.

The study, which looked at the top 25 shows on broadcast television among viewers age 12-17, found that underage female characters have a higher percentage of sexual scenes compared to adult characters. It also found that only 5% of underage female characters showed any dislike about a sexual situation.

From “16 and Pregnant” and “Teen Mom”, MTV has really capitalized on the interest of those in this age range. MTV and other networks often try to sell these shows as trying to depict “real life” and scaring teens from doing bad things.

Bryan Eisley says “It is just that these are characterized from the point of view of the many young people who write the show and has a very straightforward approach to their experiences; it tries to tell the truth,” he continued.

It’s the argument that, hey if it is real life, we should be able to show it.

But is it really necessary to show scenes that can be just implied? And why so graphically?

Also shows like “Skins” seem to fail in both depicting reality as it is and preventing teens bad habits.

A Virginia Tech senior writes in an article in Collegiate Times “What I find most irksome about [Skins] is simply how far removed from reality the premise and the character depictions truly are… to suggest that those experiences comprise the majority of high school students’ lives is not just irresponsible: It isn’t true.”

Another insider writes “It is one thing to be documenting reality, it is an entirely different matter when you are manufacturing a representation of the youth lifestyle,” an insider says. “Drug use or sexual activity as ‘news’ is very different than those same subjects as ‘entertainment.'”

In other words, the show is made for drama and made for TV. However the effect it could have is to plant ideas of what is the norm for teenagers and even adults.

If we watch enough of a certain lifestyle lived out as if it is normal, we start to assume those lifestyles as the norm of society.

Media’s Responsibility to Teens & Young Adults

Even MTV themselves have said “Young adults 15-17 are excited consumers and extremely impressionable,” MTV tells advertisers. “Now is the time to influence their choices.” Yet do they not realize, that they are influencing their choices, just in the worst way possible by altering their norms and desensitizing them to this kind of lifestyle?

Again Bryan Eisley argues that “We proceed not from the idea that teenagers are inherently likely to misbehave, but rather that they are intensely moral and disposed to make judgments on their own and others’ behavior,” he wrote in his Huffington Post blog entry.

Really? Do you interact with teenagers at all? Have you been a teenager? When I was a teenager I was always struggling with temptations, heck I still do now (with thankfully more restraint than before). I would argue that we as human beings are actually not moral at all if left to our own devices. Remove all sense of law and punishment and it would be utter chaos. That is a worldview not true to reality folks.

  • What are your thoughts?
  • Is there value to these shows? Does it outweight the negatives?

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Children Media Consumption: 7.5 Hours a Day

Children Consume nearly 8 hours of Media per Day

Kaiser Family Foundation released their most recent media usage study. Six years ago they found the usage of 8 to 18 year old was about 6 hours and 21 minutes of media consumption a day. This recent study shows that the media consumption rate has risen to 7 hours and 38 minutes. That is almost as much time as adults spend at work except remember that adults only work 5 days a week.

Youth Children Media Consumption Statistics

The amount of media consumed by children has always been a point of concern as media has been found to have great affects in molding a child’s view of the world. It has become all the more important that parents watch over what their children are consuming and what kind of message they are taking in.

Some things parents can do are to regulate what kind and what type of media their children consume. Another is to watch what your kids are watching together so you can explain how best to process the message it portrays. Another is to ensure internet safety for kids with tools that can supervise online activities.

With the proliferation of online media, increased video sharing, and mobile media – these numbers are shocking, yet they are not a surprise.

For the first time, Traditional TV consumption actually fell as other mediums such as video games, music, online media and movie watching has increased. What is even more wild is that kids are often watching multiple forms of media at once. The actual consumption of media was found to be closer to 10 hours and 45 minutes.

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TV Media’s Influence on Child Development

TV Media Influence on Child Development

“Several risks to pediatric health are literally staring children in the face. It’s time to call the doctor.”

Want to share this old, but great article from the Harvard Medical Alumni Bulletin. Very interesting points about how media cuts into many issues such as obesity, eating disorders, attention disorders, violence, sex, and drug use and how Medical Professionals need to deeply consider how much media has an influence on the development of these.

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Top Searches in 2009 on Yahoo & Bing

Yahoo Bing Logo - Search LogoGoogle still reigns the search world with 65% search share (data from comScore Oct). Yahoo currently holds shy of 19% search share though that figure is expected to rise once the Yahoo/ Microsoft deal is complete.

You’ll find the data quite revealing about what our culture truly cares about.

Note that these are searches on Yahoo & Bing. This does not include Google.

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You Watch 153 Hours of TV & Online 68 Hours

Average American watches 153 Hours of TV & online 68 Hours per Month

A new report for the Nielsen Company reported that in September 2009, the average U.S. Internet user spent approximately 68 hours online per month. The figure may not seem all that staggering, but consider this: The average American watches 153 hours of television per month (1Q 2009) [Nielsen’s A2M2 Three Screen Report].

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