Friday, August 31, 2012

Assessment 1 - Advertising and New Media


Advertising and New Media

Advertising in this modern era builds strong ties between the phenomenon of new media and digital convergence. In many cases, large businesses now exploit new media as a medium to allow the exposition of particular information to reach the homes of targeted consumers. Companies that do this must first-and-foremost understand the concept that is consumer sovereignty. We as consumers are no longer confined by our TV screens or radios, thus, advertising via new media has in recent decades elevated consumer awareness - this affected what was yet to come for businesses and consumers, as we will see.

The Internet Giants

Since the internet became a public medium for entertainment and education, it facilitated the growth of spaces and opportunities provided for businesses for the distribution of new media content, specifically in relation to advertising media. In most cases, advertisers have no choice but to target consumers through new technological channels. The most obvious channel of-course is the internet, “In less than a decade, search engines have transformed into new, globally significant and, increasingly, locally relevant, advertising-funded media services and institutions.” (Battelle 2005 as quoted by Surgeon 2008). Not only has the internet been growing rapidly, but its promotional reach allows companies to establish an online presence in the form of a website. In this way, consumers can fast access promotional content and be immersed in information about certain new and innovative products. Hence, the internet as a channel forces businesses to adapt and evolve.

Companies must realize that an online ‘presence’ is not enough – the company must understand not just the consumer, but their behaviour online as well. Thus businesses monitor, collect and analyze consumer buying and browsing patterns and from these draw appropriate inferences. Consumers today are far more nomadic, they “…self-select qualifying results, which may include a mix of Web-Based advertising, tales of personal experience and opinion, gossip, testimonials, editorial comment, or a more dispassionate evaluation.” (Spurgeon, 2008) Media is changing so that like a key to a car, it can attract a specific target audience. Thus, advertising has become the commercial pillar for media and shaper of what we consume.

The Cultural Shift Affecting Commercial Strategy

With industrialization comes new technology, new media and new culture. People are constantly changing and adopting new methods of communication, education, and entertainment. With this intrepid move people observe formations of new cultures and the ways in which lifestyles are fashioned and changed from generation to generation. Certain challenges to traditional media affect old businesses, and their previously effective strategies become redundant. Lately, fragmentation and fracturing of media markets has forced businesses to adopt new strategies of targeting consumers. One strategy is to conceptualize the consumer in very specific and narrow terms. Sheehan and Morrison (2009) show an interesting perspective on media and culture in that “Media, specifically digital media, has become pervasive in our everyday lives. The traditional measurements of time spent with media are outdated since we no longer schedule our lives around our favorite television show or…beloved magazine.” This shows that previously dominant practices are shaken, old giants must rethink their ideals if they want to survive in today’s market. Marketing strategies must become adept at reaching consumers who have more than just a single option for the access and use of entertainment resources and media. Cultures in countries, such as here in Australia change. Originally, brands like Coca-Cola would attempt to gather up a large group of followers by using new media to try and build a personalized relationship to their consumers (Spurgeon, C: 2008, 42). These days however, people turn away from loyalty to find social sites like YouTube in-order to access videos of note. These may range from digital forms of education to comedy, film and animation, gaming, sports and travel information. Another paper written by Wilken and Sinclair (2009) focuses particularly on the growing culture of mobile media. “Mobile media, especially cellphones, are now seen and heard everywhere, forming an intrinsic part of the daily lives and habits of billions of people worldwide.” Their paper shows that by targeting specific audiences through “Behavioural Targeting” (Wilken & Sinclair; 2009: 433) companies turning to mobile media are able to target consumers and eliminate costly errors.

YouTube: Behavioural Targeting

Star Advertising

Newer perspectives and approaches to advertising and new media have brought together a new relationship linking large, successful business names with famous stars. Nowadays, companies are using the names of these stars to attract particular consumer’s attention. After 5 minutes of just watching TV, I was able to spot an ad (also available on another medium: YouTube) which tied not only Chris Hemsworth from Thor with Foxtel, but Jeff Daniels from 101 Dalmatians, Stephen Moyer from True Blood, and Isaac H Wright from Game of Thrones.

Each of these stars have an extremely large 'fandom' through which companies such as  Foxtel use effectively to grab an ever greater range of consumers. Successful campaigns like these show that it is still possible for companies to grab consumer interest despite all we are exposed to. A recently published article titled “The Effect of Media Advertising on Brand Consideration and Choice” by Terui et al (2011), further proved that “the assumption that media advertising has a direct effect on consumer utility for established, or mature, brands” is incorrect. It shows that modern consumers are more often purchasing products not necessarily originating from the same company; they’re likely to evaluate products using multiple mediums.

Consumers now have the power to create their own forms of media through the embedding of videos or pictures, just as I have done. Because companies neither ask nor solicit consumers to spread their content, they inevitably save expenses otherwise wasted. Thus, the consumer spreads awareness of the product - the consumer has influence.

Consumer-Mediated Showcasing


In the past couple of decades back when television and radio were really the only effective methods for advertising, companies took consumers for granted. Today however, the phenomenon of advertising and new media is much more widespread. Businesses can utilize the internet in-order to improve access of information for consumers. Culturally, our lives are changing as well with new media technology, and we adapt to these changes not only as businesses but as consumers. In effect, businesses that have survived have found varying means of pulling the attention of the consumer – stars tied together with large brand names attract multiple audiences, and thus consumer awareness and media consumption is shaped. It is due to this mutualistic relationship that new media shares with businesses, that our lives are constantly being shaped and changed through advertisement.

WORD COUNT: 1100 words exactly, including subheadings, picture captions and text (excluding reference list, student ID and word count)


·         Spurgeon, C. (2008) Advertising and New Media, Oxon, Routledge, pp 24-45.

·         Sheehan, K. and Morrison, D. (2009) Beyond Convergence: Confluence culture and the role of the advertising agency in a changing world. First Monday [online] 14(3). Available at: [Accessed 27/08/2012]

·         Sinclair, J. and Wilken, R. (2009) Waiting for the kiss of life: mobile media and advertising. Convergence: the journal of research into new media [online] 15(5): pp427- 445. Available at: [Accessed 27/08/2012)

·         Terui, N., Ban, N. and Allenby, Greg M. (2011) The Effect of Media Advertising on Brand Consideration and Choice. Marketing Science [online] 30(1): pp74-91. Available at: [Accessed 27/08/2012)

·         Foxtel Ad – Chris Hemsworth: The Place where Foxtel Lives. (2012) FOXTEL (released 23rd August 2012) [YouTube video] Available at:
·         Battelle, J. (2005) The Search: how Google and its rivals rewrote the rules of business and transformed our culture. London: Nicholas Brearly Publishing

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