Thursday, August 30, 2012

Advertising and new media

Discuss the phenomenon of digital media convergence in relation to advertising and new media

By Courtney Levin 42859816

50-off.pngBuy one get one free! 50% off! SALE SALE SALE! Consumers are constantly bombarded with a flood of advertisements in an era of new media. Media itself is “anything associated with film, television, radio, magazines and newspapers” (Tony Purvis 2006: 3) Subsequently, media convergence is a combination of these mediums which in turn creates new media forms, technologies and platforms. A medium according to Jenkins “is a technology that enables communication” (Jenkins 2006: 13) such as the Internet and mobile phones. It is therefore clear that digital media allows for “new ways of configuring issues of production, consumption, and distribution of media” (Anandam Kavoori 2010: 1) In other words, it creates new ways to produce, consume and distribute advertisements. A greater range of platforms to produce advertisements has resulted in quicker and cheaper forms of advertising. These new forms of converged media give advertisers and consumers more power than ever before.

New digital media is the result of media convergence- the merging of old technologies into one place, platform and device. Dwyer refers to media convergence as “the process whereby new technologies are accommodated by existing media and communication industries and cultures.” (Tim Dwyer 2010: 2) Examples of this can be seen through new devices such as the iPhone, which incorporates mediums that offer the ability to communicate, download, store and play music, take and store photos, and provide quick access to the Internet. Products of convergence have also allowed for advertising to take place across “several platforms" (Dwyer 2010:2). Ultimately, convergence has played a major role in developing today’s era of advertising and new media. 

New media has generated new forms of advertising. Christina Spurgeon states, “new media... such as the internet and cell phones, invite us to think in exciting new ways about advertising, as an well as a crucially important influence in consumer and public sphere.” (Spurgeon 2008: 2) This illustrates digital advertising as a new and relevant market. Similarly, “Advertising agencies...are taking steps to find ways to increase audience engagement...regardless of the venue.” (Bartel-Sheehan, Morrison 2009)  Thus, this new market is utilising the Internet as a source of “advertising-funded media services” (Spurgeon 2008: 25). One recent advertising campaign that demonstrates this new market is the Range Rover Evoque campaign ‘Pulse of the City’ which “targets young and energetic, stylish and dynamic citizens of the world’s biggest cities as they represent the core audience of Range Rover Evoque”(Inna Krivoruchko 2011). The campaign not only influences the consumer and public sphere through television, but it also targets the internet through its website , YouTube and other search engines with its products, as can be seen through the first result "brand new Range Rover". Convergence of the Internet and advertising clearly allows consumers to search information and products simultaneously. YouTube being a digital sensation with thousands of views daily is an advertisers dream. Upon entering the site consumers are provided with advertisements, such as the campaign for Range Rover. New media obviously has an infectious impact on advertising with modern and converging technologies allowing greater platforms for advertising. 

The creation of new media has resulted in quicker and cheaper advertising. Online advertising “includes any paid advertisement, from banners to sponsorships, which appears on the web or other Internet channels, including e-mail” (Barnes 2002: 400). Facebook for example, invites companies to advertise, by allowing advertisers to “select your audience by location, age and interests” (Facebook Ireland Limited 2011) in the space of minutes and to “connect with more than 800 million potential customers”(Facebook Ireland Limited 2011). In a case study provided by facebook, “Over 12 months, CM Photographics generated nearly $40,000 in revenue directly from a $600 advertising investment on Facebook”. The small cost of online advertising, through websites like YouTube, allows companies to spend big bucks on their actual campaign. This can be seen through Honda’s $6.2 million Cog Commercial. Thomas Elsaesser explains how “This ad had ‘made history’ not only because its fame and success proved the power of the internet as a ‘window of attention’ for advertisers, but also because its production values – around six million dollars for these two minutes – put it squarely in the Hollywood league of blockbusters.”(Elsaesser 2008: 21) According to Sean Wetherell “Honda saw a quadrupling in inquires about its Honda Accord in the U.K and sales doubled” (Wetherell 2011: 9) Therefore it can be understood that the fast and cheap nature of online advertising not only provides an effective testing ground for new advertisements without having to pay large sums for television time, but also allows for ‘hollywood’ sized advertisements to flourish successfully in the digital world. Evidently, new media provides quicker and cheaper forms of advertising.

The phenomenon of digital media convergence in relation to new media has resulted in a boom in advertising. In the current age of new media, “marketing professionals can actually measure how many prospects have seen or responded to an advertisement”(Barnes 2002: 400) which determines how successful an advert is. Consumers are now able to give feedback and ultimately “comment favourably or unfavourably on advertisements, such as on Youtube” (Kerr, Dickinson, Waller, Mortimer 2009:1). Due to the flood of advertising that surrounds consumers today, they now have greater power and knowledge in distinguishing between poorly produced adverts and well produced adverts; ultimately making or breaking a product or company. The clip below illustrates what characterises a well-produced advertisement (the music, editing, colour quality, filming techniques, choreography etc. have all been utilised effectively to produce a successful and good quality campaign that is aimed at the consumer.)
Basically, this commercial highlights the importance of consumer knowledge when designing and creating an advertising campaign. The beauty of using sites such as YouTube to test advert success is being able to visually witness the reaction of the consumer. Only being posted on the 8th of August it’s almost had 9000 views and already has 34 ‘likes’ and only 1 ‘dislike’.

Evidently digital advertising gives consumers more power than ever before through it’s ability to provide feedback on multiple platforms and the idea of success based on popularity.  In addition, advertisers have more power than ever before due to the ability to select target audiences based on views and ratings.

The phenomenon of digital media convergence has a colossal effect on advertising and new media. Convergence ultimately plays a key factor in this effect through the combination of old mediums to create new media. New media has infectiously lead to new forms of advertising, allowing for greater numbers of platforms- due to convergence, to be available to advertisers. An increased number of platforms have lead to quicker and cheaper advertising as low cost advertising means expensive ‘Hollywood’ style adverts can be delivered to the consumer in a matter of seconds. Similarly, the ability for advertisers to know exactly how many views an advert has and the ability for consumers to make decisions based on feedback provides more power for both advertisers and consumers. Advertising in today’s society can therefore be seen as being result of new media in a world of digital media convergence.

Recommended reading
Bartel Sheehan, Kim., Morrison, Deborah ., Beyond Convergence: Confluence Culture and the Role of the Advertising Agency in a Changing World, Volume 14 Number 3, 2009

Own research
·       Dickinson, Sonia., Kerr, Gayle F., Mortimer, Kathy., Waller, David., Testing Advertising via New Media: An Exploratory Study of Advertising Practitioner attitudes, Queensland University of Technology, Queensland, 2009,

Own research
Digital Trend Staff, Iphone 4: Everything You Need to Know, Designtechnia Corporation, Portland USA, 2010,

Dwyer, Tim., Media Convergence, McGraw Hill, Berkshire, 2010

Own research
·       Elsaesser, Thomas., ‘Constructive Instability’, or: The Life of Things as the Cinema’s Afterlife?, Thomas Elsaesser, 2008,

Own research

Own research
Krivoruchko, Inna., New Campaign for Range Rover Evoque to Bring ‘Pulse of the City’, Popsop Ltd, London, 2011,

Own research
Kovoori, Anandam. Get Set for Media and Cultural Studies, Edinburgh University Press Ltd, Edinburgh, 2006, website accessed:

Own research
Purvis, Tony., Digital Media Criticism, Peter Lang Publishing Inc., New York, 2010, website accessed:

Spurgeon, Christina., Advertising and New Media, Routledge, New York, 2008

Own research
WebRidesTV, Honda-The Cog, 2009,

Own research
·       Wetheral, Sean., Online Banner Effectiveness In the Age of the Conscious Consumer,  Grin, North Carolina Wilmington, 2011,

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