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2011
Friday, April 15th
1:40 PM

PRODUCT PLACEMENT: UNETHICAL SHILLING, OR SMART MARKETING?

Jenna Martin, University of Montana - Missoula

UC 330

1:40 PM - 2:00 PM

Product placement refers to advertisers incorporating their product into mainstream media in such a way that the campaign is not obvious to the casual observer. For example, a company will pay for a movie character to take a refreshing sip of Diet Coke© instead of drinking from a generic “Cola” can. This craze of product placement as a marketing campaign is starting to take over the advertising world; not only is it increasing in frequency of use in popular media, but the actual placement of the “advertised” good is becoming progressively more creative. Advertisers have gotten so skilled at easing their merchandise or service into the regular content of media that most consumers are not directly aware of it. However, product placement can pose an ethical problem: Since consumers are not conscious of being advertised to, is it ethical? Should viewers be informed or be able to give consent to viewing paid product placement in the shows they watch? Using literature rieviews and interviews with experts in the field, I will assess the impact product placement has on consumers, and, following a guide to business ethics, determine the ethics of shilling (marketing without knowledge or consent) in media. The idea that consumers should be able to give consent to advertisement is a novel idea, one that has not been thoroughly researched in this country. This could prove to be an important step toward a better customer relationship strategy for many companies.

2:00 PM

HOW THINGS CHANGE: THE STORY OF A MAN, HIS RABBITS, AND THE ACCIDENT THAT TOOK IT ALL AWAY

Jamie Rogers

UC 330

2:00 PM - 2:20 PM

On December 26th, 2009 David DelSignore struck four girls with his pick-up truck, killing two of them instantly. He was legally drunk. The ensuing court case and media coverage engaged the community in fierce debate over issues ranging from DUI laws to parenting to the role of media in the justice system.

My presentation will track the narrative of DelSignore's tragic story, from his old life as a reputable rabbit breeder and mentor to children to his current life as an inmate at Montana State Prison. Pulling from interviews, court documents, and newspaper clippings, I will tell the story of lives lost, and the tragedy that galvanized a community.

2:20 PM

THE WAYS OF JOSSISM: CHARACTERIZATION AND CATHARSIS IN THE WHEDONVERSE

Hayley Botnen

UC 330

2:20 PM - 2:40 PM

For my Senior Honors Research Project, I studied the four original television shows that Joss Whedon wrote and produced in-depth. Buffy the Vampire Slayer was the first running from 1996-2003. Angel ran from 1999-2004. Firefly ran from 2002-2003. Dollhouse was most recent, running from 2009-2010. Not only did I research the effects archetypes have on characterization, I also looked at the way Whedon uses his characterizations to provide catharsis in emotionally dense plot lines. This research shows the similarities across his television shows. While there has been friction between two groups of Whedon devotees in the past, I believe by showing the similarities in the characters this friction may be assuaged. Along with Whedon’s original television episodes, Aristotle’s Poetics, Caroline Myss’s Sacred Contracts and Tami Cowden et al’s The Complete Writer’s Guide to Heroes and Heroines: Sixteen Masterpiece Archetypes were primarily used as research in this project.

2:40 PM

CORN AND SYSTEMS OF GLOBAL COMMODIFICATION AND DOMINANCE: A CULTURAL READING OF ZEA MAYS

Ginny Marie Mueller

UC 330

2:40 PM - 3:00 PM

Corn's status as a critical food crop, and its location within indigenous new world cosmographies, illustrate the important sociocultural role the plant has played for millennia. However, modern society has elevated Zea Mays far above the status of mere plant, fashioning it into a commodity intimately connected to systems of control and capitalism. Consequently, corn has played an essential role in colonization, industrialization, and the advent of overproduction. The beliefs and literature of numerous new world cultures offer a striking comparison to corn's current position in western society. The far-reaching impacts that corn has on our socioeconomic and subsistence systems reveal a great deal about globalization, commodification, and dominance. Taken from a larger project, this multimedia presentation examines corn through a cultural studies lens, documenting the influence of this iconic foodstuff and analyzing its effects over historical and cultural boundaries.