Monday, 30 May 2011

Damaging the Status of Women Worldwide

I live in a fairly benign 'white bread' world.

My Zonta experiences run to the obvious: help women with breast cancer, in refuges, support educational and personal development.

I suppose I didn't realise that sometimes our bright, young colleagues, friends and neighbours in this 'white bread' world are also the ones in need. These women are intelligent, highly educated, have jobs and yet they are the target market for an insidious mass campaign that destroys their wealth and health, both now and in the long term. Through Zonta I have been able to support those very obvious issues of concern; issues that I assume are not part of my world. However I recently discovered an issue that is highly damaging to the status of our fellow women and it is insidious because it looks clean, white collar, and legal.

I'm referring to alcohol advertising to young women

At the April Zonta Area 2 meeting, I was privileged to see a presentation by Prof. Sandra Jones, Centre for Health Initiatives, Wollongong University and Sandra explained what was going on. I am going to do 2 or 3 posts, in which, I hope to accurately portray her message. And there is a nasty twist at the end.

Prof Jones has given me permission to share these details with you, and at the end I will ask you to honour her work and honour young women in our community by considering your response to this alarming situation. I will mostly stick to the Prof's data and try to make it clear when I am adding my opinion. I tracked down all the advertising samples.

Women are drinking more. In the UK, over the past 10 years alcohol comsumption for women in the 45 - 55 age bracket has doubled! For women 16 - 25 it has increased approx. 50%. For men - they're still drinking roughly the same amount.(Pykett 2009)

In the US, 19% of 9th grade boys and 21% of 9th grade girls report binge drinking in the previous 30 days. (John Hopkins Uni 2006)

So why do you think women are drinking more?

Has equality swung too far and women are acting like the 'lads'? Social acceptance? Greater independance and wealth? I'm sure if you stop to think you would realise a range of dynamics that drive alcohol comsumption.

Russell Parkins of Marketing Week has thought about it. He noted in March 2010:
"According to TNS data .....women accounted for 37% of on-trade volume, up from 26% in 2001 .... drink makers are waking up to the fact that there is an untapped opportunity to grow their business .... Carlsberg and Bittersweet intend to use marketing channels that exploit what they believe is a woman's tendency to enthusiastically recommend products that they like."

So women are a lucrative target market and marketing is designed to suit. Products are 'female friendly': sweet and fruity, claim low calories, portray glamour, fun and confidence.

There are the 'sophistocated' drinks like Diageo's NUVO.
Looks more like a bottle of high end perfume than a drink.
and there are 'light' drinks:

The marketers use techniques that appeal to young women, like role reversal of men as sex objects. This promotes an "alcohol stimulated sexually active lifestyle" (Lass and Hart 2004). And Gill (2007, 2008) discusses how advertisers have constructed a new figure: "the sexually autonomous heterosexual young woman who plays with her sexual power ..."
So now you might wondering who is affected by this. Surely it is the usual suspects or stereotypes? Does this research fit your stereotype?

In the UK women with some qualifications are 71% more likely to drink on most days than unqualified women. Women with degrees are 86% more likely to drink on most days; and women who achieved 'medium' or 'high' test marks in primary school are twice as likely to drink daily in their 30s. (Borgonovi & Huerta 2010)

So alcohol marketing is increasingly focusing on positioning drinking as a sign of independance, freedom and confidence. The same approach cigarette advertisers were using.

However, cigarette advertising was banned
So we've seen that advertisers are using their time honoured 'feel good' techniques and that over the past decade women are drinking more - perhaps some are falling prey to these techniques.

In the next post, I'll continue with Prof. Jones by showing how this old concept uses modern techniques.

Sunday, 29 May 2011

I told you some Disney fans aren't the best at animal identification

There's a lot more of this kind of stuff. Seriously - this could go on for a while

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

A whole different animal

Disney has always had a love affair with animals. The company was started with an anthropomorphic rabbit mouse. (that's another post! you'll have to beg). Walt always wanted to have that credibility touch by being partially educational so when he started his Wonderful World of Disney TV show it wasn't long before he was showing african animal documentaries and walking around with a tiger on his arm as if he was the great white environmentalist

In 1982 the CBS TV show The Fifth Estate alledged that Disney faked the "true life" nature scenes and it was revealed that a Disney nature show was the origin of the myth that lemmings commit suicide by jumping off cliffs.
They don't show the leg of lamb being used to cajole the tiger into being Walt's 2nd best friend.
Despite Uncle Walt's best efforts many Americans still have difficulties with animal identification.

Not. a. lion.
curtesy of :

So Disney have tapped into the audience who predominately have a tendancy toward imagination that runs free and is unencombered with excessive education and give them their own version of the animal kingdom.

You seen all those films - Bambi, Jungle Book, Nemo, Lion King - the list is long. But Disney being Disney wanted you to have that 'immersive experience'. To achieve that they created this.

Saturday, 21 May 2011

Go, Little Aussie Battler!!

We all know the AUD is at an all time high.
courtesy: Ozforex
Aussie holiday travellers have been as excited as a bunch of Disney Fans at the re-launch of Captain EO.

At this unprecendented time it is easy to get emotional and caught up in the action - then make decisions out of time.
The little Aussie battler pointing out my failings

So what do you do when our trip to Orlando isn't until 2014 and you want to take advantage NOW of the best exchange rate in 30 years?

Sure you can go the time honoured way and stash some USD cash in your big impenetrable safe
Nice to see kiddies toys remembering "time honoured" burglary. Ummm .... what's the compressed air for?
Time has moved on - for travel cash, kids toys and even for criminals
"Drop it punk! Your bottles are more than 100mls"
But some modernity is actually useful .. and it comes in the form of Travel Cards.
The two big players are ANZ and Travelex. They charge practically the same (1% of loaded amount), offer the same currencies, they work in the same way and their exchange rates are among the best you can get. Open an account on line, EFT your AUD to buy your USD and lock in your exchange rate now. The big advantage of these cards over cash or travellers cheques is that you can use them like a credit card and pay bills online or as a debit card in an ATM.

Your account can be topped up online via EFT from your bank account at any time from the comfort from your home.

So we're not going to Convention until 2014 but you can take advantage of our little Aussie Battler right now.

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Where dreams are magical ..... well ...would you believe comfy?

The Ken Man contemplates his fate at Beach Club Resort
So when we finally leave our balcony and go inside we find a pretty standard hotel room. I know, I know ... how can I go on an on about WDW, pay squillions per night and then tolerate a standard hotel room. It is unfortunately true. The rooms are not bad - they are a decent size - for one or two people. Who spend all their time in the park. And don't want a cup of tea. or a shower cap.

The Deluxe rooms are beautifully appointed and plush. They are reasonably sized, kept in excellent maintenence and cleanliness. Some themes are very adult either modern, Victorian or 1920s New England or Atlantic. They come with high thread count linen, too many pillows and cushions and quality furnishings.

Clockwise: Boardwalk Inn, Grand Floridian, Contemporary, Beach Club
As you can tell, all the rooms have the same layout

you get a double sink vanity

Two beds, two sinks - all the same
Even the toiletries are the same in every room. They are very useful for Refuge Toiletry Packs.

The elusive Disney shower cap - found only in the Concierge Level Rooms
The winning attribute of a Deluxe hotel is Location, Location, Location. These hotels are usually placed within strolling distance of a theme park, or on the monorail. You are staying right in the heart of the action.

If you're after something a bit "other worldly" and some of that "only at Disney magic" then you need something with more theming.

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Even my dreams are controlled by Disney

When one goes to WDW one could spend very little time in the resort - for some people a hotel room is a hotel room. But Disney, in their efforts to create a strong desire for you to stay on property, go to great lengths to differentiate their hotel rooms from the squillions of other hotels hovering on their borders.

...but in none of the ways for which the Casurina Inn is infamous
There are many reasons why to choose a Disney resort over those squillions in Orlando. Disney provide perks for onsite guests such as free transportation, extra hours in the parks and free car parking.

Many people stay in Disney properties to have the "immersion experience" of being fully "in the magic" for the entire holiday.

Recently Disney has taken this differentiation to greater lengths. So for a couple of posts we can, together, explore the wonderfulness that is a Disney hotel room.

This differentiation starts in a cute way with "Hidden Mickeys" everywhere: in the upholstery, carpet, wallpaper, shower curtains, light fittings, furniture, artwork, toiletries:

Can you find all the hidden mickeys?

Now just to add to the confusion: Disney run 25,000+ rooms across 19 different resorts - and each resort is themed differently, and so each has different themed hidden mickeys in the rooms. They've kinda maxed out on this stuff!

And you also can get fabulous views

Instead of this ....

Pictures of Radisson Hotel Orlando-Lake Buena Vista, Orlando
Can you find all the hidden dead mickeys? Hint: look under the wheels of the racing traffic

.... you can get this - the view from the Contemporary Resort:

embiggen to get the full glory of what an extra $100/night gets you

Star Wars fans get this view
In fact, pay enough money and you can get this view:

join me next time as we take a look INSIDE the WDW rooms

Monday, 9 May 2011

Two Simple Questions

It's interactivity time!

So here are the 2 questions put to our Area Meeting workshop - now for your contemplation:

  1. What is your story of when you have experienced an exceptional recruitment of a new member? Maybe it was your own experience, maybe you were part of recruiting someone. What happened?
  2. What were the most significant behaviours, actions, words, thoughts, interactions that made the difference and helped the potential new member to decide?
It's that simple and really useful

Sunday, 8 May 2011

Trip Report - April 29: Zonta Area 2 Meeting

Here we go with my first ever trip report!

And all I have to show for it is the inside of a hotel conference room.

Also I missed a bit - well a whole day ...quite a lot really

Ummm .....anyway .... let's get started!

After a hairy scary drive down off the plataeu in the dark and the rain, Wollongong Club hosted us at the Novotel Hotel on beautiful North Beach at Wollongong and this is what I found in the morning!
It's still there! From Canberra, it's easy to forget that the Pacific Ocean exists
So we had a lot of Zonta updates such as:
  • District Governor Carolyn gave us an update on the new info flyers for clubs
  • Tina Lecke suggested different ways to use social media including Facebook and Twitter (I didn't tell her about this blog!)
  • Susan Riding gave us some of the history of Amelia Earhart
  • Kerry Brown spoke on Z Clubs, and included a speech from the immediate past Wollongong Z Club President Grace Freckleton
  • Bronlyn Shoer very energetically sold YWPA
  • Susan Bambrick reminded us on donating to the ZI Foundation
These presentations are great for newer members and people who perhaps are now willing to learn more about wider Zonta. Especially in a geographically isolated club it is easy to forget we are part of an international organisation with joint goals. Otherwise we just become the Breakfast Club of Niceness.
All good stuff
The key note address was given by Sandra Jones, Director, Centre of Health Initiatives on alcohol marketing to young women. This was so interesting that it deserves a post of its own.

At the end of the day the most important reason for why I went was to catch up with everyone. To have some fun and have some serious conversations with like minded people. Beyond drinking cosmopolitans and heckling the royal wedding on the large screen TV an Area Meeting is about the people.

yes - this is my main desire for any Zonta get together and those people: make it participatory and interactive.

This guy is gonna get a workout on this blog
keep reading after the jump

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

My Area 2 Meeting Trip Report is coming ..........

..... as soon as I get over my sugar coma

story after the jump ....

Sunday, 1 May 2011