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Blanton, Derek Sean

Page history last edited by toma 12 years, 6 months ago

Hey, my name is Derek Blanton, and I am currently a Sophmore here at Wayne State University.



Major: I am currently majoring in Media Arts, with a focus on Film. I am thinking about minoring in Public Relations as well.


Hobbies: Living, breathing, eating, sleeping, sarcasm, sarcasm.....more sarcasm, reading, producing music (one of my passions), drawing, and the occasional videogame.




Project 1: Draft 1




Web Page: http://www.theaxeeffect.com/#/axe-campaigns/get-clean-to-get-dirty


Sex sells. That has been a popular practice for many forms of entertainment as well as selling tactics since the beginning of advertising, but as of the 21st century, the old adage seems to apply for everything you can possible imagine, from games, movies, food, toys, and even care products. One company, Unilever United States, Inc, or better known as the creators of the popular male care brand "AXE" uses this strategy to the furthest extent possible. Every one of there adverts uses the theme of sex to sell their products to a demographic of 14 to 25 year old males, whether its used in a subtle way, or a blatantly obvious fashion. In a way, it starts to seem as if AXE is trying to sell the ideal that if you purchase their products, you can have more or better sex, you will be more sexually desirable, women will attack one another to be near you, or you'll just feel sexier.


Axe wants to gain a wider consumer audience, and uses the facade of sex and the ideal of male supremacy to do so. The effect that these advertisements have on its audience its profound. According to USA TODAY, by using sexual appeal as their guiding force, Axe body sprays sales increased from 14% in over a year, while their other grooming products (liquid soaps, shampoos, hair gels) have increased by 36%. These statistics show that as long as you can promise an ideal, or at the very least oversexualize a product, consumers will buy it. Depicting men getting sexually assaulted by women in a comic way after they use an AXE product boost the sales for the products, especially in younger men. What guy on earth would not want to get accosted by hundreds of women? Thats why these adverts are targeted at a younger male audience, so that these themes seem acceptable.


These sexual tactics are used in plenty of other succesful ad campaigns, from old spice, to tag, and even the infamously famous Calvin Klein fragrances (Which are also partnered with Unilever). With their ever increasing sells, Unilever continues to become more and more brazen with their approach to the point that the ideals they are selling aren't even coming off as humorous any more, its beginning to come off as strictly sexist bullshit. Their campaigns so subjective that some may find that it sometimes may linger on the lines of sexism to both males and females. Axe commercials seem to show men as unattractive to the opposite sex before using there product, and makes them seem unnecesarily dominant over females once they do. Women are degraded in a way that makes them appear weak minded or helpless without a man doused in axe fragrances, but cover it up well by adding an amusing theme to the advert so as to get audiences to laugh even if they may see it as offensive at first. While overall meant to amuse audiences the ads can still be overly offensive.




What makes Unilever stand out even more is the fact that it has another campaign for DOVE called "Real Beauty" that is meant to promote self acceptence of all women and their body types, which is ironic as the AXE campaigns usually demean the value of women and depict them all as sex symbols with abnormally perfect features.



Peer review: Paul Elden



1) "AXE is trying to sell the ideal that if you purchase their products, you can have more or better sex, you will be more sexually desirable, women will attack one another to be near you, or you'll just feel sexier." This is a well-defined thesis in my opinion.

2) The possible exigence of this paper so far is about the over exaggerated sex appeal AXE is putting into its commercials.

3) As a draft, this paper doesn't really have a clear structure, and discusses different topics in the same paragraphs, and even in adjacent sentences. "These sexual tactics are used in plenty of other succesful ad campaigns, from old spice, to tag, and even the infamously famous Calvin Klein fragrances. According to USA TODAY, by using sexual appeal as their guiding force, Axe body sprays sales increased from 14% in over a year, while their other grooming products (liquid soaps, shampoos, hair gels) have increased by 36%." These could be two entire paragraphs, if expanded upon.

4)I feel like your argument is not exaggerated, as I have seen many of the AXE commercials. One even depicts the women as sub-human primate-like creatures, so yes, you are on the right track.

5) The strongest part of your paper thus far is the introduction. It has a good hook, summarizes your topic, and provides a clear thesis.

6)The middle paragraph is weak, it needs to be turned into two or more paragraphs, and the ideas need to be spread out more.

7)One counterargument I would use would be that AXE over exaggerates their ads on purpose, in a comical fashion, to entertain the viewers.

8)You have a good vocabulary, and it isn't over used. Your grammar is good. Overall there were a couple spelling or tense mistakes such as "many forms of entertainments" but nothing too bad.

9) I would give this paper a C-C+. It needs to be expanded; it is very short, and it needs to have clearly-defined thoughts and good paragraph transitions.


I really like your comparisons to other ad campaigns, and your contrast to the DOVE campaign. Definitely refine those.



FIGHT CLUB: Project 2 Draft One


One upon a time, before it became an industrial powerhouse, America was just a simple country, with simple values. After it became industrialized and began expanding and competing with other nations however, it seems as if the only things we value nowadays are material possessions and expensive luxuries. In the novel FIGHT CLUB, author Chuck Palahniuk implies that all of society has essentially conformed to a normative, bleak state of being and have become defined by consumerism and our material possessions as well as our need for self-actualization. He conveys these thoughts through the uses of ethos, logos, pathos, and through the psychoanalysis/development of the main character(s). 


In the novel Fight Club, the unnamed narrator attempts to cure his depression and loneliness by lying his way through a group therapy that he does not even need just to fulfill his own needs and by trying to create the perfect home, courtesy of IKEA. After years and years of meticulously gathering and selecting the perfect furnishings for his condominium, he was still devoid of any kind of happiness or sense of achievement. The narrator warns the readers of that very truth: “You buy furniture. You tell yourself, this is the last sofa I will ever need in my life. Buy the sofa, then for a couple years you're satisfied that no matter what goes wrong, at least you've got your sofa issue handled. Then the right set of dishes. Then the perfect bed. The drapes. The rug.  Then you're trapped in your lovely nest and the things you used to own; now they own you” (Palahniuk, 44).


At a point early on in the novel, the narrator’s condo explodes. Normally, one would be devastated at the loss of all of their memories, photographs and other keepsakes, but he was only distraught that (about) his collection of IKEA home furnishings (which) was (were) destroyed. This simply tells us that by constantly giving in to what society wants us to be and what society tells us to buy, we become nothing more than byproducts of societies lifestyle fixation. We have come to a point where we are not concerned with the betterment of the human race, or ending world hunger or creating world peace, but we instead become infatuated with celebrities, luxurious lifestyles, and name brand items.

            The narrator soon comes into contact with another main character by the name of Tyler Durden. Tyler’s character in the story can be best defined adventurous, relatable, narcissistic, deviously intelligent, and a bit of a nutcase. Another thing about Tyler, is that he is also the split personality of the narrator. (You can maybe continue on about this character and talk about his experiences)....



Blue, Toma

Rough Draft Questions:


1. Does the paper have a clear thesis that follows the "skeletal structure" we've discussed? I.e., doe it both identify the central argument(s) of the work it is analyzing and identify the trope and/or techniques the author/director uses to make their point(s)?

Yes! The writer implies that all people in America value today are the materialistic and luxuries of life.
2. Does the paper have a clear exigence and purpose (by explaining the exigence and importance of the work it is analyzing and/or the exigence and importance of analyzing this piece of work)? Do you have a solid idea of why this argument is an important one and/or why it is or should be interesting to an audience made up of people such as yourself? What is the exigence?

The paper has a decent exigence and purpose. I see where the writter is going with the rhetorical analysis, This lets the audience become aware of what is real and that they may be the same way. The exigence of this paper is that the writer feels that we as people give in to what society wants us to put focus on.

3. Does the project contain ample support statements/support paragraphs that refer to and back up the thesis?

The project contains some support to get the readers started on what the arguement is but more information is needed to have a further understanding or what the reader is trying to implie. 

4. What is the strongest part of the paper (most interesting, most powerfully argued, etc.)?

 The strongest part of the paper is the thesis mainly because I as the reader understood where the arguement was going. NOTE>>>>> (you may want to add how the author uses Ethos, Pathos and Logos)
5. What is the weakest part of the paper (or the part that needs to be improved, further developed or extended)?

 The weakest part of the paper is the end, it talks about one of the characters but i dont have alot of information to detremine exactely what kind of person he is.

6. Does the author make appropriate references to particular moments in the text (quotations, paraphrases, etc.)? Are there enough references to both back up the thesis and allow a reader to follow the argument being made?

Yes the author has characters that he focuses on in the text. He atlks about how his characters cope when losing certain things and how that isnt normal. 

7. On the sentence-level, did you find the paper to be well written? Does it contain poor grammmar or sentence-fragments? Is it unnecessarily wordy at times?

Well, For one its a Rough Draft a short one but its a draft I think that overall it needs to be longer and more details are needed. I do think its a good paper. A little wordy and some grammar issues though.
8. Does the project read like an analysis rather than a review? I.e., does show a clear attention to the structure and technique of the piece rather than simply summarizing it and explaining its strenghts and weaknesses?

I personally think that this project reads more as a review because the writer has added some of his own views and seeings.

 9. What grade would you give the paper if it was a final draft?

I would give this paper a C- if I were evaluating it now. Reason is because its is missing the fundamentals that a full drafted paper should have. The thesis is strong the arguement is great as well.





















Comments (3)

toma said

at 6:12 pm on Sep 21, 2011

Good Topic. =)

toma said

at 11:43 am on Sep 22, 2011

Good start. I like how your getting examples and adding similar topics to the whole subject.

Jared said

at 1:04 pm on Sep 22, 2011

I love the comment in the last paragraph about the irony of creating both 'real beauty' and 'axe-beauty'

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