Friday, August 31, 2012

Digital media convergence essay: Advertising

 Sam Rochlin 42501040

Digital Media Convergence

In 1992, there were an estimated 1 million Internet-capable devices in use. Today that number exceeds 1 billion. This has lead to a rapid increase in electronic marketing. Developments in technology have opened up many new avenues for marketers to communicate their message to the consumer. These new avenues can reach a larger audience and also be more effective at capturing the target market’s attention. In discussing the phenomenon of digital media convergence I will be focusing on the topic of advertising and how digital convergence has changed how products and services are marketed.

Developments in technology in the last fifty years have lead to some of the most useful and innovative inventions. They have allowed humans to interact over vast distances with ease and have made existing on Earth much easier. The thought of future technological developments can create excitement as we are constantly searching for the next best thing:

Ian Goldin raises some interesting ideas regarding the potential changes technological advances may bring in the future. These potential changes are not without their downsides.

It is reported that the average American is exposed to an average of 3,000 advertising messages per day. That statistic alone is mind-boggling. Although we take pity on ourselves, for we are the ones being bombarded by this insane amount of advertisements, the competition for advertising space and the constant struggle to stand out amongst the crowd makes the modern day marketer’s job somewhat difficult. The online article “Beyond convergence” by Morrison Sheehan supposes a reason for why the average consumer experiences such a high exposure to advertisements “The ubiquity of wireless access makes it possible to never log on or off to the Internet. This allows consumers constant access to information and messages of interest”.  The Internet provided a whole new medium for marketers. Marketing firms were quick to act as they are constantly under pressure to come up with innovative ways of capturing target markets’ attention.

Traditional methods of advertising such as on billboards, direct mail and television took time to reach the intended audience and are often considered quite expensive. Another disadvantage is that these advertising media are quite broad in that a product or service marketed through one of the above means may only appeal to a small percentage of the viewing market, thus the message is lost amongst the sea of thousands. Marketing through the Internet however can be relatively cheap and is often more effective at gaining the attention of the targeted audience. This idea can be seen in Tiger Beer’s approach to online marketing. The attraction of social media sites such has Facebook has exploded over the past decade. These types of site, including Twitter and Youtube for example, have enabled people to keep in touch with ease. Physical distance limitations between people are no longer an issue. It is not only individuals taking advantage of these sites. Companies such as Tiger Beer have utilised them in a very intuitive manner. The high number of users on social networking sites allows for a whole new audience to be targeted by such companies. Tiger Beer has shown that through proper marketing methods, this new and emerging market can reap sizeable rewards. By producing limited edition Tiger Beer bottles, the company was able to excite their target market. It also allowed them to get across their “cool” product marketing approach.

 Tiger Beer’s Limited edition bottles

The three limited edition designer bottles were smartly marketed through the Facebook Tiger Beer fan page. The Facebook fan page played a key role in the online promotion of the product. With 18,000 fans joining over the short period of two months, the company had a direct line of communication to their target audience, which was key to the experienced success.

Relating back to Ian Goldin’s “Navigating our global future” video, he is not the only one apprehensive about what the future may bring. Dwyer shares similar ideas in his Media Convergence article. Both men look at rapid past growth patterns and share some uncertainty regarding what is install for humans in the years to come. Ian states that our current mobile phones are more powerful than some of the most advanced computers of twenty years ago. With past behaviour being the best predictor of future behaviour, who knows what sorts of breakthroughs are yet to come. Relating back to advertising, towards the end of Dwyer’s article he talks about the Internet, advertising and search businesses. He states “The US Internet advertising market was reported to be worth between $US20-40 billion in 2007, and some commentators expect it to grow to $US80 billion by 2010”. Economists estimate that number to top $200 Billion by 2014 [1]. This growth of Internet advertising goes to show how vibrant and active the online market place is. The potential growth and access to such a wide audience is very attractive to marketers and breeds creativity, which is helped along with developments in technology. For example, online rich display and video advertisements have been proven to boost purchase intent over the Internet. A survey conducted by the global research agency Millward Brown, which observered over 80 Australian ad campaigns, found that measures of brand awareness, brand favourability and purchase intent were significantly higher among respondents exposed to video and rich display ads than simple flash or static ads.

Graph showing the benefits of rich display and video advertising

Although making a rich media ad possible requires much more complex technology to ensure that all of the ad behaviours function properly, the study found that these rich display and video ads not only achieve higher online engagement rates, but are also up to four times more effective at building brand measures than the average campaign. With rich media, you can have ads that expand when users click or roll over them. There are extensive possibilities for interactive content, which makes traditional forms of advertisements, such as newspaper ads, seem prehistoric.

It is amazing to see how far we have come over the past few decades. Whatever it may be, from smart phones to automatic can openers, technological improvements make our lives easier and I for one am excited to see what the future has in store.


[1] Mediabuyerplanner 2011 “U.S. Advertising Market to Top $200 Billion by 2014”

Dwyer, T 2010, Media Convergence, McGraw Hill, Berksire, pp. 20

Elliott, G, Rundle-Thhiele, S & Waller, D 2012, Marketing, 2nd edn. Australia: Wiley, pp. 453-454

Sheehan, Kim and Morrison, Deborah (2009) “Beyond convergence: Confluence culture and the role of the advertising agency in a changing world” First Monday, vol 14, no 3

Marketingmag 2012 “Rich display and video ads boost purchase intent”

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