In the view of many, one dimensional media is finished, media though through technology and in particular, digital media convergence has re-invented itself and evolved to create this new multi-faceted medium. Digital media convergence is a main component of this growth with Jenkins (2006: p.2) defining digital convergence as the “flow of content across multiple media platforms, the cooperation between multiple media industries, and the migratory behaviour of audiences”. This demonstrates how different media industries have combined to engage their consumers in line with their evolving technology habits. Advertising and new media have been applying digital media convergence to create a new experience and market their products in a unique way. Jenkins mentions five categories that digital convergence can be put into, technological, social, cultural, global and industrial and economic convergence. In particular, social, cultural and industrial and economic convergence can be discussed in relation with a one real-world example of the Cadbury Picnic campaign, ‘It’s no picnic’.
Spurgeon (2008: p.27) believed that industries are trying to find new ways to keep their ‘distracted, distrustful and disinterested consumers’ interested. He said that advertisers are using creative and unique ways to send their message across through using new media and making consumers seek out instead of forcing it on them. A case in point is the Cadbury Picnic campaign, ‘It’s no picnic’ which was the first time on Australian television that an advertising agency made a completely interactive campaign.
The campaign started with a pre-launch with Cadburys and the advertising agency people having already prepared subjects from the website so that they could be shown in the first advertisement that went to air, so that it generated interest in social media as well as the initial campaign. Once the first ad was aired people wanted to be part of it as it allowed them to be on TV. This was a way for people to have their 30 seconds of fame. What people had to do was film themselves eating a picnic in the 30 seconds the ad went for, to see if they could eat it that quickly and at the end say the words “picnic, its no picnic” (Figure 1).
Once they created their ad and uploaded on the campaign website (Figure 2), the individual was notified when and where their ad would be shown which again created more interest as this person would encourage their friends and family to watch their ad. During this ad campaign over 12,000 individuals uploaded their ads on the website. So not only were they encouraging product interest they were encouraging consumption of the product. This links with social convergence with how the campaign was promoted, not just using the TV commercials but also the website.
Social convergence relates to the new ways in which individuals are able to communicate, interact, and share with each other. The Cadbury campaign allowed individuals to share their own personal videos with friends and family and later the whole country once it was aired. This had a ripple effect and provided major consumer interest at the time. Some of these videos have also been uploaded onto YouTube, which is one of the main global phenomenons in today’s evolving technology, as it allows individuals to stream videos of anything from personal blogs to anything of interest. This allows social convergence connect with globalization as individuals are able to share with not just their friends but anyone who watches YouTube.
Cultural convergence relates to the blurring of different cultural groups and formations such as the producer and the consumer. In the Cadbury Picnic ad, the advertising agency George Pattersons Y&R Melbourne did this really well as they created an interactive campaign which allowed the consumers to create their own personal ads. This category has been discussed in detail on the online journal article Beyond Convergence by Kim Sheehan and Deborah Morison, which believes that the difference between the professional and the amateur are becoming blurred due to the convergence of traditional and new media. As now agencies are able to let the consumer be part of the creation of an ad and not just the audience.
Industries often involve different forms of media. Media companies produce, distribute and combine multiple media formats as part of the audience/consumer brand experience. This is industrial and economic convergence. In regards to the Cadbury picnic campaign, the company has combined a normal television commercial and has created an interactive website that allows consumers to create their own ad and use the concept of viral marketing to help the campaign. Ho (2012: p.1000) describes viral marketing as creating some form of electronic content such as a video or a website, the aim of which is usually brand-building. Using both traditional television commercial combined with viral marketing, they are able to follow the continuous change in media. This also illustrates how young people with technology now have many opportunities and ways of filming themselves, not only with a video camera but with their mobile phones, computers web cam etc.
Media through the ages has always evolved and kept pace with technology of the times, digital media convergence is clear evidence that this is the media of today. As we have seen from the Cadbury campaign this illustrates Jenkin’s view of present day media as Cadbury very effectively combined a traditional ad campaign with an interactive website and social media to make the campaign go viral. It also played on the need of the young to be on Television, to have over 12,000 posted videos of themselves online. This all clearly depicts a media which cannot solely be one dimensional anymore but look to multiple forms of technology with consumer engagement to ensure success in today’s very competitive market.
Ho, J., 2010. Viral Marketing: Motivations to forward online content. Journal of Business Research, 63(9-10), pp.1000-1006.
Jenkins, H., 2006. Convergence Culture, New York, New York University Press, pp. 1-24.
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: <http://firstmonday.org/htbin/cgiwrap/bin/ojs/index.php/fm/article/view/2239/2121> [Accessed 28 August 2012]
Figure 1: CadburyPicnic, 2009. It's no picnic - Chris [online video]. Available at:<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NKzEaI4Ms5Q> [Accessed 29 August 2012]
Figure 2: GPY&R, 2010. Picnic - It's no picnic. [Image online]. Available at:<http://www.gpyr.com.au/work/picnic-its-no-picnic/#!prettyPhoto> [Accessed 29 August 2012]