Greatest Marketing Campaigns – Magazine Advertisements

Nike – “The Sneaker Makes the Man”

Nike-Print-Ads-12

Nike has found a lot of success with their various ad campaigns. This particular advertisement is not exception. The slogan brings about an emotional response of necessity. To be the best, one must have these sneakers. The objective of the ad is to sell more shoes to men, the target market. The slogan entices men to buy the shoes on a superficial level and a functional level. If customers buy these shoes, they will have the luxury of owning one of the best sneakers on the market and look good wearing them. Since these are athletic shoes, they are also designed to be functional sportswear. The value proposition is that a man can be the best if her wears these shoes, because, as the ad says, “The sneaker makes the man.”

https://www.designyourway.net/blog/inspiration/35-nike-print-advertisements-that-boosted-the-companys-income/

Lustre-Crème Shampoo Advertisement

Marilyn

The focus of this advertisement is Lustre-Crème lotion shampoo. Marilyn Monroe was a cultural film phenomenon when this vintage ad was published. The target market for the campaign was women who wanted to be like Marilyn. So, it seems like envy would be the driving force to buy this product. There is a quote at the bottom of the picture that reads, “ Yes, I use Lustre-Crème Shampoo,” which tells consumers that Marilyn herself uses Lustre-Crème. It goes on to say, “When America’s most glamourous women use Lustre-Crème Shampoo, shouldn’t it be your choice above all others, too!” This tactic is meant to drive women in droves to go out and purchase it right away. After all, who didn’t want to be like Marilyn Monroe? This was the intended value proposition—to be as beautiful as Marilyn.

https://www.pubexec.com/post/publishers-problem-outdated-approach-magazine-ads/

E-cigarette Advertisement

ecig-ad-hed-2014

This e-cigarette advertisement features a vaporizer and a promise of smoke-free, harm-free nicotine alternative. The emotional response evoked by this ad is one of fear. The damaging effects of cigarettes have been known for years, so vaping has become big business. The object of the campaign is to get cigarette smokers to switch to the alternative, hence, increasing the sales of such products and decreasing the threat of cancer and other diseases caused by smoking. Therefore, the value proposition is that by switching to the e-cigarette, smoker can save their lungs.

https://vapenews.com/vape-news/e-cig-ad-gets-voice-of-disapproval/

Body Shaming Magazine Ad

offending_pear

Back in the day, women were expected to have a big bosom, a small waist, and slim hips. Being pear-shaped was a no-no and needed to be fixed. Warner lingerie company came up with a solution in the form of the “Concentrate girdle” and the “Little Fibber bra.” The objective of the campaign was to sell those products to women using shame to cause a certain emotional response. The company wanted women to buy into the claim so they can hide their pear-shaped figures. The value proposition was if they wore those undergarments, they wouldn’t look fat in their clothing.

 

https://www.collectorsweekly.com/articles/selling-shame-40-outrageous-vintage-ads-any-woman-would-find-offensive/

“Pull the Chords – Prof. Mack’s Chin Reducer and Beautifier

offending_chinreducer

Here we have a beauty gimmick ad from the late 1800s. The contraption was marketed to women of a certain age who wanted to look younger. The apparatus was worn on the head, with straps that wrapped around the face and chin. By just pulling the chords women were promised they could get rid of their double chins and reduce swollen glands. It also promised to restore facial shape and put natural color back into the cheeks. The purpose of the ad was to generate sales of the product. The value proposition was that if a woman used Prof. Mack’s Chin Reducer and Beautifier, she would be easier on the eyes and have “curves of youth.”

https://www.collectorsweekly.com/articles/selling-shame-40-outrageous-vintage-ads-any-woman-would-find-offensive/

Greatest Marketing Campaigns – Newsprint Advertisements

Pepsi’s “Devil Shake”

devil-shake-ad

Devil Shake was introduced on the market in the 1960s. While Pepsi was in a well-known feud with Coca-Cola, Royal Crown, and Moxie, it was also in a lesser-known feud with Yoo-Hoo Beverage Corporation. Pepsi wanted to cash in on the chocolate drink phenomenon and so it began. Unfortunately, the drink died an early death thanks to a little deal with Yoo-Hoo. This ad appealed to those who wanted something other than the traditional cola drink—those who were “daringly different.” The objective was to sell more products made by PepsiCo. The payoff, or proposition value, is that the consumer would look hip or “glitzy” while drinking Devil Shake.

https://culinarylore.com/sodas:what-was-devil-shake/

Don’t Be Bald” – Hygienic Vacuum Cap Co.

vintage-medical-newspaper-ads-baldness

Nothings is better for graying hair or a balding scalp than vacuuming your head a few minutes every day. That’s what the Hygienic Vacuum Cap Company wanted their customers to believe, anyway. The target market for this product was middle-aged men who wanted to keep their youthful hairline intact. The objective of the ad campaign was to sell more of these contraptions. The ad invites potential customers embark upon a 30-day free trial with a promise of obtaining “perfect health for the hair.” The value proposition of the product is the promise of a perfect head of hair, using the Hygienic Vacuum Cap.

https://skydancingblog.com/2011/07/07/sdb-evening-news-reads-for-070711-murdoch-nasa-and-medicaid/vintage-medical-newspaper-ads-baldness/

Borders Book Store Closing Advertisement

storeclosing_0407_creative_26-4711_043

This type of ad is pretty commonplace when a store goes out of business. When a particular Borders bookstore went out of business, this ad could be found in the local newspaper. The objective was to inform the public that the store was closing and to sell as much merchandise as possible, before the doors closed. The target market for the campaign were the people who wanted to buy books, DVDs, CDs, and other merchandise at a significantly reduced price. If the viewer of the ad took this action, they would be able to get those items before they were gone for good. The value proposition comes packaged in the statements, “ENTIRE STORE ON SALE!” “NOTHING HELD BACK!” “EVERYTHING MUST GO!” This tactic drives customers to buy the products, because they will never again have the opportunity.

http://relevancesells.com/2010/03/24/the-1st-7-seconds-rule-for-newspaper-ads/

Derzon Coins – Pawn Shop Advertisement

c1 (1)

This newspaper ad promotes the Derzon Coins pawn shop. The focus of the piece is to evoke the feeling of necessity to own these items within buyers and to give sellers, or those who need to pawn an item, a sense of momentary financial relief. The objective of the campaign is to bring in buyers and sellers (the target market) alike to help the business make more money. If a potential buyer takes action, they will be able to own various coins, jewelry, or collectibles. If a potential seller takes action, they stand to profit from the sale of their items. Others can borrow money against their items, pay their loan off at later date, then, retrieve the item. If they do not return, the shop can sell the item to recoup their loss and make a profit as well.

https://retailstoreclosing.wordpress.com/2014/04/29/using-newspaper-ads-for-store-closing-sale/

Subway – “Eat Fresh”

displayadex

This Dillsburg, PA Subway ad focuses on evoking an emotional response of joy—the enjoyment that comes from eating good food. The objective of the advertisement it to make more money by promising “fresh food fast.” Most people are used to eating fast food that is not healthy. If customers are lured in by this ad, the benefit is that they will have healthier options at fast food prices. Most people are aware that burgers and fries are not good for us. So, the benefit to customers who choose Subway, instead of a burger joint, is just what the ad promises—the opportunity to “eat fresh. “

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Greatest Marketing Campaigns – Outdoor Advertisements

ENT 610 – Entrepreneurial Marketing Strategies

The Trump Billboard – Airoutdoor, West Yorkshire

trump-outdoor

When I first saw this billboard, I will admit it made me chuckle a bit. It is clear that the advertising team behind this public announcement understands two things, Donald Trump is a successful entrepreneur, and, to make money, you have to spend money. Whether you love Donald Trump or you hate him, one thing is for sure, the man is wealthy beyond measure. He is a high-powered individual who draws attention wherever he goes. So, why not plaster his face on a huge sign in the middle of a prominent area of town? The look on Trump’s face seems to say, “Hey peasant, put your ad here, if you want to be like me. Duh.” I’m not sure how successful this marketing campaign was, but at least it was funny.

https://www.campaignlive.com/article/trump-billboard-urges-businesses-invest-outdoor-advertising/1421736

Econolodge Billboard

EconoLodge

This Econolodge advertisement is obviously targeted at travelers, specifically, truck drivers. The objective of this ad is to rent as man rooms out as possible at the discount motel. The colors used on the sign are bold and bright, grabbing the attention of any passersby. With promises of truck parking, a pool, free Wifi, and a free hot breakfast, this billboard will surely lure in truckers who want all these amenities at an affordable price.

https://www.modot.org/outdoor-advertising-home

 Church in Need of Choir Members

Church sign

Clearly, the purpose of this church sign is to get parishioners and others in the community interested in joining the choir. The ad uses humor to produce the intended result. The hope is that people will see the sign, come inside, and see what it is all about. This tactic is used, not only to get people to join the choir, but, it is also intended to get more people to join the church. The payoff for anyone who does join is that they will have a place to worship any time the doors are open.

https://www.southernliving.com/culture/funny-church-signs

Wendy’s – Now Hiring

Wendy's billboard

Leave it to Wendy’s to use unconventional  humor to find new employees. I believe the appeal here is that management has a sense of humor. Taking this approach shows potential workers that this particular location would be a fun and laid back place to work—as laid back as a fast food joint can be anyway. I think their objective is obtainable as the sign exudes this is an enjoyable atmosphere where one can earn a paycheck. That is the driving force which would lure someone to apply.

http://biglovepie.com/funny-billboards-road-signs/funny-billboards-pictures-and-photos-funny-billboards-road-signs/

Budweiser – “Say no to drugs”

Budweiser

Budweiser’s objective here is to sell more beer. While this billboard is funny, it does seem to send out the message that drinking is better than doing drugs. Obviously the target market are those people who want to get a buzz. The ad entices the viewer to go out and buy Budweiser beer. The benefit to the consumer is that they will be able to get that high feeling legally. Of course nobody want to get arrested for doing drugs, and that is the value proposition of the ad.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i8A5cne7_34

 

 

Greatest Marketing Campaigns – Television Advertisements

ENT 610 – Entrepreneurial Marketing Strategies

The “Sugar Bites” Campaign – Contra Costa County, CA

The Contra Costa County Health Department set out to educate its residents on the unhealthy side effects of sugar consumption with its “Sugar Bites” television commercial. The emotional response evoked by this ad is one of fear. No one wants their children to have a mouth full of cavities, and parents certainly don’t want their children to develop diabetes. The ad depicts sugar as a monster that should be avoided at all costs. If viewers take the advice given, it is suggested their children will lead longer, healthier lives. While this ad does not directly sell any products, it does elude that there are healthier alternatives to sugar fruit juices and snacks. In turn, this could drive up sales of options such as fresh fruits and vegetables.

To watch the commercial, click here.

Fruity Pebbles Amusement Park Commercial

This commercial features Fred Flintstone and Barney Rubble from The Flintstones television show, and it is targeted at younger children. The cartoon format draws young viewers in by showing how much Barney desires to eat Fred’s Fruity Pebbles. Barney gets excited over all the flavors—orange, cherry, grape, lemon, and lime. By using this type of angle, the company hopes the children who watch the commercial, and hear Barney exclaim, “ Watch me trick Fred, because I can’t get that fruity taste out of my head,” will also go crazy over the product. This type of advertising has a high appeal to children, therefore, driving them to ask their parents to buy the cereal.

To watch the commercial, click here.

2001 Pepsi Commercial, featuring Shakira

The focus of this ad is Pepsi Cola. At the time, Shakira was a hot commodity, especially to young men all over the world. She was talented, beautiful, and cool. Every young man’s dream girl, right? By using her in the commercial, Pepsi set out to use Shakira’s sex appeal to lure in the target market, just as they had done back in the late 80s, by featuring, then “it” girl, Cindy Crawford. The objective of the ad was to make drinking Pepsi look cool. In the end, one young man does get Shakira’s attention simply by tossing her a Pepsi, and that is the driving factor for someone from the target market to purchase the product.

To watch the commercial, click here.

“Rise Above” – The 2019 Cadillac SUVs

The commercial begins with a little girl daydreaming about what she could become, then it goes on to show people who have made it big. The ad shows a parallel between making it big and driving a Cadillac SUV. In recent years, Cadillac set out to increase sales by appealing to a younger market—the millennials. Commercials such as this one evokes a sense of necessity, and that is exactly what the car manufacturer wants, because it drives up sales. Viewers are urged to “rise above,” and own a new Cadillac SUV. In doing so, they will then be able to live a more desirable lifestyle.

To watch the commercial, click here.

“The Go-Getters” – Taco Bell Delivery Commercial

The focus of this ad is Taco Bell’s new delivery service. The advertiser uses a humor to compare some of life’s grandest achievements—climbing a mountain, becoming a ballerina, being a rocket scientist—to the ability to have tacos delivered to your door. The target market is those who do not want to go sit in the drive-thru or stand in line at the store. It is for those who want a more convenient option. With this tactic, the company shows a desire to increase sales. Obviously, the viewer benefits from this, because it does not require much effort to get dinner on the table. It is unclear how receptive the audience will be, but I suppose time will tell.

To watch the commercial, click here.

Greatest Marketing Campaigns – Radio Advertising

ENT 610 – Entrepreneurial Marketing Strategies

“Go for the Gusto” – Shlitz

In 1970, Shlitz released a radio advertising campaign ad urging listeners to “take life one day at a time” and to just “go for the gusto.” The ad tells the story of a fisherman who is about to face a severe storm out in the North Atlantic Ocean. The narrator compares the gusto of the incoming storm to the gusto of Shlitz beer. It is pretty easy to grasp the objective of this commercial—to sell more beer to their target market, the rugged, blue collar worker—more specifically, men. The benefit to the target market is that they won’t be settling for less if they choose to drink Shlitz beer. The hope was customers would be driven to buy the product to be like the character portrayed in the advertisement.

To listen to the ad, click here.

“The Wacky Waterfall” – GIECO

This 2012 radio commercial, released by GIECO insurance company, is targeted toward families who must adhere to a budget, if they want to be able to afford such luxuries as a family trip to the local amusement park. In keeping with the light, humorous tone of other GIECO commercials, this ad delivers more of the same. The parents want to save money, but they also want to create a fun environment for the kids. They can’t afford to take the kids to a real amusement park, so they fill the bathtub with water, turn on the shower, and tell the children to hop into “The Wacky Waterfall.” Of course, the kids are less than enthused with the parents’ lack in judgement. The gist of the ad is that these parents could afford to go to a real amusement park, if they would just switch to GEICO and save a lot of money on their car insurance. GEICO uses a similar approach in all of their advertisements in an effort to drive customers to come to the company for all of their insurance needs.

To listen to the ad, click here.

World Cup Radio Campaign – Pizza Hut

Watching major sports events on the big screen and eating pizza go hand in hand. Nobody knows this better than the marketing pros who create the advertising campaigns for Pizza Hut. During the 2010 World Cup, Pizza Hut went all out. With every two Super Supreme pizza ordered, customers would receive four free cans of Pepsi and a soccer ball. Obviously, this campaign was directed at soccer fans in an effort to sell more pizza. By purchasing this meal deal, customers would benefit by not having to pay for their beverages and they would receive a gift that would last beyond game day. In return, Pizza Hut would stand to increase sales by a significant amount. Soccer and pizza lovers everywhere would have a good reason to give their patronage to the restaurant chain on that day and in the future. Everybody loves getting free stuff.

To listen to the ad, click here.

Fillet-O-Fish Radio Campaign – McDonalds

This advertisement uses the concept of an “inner monologue,” or the voices in a guy’s head to create excitement for McDonalds’ special 2 for $3.33 deal on the Fillet-O-Fish sandwich. The ad begins as he is talking to himself about the sandwich he has envisioned in his head. All is well, that is, until another voice cuts in and begins to move in on his food. Then, the narrator cuts in and says, “ Any day is a great day for a Filet-O-Fish sandwich.” The target market of this ad are McDonalds customers who may want an alternative to eating a burger, and the objective here is to draw attention to the sandwich. The selling point which would make customers want to buy a Fillet-O-Fish is the fact that they can purchase to sandwiches for one low price. This tactic has always worked well for the restaurant chain.

To listen to the ad, click here.

O’Rewards Member Appreciation Month Campaign– O’Reilly Auto Parts

O’Reilly Auto Parts’ O’Rewards program was designed to give customers incentives to buy their products. Their member appreciation month campaign allows customers to rack up double points which will, in turn, give them the opportunity buy items at a reduced cost in the future or to receive select items at no cost. This ad utilizes the company’s jingle, along with a voice over announcer, to create excitement about the O’Rewards program. The target market for this campaign are non-commercial customers. By taking advantage of the program, these customers stand to gain the products they need at a discount. This is a huge incentive to purchase products from the auto parts chain. The program is creates more revenue for the company.

To listen to the ad, click here.

 

 

 

 

 

Analysis of The End of Work By Jeremy Rifkin – Final Thoughts

Since this book was written 24 years ago, I will cut author, Jeremy Rifkin, a little slack. That was back during the time we all thought Y2K was going to be the end of the world as we knew it back then. As a matter fact, it was said that computer technology was not advanced enough to handle the shock of the date, January 1, 2000. Just look where we are today. I think Rifkin should considered updating his theories to coincide with today’s technology. I will give him some credit, a small amount, if you will. The Postscript—the last two pages of the book, he did admit there was hope—there was hope that there would be “millions of new jobs in the Third Sector.” (Rifkin, 1995) He also states that the government will probably play a much smaller role in the business sector. I’m not sure that is such a bad thing. If you are interested in seeing what people thought the world would be like today, back in the ‘90s, this would probably be an interesting read for you. Thanks for following along!

Jennifer

Resources

Rifkin, J. (1995). The end of work. 1st ed. New York, N.Y.: Putnam’s Sons.

 

Analysis of The End of Work By Jeremy Rifkin – Part V: The Dawn of the Post-Market Era

The final section of Rifkin’s book discusses the implications and issues with having more free time versus working time, the diminishing market value of labor, third sector organizations, and the independent sector. Basically, these chapters offer insight into a new, emerging world where the government will have to focus more on the civil society. This selection wraps up Rifkin’s banter on a dramatically increasing crime rate due to automation and the effects of a workerless society.

Re-Engineering the Work Week

Rifkin opens this chapter with a quote from philosopher Herbert Marcuse:

“Automation threatens to render possible the reversal of the relation between free time and working time: the possibility of working time becoming marginal and free time becoming full time. The result would be a radical transvaluation of values, and a mode of existence incompatible with the traditional culture. Advanced industrial society is in permanent mobilization against the possibility.” (Rifkin, 1995)

This concept is just as it sounds. If such an event occurs, there will be a huge shift in the cultures of the world. Inevitably, there will not be enough work to go around, leaving much of the population to its own devices. Such a dynamic would also increase the issues of unemployment and under employment, and, according to Rifkin, the world will go mad having nothing to do and having little to no money to survive, even thought he also points out that the average work time “has increased by 163 hours, or one month a year,” over the past 40 years. (Rifkin, 1995) In this sense, he seems to be contradicting his own argument. An report released by the heritage foundation discusses how automation has reduced human labor. This report provides information that coincides with Rifkin’s evaluation of automation’s effects on the world’s workforce, but it also provides an justification on how we have and will continue to adapt to this altering dynamic. Per the report, although “automation does reduce the human labor needed to produce particular goods and services… it also reduces production costs,” which, in turn, creates competition amongst businesses offering the same products, therefore, “forc[ing] firms to pass these savings on to their customers through lower prices,” and “these lower prices lead consumers to buy more of the now less-expensive product and leave them with more money to spend elsewhere, increasing the demand for labor in those sectors of the economy.” (Burke) Here, we see the other side of the dispute —a resolution, if you will.

A New Social Contract

In the past government has had its place in business, big and small. Conversely, as Rifkin translates it, even “standing armies cannot stop or even slow down the accelerating flow of information and communications frontiers.” (Rifkin, 1995) What this means is governments across the board cannot regulate many industries as in the past because technology is changing the dynamic at such a determined frequency. While this could be cause for alarm on some level, as far as matters of taxation goes, this still may not be all bad as it fundamentally means businesses will be put back into the hands of the people. It kind of sounds like a positive tradeoff.

Empowering the Third Sector

The third sector is “the segment of a nation’s economy that is made up of neither public nor business concerns, as nonprofit health or educational institutions.” (Third sector.) No matter if you are a nurse at a UNC Health Care, an office assistant for the Autism Society, or a professor at Western Carolina University, you are part of the working class in the third sector. I currently work for a nonprofit organization which provides gently used clothing and household goods for a dramatically reduced price. As there will always be a need for affordable options to clothe ourselves and to furnish our homes, it seems like jobs in similar organizations will be safe for many years to come. The same goes for health care and education. People get sick every day. Most people find themselves embarking on two to three career changes or more throughout their life cycle. When speaking of empowering the third sector, that is exactly what Rifkin is speaking of. The issue he raises with this particular dynamic is the threat of “volunteerism” taking over the work force. (Rifkin, 1995) Many organizations use volunteers to cut labor costs across the board. That said, it is unlikely volunteers will actually replace all workers in the end. For instance, most hospital volunteers do not have the same skill set as a medical doctor, and, therefore, they cannot provide the same level of care. To elaborate further, even if doctors volunteer time at a medical facility, chances are they will not do that one hundred percent of the time, because they would not be able to survive financially. So, while volunteerism does eliminate the need for employees on some level, it is very unlikely it will completely wipe out the need for all paid workers.

Globalizing the Social Economy

As alleged by Rifkin, “a new form of barbarianism waits just outside the walls of the modern world.” (Rifkin) In this final chapter, the author poses the question of whether or not the third sector with able to absorb workers who have or will be displaced from the other sectors. If history shows us anything, from the prehistoric world to the modern world, humans have always adapted to new technology. This is an undeniable fact. As I previously stated, Rifkin also believes the world’s growing crime rate is a direct reflection of automation. I would like to pose another point of view for everyone to ponder. Isn’t it possible that there has always been a high crime rate around the world? Isn’t it possible we are just more in tune with it, because today’s technology gives us minute by minute updates on that information? I am not completely disregarding his point of view or the information provided in this book, it just seems like there is always more to the story.

Conclusion

While reading this book, I can understand how Jeremy Rifkin has caused such a stir with modern theorists around the world. This piece of work is extremely thought provoking, indeed. I certainly do not agree with many aspects of his automation theory, but, I have to admit his argument is an emotional one. It makes the reader think of the effects of automation from a different perspective, if for just a few brief moments.

Resources

Burke, L. (n.d.). Automation and Technology Increase Living Standards. Retrieved March 3, 2019, from https://www.heritage.org/jobs-and-labor/report/automation-and-technology-increase-living-standards

Rifkin, J. (1995). The end of work. 1st ed. New York, N.Y.: Putnam’s Sons.

Third sector. (n.d.). Retrieved March 3, 2019, from https://www.dictionary.com/browse/third-sector

Analysis of The End of Work By Jeremy Rifkin – Part IV: The Price of Progress

This section of The End of Work covers the topics of potentially permanent job loss, a dramatic farewell the working class, how automation effects all of the nations, and rising crime rates. At this point in the book, it seems it is Rifkin’s belief that automation will surely destroy life as we know it. It’s almost as if he is telling us the world is going to come to an end, and it’s all because of automation.

High-Tech Winner and Losers

When talking about high-tech winners and losers, Rifkin means that the corporations of the manufacturing sector are the winner and the workers who have lost their jobs, due to automation, are the losers. According to his research findings, in an effort to yield bigger profits, many manufacturing companies jumped on the “trickle-effect” train and never looked back. The trickle effect occurred when businesses saw the need to “keep up with consumer demand,” while “reducing the costs of products.” (Rifkin, 1995) While this created a number of jobs in the industry, those who were uneducated or undereducated found themselves out of work. David Autor, professor of economics at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), has a different perspective on automation. While he is no stranger to the effects of automation on the workforce, he says that predicting automation will eventually destroy all jobs is an “arrogant” assessment of the situation. (Autor) History shows there have been many times when our country has faced job loss as a result of technology; however, he says, “There’s always new work to do.” (Autor)

To watch Professor David Autor’s TED talk on automation, click here.

Requiem for the Working Class

Merriam-Webster defines requiem as “a mass for the dead.” (Culpepper, 2012) Clearly, the title of this section implies that the day of the working class citizen is all but gone. Rifkin paints a grim picture of displaced workers who are part of “the other world”—“workers who are experiencing rising levels of stress in high-tech work environments and increasing job insecurity…” (Rifkin, 1995) While, this is a matter not be taken lightly, I feel his statements are a bit overdramatized. This goes back to David Autor’s argument that we have always advanced right along with new technological advances. I would also like to point out, no job is stress free. Furthermore, the jobs of yesteryear—physically demanding manufacturing and service jobs—were much harder on the body.

The Fate of Nations

In this chapter, Rifkin discusses how automation has effects the rest of the world, including manufacturing plants in Mexico and India. Basically, he gives the same automation scenario for third world countries. Consistent with his argument of how computers have changed the American landscape, Rifkin also argues that “machines are replacing workers in every developing country.” (Rifkin, 1995) A 2015 study, conducted by the Oxford Martin School, corresponds with this argument; however, although “the majority feel automation poses a major challenge to societies and policymakers,” they are “optimistic that automation and technology will help to boost productivity over time, and believe that investment in education will be the most effective policy response to the potential negative impacts of automation.” (This:; et al., 2016) In contrast to Rifkin’s claims, it seems people still have hope that we can continue to progress and thrive in a computerized world, and that can be accomplished by planning ahead.

A More Dangerous World

The final chapter in Part IV, focuses on the rise in teenage violence. The reasons for this are “rising unemployment and loss of hope for a better future,” which, in turn, is causing more and more teenagers to “turn to a life of crime and violence.”  (Rifkin, 1995) While Rifkin may have a plausible argument here, is there more to it than that? Quite possibly, bad parenting could also be a dominating factor in this trend. An article published by the American Society for the Positive Care of Children presents an alternative argument to Rifkin’s theory. Bad parenting can also cause a child to go astray. Some symptoms of bad behavior are the inability to have long lasting friendships, psychological disorders, depression, low self-esteem, and a tendency toward violent behaviors. (2018)

Conclusion

The information presented thus far paints a picture of gloom and doom for the future. The more I read of this book, the more I keep hoping Rifkin will at least touch on a solution. Hopefully, in my next blog, I will be able to report he does exactly that.

Resources

Bad Parenting for a Child | Negative Effects. (2018, October 17). Retrieved February 27, 2019, from https://americanspcc.org/2014/07/17/effects-bad-parenting-child/

Culpepper, J. C. (2000). Merriam‐Webster Online: The Language Center0011The Staff of Merriam‐Webster. Merriam‐Webster Online: The Language Center. 47 Federal Street, PO Box 281, Springfield, MA 01102; Tel: (413) 734‐3134; Fax: (413) 731‐5979;: Merriam‐Webster, Inc c1999. Free. Electronic Resources Review, 4(1/2), 9-11. doi:10.1108/err.2000.4.1_2.9.11

Rifkin, J. (1995). The end of work. 1st ed. New York, N.Y.: Putnam’s Sons.

This:, S., 2019, 2. F., 2019, 2. F., 2019, 1. F., 2019, 0. F., 2019, 0. F., . . . 2019, 0. J. (2016, January 27).Impact of automation on developing countries puts up to 85% of jobs at risk. Retrieved February 27, 2019, from https://www.oxfordmartin.ox.ac.uk/news/201601_Technology_at_Work_2

Analysis of The End of Work By Jeremy Rifkin – Part III: The Decline of the Global Labor Force

I must admit I was pretty excited to read this section of Rifkin’s book. I come from a long line of farmers, factory workers, and service workers, so I can identify with these particular groups of people. Indisputably, I have noticed a drastic decline in the farming and factory sectors in the state of North Carolina, since the 1980s. I have, indeed, saw a few of my family members lose jobs in recent decades. Yet, I am not sure automation is completely to blame for this dynamic.

Mo More Farmers

When Rifkin wrote this book, back in the 90s, he claimed that, even though half of the world’s population still farmed land, “new break throughs in the information and life sciences threaten to end much of the outdoor farming by the middle decades of the coming century.” (Rifkin, 1995) What Rifkin is saying here is my children and grandchildren may know a world with effectively little to no farmers. I do feel like some of the information Rifkin shared does contradict his claims, such as the development of agricultural software. Although this software has alleviated the need for manual methods for such things as soil evaluation, in turn, it has given farmers the ability to devise more complex, yet quicker and more effective, ways of doing prep work. This means they now have a better way to prevent soil erosion and the ability to predict how often crops should be rotated without waiting for several crop cycles to pass, before being able to pinpoint any issues. Also, the fact remains, plants still need soil, light, and water to reproduce. The location dynamic of location may have changed, but the fact remains automation has yet to take the place of the essential elements a plant needs in order to thrive.

Hanging Up the Blue Collar

In this section, Rifkin discusses the effects of automation on the automotive industry. Over time, robotics with the ability to create tasks much quicker than humans has emerged to the forefront of the trade. According to the author, “Robots are becoming increasingly attractive as a cost-cutting alternative to human labor on the automobile assembly line.” (Rifkin, 1995) If you have been keeping up advancements in the automotive industry, you have also probably noticed this trend. After reading an article in Business Insider, I learned the fear of robotic breakthroughs is not a new things. According to the article,  “Here’s How Robots Could Change The World By 2025,” every time there has been a shift in technology, people often wonder where new jobs will come from when previous jobs are lost. Contributor, John Mauldin, states:

“As I’ve noted more than once, in the 1970s (as it seemed that our jobs were disappearing, never to return), the correct answer to the question, ‘Where will the jobs come from?’ was ‘I don’t know, but they will.’ That was more a faith-based statement than a fact-based one, but whole new categories of jobs did in fact get created in the ’80s and ’90s.” (Mauldin, 2014)

If we look back on history, one thing looks certain, when jobs were lost, due to the creation of more innovating technologies, new jobs were created which filled the need for employment by those displaced workers.

The Last Service Worker

Extending on what I said in the last section, we have always found a way to create new jobs. Look no further than the service industry. In the past, when manufacturing workers lost their jobs, due to changes in the industry, those workers were able to find employment in the service industry. Rifkin argues that this will soon be a thing of the past, because automation has also had a huge impact on the service industry. For example, Mutual Benefit Life (MBL) “re-engineered” the way the company processes claims, cutting the processing time down from 22 days to just four hours, by finding more effective ways to do the work. (Rifkin, 1995) Of course, this new process eliminated the need for many positions in the company. But, a I previously stated, the birth of new technology has always created other opportunities in other areas of work.

Conclusion

Job loss in any industry is always a contentious subject to tackle. Rifkin is directly saying that eventually automation is going to destroy most jobs in every sector, if not all of them. Such a development could be detrimental to the human race. Are we really heading in that direction? What do you think?

Resources

Mauldin, J. (2014, August 20). Here’s How Robots Could Change The World By 2025. Retrieved February 26, 2019, from https://www.businessinsider.com/heres-how-robots-could-change-the-world-by-2025-2014-8

Rifkin, J. (1995). The end of work. 1st ed. New York, N.Y.: Putnam’s Sons.

Analysis of The End of Work By Jeremy Rifkin – Part II: The Third Industrial Revolution

This week’s topic of discussion is Part II of Jeremy Rifkin’s book, The End of Work. In this section, Rifkin covers his thoughts on artificial intelligence and how it has effected African-Americans and Fordism. In my previous post, I established that Rifkin’s claims on the evils of automation have been met with much skepticism. As you will discover, as I further discuss his reflections on the subject, there are certainly two sides to every story, and, depending on who you talk to, there could be even more sides to an argument

Crossing Into the High-Tech Frontier

According to Rifkin, we are now living in a “near-workerless society” which is the direct result of “a great shift in economic paradigms.” (Rifkin, 1995) Basically, he blames automation for the transition into our dependence on non-renewable resources, such as the machines that were essentially created to make our work much easier. While it is true we have become very dependent upon technology, I have to wonder if this is such a bad thing. Marianna Glynska, contributing writer for Huffington Post and a teacher, would probably whole-heartedly disagree with Rifkin. In the article, Can Technology Make Our Lives Better?, she discusses how the Lazertouch mini projector has changed how people deliver presentations. These handy gadgets can help users create a presentation without the hassles technical issues and without having to lug around a lot of heavy equipment. (Glynska, 2017) This example seems to deflect Rifkin’s claims a bit, as the device still requires human interaction to create the finished product.

Technology and the African-American Experience

In this section, Rifkin talks about how automation created a “permanent underclass in the inner cities.” (Rifkin, 1995) It is his belief this all started with the creation of the mechanical cotton picking machine. Although this invention was imperative in the downfall of slavery, it created another problem for African-Americans who were unskilled to do anything else. While the freed slaves were finally allowed to live a life free of oppression, Rifkin argues that automation is the reason for a continuing economic racial divide. These new workers did find solace in the manufacturing industries, however, as Rifkin puts it, once “automation began taking its tole on the nation’s manufacturing sector, “ those workers found themselves displaced once more. When looking into this subject a little further, I found there is a growing African-American presence in the technological fields. According to Wayne Sutton, an African-American entrepreneur, “there are tons of African-Americans throughout the country doing amazing things in the field of technology, but a lot of people just haven’t heard about them.” (Dickey, 2013)

For a list of The 25 Most Influential African-Americans In Technology, click here.

The Great Automation Debate

In the mid-1960s, there was a huge debate over automation. There were those who were against the “cybernetic revolution,” citing it required “an immediate government response,” and there were those who “argued that technological displacement was a normal outgrowth of economic progress and would eventually be absorbed by a robust economy.” (Rifkin, 1995) In other words, one group wanted the government to intervein and put a stop to the technological advancements, or at least slow them down dramatically, while the other group argued that the people who were being displaced could learn new skills and be integrated into a new industry. While this latter may be true, is it really that simple? The article, How Technology Creates Jobs for Less Educated Workers, by James Bessen, uses the example of LPNs to show how technology has changed the field of nursing. Bessen points out that “employees gain much critical knowledge about new technologies through experience on the job and such learning often does not require a high degree of education.” (Bessen, 2014) Meaning, one could argue that automation is not the downfall of the workforce; it is just the catalyst for changing the way workers are hired and trained.

To read the full article, click here.

Post-Fordism

First of all, what is Fordism? Brittanica.com defines Fordism as “the system of mass production that was pioneered in the early 20th century by the Ford Motor Company” or “the typical postwar mode of economic growth and its associated political and social order in advanced capitalism.” (Jessop, 2016) On the surface, that doesn’t sound like such a bad thing, does it? If you were to ask Rifkin, he would say yes. As stated by Rifkin, following the Fordism model led to the development of a work force that allows “less and less room for independent decision-making at the lower levels of the command structure.” (Rifkin, 1995) I do agree that independent thinking is an essential life skill. That said, there is also a such thing as having too many people in charge. You know, too many chiefs in charge. Although we have since moved into the post-Fordism era, one thing is certain, having a clearly defined authority/worker dynamic is still an essential part of today’s work force.

Conclusion

Rifkin’s has touched on some pretty touchy subjects in this section of the book—how automation has made us more dependent on non-renewable resources, how it has created an ethnic divide in our nation, and how it has created a new generation of non-thinkers. These are all very big claims. What do you think?

Resources

Bessen, J. (2014, November 02). How Technology Creates Jobs for Less Educated Workers. RetrievedFebruary 26, 2019, from https://hbr.org/2014/03/how-technology-creates-jobs-for-less-educated-workers

Dickey, M. R. (2013, April 04). The 25 Most Influential African-Americans In Technology. RetrievedFebruary 26, 2019, from https://www.businessinsider.com/most-influential-blacks-in-technology-2013-4

Glynska, M. (2017, December 07). Can Technology Make Our Lives Better? Retrieved February 24, 2019,from https://www.huffingtonpost.com/marianna-glynska/can-technology-make-our-l_b_10477870.html

Jessop, B. (2016, May 17). Fordism. Retrieved February 26, 2019, fromhttps://www.britannica.com/topic/Fordism

Rifkin, J. (1995). The end of work. 1st ed. New York, N.Y.: Putnam’s Sons.