Profit-Driven Marketing’s Embrace of “Real” Beauty

We’re living in a period of social backlash following the Age of Photoshop. Like many, my tweenage and teenage years were spent devouring images of airbrushed models and feeling impossibly out of touch with what I was “supposed” to be. Marketing tactics at the time fed on these insecurities successfully funneled our babysitting cash directly into the Health and Beauty aisle at CVS.

This multi-billion-dollar industry pushed thinness, whiteness, clear skin, sleek hair and purposely promoted these images to make women question whether they were enough. Is that a no? You should probably buy this Dolce & Gabbana perfume then, it evokes scents of “perfect calves” and “I guess I just have good skin genes!”. You’ll feel so beautiful wearing it.

The past few years however, I’ve been watching this tactic shift. Instead of showing us something unattainable that we know we’ll never look like, companies are showing us a more realistic portrayal of their products. Cult-favorite Glossier populates their social media feeds with close-ups of their makeup on people’s faces with visible pores, shine, uneven skin etc. They make an effort to represent a wide range of skin tones and body types so that people can look at these photos and think “Ah, that is how that would actually look on someone like me”. Glossier’s disruptive entry into the beauty industry and exponential growth  is widely contributed to their warm, inclusive, “real” social media presence and content-first marketing approach.

Image Reference

The same goes for Aerie, the lingerie and swimsuit brand owned by American Eagle that refuses to Photoshop its images. Aerie has been wildly successful in its #AerieREAL campaign which encourages all women to send in photos wearing their swimsuits to be featured on social media to break down the singular idea of a bikini body. There’s a reason Victoria’s Secret dominated lingerie and swimwear in the early 2000’s and 2010’s and there’s a reason Aerie has been stealing the show in recent years. The reason is pretty simple: We’re sick of marketing that makes us feel like s***.

Image reference

This is a new movement, and for some it is legitimate. But it’s also a trend. And like all trends, it can and will be exploited by executives looking hungrily at their bottom line. Once again, this brings into question the idea of ethical consumption under capitalism. So Aerie is normalizing body positivity through their marketing, and that’s wonderful and you want to support that, right? But are those values reflected and truly felt throughout their corporate culture? If you walked in to an Aerie store, could you really find sizes bigger than large? Are those feel-good Instagram posts actually being crafted by a bunch of dudes in suits trying to tap into the latest way to get you to part with your money?

As usual, the burden falls on the consumer to decide whether we’re moving in the right direction. Exhausting, isn’t it?

Are GIFs the golden ticket to social media promotion?

If you enjoy GIF’s as much as Monica loves this cake, then follow our guide to upping your “GIF Game” and grab the attention of your target audience via social media platforms!

Sometimes all it takes is getting your audience to your page…these are definitely the a-typical ways to do it!


Looking to promote a BIG or EXCITING SALE? This epic rafting attempt could do just the trick!


Are you a sports equipment store? This could be the perfect way to gauge potential customers. Begin by asking if “they are adequately prepared for their next adventure?” 😉


Here’s an unconventional way to attract (and lighten the likely mood too) the attention of tax return clients. “Do you feel overwhelmed that taxes are jumping out of no where?”

Trying to claim her chair. from Unexpected


Do you offer beauty products? This might not be the result customers look for, but certainly could grab the attention of their funny bone.

A little eyebrow thinning from instant_regret


Trying to promote summer specials for your gym? Father-baby belly dancing

10 Things You Should Ask A Future Employer

10 Questions You should learn to ask Future Employers

Here are 10 questions that you can ask future employers. I came across this list a few years back. Not sure exactly where it came from, but I wanted to share it with those of you out there looking for employment.

1) What skills and experiences would make an ideal candidate? This is a great open-ended question that will have the interviewer put his or her cards on the table and state precisely what they are looking for.

2) What is the single most significant problem facing your staff and would I be in a position to help you solve this problem? This question not only shows that you are immediately thinking about how you can help the team, but it also encourages the interviewer to envision you working at the position.

3) What have you enjoyed most about working here? This question allows the interviewer to connect with you on a more personal level, sharing his or her feelings.

4) What constitutes success at this position and this firm or nonprofit? This question shows your interest in being successful there, and the answer will show you both how to get ahead and, whether or not it is a good fit for you.

5) Do you have any hesitations about my qualifications? You’ll show that you’re confident in your skills and abilities.

6) Do you offer continuing education and professional training? Showing that you are interested in expanding your knowledge and ultimately growing with the employer.

7) Can you tell me about the team I’ll be working with? This question also tells you about the people you will interact with daily, so listen to the answer carefully.

8) What can you tell me about your new products or plans for growth? Do your homework on the employer’s site beforehand and mention a new product or service its launching to demonstrate your research and interest.

9) Who previously held this position? This seemingly straightforward questions will tell you whether that person was promoted or fired or if he/she quit or retired. That in turn, will provide a clue to whether there’s a chance for advancement, employees are unhappy the place is in turmoil, or the employer has workers around your age.

10) What is the next step in the process? It shows that you’re interested in moving along in the process and invites the interviewer to tell you how many people are in the running for the position.

Good Luck!

Think Wax: A Prelude to Summer Cruising

Meguiar’s Ultimate Paste Wax

Summer in Salem means warm days, cool nights, and lots of recreation.  

Unfortunately, it also brings the dirt, sun, and tree sap.  

Protecting your car’s paint with a coat of wax is essential.  Whether you are cruising over to Bend for the weekend or offroading in Tillamook State Forest, be sure to check out Meguiar’s for all of your vehicle’s cosmetic needs.

Take a look at our other Summer Fun in Salem blogs on

Does Google know your last purchase?

Google knows all your past purchases. Most of our accounts (banks or utilities) are tied to our email addresses. Our email addresses are tied to our friends and family’ addresses. Google has everything it needs to predict and advertise your next product using your social network, your likes and your previous purchases. I would say Google is pretty good at providing you with your potential needs or wants for most items. I associate it to brainwashing.

Lately, I have been getting a lot of shoes Ads from Amazon. I’m not a shoes person and definitely not looking for them on the internet with Amazon. I prefer the in person experience at a shoes store. After the first exposure, I tried to ignore these ads; however, after the 3rd time, I decided to click on this “Amazing deals you don’t want to miss” and “Deals end on Sunday”. I eventually gave in and made a sample purchase to test out the process.

Google use the right marketing strategies to ensure they get new customers. Their marketing strategies are effective at least to peak their consumers’interests.

My coworker shared Google advertised to him personal private jet. I can probably guess he made some high dollar purchases or that someone from this network purchased a private jet!

I notice Google hasn’t suggested me a house. Maybe they haven’t figured out the right house because of the complexity of other factors or that real estate companies haven’t paid for the data. Until then, our generation will have a lot of stuff but not a lot of land.

10 Things Every Modern Woman Needs

Women in this day and age are strong, powerful and confident. We can master  drone flying skills, own the latest gadget, and be the best driver on the street. At the same time, we can still dress up in the little black dress, watch our favorite movies and listen to our favorite songs. Who says we can’t have it all? These 10 things below will help you become that independent, happy and self motivated woman.

1. A Selfie Drone-
Every self-loving woman should own a selfie drone. Imagine you come upon a beautiful wild flowers field and you want to capture this scenery with you in it. How will you go about it without asking for help?  With a selfie drone, you can let it take off in the air capturing beautiful image of you and the wildflowers. You can record and take photos or videos without assistance of your significant others or strangers. You can find a drone with capability to live stream your video straight to your social media. What I have shown here is my DJI Mavic Pro. The drone is super easy to use. Do you know what the best part is? It folds and fits within a standard 8X11 paper. That means it can easily fit into medium sized purses or standard sized backpacks.

2. Self Defense Skills-
Every woman needs to have the skills to protect themselves against physical or emotional abuse. You never know when you will need it. You can find free classes offered at your community or rec centers. Some places charge a fee as donation to women shelters to help women or men of domestic abuse.

Image from Femina

3. Defensive Driving Techniques-
All that talk about woman are bad drivers? Let shatter that stereotype! There are many driving classes that can help you become better drivers. Other than breaking the stereotypes, you just want to be safer on the road for your family and loved ones.

Image from Tapoos

4. A job (even if it’s volunteering)-
A job, whether its a paid or volunteer position, can be fun. Other than money, a job can help fulfill your physiological needs such as: power, status and/or relatedness. Studies reflect people with more friends live longer and healthier.

Image from Globaltake

5. A hobby (other than your job)-
Doing something you love will keep your mind off the challenging or mundane tasks. This hobby can be taking photo with your selfie drone. Otherwise, it can be a tennis game or a long distance run.

Image from

6. A nice purse-
Yes, a “nice” purse. “Nice” is relative. Price doesn’t matter. If you can afford it, buy it. Why not? The color can be neutral or as bright as you want it to be.

Image from

7. A black dress-
Every woman needs a black dress that makes you feel beautiful and empowered. This can be a formal dress or just a dress you want to wear causally. It can be loose or form-fitting as long as it fits your personality and style.

Image from

8. A list of favorite songs-
This list can have different genres. You need a list of songs that can pump you up for a workout, ease you into your morning routines or set the moods for your quiet evenings.

Image from KGOU

9. A list of favorite movies-
These are movies that you can watch over and over again. Movies that can bring you back to the moment of happiness you experienced or bring you hope into the future.

Image from List Challenges

10. A handmade recipe collections from friends and family-
This recipe book is not the same one you purchase from a bookstore. The book should consist of your favorite dishes collected from friends and family. You have taste-tested them and loved them. If you don’t already have this book, create one now!!!

Image from Heirloomed

Now you have the 10 things every modern woman needs. Maybe you live happier and healthier lives. Share your aerial photos of your life with us!

Follow us on twitter: @TeamVision2019

Check out our other posts:
1. Are you making these marking mistakes?
2. Preparation for Zombie Apocalypse
3. Does Google know your last purchase?

Preparing for the Zombie Apocalypse (…or Natural Disasters…)

…and What to Keep in Your Go-Bag – be sure to check out the video below!

When the zombie apocalypse comes (and we all know it will…) will you be ready?  Okay, well maybe a natural disaster is a more likely emergency scenario to prepare for.  Either way, emergency preparedness is gaining more attention across social media and for good reason.  This article and attached video provides a quick way to get a jump start on the plan and put together a go-bag.

While everyone’s list and bag may look a little different here are some initial ideas for things to include:

  • Backpack
  • Protein Bars (pay attention to expiration dates)
  • Pet Food
  • Prescriptions including eyeglasses or contact lenses
  • Gloves, both sterile and work-type
  • Socks & Undergarments
  • Water bottle and water filter
  • Utility knife and tool set
  • First aid kit
  • Flashlight/headlamp
  • 2-way radios
  • Emergency blankets
  • Ponchos/Rain gear
  • Travel Towels
  • Duct tape
  • Batteries
  • Toiletries & Personal Items
  • Garbage bags
  • Axe Body Spray (Zombie Repellant)

When assembling your bag, think about what you’d want to be accessible first in an emergency.  Put these items at the top of the bag or in an accessible pocket (you will need quick access to that Axe Body Spray to fend off the undead).

Grouping items in plastic Ziploc-type bags can help keep things organized and prevent things from getting water-logged in bad weather.  Once your go-bag is filled, find a place in your home that is easily accessible.  Near your bedroom door or a closet near an entrance to your home are possible locations.  Be sure that everyone in the family knows where it is and how to best access in case of an emergency…or zombie proliferation.

Stay safe out there, and check out the video!

Follow us on twitter: @TeamVision2019

Check out our other posts:

Are you making any of these marketing mistakes?

The future of Apple products is clear

If you’ve ever imagined doing any activity with earbuds in but without the cord getting in the way, then yes, AirPods are the greatest thing since canned beer and sliced bread. The immediate connectivity with your other Apple products works as expected and continues to be an overwhelming strong suit for the Apple brand. Sound quality and noise cancellation is the same as stock Apple earbuds but the ease if you use is the awesome perk with the current generation of AirPods.

The Bad:

The earbuds themselves are really no different than the ones you get stock with every iPhone purchase you’ve ever made – just without the cord. I have never been the person who uses the buttons on the earbud cords such as stop, play or volume, but if you are that person, you do lose some functionality with the introductory model.

Apple did try to add some positive feature in the form of easy-access Siri. By double tapping on your right Airpod, Siri is summoned and accessible via voice control through the AirPods. While this sounds ideal, it is fairly unreliable and often leaves users standing alone, violently tapping the side of their heads.


AirPods (or something like them) are the future. The weirdness factor of having a white stem hanging out of your ear is weird at first, but quickly goes away after you realize how seamless they connect with your iPhone and/or Apple watch. Apple continues to dominate connectivity across devices and AirPods are a shining jewel of a compliment to the existing line. Bottom line, if you have an iPhone or Apple Watch, you will love AirPods. I will be ready to stake my spot in line for whatever comes next because the first generation of AirPods are likely a stepping stone to further breakthroughs in wireless connectivity in the not-so-distant future.

Millennials are killing the value of college degrees

A generation ago, a college degree was the symbol of elite academic achievement and a lifetime of unbridled earnings potential. Higher education was only available to exceptional students and those with the financial backing of affluent parents. Those who couldn’t go to college had a plethora of other options ranging from trade schools to apprenticeships to jumping straight into the workforce. Fast forward to today, it is almost demanded that 17 and 18 year-olds pick a school and go for the promise of a better future and the loans will all be worth it. As we now have statistics to analyze, millions of postgrads are crippled with combined debt of more than $1.3 Trillion. That is trillion with a “T.” Most recent data from the undergraduate class of 2016 finds the average debt of a graduating student at $37,172 (Forbes). So, huge chunks of debt are being assumed so more college graduates can be created. From a high level, we all understand supply and demand: employers are being supplied with an ever-growing influx of available postgrad talent which means the demand (price) they are willing to pay is continuing to plummet. The other side of this coin: degrees are being handed out at the highest rate in history, skewing the relative value of a college degree lower with every grad cap that gets handed out.

So what does this mean? Millennials are strapping themselves to a debt burden that they can’t repay and, in the process, making the value of a college degree less valuable. Students go to college to make themselves more attractive to their future employer and strive for an advantage over their peers. But, if everyone else is getting a college degree and it’s almost expected, students have thousands in debt and no real competitive advantage to show for it. Moral of the story, why take on this debt when there are a myriad of other career options that don’t demand you conscript a bulk of your future earnings in interest payments?

As the Caddyshack quote goes: “The world needs ditch diggers, too.”

Love him or Hate him – Donald Trump is a marketing magician


Love him or hate him, support or oppose him, promote or bash him – by many accounts, Donald J. Trump is a marketing genius. The 45th Leader of the Free World has made headlines for everything from global trade debacles to sexual transgressions but his stock has never been higher. While tiptoeing the line between politics and inappropriate dialogue, there are some revelations in effective marketing to be gained.

Early on in his 2016 presidential campaign, Trump identified his target demographics. Although easy in today’s two party system, there were a finite amount of consumers (voters) available and essentially only two products (candidates) to choose from. While Hillary Clinton dominated the left side of the political aisle, Trump was forced to identify what he could do well and target the voters that were most accessible to him. Policies aside, he developed a campaign that stoked the hot button issues that his targeted segments cared about most. Trump forced discussion and publicity of issues that divided consumers (voters) and Clinton would have had to sacrifice something she did well to compete with Trump’s popularity within his segment. Garnering support for polarizing opinions and platforms that Clinton could not easily replicate left him completely unopposed within the demographics he chose to target – similar to a monopoly in business context.

Customer centricity is a must for any firm hoping to find a lasting success in marketing their product; Trump used this theory in a unique way. The Republican ticket in 2016 made primarily conservative, working class Americans feel like there was a “product” tailored for them. Trump knew these demographics favored an anti-establishment movement; subsequently, the “drain the swamp” slogan was created that his supporters immediately latched onto. As the saying goes, consumers don’t want a quarter-inch drill bit, they want a solution for a quarter-inch hole – Trump made just enough voters believe that he was providing the solution for their unique problem.