Over to You


Eoghan Maginn, The High School, Rathgar, Dublin

Are you interested in one week's work placement in The Irish Times? Transition Year students can learn first-hand about the workings of this newspaper if their submission is published in Media Scope's weekly Over to You column. Just send us a 200-word piece on a media-related topic.

Pokemon, the most recent craze among young children, is astounding. This craze, for those of you who have been on Mars for the last six months, is about a young boy, Ash, and his friends Brock and Misty. They travel their world trying to collect all 150 Pokemon, or pocket monsters, while dodging the evil Team Rocket.

But what is most astounding about Pokemon is the many forms of media in which it can be found. Apart from watching the Pokemon TV programme and playing the Pokemon Nintendo computer game (which is where the whole idea originated) you can also read books, buy toys, trade cards, visit Internet sites - and, soon, even watch the new movie.

This is probably only the first of many examples of this new type of marketing, where almost all forms of media are used to convey the concept of the programme. This shows the power of marketing: a simple TV programme, with simple manga-style graphics and terrible dubbing, can become the most popular craze by bombarding the target audience through almost all forms of media available. This new style of marketing has definitely proved a success for Pokemon.

Justin King, De La Salle College, Churchtown, Dublin

Advertising is very useful and can create a lot of jobs, but sometimes it can go too far. There are many examples of this stepping over the line in recent times, one which is particularly memorable occurred a few weeks ago, during the American Super Bowl.

This particular ad was shown on the television halfway through the Super Bowl, when it was being watched by millions of people. It showed Christopher Reeve, the actor who played Superman in four movies and who was paralysed in a dreadful horse riding accident back in 1994, walking on to a stage - they used digital technology to achieve this.

In my opinion, this was terrible. Apart from using Reeve for their advert in this way, apparently there were thousands of paraplegic people ringing in afterwards asking what treatment he got. I can only imagine the disappointment when they heard that it was only a desperate advertising ploy.

This particular advert has been since discontinued, but the fact that it happened in the first place is a little disturbing. There are many other adverts that cross this moral line. I can only hope that there will be more strict laws imposed in the future regarding this type of breach.

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media scope is edited by Harry Browne.