Note to Self: Affect or Effect?

I, along with many others, have always struggled with the correct usage of the words affect and effect. Well, no longer!

v. [uh-fekt]
1. to act on; to produce an effect or change in;
2. to impress the mind or move the feelings of;
3. to attack or lay hold of.

(i.e. to change or move)

n. [af-ekt]
4. feeling or emotion;
5. an expressed or observed emotional response;
6. inclination; inward disposition or feeling.

(i.e. a feeling or emotion)

n. [ih-fekt]
1. something that is produced by an agency or cause; result;
2. power to produce results;
3. the state of being effective or operative;
4. a mental or emotional impression;
5. meaning or sense; purpose or intention.

(i.e. a cause or result)

An “Emotional” State of Mind: My Thoughts About the State Farm Commercial, “An Empire State of Mind”

It’s common for insurance companies to use an emotional appeal in their advertising — after all, the purchasing decision for insurance is highly emotional — but has State Farm gone too far with their new ad?

Last month, on the 10th anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attacks, I was watching 102 Minutes That Changed America on A&E when I first saw State Farm’s new commercial, “An Empire State of Mind.” It was touching, appealing and (especially after watching video footage of the September 11th attacks for the last hour) it invoked strong emotions that I’m not sure I could easily describe. It was a beautiful tribute and, at the time, I didn’t think much of it. However, as the days progressed I thought more about the video and I was torn. Was State Farm using the emotions of the September 11th attacks to build a positive perception for their company?

If you haven’t seen the video yet, I’ve embedded it at the bottom of this post.

This brought up all sort of questions in my mind about the ethics involved, as well as State Farm’s intentions. It has been days since, and I am still torn in my thoughts.

Now, don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with using emotional appeals in advertising. I’m just pointing out it feels a bit weird when an advertiser rides the ’emotional wave’ of an event, where thousands of people died.

With that being said, at the end of the day, State Farm and Spike Lee put together a touching tribute. They didn’t place too much focus on themselves and they got the community involved.

Let’s just hope their intentions were pure.

First Post

Hello reader,

As you can tell by the title, this is my very first blog post. For the last few months I have been playing with the thought of developing a blog as a “personal branding” project – not to mention a good excuse to finally develop my HTML and CSS skills. Now the day has come where I can finally write a post and publish it on the almighty Interwebz.

I am very excited to unveil my site (though it is not fully complete) and begin writing about, well, who knows?  Though I don’t have a solid direction for this blog yet (I’m sure it will develop over time), I can tell you generally what I will be writing about. My hope is to use this blog as an outlet to discuss many topics in the business arena, specifically “best practices” in marketing and digital communication. I also hope to share stories about what is happening in both my personal and professional lives; as well as share things I learn along the way.

I believe life is full of learning experiences, I hope this blog gives me the opportunity to reflect on those experiences and become a better person (and writer) because of it.

– Ian