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ROCKY

What is at stake?

After breaking the movie down quite a few different ways, I have come up with two different things that are at stake during this film.
First and foremost, we have the Heavyweight Title on the line. This is just about every boxers dream and a very unlikely for a club fighter. Rocky realizes he has the opportunity of a lifetime and does not want to let it pass by. Towards the end of his training montage, Rocky confides in his now girlfriend and roommate Adrian (Paulie’s sister) that he does not think he can win the fight.
Secondly, for the first time, Rocky is concerned about his own safety. Being accustom to fighting other fighters of the same caliber, a few cuts and bruises were not much of a bother. Now, he is facing an unbeaten opponent capable of causing serious damage. There is another factor in the same regard that seems to also be on Rocky’s mind : Adrian. As a single fighter, he didn’t really have too much to lose whenever he stepped into the ring. Now that Adrian has become a part of his life, he has her to think about.
Who is the central character? Why? Describe this character’s personal journey.

Rocky, created and written by Sylvester Stallone, was based on an actual fight between Chuck Wepner and the greatest of all time, Muhammad Ali. Wepner, a long shot, lasted 15 rounds with the champ until the fight was ultimately called late in the last round when the referee determined that Wepner could no longer protect himself. Stallone watched his fight from his living room, and eventually, Rocky was born.
Without simply looking at the title of this film, it is rather easy to identify the central character of the picture. Rocky Balboa is a club fighter from South Philadelphia. His personal journey begins in the ring against Spider Rico. He goes on to win the fight in a rather unorthodox fashion. We find out that Rocky makes a living as the muscle for a loan shark and good friend Tony. He has eyes for his friend Pauley’s sister who he continuously pursues during her part time job at the local pet shop.
His journey takes a drastic turn when Rocky, through a chain of events, is offered an opportunity to fight for World Heavyweight Champion and a legitimate shot at the title. While it does take a bit of convincing by the mayor of the city, he reluctantly accepts the offer.  Rocky is set to throw hands with Apollo Creed, the raining and undefeated champion. Rocky was offered this chance of a lifetime due to his catchy name (The Italian Stallion) and a late injury to Apollo’s original opponent.
Rocky begins the fight noticeably slower and seemingly outmatched. He struggles to even touch the much faster Apollo Creed. Rocky eventually connects with a left hook that sends Creed to the canvas. Creed had been clearly taking the first round too lightly and underestimating Balboa up until this point. Creed got back up and finished the round strong.
Creed goes on to butcher Balboa for most of the fight. Balboa goes down a few times. In the 14th round, Balboa breaks Creed’s ribs. The referee goes to both fighters and informed them that he was ready to stop the fight. Both declined aggressively.
The fight comes to a close with both fighters exchanging blows toe-to-toe. Rocky has Apollo against the ropes as the final bell sounds. A split decision in favor of Creed is the end result of the fight.

How is the character transformed?

Rocky starts to exclusively date Adrian. He begins to go through a slight personality change, but nothing too drastic. He is much more concerned about her needs rather than his own. Mickey and Rocky battle over this during his training. “Women weaken legs”, according the Mickey.
While Rocky remains constant throughout most of the movie, I noticed some of the people around him that made the most significant transformations. Mickey, Rocky’s future trainer, is the current owner of the gym that Rocky trains. Mickey did not give Rocky the time of day leading up to the point of the news breaking about Rocky’s title shot. Mickey then shows interest in Rocky and offers to act as his manager for the fight and assist him with his training and fight management. There is a heated argument which results in Rocky eventually agreeing to take Mickey on as his manager.
Paulie becomes more interested in Rocky as far as a person as well as someone he can use to turn some cash. Rocky agrees to wear a robe with Paulie’s meat packing plant’s name and logo on the back.

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And then…there were two

After breaking down the different organizations from last week’s study, I will be going forward with WWE and The Jay Group as my two main methods of pursuit.

WWE

Professional wrestling has been around for quite some time. However marginal the sport may have been in the past, It has since blossomed into one of the highest rated programs on television through events like Friday Night Smackdown, Monday Night Raw and Summerslam. Superstars like “Macho Man” Randy Savage and Hulk Hogan acted as pioneers of what we now call WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment). I am going to be focusing my area of study on the marketing aspects of this organization which has become quite profitable for WWE.

In the beginning, T-Shirts, posters action figures were primarily the only apparel items available for purchase. WWE now sells anything from yard gnomes to JR’s BBQ Sauce and just about everything in between. Due to the fact that all of the wrestlers are independently contracted through WWE, they also have a large amount of influence concerning the items and apparel that are being sold through WWESHOP.COM, the official sales website of the WWE.

Due to the fact that there currently is not a physical WWE Store location, all items and apparel are shipped directly from a single warehouse to fans worldwide. The fan base, which is as loyal as they come, take pride in their respected superstars. Most of the shirts that are available for purchase are being worn or have been worn by the superstars at some point in time. This gives fans an opportunity to showcase their favorite wrestlers by wearing their t-shirts and other clothing apparel worn in the ring. Likewise, this is the easiest and most effective way of advertising their items to be purchased, due to their independent licensing.

The Jay Group

The Jay Group offers their services to corporations worldwide, both small and large. “Integrated Marketing Solutions” is inscribed right below their name which can be viewed in front of the building itself. This covers customer service, marketing, financial assistance and a few other phases of marketing and communications. Not only did I choose the Jay Group due to the fact that I am a current employee, but also because many different aspects of this organization act as excellent examples of the different topics covered in our area of study.

I have a clear-cut direction that I want to pursue in terms of WWE. However, The Jay Group remains a bit of a standstill. I am torn between focusing on customer service and marketing. Although they can at times act as one in the same, I would like to get some feedback from the rest of the class. Since I work, customer service, that may be an easier route to travel. Thoughts?

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Focus, Brand, Audience

The Jay Group

Focus

This is going to focus primarily on the customer service aspects of this organization, which has been in existence for the better of the past half century. The Jay Group employs many different people throughout the greater Lancaster County and Elizabethtown area of South-Eastern and Central Pennsylvania. With the two different locations currently in existence, The Jay Group continues to be a prosperous and successful organization, specializing in customer service, marketing and financial planning.

Expansion is definitely an option for The Jay Group. Opening different locations throughout this area (Lancaster County) could entail a much wider client base as well as a much stronger customer service team that could service these major corporations with a larger and more in-depth team of representatives.

Brand

The Jay Group brand, however well respected it may be, is relatively low-key in terms of non clientele awareness. Companies like Crayola, Heineken and WWE are very familiar and very appreciative of the Jay Group in terms of their loyalty and dedication to their respected areas of concentration. However, this is certainly not the case for other major corporations that are going in different directions as far as their outsourcing is concerned.

The Jay Group, like many organizations in recent history, have been somewhat of a victim of the recession and the state of the economy. While the light at the end of the tunnel still seems relatively bright, most of the customer service representatives that have been with the Jay Group for quite some time now have had to take at least one pay cut in order to keep their employment. This has certainly sparked concerns within the organization that have carried through this past year of operation.

Audience

There are always bigger fish to fry. Metaphorically, The Jay Group continues to go shark hunting while leaving your Uncle Bob near the docks, pulling in a few flounder. Smaller accounts have been more of a burden than a blessing for this organization to manage for the most part. It has become clear that larger accounts seem to be the way to go in terms of utilizing manpower. As far as customer service is concerned, greater call volume entails a greater bill to the client through and through. This results in a much greater return for the Jay Group to pocket at the end of the day. In many cases, the client can only be billed for new orders placed.

Content Points

What should the audience know about The Jay Group?

Major clients currently held.
Servicing the Lancaster County Area.
Capability to diversify.
Current global reach.
Ability to bend and modify at the clients request.
Durability over the years.
Powerful reputation from those that already know.

WWE

Focus

Marketing is the main focus for this organization. Not just for the different products available for purchase, but the WWE name in general, which is currently rock solid. More so than many other organizations, the fans make WWE what it is today, and likewise hold the key to future success in the palm of their hands. Professional wrestling in general has one of the strongest and most loyal fan bases worldwide. In terms of T-Shirts, which are the highest grossing items sold through the WWE, there are stories behind just about every single one. As previously indicated, practically all of the T-Shirts sold through WWE are currently being worn or have been previously worn by these given superstars during one or more of the live events, such as Monday Night Raw and Friday Night Smackdown.

There are many different items available for purchase. Contrary to what many may believe, WWE has a strong female fan base as well. Not only do women fall in love with the male wrestlers many times over, but they now have “Divas” that take part in the action as well. Kelly Kelly is probably the well known Diva in WWE today. Not only is she drop dead gorgeous, but she has proven herself to be a respected wrestler as well.

Brand

Whether you love it, hate it, or just plain think is fake, WWE very well known throughout the planet. Though all of the items sold through wweshop.com (the official product website of the WWE) are shipped out of the warehouse here in Lancaster, the different countries that they are able to ship these items is rather impressive as well. There are very few places on the planet that would be considered out of reach. There are even a handful of middle-eastern countries that are able to purchase product.

Spoiler Alert: WWE is completely scripted across the board. Everything has been rehearsed over and over again before the fans get to see the show. This does find its way to harm the brand to some degree. The simple statement that “its fake” or “none of this is real” continues to hold back WWE from what certainly could be. Regardless of the fact that many believe that this is all just a soap opera in man-tights, getting dropped from the ropes onto canvas can’t feel good. There are plenty of real injuries that occur. This acts as reinforcement to the current fans and also opens the eyes of those that are on the fence, so to speak, about just how real the sport really is. Whatever the case may be, WWE is very well known and continues to grow in popularity.

Audience

Beyond international fans, the main appeal will continue to remain within the continental US. This is where most of the events take place, this is where it all started and this where the largest volume of fans currently reside. In all likelihood, this is not going to change anytime soon. There will always be a clear-cut songbird for the WWE: Jim Ross. Jim is the former announcer for the WWE and has remained an active member of the organization. JR’s Barbecue Sauce and other condiments continue to be fan favorites. With classic lines such as “Oh my God!” and “He’s grabbin’ a chair!”, Ross had and continues to have astronomical influence on the WWE which trickles down to the fans year after year.

Content Points

What should the audience know about WWE?

Professional wrestling is unpredictable.
The show is well worth their time.
Legends of the past still linger.
If you like the hype, you’ll love the show.
There is a superstar for just about everyone.
Nobody is ever safe or exempt.

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Two Strong Organizations

The Jay Group

As indicated in our introductory post for this course, I work for a company called the Jay Group. The Jay Group is an integrated marketing solutions company that has been servicing major corporations for the better half the the last four decades. Working for this company allows me to interact with many different individuals that manage different accounts. Personally, I am a customer service representative on the WWE account.

“The Jay Group offers clients a fully integrated suite of services designed to make going to market simpler, more efficient, and at a lower cost. Our blend of 3PL services include fulfillment, contact center, contract packaging, and supply chain management solutions that consistently exceed their expectations. Each of our services can be used independently, or combined to provide a comprehensive end to end solution for your marketing needs.

With two state-of-the art facilities, cutting edge resources, and tremendous executive talent, The Jay Group offers more than just marketing and fulfillment services. We work hard to operate as strategic partners and continually look for ways to anticipate our clients’ needs and deliver confidence and value on every account. Reduced time to market, increased quality and decreased program costs are the goals for all programs.”

STRENGTH

The Jay Group has many different accounts for which they handle customer service and marketing solutions. A few of the larger, more successful clients would include WWE, Reebok, Barco, Crayola and Healthy Directions. These are very profitable accounts that make up a large portion of the company.

WEAKNESS

The Jay Group also takes on smaller accounts that do not entail very much revenue. In fact, some months find these accounts in the red (negative) in terms of total profit and revenue.

WWE

World Wresting Entertainment (WWE) has captured the hearts of wrestling fans around the globe. Once again, this is my account. I am in constant contact with the Supervisor of the WWE account Ginny MaCandrews. Ginny overseas all aspects of customer service for WWE.
The audience is always looking for the next big twist involving their favorite superstars. WWE is commonly known as the worlds biggest soap opera.

STRENGTH

WWE has a very strong, loyal and prosperous fan base that continues to support professional wrestling on a global scale.

WEAKNESS

WWE currently does not have a physical store locations which would make purchasing these products much more convenient. Locations in major cities would drive revenue as well as allow customers to interact with sales representatives in person rather than over the phone. Everything is currently being shipped from a single warehouse.

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The Jay Group, WWE

The Jay Group
Founded in 1965, The Jay Group has been servicing major corporations with integrated marketing services worldwide. For all accounts, The Jay Group focuses intently on increasing quality, decreasing program costs and reducing time to market. Customer service and financial advisory are just a few examples of the services that this company provides. Located in Lancaster, PA, The Jay Group has built a powerful marketing influence locally and abroad.
WWE
World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) has come quite a long way since its origin. Founded in 1952 by Roderick McMahon, professional wrestling has grown into one of the most watched programs annually. National Wrestling Association (NWA), WCW, WWF and now WWE has captured wrestling fans worldwide. Now owned by Vince McMahon, programs like RAW and Friday Night Smackdown continue to draw incredible ratings. Clothing and other apparel are prominent among fans and reinforce their very loyal following.

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South Paw From Philly

This week’s lesson focuses on the storytelling aspects of marketing, and vice versa. As we take on our role as pulling the strings of our story, there is a certain necessity of a character or characters playing their part as well.

The story of the true American underdog immediately comes to mind. Rocky (1976) is a personal favorite of mine as well as the countless others touched by this story. Rocky, a local club fighter from Philadelphia finds his way to inspire us all through hard work, dedication and the unwillingness to give up.

However a great character Rocky may be, he has an angel on his shoulder, guiding him through his journey. Mickey(Burgess Meredith) acts as a true songbird in terms of transforming Rocky(Sylvester Stallone) from a brawler-style fighter to a boxer capable of taking on the best. Mick also keeps Balboa psychologically sound and level-headed which is a crucial component of any competition.

Mickey comes to Rocky, offering his services as a manager. At this point in the story, we begin to find out just how much they really need each other. Mickey’s boxing knowledge and Rocky’s opportunity of a lifetime, having one without the other would be a tragic waste. Taking advantage of Mickey’s services ended up bonding the two together and creating a much strong will to succeed for them both.

Adrian (Talia Shire) could also be viewed in a similar regard. Her mere presence in the movie remains as a lasting impression for Rocky. After the fight with Apollo, Rocky begins screaming for Adrian. She makes a dash for the ring and pushes through the crowd to find her bloodied boyfriend. Without her attendance at the fight, Rocky may not have been able to have a presence of mind to be successful.

These two songbirds have molded Balboa into his legendary status to date.

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Get a Mac

Through Apple’s Get a Mac campaign, there are many different issues, primarily with PC’s. Justin Long plays the role of Mac while his counterpart, John Hodgman, represents the PC world. Both of these individuals introduce themselves as “Mac” and “PC” at the beginning of just about all of these commercial advertisements. The commercials are bringing to life the different necessities and features that are essential for purchasing and maintaining a computer.
I would consider both of these individuals to be songbirds of their own regard. Both individuals take part it telling a crucial story that makes up this advertisement campaign. If this was nothing more than a discussion or argument between two people without an audience, it would simply be informative each member. However, we have an audience that we need to put in perspective when analyzing the story and identifying a songbird (or songbirds). Mac and PC compliment each other very successfully in order to paint a much clearer picture that depicts different flaws and shortcomings on the part of PC. Exclusive features and precautions illustrated by Mac have created an image that makes PC almost seemingly obsolete. During one segment, Mac and PC are in business suits. Mac has just been doing work through Microsoft Office. PC actually says at one point “Just let me lie here and depreciate.”
Most of these commercials involve features exclusive Macs or circumstances that are only problematic for PC’s.  In the initial advertisement, we find PC coughing and seeming to be coming down with some kind of an illness.  Apple is obviously making a reference to the viruses and different Mal/ Spyware that PC’s are notorious for acquiring. Viruses and other spyware are very rare for Mac’s to obtain through internet browsing and other outlets. Mac makes it very clear that this is of no concern to him.
Mac and PC are found in what represents the boxes that the two different products come. Mac is able to be used directly out of the package while PC’s have quite a lot of assembly required and other tasks that need to be performed before the consumer will be able to operate the computer.

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