MAS110 Essay 1
Paige West - 42846129
Advertising and New Media
The phenomenon of digital media convergence has extensively changed the media communication industry and cultures of today. These extensive changes have led to the formation of new media, whereby industries, such as the advertising industry must adapt their strategies in order to ensure they still reach consumers. The advertising industry has responded to convergence with the introduction of new media advertising strategies such as, branded content, search engine advertising and viral advertising. The advent of digital media convergence has meant that if advertisers do not adapt to the popularity of new media online, their ability to reach their audience will be reduced.
Around one hundred years ago the media platforms that consumers most commonly used were the radio, television and various print media. These media platforms “made it easy for advertisers to reach a mass audience” (Hill & Moran, 2011). The development of digital media convergence has changed the way that advertising companies must market towards their audience. Digital media convergence refers to the “process whereby new technologies are accommodated by existing media and communication industries and cultures,” (Dwyer, 2010). It is the process of adapting, merging and transitioning of technologies, industries and cultures in the digital media sphere (Jenkins, 2006). This has led to the growth of many technologies that exist today, such as the Internet, the mobile phone and television recording systems. Society no longer scheduled their day around their favourite television show. “The ways that people are using media are fragmenting” (Dwyer, 2010) causing advertising revenues to slowly decline. Thus, advertisers have begun to seek new ways, using new media to reach their audience whom have television as one of their many entertainment options. “Advertising agencies have moved beyond bemoaning the demise of traditional advertising messages and are taking steps to find ways to increase audience engagement in messages, regardless of the venue” (Sheehan & Morrison, 2009). The most commonly used platform for advertising is now the Internet (Sheehan & Morrison, 2009) as online new media allows for “constant communication with consumers” (Hill & Moran, 2011). Advertisers have responded to growth of the Internet, which has resulted from digital media convergence, with the emergence of many different online strategies to reach their target audience successfully. Without the adoption of online marketing strategies the ability for advertisers to reach their audience today will be negatively impacted.
The first new media advertising strategy implemented is viral marketing. This strategy involves launching a campaign with the hopes it will be passed on from consumer to consumer, causing it to reach a viral status online. This complements consumer behaviour of today as consumers “pay more attention to the recommendations of friends and family then they do to marketing messages” (Hill & Moran, 2011). However, in order for the campaign to succeed at a viral level that content must be clever and creative. A new media campaign that succeeded at this level was the ‘Evian Roller Baby Ad’. The campaign launched two teaser videos online, using Twitter and YouTube, before the official launch of the ad to create hype. The video was ‘retweeted’ within seconds leading it to become the most viewed ad online with 61.4 million views to date. Nielson research found that 95% of those who viewed the ad online had not seen it on television (Unrulymedia, 2011). This statistic proves that new media that has emerged from the process of digital media convergence, has the ability to reach a greater audience then the use of traditional media platforms. If advertisers did not adopt online strategies the ability to reach their audience would reduce.
The Evian 'Roller Babies' Commercial
Similarly, the use of search engine marketing is another new media advertising strategy utalised today. Once again this responds to convergent media and the introduction of new media platforms that are detracting from the traditional media platforms of the past. Search engine advertising is the targeting of search terms on search engines, instead of consumers (Spurgeon, 2008). When consumers search these terms, the object that’s advertisers have been advertising on the search engine will appear. This is a successful response to convergence as “advertising in search engines… is the largest and one of the fastest growing segments of online advertising” (Spurgeon, 2008). The ‘powerhouse’ of search engine advertising is, Google. They sell short text advertising on topics that are commonly searched by consumers. This advertising strategy has successfully responded to the growing popularity of online advertising as the advertiser-funded television channel has began to loose its audience (Dywer, 2010) from the effects of the process of digital media convergence. If this online advertising strategy was not implemented, the ability to reach their audience, using traditional media platforms, would reduce.
Google, the 'powerhouse' of internet advertising
Branded content is another advertising strategy using new media that responds to the pressures of digital media convergence. It is the “strategic alliances between advertisers and entertainment companies and often bypasses main media altogether” (Spurgeon, 2008). The convergence of these company’s aims to appeal to consumers in such a way that they are lead to seek out these branded images for their own entertainment. New media tends to be pull-media (as consumers today choose what they see) instead of the push-media of traditional media advertising (Sheehan & Morrison, 2009). BMW established, BMW Films and created a series of ads that were short films. The films used Hollywood best producers, directors and actors and an estimated $US15 million to create the short films. (Spurgeon, 2008). These short films were then distributed on the internet, as consumers are spending more time online then with any other traditional media form (Sheehan & Morrison, 2009). Their use of branded advertising was a success as it allowed BMW to contact of wealthy, young, new media users that would have not been easily reached if the films were released using traditional media forms (Spurgeon, 2008). Thus, the convergence of the advertising and entertainment industries to create branded content is a profitable strategy. This is because it utilizes new media existing online, which has emerged as a response to digital media convergence.
A BMW short film, 'Beat the Devil'
The advent of digital media convergence has meant that if advertisers do not adapt to the popularity of new media online, their ability to reach their audience will be reduced. The growth of new media has lead to a decline in the use of traditional media forms, thus the advertising industry has struggled to reach their audience. In response to this growth of new media, from digital media convergence, advertising agencies have built new strategies allowing them to ensure they reach their audience. These include branded content, search engine advertising and viral advertising. This has allowed advertisers to continue to gain consumers interests using new and creative ways that utilize new media forms instead of traditional media forms.
Dwyer, T. (2010) Media Convergence, McGraw Hill, Berksire, pp 1-23
Hill, Ronald P and Moran, Nora (2011) ‘Social marketing meets interactive media’, International Journal of Advertising, volume 30, issue 5, pp. 815-838
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
Spurgeon, C. (2008) Advertising and New Media, Oxon, Routledge, pp 24-45
Jenkins, Henry (2006) ‘Welcome to Convergence Culture’ http://henryjenkins.org/2006/06/welcome_to_convergence_culture.html, accessed August 27th 2012
Unrulymedia (2009) ‘Evian – Roller Babies’ http://www.unrulymedia.com/case-studies/evian-roller-babies.html, accessed 27th August 2012