How should corporate America react to social movements? In the days after the killing of George Floyd and the protests that followed, brands both big and small launched ads and social media posts in response. In a recent piece for the Atlantic Monthly, writer Amanda Mull argues that most of those messages used vague phrasing, were awkwardly executed, and followed a template that has become standard in recent years.

How can a company strike the right balance between authenticity and social responsibility? Is it possible? Our guests explore those questions and more:

  • Rashad Smith, creative strategist for WLGZ The Beat, visionary of Power Hour, and project manager for "Shaping Our Stories" with Causewave Community Partners
  • Andrea Holland, owner of Holland Communications, and public speaking and communications coach
  • Jeff Knauss, co-founder and CEO of Digital Hyve

What are the most popular and effective ads this year? And why did they stand out? We discuss those questions with RIT advertising students who recently attended Ad Week in New York City. We break down this year's best ads and discuss the current and future state of advertising.

In studio:

  • Caleb Kulathum, senior at RIT
  • Kiana Simons, senior at RIT
  • Kevin Booker, junior at RIT
  • Barry Strauber, professor of advertising in the School of Communication at RIT

One of the most fluid and changing careers is advertising. It's an industry that has seen tremendous pressure coming from the disruptive forces of new technology. Ad execs hoped that we would all love those pop-up ads, but nope -- they have to get more creative to reach consumers.

Last week, 19 RIT students went to New York City for 2018 Advertising Week. We asked them to join us to discuss what they learned, and what we can expect in our own consuming future. Our guests:

  • Barry Strauber, visiting lecturer in the School of Communication at RIT
  • Daniel Monteagudo, student at RIT 
  • Bella Taylor, student at RIT
  • Abi Vannostrand, student at RIT

National news outlets are reporting that Starbucks' pumpkin spice latte is back for the season. It's called trend journalism and its generating free advertising for the corporate giant. Is that fair? Is it journalism?

This hour, we discuss the ethics of trend and calendar journalism and how they impact consumers and small businesses. And yes, we discuss whether pumpkin spice lattes are any good. In studio:

Some brands are using CGI in their advertising, and consumers can’t tell that the images are not real humans. Is that ethical? Will CGI define the future of advertising?

We talk to experts about this trend. Our guests:

  • Scott Malouf, attorney whose work focuses on the intersection between social media and the law
  • Anne Esse, creative director and change strategist
  • Dan Mulcahy, creative director for Bush Communications
  • Jennifer Grygiel, assistant professor of communications at Syracuse University's S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications

Dove has faced backlash in recent months over what some critics say is cultural insensitivity in its ads. It's not the only brand that has faced this kind of criticism.

Our panel discusses why corporate America so often misses the mark, and how that might change. Our guests: 

  • Juanita Washington, editor-in-chief of BreakThru Magazine
  • Andrea Holland, public speaking and communications coach
  • Anne Esse, creative director and change strategist
  • Marie-Adélina de la Ferrière, creative arts advocate

It has been nearly one month since Super Bowl 50. Which commercials do you remember? At $5 million for 30 seconds of airtime, is a Super Bowl ad still worth the price? Our panel of advertising experts discusses that question, as well as new trends in the industry. We'll also look at this year's winners and losers, and what goes into creating a successful spot. Our guests:

What are the new hidden messages in your news supply? How can you discern an ad that is made to look like news? Is it ethical? Also, we look at the "message makers" -- the people in public relations who shape much of the conversation in our daily news. We talk with two guests who understand the art of shaping communications: