Monday, August 27, 2012

Assignment 1 (Online Essay) - David Rogers (41815432)

Assignment 1 - Online Essay

David Rogers - 41815432

Digital media convergence is dramatically transforming the fields of advertising and new media as the world shifts toward a digital age. Traditional channels of advertising such as the television, radio and newspapers are losing their effect on consumers as their behavior changes due to the capabilities convergent technologies have brought them. Due to disinterest and nomadic behaviour of users, advertisers are having to find new ways and adopt new models to expose their advertisements to specific target audiences in the emerging digital world. The digital media convergence phenomenon has changed the foundations of how advertising and new media is approached and how advertisers can reach or even interact with their consumers. Advertising faces new challenges in reaching audiences on convergent digital devices such as the smart phone without adding complexity, damaging the reputation of the brand or breaching users privacy. For these reasons, digital media convergence is changing all fields of advertising and new media andadvertisers will have to move from traditional methods and adapt and innovate in order to survive in the thriving and opportunistic digital age.

It has become difficult for advertisers to engage consumers as they have become increasingly advanced at filtering advertising and new media. This tuning out behaviour is particularly prevalent in  traditional or 'old' media. It has also become difficult for advertisers to place their advertisements in order to reach their target audience as their audience splinters over multiple convergent mediums such as YouTube or devices such as the iPad. Christina Spurgeon writes "Many large national and transnational advertisers are dissatisfied with the uncertain performance of 'old' media. They are looking for new ways to reach increasingly distracted, distrustful and disinterested consumers. In order to avoid being a cause of irritation and interruption, many of these advertisers creatively embed their messages in media flow and experiences that coveted consumers will actively seek out." (Spurgeon, p27). Advertising has followed the trend toward branded content as it blurs the lines between advertising and a genuine piece of entertainment. This fulfils the needs of many of those national and transnational advertisers as consumers will be inadvertently subjecting themselves to the advertising of brands when browsing their desired media.


Branded advertising such as the examples Dr Susie Khamis gave above are just two examples of how advertisers are developing strategies to reach consumers through convergent digital media to reduce avoidance and also to maximise impact and effect. Innovative techniques such as this are intelligent methods of reaching splintered target audience as advertisers can embed their content within popular media to reach a target market such as people likely to watch the Avril Lavigne music video.

Digital media convergence has created new ways to consume and therefore changed the foundations of advertising on new media and how it can be approached. Convergence has changed the way consumers wish to consume media and advertising alike. Jeff South and June Nicholson write "Daily journalists need to embrace the 24-hour news cycle, with continuous deadlines. And the story needs to be reported and produced for a multi-platform audience. That may mean delivering content first to the web and cell phones, a streaming video broadcast later in the day, a TV talk-back interview still later, and a ‘second day’ interpretive story for the next morning’s newspaper." (South, J. and J. Nicholson, p10). This applies to all area's of advertising and new media and not exclusively to journalism. Digital convergence has propelled new media as consumers can truly utilise on-demand access to content anywhere at any time. Advertising has begun to follow consumer behavior on digital convergent mediums and is analysing how media is consumed on different convergent devices. Older mediums such as the television, radio and newspapers have been simple one way communication models. Convergence has brought the opportunity for consumer interactivity and examples of convergent friendly advertising can be seen such as the interactive advertisement below. 


Consumers can interact with advertisement and choose what information they are interested in specially made interactive advertisements without being exposed to the flood of information  and distractions advertisements may otherwise bring.


Digital convergence has created new and sensitive relationships between consumers, advertisers and new media. Digital convergence has given consumers a voice and power which if used negatively could as easily damage a brand as it could propel it to success. Rowan Wilkan and John Sinclair write "On the marketing side of things, advertising agencies, the advertisers they represent and the mobile operators, are all extremely sensitive about alienating consumers by inundating them with unwanted advertising appeals: the agencies do not want to risk losing their clients, the companies do not want a brand or product backlash, and the mobile operators do not want a consumer revolt and migration to their competitors" (Wilken, R. and Sinclair, J., p432). Digital convergent devices such as the smart phone and tablet are particularly sensitive as they are considered to contain private or sensitive information regarding the consumer which are guarded by privacy rules and regulations. Advertisers and new media operators must therefore try and break the barriers and reach the enormous pool of consumers that make use of new devices to access new convergent mediums such as YouTube in a way that the consumer will adopt and find acceptable. The convergence phenomenon has shown a wide range of outcomes including successes such as the 'Old Spice' advertisement and failures such as the Qantas twitter backlash where consumers have played a dramatic role in communicating how they were treated.

Digital media convergence is impacting all fields of advertising and new media as consumers change the ways in which they consume media. It has introduced many additional dimensions and considerations that organisations must recognise and overcome in order to reach audience. However advertising and new media offer a unique opportunity to develop new strategies and approaches to how advertisers deliver their content to consumers. Strategies such as branded media are beginning to become prominent through convergent media due to their ability to capture the splintered audience and bypass consumers. Here advertisers have addressed the consumers ability to filter advertising by embedding their message within entertainment. Advertising and new media can now be seen reaching digital convergent mediums and utilising their capabilities through interactive advertisements or applications where the consumer is given control over the information they want to see or how they wish to consume the content of advertisers and new media. There have been successes and failures when organisations have tried to move into the delicate space of advertising on convergent digital media however most organisations are wary on how to enter this realm of opportunity digital convergence without suffering consumer backlash. It is still early days in the new media space and the digital media convergence phenomenon will continue to develop and take shape as advertising and new media operators face the delicate challenges when transitioning their strategies from 'old' media such as the television, radio and newspaper.


Deign, J. (2006) ‘Mobile Ads Up’, Campaign 19, pg34–35.

Spurgeon, C. (2008) Advertising and New Media, Routledge, pg24-45.

Spurgeon, C. (2006) 'Facing the Challenges of Convergence: Media Professionals’ Concerns of Working Across Media Platforms Convergence: The International Journal of Research into New Media Technologies 12: pg83-98.

Sinclair, J., Wilken, R (2009) 'Waiting for the kiss of life: mobile media and advertising' Convergence: the journal of research into new media, vol 15 no 5 pg427-445.

Christensen, N. (2011) Qantas Faces Twitter Backlash [online], available at: [Accessed 27 August 2012].

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