The Advertising Relationship Between the Rap Music and the Designer Clothing Industries

By: Jonathan Barratt

Being one of the most popular types of music and types of pop culture, rap music presents a great advertising opportunity. Designer clothing brands have expertly stepped in and now rap music has a large influence on the designer clothing industry and advertising. 

As of 2019, according to BuzzAngle Music, (company that works on the US Music Industry Report), rap music is the most popular genre of music in the United States. Rap music accounted for 21.7% of music album consumption in the US. It is on track to continue to be the top genre of music. Being the most consumed genre of music in the United States, rap music also has a very large influence on mainstream culture.  

One thing that is common in rap music is flaunting wealth and building a persona as a rapper. Rappers do this by wearing expensive clothing, driving expensive cars, living a luxurious life, and rapping about it all. Rappers many times will shout out clothing brands in songs. This can be because they have an endorsement deal, or they simply like the brand. According to Rolling Stone, “Gucci” has been mentioned 3,000 times in English rap lyrics (Gayomali, GQ). It is the most named brand in rap in the last 15 years according to GQ and Genius. 

Brands have used raps mainstream popularity and artists to advertise their products. They send artists free clothing items to wear, sign endorsement deals where they feature artists in ads, and use rappers in runway fashion shows. This recent and quickly growing trend has included notable rappers such as Migos and Gucci Mane. Gucci Mane did a full ad campaign for Gucci(pictured).

Migos have also done a lot with designer brands. This picture shows them wearing clothing from Versace on the red carpet.

Rap and fashion have grown even closer. Rapper Kanye West, a long-time fashion icon in rap, has become a lead designer at Adidas and created his own clothing brand under Adidas called Yeezy. The crazy part about Yeezy is that Kanye never did anything in fashion originally. Kanye had such a following from his rap music that people wanted to start dressing like him. One thing lead to another and now if Kanye wears any article of clothing from any brand it instantly sells out from all stores. This was shown in 2015 when his Yeezy line sold out immediately upon its first release (Weisman, Business Insider). His influence goes so deep that his decisions outside of the music industry affect the purchasing decisions of others. People like his music so much they want to be like him and brands have recognized this and started to capitalize.

Rappers have gotten endorsements with brands like Drake with Nike or Run DMC with Adidas (Wang, Rolling Stone). Louis Vuitton hired Virgil Abloh as their creative director in 2018 (Wang, Rolling Stone). Prior, he worked closely with Fendi and Kanye West. He also started his own brand called Off White. This brand is extremely popular amongst rappers and made Virgil popular with rappers. Abloh also designed an album cover and clothing release for rapper Westside Gunn. Now Abloh works with rappers and makes clothing for Louis Vuitton that fit the culture they represent (Salamone, NSS Magazine). 

Virgil Abloh designed clothing for Louis Vuitton(pictured below left) and album cover for Westside Gun(pictured below right).

Overall, the fashion industry has leaned heavily on the rap industry for mainstream exposure, but also inspiration. This has happened through product placement, advertisements, signature clothing lines, and mentions in rap music.


Gayomali, Chris. “A Statistical Analysis of the Most Popular Fashion Designers in Rap.” GQ, GQ, 9 Mar. 2017,

“How Hip-Hop Fashion Went from the Streets to High Fashion.” Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Times, 27 Jan. 2018,

Levinas, Talia. “Rap and Fashion.” VCU Scholars Compass,

“Modern Hip-Hop’s Favorite Fashion Brands, By The Numbers.” Genius,

Salamone, Lorenzo. “All Album Covers Designed by Virgil Abloh.” Nss Magazine, Nss Magazine, 18 June 2020,

Wang, Amy X. “Rap’s Ascent Is Bringing a Whole New Money Stream to Music.” Rolling Stone, Rolling Stone, 3 Aug. 2018,

 Watson, Amy. “Music Album Consumption in the U.S. by Genre 2018.” Statista, 24 Sept. 2020,

Weisman, Aly. “People Are Going Nuts after Kanye West’s New Adidas Sneaker Line Immediately Sells Out.” Business Insider, Business Insider, 24 Aug. 2015,


(Kanye West Yeezy show zoomed out photo): The Atlantic, 2016,×1321/720×405/media/img/mt/2016/02/IMG_5177/original.jpg

(Kanye West Yeezy show close up): Brooke, Randy. High Snobiety, 2020,×720/

(Westside Gun, Pray for Paris album artwork photo): Genius, 2020,

(Gucci Mane in bathtub photo): HypeBeast, 2019,

(Migos at Met Gala photo): Page Six, 2018,

(Louis Vuitton denim and backpack photo): Wonderland Magazine, Wonderland Magazine, 2020,

By: Tyler Whiteman

An untapped area for advertising that has been on the rise for years is finally being used to its fullest potential. This resource is video games. When most people hear video games, they think of hermits who sit in their mom’s basement for days on end with no sunlight drinking monster energy drinks. This isn’t the case though. Video games have become a mainstream form of entertainment with 2.6 billion people across the world playing. That is roughly a third of the world’s population being a reachable advertising audience.

A new booming industry with in the last five to 10 years is streaming. No not streaming like Netflix but people live streaming themselves playing video games for others to watch. This new industry has created some of the newest and biggest influencers out there. The biggest platform that streamers use is a platform called Twitch. Twitch has 15 million active viewers on the site each day, and raking in a whopping 44 billion minutes of watch time a month. Two examples of how this industry is growing is that some individual streamers have been able to have 100,000 people watching at one time, while a few broadcasted tournaments on Twitch have had up to 1,000,000 viewers at once. This is a lot of people that can consume advertising. Companies simply pay Twitch and they will run ads on any channel that has hit affiliate status or higher. By doing this, advertisements can reach channels that have anywhere from 5 to 1,000,000 people watching. Another way ads are being ran on Twitch is by companies sponsoring streamers to play games and do an ad read every so often throughout the game, sometimes a company will even ask the streamer to put the product in the title of the stream. This way, the brand can guarantee that their product is being featured.

The next big thing in gaming is the rise of eSports. eSports used to be a passtime but now eSports is competing with mainstream sports like the NBA. Competitors are filling stadiums and other venues, creating stars, and have huge prize pools. Some tournaments have had first place prizes of up to $1,000,000. So, like any other mainstream sports companies started sponsoring teams to compete in leagues or tournaments. The companies give them money to recruit the best players and coaches and when they win everyone sees their logo and knows about that company. Another way companies are getting into esports is by sponsoring the events themselves. This works a lot like the Super Bowl. A company pays to be the sponsor so like bud light beer. Pepsi was the first company to do this. They ended up sponsored the Rocket League Championship Series. Soon after Master-Card did a multimillion-dollar multiyear contract and sponsorship with League of Legends.

Finally, we have to talk about YouTube. A YouTube channel can allow the streamer to have an editor chop up parts of the stream and upload it to YouTube for anyone who couldn’t make it to the stream to watch. YouTube is the third most visited site in the world with lots of ads in it already. Streamers and companies have the ability to choose where and what ads to show on each channel, which allows companies in charge of the advertisements to be able to pinpoint the audience they are trying to reach. According to the study done by Milad Dehghani, doing this will not only allow you to reach the audience you would like but will allow you to get a greater response from that audience. The numbers do not move much from the mean but every little bit counts.


Dehghani, M., Niaki, M., Ramezani, I., & Sali, R. (2016, February 11). Evaluating the influence of YouTube advertising for attraction of young customers. Retrieved November 19, 2020, from

Food, T. (2020, July 10). Twitch marketing: A world of advertising opportunities. Retrieved November 19, 2020, from

Menz, H. (2020, June 10). What the Rise of eSports Means for Brands. Retrieved November 19, 2020, from

By: Christian Allison

Twitter, a social media platform started by Jack Dorsey in 2006 changed our everyday experience. With old ways of communication on the decline, a new way of messaging is emerging. Look back at your week. How many hours have you spent mindlessly scrolling through your timeline? This is the new medium for our political leaders to reach us. Why would the president do an interview on a traditional media news network, when he or she can reach the everyday person with the click of one button? A new way of reaching people has been developed, “Twitter and Facebook have become instrumental in organizing campaigns. They allow like-minded voters and activists to easily share news and information such as campaign events with each other” (Murse, 2019, para. 6). This messaging system can have its flaws and that should be acknowledged.

If our leaders only look to Twitter to govern and decide what decisions to make, that can put them in an information bubble. When you have an echo chamber of people who, like you, are telling you what to do, you will never see the real public opinion. There might be a concern regarding this way of thinking, “It is not the mental health of Twitter addicts that most concerns me, though; it is the well-being of the nation they collectively rule. To decision makers who spend most of their days ensconced in an elite bubble, Twitter can seem like a way out, a clear window into pure public opinion. In reality, it’s an extreme distortion” (Mounk, 2019, para. 4). It’s crazy to think that staying on Twitter all day can have mind altering effects. When you are on the platform all day it can change your world view as well as your opinions. When we look at things just from Twitter’s perspective everything can seem uncontrollably crazy. When we get a chance to get out of our own online worlds, we can see that things are not as bad as they seem.. 

Finally, to be my own devil’s advocate, lets look at another way that Twitter has been used to change our modern world. How much has Twitter grown in our modern-day world, “Obama’s first tweet came little more than a year after Twitter founder Jack Dorsey’s first tweet on March 21, 2006. In the 10 years since, Twitter has grown into a force that has bolstered grassroots conversations, disrupted the top-down nature of political leadership and thought, and given voice to groups long hidden on the political periphery” (Newkirk II, 2016, para. 2). Twitter can be good in certain scenarios, such as when we lift up voices that have not been heard or give a platform to people who need it. As of right now, according to, the official Black Lives Matter page has almost one million followers. It’s amazing that this page can spread good information to almost one million people in an instant. It is also good to raise minority voices so that everyone is loved and respected. In the end that is all we all want; to love, live and have peace ourselves.

Works Cited

II Newkirk, V. (2016, March 24). The American Idea in 140 Characters. Retrieved September 23, 2020, from

Mounk, Y. (2019, May 05). The Problem Isn’t Twitter. It’s That You Care About Twitter. Retrieved September 23, 2020, from

Murse, T. (2019, August 29). Social Media in Politics – Twitter and Facebook as Campaigns Tools. Retrieved September 23, 2020, from

By: Alyssa Busack

A stereotype is defined as a generalized belief about an individual or a group of people. This can apply to race, ethnicity, sexuality, gender, and many other categories. In today’s society the media plays a huge role in everyone’s lives. It is how we keep up with trends, find out about everyday events, receive news, and even stay up to date with people. Media matters when it comes to stereotyping because it makes it so much easier to do this. When adults and children see content such as programs, movies, magazines, the internet, or even different media platforms, they can’t help but let their prejudices in and stereotype what and who they see. Media are where individuals learn how to stereotype, too. 

According to Understanding Prejudice 2002, “Studies indicate that these advertisements profoundly influence how people perceive and relate to one another.” Throughout the study, when men watched a sexist commercial, they later judged female job applicants. The men paid more attention to their physical appearance and believed them to be less competent than the men who applied. Although stereotypes do not last for a long amount of time, they still happen none the less, and continue to occur even after the individual knows he or she is doing it. The same stereotype an individual made about someone can even be reactivated by the littlest of things. Therefore, stereotypes can cause a great harm on our society due to the effects of media that we visually see causing our prejudices to surface.

Although it is a lot easier for adults to stereotype, that doesn’t mean children can’t or don’t do it, too. The world we live in today is completely different than 10 years ago or even five years ago. Most children are playing with technology by the time they are a year old. Often times parents do not enable them, allowing children to see mostly everything adults view. This can be extremely problematic because it permits children to think it is okay to stereotype the different types of people they see while watching videos. Video games also play a large role in this. Certain types of people are killed, and you receive points for the kill and some games even allow for slurs towards women like in the game GTA. This can seriously hinder the social development of children (The Impact of Stereotyping on Young People). 

A keyway to avoid stereotypes is to have successful communication between individuals or groups. By learning the slightest information about the person or people you are communicating with, such as their experience, beliefs, or other personal information about them, you can gain form common ground to avoid stereotyping. However, if the communicators are strangers to each other, they can rely on culturally shared information to reduce stereotyping. Another way to avoid letting your beliefs overshadow a person is by receiving small details about them such as if they are tall or short. 

Given the lifestyle we all lead in the 21st Century, it is hard to censor what we see especially while on our media platforms. With media constantly getting more efficient, the problem of stereotyping may only worsen causing more harm in our society.        


Collins, E. C., Biernat, M., & Eidelman, S. (2009, February). In Stereotypes in the communication and translation of person impressions. Retrieved from 

(n.d.). In Stereotypes in the Media. Retrieved from  

(n.d.).  The Impact of Stereotyping on Young People. Retrieved from  

Ross, T. (2019, January 31). In Media and Stereotypes. Retrieved from 

By: Alex Marella

One of the major changes that we’re seeing happen in advertising is the use and reliance on Artificial Intelligence. The term artificial intelligence covers a range of devices that are able to ‘learn’ either with help of a human or on its own, and this allows them to perform human tasks at an accelerated pace. AI has become very prevalent in marketing in the last decade and is transforming what was once possible in the world of advertising. AI is used in a number of ways in advertising from ad creation to audience targeting to ad buying, and that role is only getting bigger. “Brands today are beginning to use commercially available artificial intelligence to intelligently identify and segment audiences, build ad-creative, test variations, improve performance, and optimize spend—automatically, in real-time, and at scale.” With this increased role in artificial intelligence there are a lot of benefits and a lot of risks, (Kaput, 2020).

Advertisers rely on large sets of data such as click rates, demographics, impressions etc. to make decisions about how and where to spend resources. Artificial Intelligence can analyze those data sets and come to decisions much quicker and more efficiently. AI powered ad tools can detect patterns at scale in the advertising data and then predict what changes to campaigns will improve the ads performance. This potentially saves advertisers a fortune in misplaced ads and potential customers that they wouldn’t be able to reach. The possibilities with AI are endless; it already helps advertisers with audience targeting, ad creation, spending optimization, ad personalization and more, and the uses are expanding every day. 

While the possibilities for what AI can help us achieve are endless there are also many drawbacks and things to be concerned about with the transition to incorporating more AI in advertising. One of the main concerns about AI, is the lack of transparency. It often can’t explain why it’s arrived at a certain decision which is very problematic if the AI is making decisions of scale. Lack of transparency calls into question the legitimacy of the AI’s decisions because if it doesn’t know why it came to a certain conclusion, or at least we can’t see why, then people won’t be able to trust it (American, Kundu and Kundu, 2020).

Another concern is its ability to teach itself how to do things. AI’s were built by a designer, but their algorithm is always teaching them how to do new things that even the creator didn’t ask for. At first, this may be good in helping us solve unknown problems but it’s also eventually we would run into a problem with AI expanding into problems it shouldn’t. The last big problem with AI in advertising is invasion of privacy. Over the past few years, people have started noticing ads popping up on amazon for things they’ve googled, or you’ll start getting cat food commercials right after you get a cat. The scariest is when you just say or think something, and an ad pops up a minute later. AI can do a great job in connecting business to consumer and vice versa, but it does this without taking into account the user’s privacy or if they wanted their information used like that. I know every time an ad like that pops up for me, I feel violated and that my information is being exploited online. As advertisers I think it’s our job to make sure that we protect their privacy and determine what information is acceptable to use to advertise to them, (The Ethical Dilemmas of Artificial Intelligence, 2020).

There’s no question AI can offer some very beneficial tools to us as advertisers, but we also have to think about the ethical decision making that comes along with that. 

References: 2020. The Ethical Dilemmas Of Artificial Intelligence. [online]

Kaput, M., 2020. AI For Advertising: Everything You Need To Know. [online]

American, S., Kundu, S. and Kundu, S., 2020. Ethics In The Age Of Artificial Intelligence. [online] Scientific American Blog Network.

By: Bella Bevilacqua

So, you want to learn how to illustrate digitally?

Don’t worry if you don’t know where to begin, I will give you the ins and outs of learning how to improve your digital illustration skills. 

Paula Scher said, “It’s through mistakes that you actually can grow. You have to get bad in order to get good.” I like to think back on this quote often when I am creating a new illustration, and I hope it is inspiring to you as you go into this journey of digital illustration. 


First things first, there are so many different types of software and applications that people use to get better at illustration. The best way to narrow down which software is best for you is to try them all out! One of the best things about living in a “digital age” is that there are so many apps that are completely free or for a fee.  

Best Free Illustration Apps (my favorites)

  • Adobe Illustrator Draw
    • Adobe Illustrator, the vector-based software used by millions, has been reimagined for the iPad. Create logos, icons, illustrations, and graphics with a design toolkit that includes type, gradients, shape-building, and precise vector editing tools. 
  • MediBang Paint
    • MediBang Paint is a free user-friendly digital painting, and comic creation app. The app comes with customizable brushes, tones, fonts, and everything else anyone needs to make comics or illustrations. 
  • Adobe Fresco
    • Adobe Fresco is a free drawing and painting app with the same vector brushes you love and use in Adobe Draw. Your previous projects will automatically transfer to Fresco the first time you sign in so you can start right where you left off with beautiful vector, pixel and Live brushes, and more advanced tools like selections, unlimited layers, masking shapes and livestreaming. While it is free, you can choose to pay for more storage, brushes, and photoshop on iPad access.

Best Paid Illustration Apps & Software

  • Procreate ($9.99)
    • Procreate has everything you need to create expressive sketches, rich paintings, gorgeous illustrations and beautiful animations. Procreate is the complete art studio you can take anywhere packed with unique features and intuitive creative tools. For less than $10 you have the ability to use hundreds of brushes, complete color control, extra special FX and much more. 
  • Adobe Software ($19.99/ month *students*)
    • Save over 60% and make the leap with Adobe Creative Cloud. For only $19.99/month you can get access to 20+ apps for desktop, mobile and web, as well as Acrobat Pro, plus 100GB of cloud storage. 
  • Graphic for iPad ($8.99)
    • Graphic is a full-featured graphic design and illustration application for iPad. True desktop-class editing and illustration tools on the go. Graphic has all the tools you need to create everything from detailed technical illustrations to beautiful works of art. Create complex designs quickly and easily, even on the go. 

All of these apps and software are great for learning how to illustrate digitally and I highly suggest trying all of the free options before purchasing anything.  Below you will see an example of Procreate, my favorite app to use for everything. 


Digital illustration is a lot different than illustrating with pen and paper, and while that may be a no brainer, it takes a little while to get used to the techniques of the iPad. One of the things I find most helpful when learning new techniques and tricks is to watch Youtube and Tik Tok videos. 

Here are some of my favorite channels to follow regarding Procreate Illustration tutorials:

Tik Tok


  • Belinda is a lettering artist. Her tutorials are detailed explanations on how to use different procreate tools to create detailed lettering illustrations. I like to watch her videos for inspiration and techniques to use while illustrating.


  • Procreations is an illustrator who helps with anything from simple design techniques to blending techniques to an elaborate design. I love watching these videos to learn new detailed techniques to use in my own illustrations. 

@procreate (official Tik Tok of procreate)

  • Procreate, the official Tik Tok channel of Procreate, not only gives you detailed descriptions of techniques to use, but also gives a sneak peek on features coming out in the new updates. As soon as the updates are released, they create tutorials on how to adapt to the new updates. 


Art with Flo

  • Flo is one of my favorite tutorial pages to watch because she highlights many different parts of illustrating from beginners to the expert level. One of my favorite things she does is she has many different illustration styles that she can adhere to from portraits, to simple “you can draw this” designs, she really emphasizes on the fact that anyone can learn to draw if you set your mind to it.  

Art by Melody

  • One of the things I love about Art by Melody is she uses very simple designs to teach different techniques, whether it be shading or animating, she has you covered. She also offers step by step “let’s draw this” videos so you can master the skills while having a step by step approach. 

Procreate (official Youtube channel)

  • I like checking on the official Youtube channel for Procreate every once in a while, for tips and tricks during new updates or to learn how to use brushes I don’t normally use. I find it very helpful to at least visit the page once every two weeks because they always are posting new content every 2 weeks or so. 

My Inspiration 

A lot of my inspiration for digital illustrations depends on what is going on around me. I get influenced by things I learn in class, or my friends and family surrounding me, and even the political world we live in now has an effect on my art. Some of my favorite things to draw however, are my friends and pets. 

My first digital illustration was a picture of me and my boyfriend from when we visited my hometown, State College, PA for the Penn State White Out game. From my first illustration, to my most recent illustration of me and my friend Adrienne, I can honestly say I have improved tremendously just by watching tutorials and practicing every day. 

Sometimes life can get in the way and you may think that there is not a lot of time to sit down and create a detailed illustration, but I can assure you that even if you take just 20 minutes to draw something, it can end up being one of your favorite pieces. Over the summer, during the peak of the Black Lives Matter movement, I felt compelled as an artist to use my talents to create something that mattered to people. I sat down for 20 minutes and created something that I consider to be one of my favorite pieces. I promise you, when you have the imagination and confidence to take a break and allow your creativity to flow, even for just 20 minutes, you can work wonders! 


Apple App Store (2008). “Best Drawing Software and Apps in 2020 (Free & Paid).” Art Rocket,

Johnson, Jamahl. “22 Famous Graphic Design Quotes.” 99designs, 99designs, 1 Apr. 2020,

Voorhees, J. (2019, December 8). Procreate 5 Review: A Rebuilt Graphics Engine Drives Fantastic Animation, Color, and Brush Tools in an Art App Perfectly Tailored to the iPad. Retrieved November 19, 2020, from

By: Desirae Lindow

A study conducted in the United Kingdom suggests that 42% of people believe advertisements can change the world. “Consumers are aligned with industry practitioners in that they want to see more from businesses – and their advertising – when it comes to key social topics. While this has already been happening for some time, and advertising has been a catalyst for increased consumer awareness, there is seemingly a growing consumer demand,” (Stewart, 2020). As Ad+PR professionals, how do we meet these consumer demands? 

Throughout our history, many brands have contributed to changing our world. In 2004, Dove launched a campaign called Real Beauty. The purpose of this campaign was to display real women who weren’t professional models on their billboard advertisements and ask passerbys to decide whether the women pictured were ‘flawed or flawless.’ This campaign is renowned as one of the top five campaigns of the century because it began a new era in advertising using real bodies to promote positive body image (Evans, 2019).

Colin Kaepernick kneeled during the National Anthem in 2016 as a form of peaceful protest towards the racial injustices happening across the United States. In 2018, Nike capitalized on this polarizing stance the former NFL player took to launch a campaign on the premise of, “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything. #Justdoit” (Guilory, 2018). Although the campaign was heavily criticized due to its polarization, it was a great success and resulted in $6 billion in earnings for Nike (Abad-Santos, 2018). 

In 2017, 84 Lumber produced a commercial for the NFL Superbowl with a meaningful message. “The will to succeed is always welcome here.” The ad addressed the controversy about the wall at the Mexican border that was proposed by U.S. President Donald Trump. Rather than further polarizing the issue, the ad seeks to humanize the story of people who suffer from third world conditions in Mexico and are seeking a better life in the U.S. (Guilory, 2018).

Lastly, Patagonia is a brand that has taken an environmental stance from the very beginning. When you make a purchase, a portion of the proceeds are donated to creating environmental change. Their website is specific in terms of listing their platform on environmental issues, and there are opportunities to learn more about how you can make a difference.  In 2019, Patagonia closed their stores for a few hours on September 20 for employees to march alongside other activists in the Global Climate Strike. Further, they began launching a campaign to raise awareness for Climate Week protests. Their predominantly digital campaign featured teen activists from around the world who were urging congress and other political leaders that “there is no room in government for climate deniers,” (Beer, 2019). Rose Marcario, the CEO of Patagonia, took a stance and said, “Our customers are demanding we act—this generation of youth is not backing down and neither should we.” Marcario also said, “We need to step up, to move forward with optimism and American innovation and ingenuity to invest in solutions and fight the fight of our lives to save our home planet,” (Beer, 2019).

Good campaigns generate sales and promote brand awareness, but great campaigns change the world. Dove, Nike, 84 Lumber, and Patagonia leveraged these hot topic issues and utilized them to create brand awareness and boost sales while simultaneously creating a difference. Inevitably, there are risks involved with tackling polarized issues across the world; but these campaigns became more successful by taking risks. 

As Ad/PR professionals, having the ability to launch these massive campaigns in an effort to make the world a better place is powerful. It all comes down to this: If you could use your brand identity to make a difference, would you? You should

Works Cited

Abad-Santos, A. (2018, September 24). Nike’s Colin Kaepernick ad sparked a boycott – and earned $6 billion for Nike. Retrieved October 09, 2020, from 

Beer, J. (2019, September 19). Patagonia enlists teen activists to speak out for Global Climate Strike campaign. Retrieved September 25, 2020, from

Byars, T. (2019, September 20). Facing Extinction. Retrieved October 09, 2020, from 

Evans, G. (2019, June 11). 5 ad campaigns that changed the world. Retrieved September 25, 2020, from 

Guilory, S. (2018, October 29). 5 Brands That Have a Social Impact with Their PR Campaigns. Retrieved September 25, 2020, from 

Stewart, R. (2020, January 30). 42% of people believe ads can change the world, despite trust crisis. Retrieved September 25, 2020, from 

By: Morgan Hogan

Industries use persuasive methods in advertising to make consumers not only want, but need a particular good or service that is being advertised. In order to be successful and effective, many advertisements use images of visibly beautiful people, especially women. The images that are being used in these advertisements are not a reflection of our society, and what it has been for decades. Our society makes consumers believe that they should look like the beauty that is being advertised to them. What is being displayed in advertisements is a romanticized version of beauty. Many of the images of women in these advertisements are extremely offensive and discriminate against all women.   

Displaying women who fit only one standard of beauty in advertising has had a harmful effect on not only women but young girls. Author and advertising critic, Jean Kilbourne, stated “the average American encounters 3,000 advertisements every day, and spends a total of two years watching TV commercials in their lifetime…At the center of many of these ads is an image of idealized female beauty. Models are tall, slim, and light skinned and digitally altered to ever-more unrealistic proportions,” (Kilbourne, 2015). There has been much research supporting the connection of women in advertising and the obsession with self-image and dieting. For many years, advertising has been at fault for the cause of eating disorders among these young women and girls, such as anorexia and bulimia. These eating disorders are life-threatening, all because they want to fit into society’s standard of beauty. In the article, The Relationship Between Media Consumption and Eating Disorders, authors Kristen Harrison and Joanne Cantor quote Andersen and DiDomenico stating, “that there is a “dose-response” relationship between media content that emphasizes the ideal slim figure and the incidence of eating disorders in the dominant female target audience, such that greater exposure to such media content is associated with greater levels of disordered eating,” (Andersen & DiDomenico, 1992). Many researchers have seen the relation between thinness in the media and the rising numbers of young women with eating disorders.

Most brands are still choosing to portray unrealistic beauty standards in their advertisements, beauty industries being at the top of that list. According to When Beauty is the Beast: The Effects of Beauty Propaganda on Female Consumers, “imagery used by the beauty industry has negative effects on female consumers by providing unrealistic standards and lowering self-esteem, which creates a strong need to purchase beauty products in order to fit the ideals of modern society,” (Greenfield, 2018). However, there is one beauty industry that is showing how beauty has no standards. Dove released their “#MyBeautyMySay” campaign as a countermeasure to our society’s definition of beauty. The beauty tycoon’s television ad displays a widely diverse group of women, all unique in shape, size, race, and everything in between. The one aspect that the advertisement focuses on is what all of these women have in common; telling the audience what has been said to discourage them. Many of the phrases used were “you’re too this” and “you’re too that,” however, despite all of these negative remarks these women achieved their goals and aspirations. The women in this advertisement did not let society confine them and showed the audience how beauty can’t be defined by standards. What made these women feel beautiful was the fact that they were able to accomplish their dreams. Beauty is as unique as every person on this planet, and brands need to start portraying it as such.    


Harrison, K. and Cantor, J. (1997), “The relationship between media consumption and eating disorders”, Journal of Communication, 47, pp. 40–67.

Greenfield, Savannah, “When Beauty is the Beast: The Effects of Beauty Propaganda on Female Consumers” (2018). Theses/ Capstones/Creative Projects. 20.

Kilbourne, J. (2015, March 3). Advertising’s Toxic Effect on Eating Disorders and Body ImageLecture presented in Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts.

Roeder, A. (2020, March 28). Advertising’s toxic effect on eating and body image. Retrieved September 25, 2020, from

By: Nicole Hicks

Working in the sports industry has been and still is a longtime dream of mine. There’s something about following the story of your favorite player and watching it unfold. A good rivalry. The intense feeling of the crowd going crazy after the game winning goal or score.

My dream is to use my public relation skills to work within this industry I love: sports. 

         The sports industry benefits from public relations professionals in more ways than one. Public relations (PR) professionals help create strong media relationships, and convey understanding, acceptance, and communication between the public, sports organization, and athletes. Athletes today work under extreme pressure from the public and media because of how close athletes are observed. PR professionals build and maximize an athlete’s image. Having a PR professional allows the athlete to focus solely on their sport.

         PR professionals foster relationships between organizations and the public by creating strong media connections. Having strong media connections in the sports industry is crucial. An athlete’s every move and action is criticized and watched around the clock. Having strong media relationships helps a PR professional promote a client’s positive image, especially in times of crisis. Examples of these relationships are with media contacts such as journalists and other employees of news outlets.  

         In every industry, social media is constantly changing and has become even harder to manage. Every sports organization, league, team, along with their coaches, executives, and players have their own social media account. PR professionals use an athlete’s social media account to help build their brand, raise awareness, and build trust with the public. Through social media, players and teams can reach their fans instantly. But caution should be taken because if someone makes a mistake, everyone will see it and it will soon be circulated all over the internet. Bad media for an athlete can damage an athlete’s reputation and this is why it is essential for a PR professional to oversee an athlete’s social media activity. 

         Once a sports season ends, a person would think the necessity for public relations management would end. This is totally untrue. Unlike what most people think, PR is needed for athletes year-round. After the season ends for a player, PR professionals continue to maintain a positive image and reputation for the athlete. In the off season, PR professionals help their clients engage in philanthropic work, volunteer activities, player appearances and much more. Those types of things may seem small but they are everything when it comes to building a brand, and maintaining a positive image and reputation.

         Every industry, especially sports is subject to crisis, success, and criticism. The sports industry is ever-evolving when it comes to players, coaches, teams, leagues, executives and much more. Social media is also changing making it harder than ever to keep up. That is precisely why public relations is important in the sports industry. PR professionals stay up to date with current trends, create strong relationships through the media and public, manage reputations and tell stories. I plan on doing just that in the sports industry. 

Work Cited

Breakenridge, D. (2018, June 25). How Sports #PR has Changed for the Better (Mostly). Retrieved from

Niewerth, P. (2010, September 24). PR’s Game Plan for the Sports Industry. Retrieved from

Sports PR. (n.d.). Retrieved September 22, 2020, from

By: Ryan Putz

Have you ever noticed how many alcohol commercials are aired during college sporting events?  Well if you haven’t taken notice, Alcohol companies are advertising a heavy amount during these college events, and have even gone to the extent of forming partnerships with some of these big name schools.  This is a huge concern to parents and adults due to the fact that the majority of students who attend these universities are under the legal drinking age of 21.  

Collegiate football and basketball attracts hundreds of thousands of views every week on television and alcohol companies are teaming up with these schools and networks to make sure that their brand gets out there during these events. The University of Houston named Bud Light its official beer, making it available for sale during athletic events.  The beer’s parent company, Anheuser-Busch, has the rights to use elements of the university’s brand in its marketing.  The University of Texas-Austin announced a similar partnership with Corona in July, the first for that beer company with a university. The campaign — taglined “Horns up, Limes In!” — will include a special “Corona Beach House” tailgate area located near the university’s football stadium, where fans can take photos with Corona’s “iconic” Adirondack chair, the company said,”  (Kruzman, Tulp, 2017) . 

These sponsorships and marketing tactics with these big power 5 schools are making huge money for alcohol companies and in turn for the schools as well, but it’s not only in sponsorship money, it’s sales as well.  Over the years as more and more schools are partnering with beer companies, which means there will be an increase in college football stadiums that are starting to sell the beer of those sponsored companies at their games, and the schools are making hand over fist.  “Texas, which began selling beer in its stadium in 2015, reported $3.1 million in revenue and $1.3 million in profit from the 2016 season,”  (Smith, Lefton 2017).  

It’s crazy to think that college events used to be off limits for beer marketers due to the massive amount of underage audience that live on the campus.  But thanks to persistent beer brands, the companies and the schools have worked together to come up with a message around “drinking responsibly”.  They feel that with this message it will not look like they are condoning underage alcohol consumption.  It is thanks to this marketing message that categorical giant ABI now owns the marketing rights to close to 60 colleges (Smith, Lefton 2017).

Another big argument that schools are giving is that it is a way to decrease beer drinking and alcohol related activity during college sporting events (Brenner 2016).  At our very own WVU, “In 2011, the first year of beer sales, arrests dropped to 79 arrests, close to a 35 percent decrease from 117 arrests the previous year” (Brenner 2016). The schools say it is a way to gain a measure of control over the alcohol being consumed at these events, but I think it is just an excuse so they can profit off of the college drinking mentality. What do you think?

Work Cited 

Brenner, L. 2016. “Fundraising Ideas for a Nonprofit Organization.” Your Business, Retrieved from: 2016,

Kruzman, D, and Tulp S. 2017.“College Football Fans Love Beer. Now Universities Want to Cash In.” USA Today, Gannett Satellite Information Network, 9, Retrieved from:

Smith, M and Lefton, T. 2017.“Colleges Chug Beer Dollars.” Sports Business Daily, Retrieved From: 

Up ↑