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What’s it all about? Blog Video

As some of you may know a couple of years ago I used to dabble in making YouTube videos! These were always quite amateur, usually Vlogs on my Uni life or Makeup and Fashion videos. I stopped making them a few years ago when I moved to London because my life got quite hectic and I didn’t have the right equipment or a laptop that could cope with video editing / uploading (or the money to upgrade)!

I’ve always felt quite bad directing people to my YouTube Channel and also to my existing subscribers, so yesterday I made a Blog Video! It sums up what I write about and can be used to direct any lovely YouTube people to my blog (which I’m glad to say is now more active).

Enjoy and share! I pulled this together using a really simple online program called Stupeflix which allowed me to pull in my Instagram pictures.

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Sell me a story: Top 5 emotive adverts

SELL-ME-A-STORY-3

I really expect something special from an advert nowadays. Be that print, radio or television, It’s irksome when I see the same BORING and PREDICTABLE content being churned out again and again. Of course there are certain standards that should be met regardless; good design, good copy, good use of space but there are a few extras that I think should simply make best practice.

I want to FEEL something from an advert, that doesn’t necessary have to be a passion for the product or brand, but just a feeling in general. Humor is a great one but is often attempted through archaic stereotypes and terrible actors and tends to work best when it is a bit random and instantaneous, think the new Mercedes ‘Chicken’ advert.

I believe adverts should always attempt to think outside the box, I think they should be responsive and relevant, they should tell a story and evoke an emotion. We often don’t need a product explained to us, we want to connect to the Brand selling the product. Adverts invade our personal space and lives everyday – so it’s only fair to have expectations.

On the note of Emotive adverts I picked a few of my recent favorites which I feel have gone for an inspiring / emotional angle and all come together quite nicely! Enjoy and please share your all time favourite Ad campaigns in the comments below!

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RAM Trucks ‘Farmer’ YouTube


Dove ‘Real Beauty’ YouTube


Guinness ‘Basketball’ YouTube


Bell’s Whisky ‘The Reader’ YouTube


Schwarzkopf  ‘You – A Declaration of Love’  YouTube Continue reading

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STOP EVERYTHING you’re doing and watch the new Game of Thrones S4 sneak peak

You can imagine my delight when I Buzzfeed’d my way across this 15 minute beaut whilst enjoying some mid-afternoon online procrastination. It’s only the MOST WE’VE SEEN OF ACTUAL SEASON 4 FOOTAGE so far, plus some lovely and funny insight from the cast and crew themselves! Holy Moly.

Excitement overload subsiding. Since dedicating the later half of 2013 to completing the Game of Thrones books I’ve been left with a Westeros shaped hole in my life. Judging by the five years it took Martin to complete the fifth volume A Dance with Dragons I’m not holding out hope for the sixth to grace my life anytime soon, so the return of the equally gripping HBO TV series is the perfect way to fight off withdrawal symptoms.

Knowing what’s going to happen does not spoil the excellently crafted TV show it just makes me eager to see how they choose to bring the complex story threads to life. It makes you feel like your in a position of privilege and I’m sure this is a feeling I share with other fans of the novels.

Game of Thrones entire novel series
As for the exclusive video sneak peak: What do we find out?
Game of Thrones Season 4: Ice and Fire: A Foreshadowing
We are introduced to new character Oberyn Martell which will ignite the Dorne thread of the series I’m really looking forward to. We get to see Rory McCann who plays ‘The Hound’ speak for the nation as a he lovingly describes King Joffery as a “wee prick” and a “mummy’s boy.”

The beautiful Emilia Clarke who plays ultimate heroine and Mother of Dragons, Daenerys Targaryen, discusses the conflicts her character faces in the upcoming season as she struggles to rule over Meereen in the wake of her slavery revolt. It looks like we’re set to see more breathtaking scenery out this way (one clip shows the shadow of a rather larger wing span across Slavers bay which can only mean DRAGONS!) and of course in the snow blitzed unknown beyond the wall. PS Expect to find Jon Snow’s character quite changed as he returns to The Wall post Wildlings escapade.

Gwendoline Christie, who plays one of my favorite characters, the tenacious Brienne of Tarth is quite frankly hilarious in video as she describes the ‘mental storylines’ including the ripping off of Hoat’s ear. Meanwhile whilst we’re still left reeling from the Red Wedding that climaxed Season 3 we see no time is wasted in preparing for the extravagant Royal Wedding at King’s landing. But in true Game of Thrones style we better be expecting the unexpected…

I’m delighted to say that Game of Thrones returns with its 4th season 6th April 2014!

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A crisis for Copenhagen Zoo

Marius Giraffe Copenhagen Murder Zoo

Image Source: Buzzfeed

I think I share the opinions of many when I say that there were a few bad decisions made at Copenhagen Zoo over the weekend. When Bengt Hols, the scientific director for the Zoo, made the decision to destroy Marius the 18 month-old healthy giraffe, against a 25,000 worldwide-strong petition, a media frenzy obviously followed suit. I say destroy here because I believe ‘euthanize’ is not contextual. When I think of euthanasia I think of pain and suffering and the alleviation of such, not of a healthy animal being killed for having an undesirable gene pool.

You can read more about the Zoo’s decision here, here and here, but in short the young giraffe, described as ‘surplus,’ was shot dead before being dissected in front of a crowd of children because he was not suitable for breeding due to a ‘well-represented’ gene pool. The decision to kill Marius sparked backlash and debate that quickly escalated globally. In the lead up to the demise of the Giraffe an online petition to save his life quickly collected over 25,000 signatures with outrage being exchanged and shared by the masses. More fuel was added to this inferno when Yorkshire Wildlife Park publicly offered to take in Marius and house him with their other male giraffes, including Marius’s brother who came over from Copenhagen in 2012. Now following the incident, firmly backed by the Zoo, Marius remains have been fed to the Zoo’s Lions and the public continue to rage.

Why Marius?
So why has this incident in particular sparked so much controversy? The culling of healthy animals happens daily and The Zoo defends its ultimate decision wholeheartedly, asking if this would really be the center of a media frenzy if it was a pig. Well no it wouldn’t but then it isn’t a pig, it’s a giraffe. The reality of the situation is that in this instance the public identified emotionally with the animal and whilst all animals should be considered equally they just aren’t. I really believe the problem here was not the reasons the Zoo claimed were behind the decision, but the way in which the whole thing was communicated. It is without doubt that the Copenhagen Zoo have a PR crisis on their hands now as they try to sedate a lot of people whose wishes they went against. The incident is still trending on Twitter worldwide more than 24 hours later with many calling for a boycott against Zoos as this opens up the wider debate about keeping and breeding animals in captivity.

Whilst the Zoo is going for consistency in their belief and resolve behind the decision their means of communication have been poor. Deciding to dissect the creature that had captured the hearts of those petitioning to save it LIVE on video stream, in front of children, was probably not one their wisest moments. They quickly gave ammunition to the media in the form of graphic imagery and then continued to defend this poor decision making as educational. Yes just what I missed out on when I was nine years old, a baby giraffe being butchered two feet away. Damn my educational flaws!

Copenhagen Zoo Giraffe Marius PR Crisis

Image source: Facebook

Maintaining control:

They have made a few halfhearted responses to the backlash via social media but damage control seems low on their list of priorities, as does sensitivity. Why should they listen to people in the first place? Because public opinion matters. Because the public are the people who pay to visit their Zoo. Because people care about animal welfare and it is a HUGE topic of controversy. This was an ordeal poorly executed (excuse the irony) from start to finish and it will be something I’ll watch closely over the next few days. It’s interesting to see how similar establishments, such as Dublin Zoo have already issued personal opinions in response to the incident. Meanwhile the Copenhagen Zoo’s Facebook page suffers a avalanche of bad reviews that will dent their online reputation for a long time to come as people share their outrage. The internet is not to be underestimated when people care, and the Copenhagen Zoo signed its Public Relations death wish when it put a name to that cute face.

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When life gives you….

lemons? you make lemonade (or a lemon based cocktail) obviously. When life gives you a good old slap round the face, well now, what do you do then? Let me paint a bit of context to complement my bizarre opening, and I’ll ask you to bear with me on my train of thought here, I’m heavily dosed on antibiotics, paracetamol and a massive LACK of food but I am legitimately sick, I promise.

Last Friday was an important day for me. It was pay day, but not just any old. It was a very long-anticipated pay day, a 7 week post Christmas ‘I’m SO ready for you’ pay day. It just so happened to be the day we got told we were going into liquidation…. and were only being paid 50% of our salary for January. So all in all it was a rubbish pay day.

Yes I told you it was a slap, and no bitch slap either this was one mighty whack.

Over the weekend I ended up getting sick, and then sicker still on Monday as the stress demons wiggled their way into my waking and sleeping thoughts. I had Tonsillitis, an affliction I have the joy of reuniting with semi-often as one Doctor at some point in my childhood decided it was a great idea to leave mine in. Thanks!

So I’m starting to feel a bit better but am dreading the jobless days, the debt that is going to build up on my pretty massive pile of existing debt, the interviews, the endless loop that goes round in my head WHAT AM I GOING TO DO NOW??

Fall seven times and get back up

But then I took a breath, because it’s pretty important to and I was worrying my self sick(er) and decided that I was being a fool. I was looking at everything in the wrong way with the wrong attitude. Am I completely and utterly skint? Yes. Am I jobless? Yes. Do I have an empty fridge? Yes.

But, and this is a big but, I have a lot to still be grateful for. I have a roof over my head, I have a great community of friends and (ex) work colleagues, I have a fantastic family, I am fit and healthy (or will be soon) and I realised in comparison to many I am OK.

We may get in situations sometimes that stress us out and make our stomachs twist in knots but if we don’t put it all into perspective we will just get swallowed up by the stress. So I’ll keep you posted, but for now I’m going to treat that as a brand new opportunity to go out there and achieve something FANTASTIC.

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