Digital Media Convergence: Advertising and New Media
“Convergence involves both a change in the way media is produced and a change in the way media is consumed” (Jenkins 2006, pp. 16). Advertising and new media, or the Internet (Flew, 2002), are examples of media convergence, and are specifically related to the phenomenon of digital media convergence. The Internet is a major new media platform that advertisers utilise to target specific content to tailor to each individual’s personal tastes, this is known as tracking Internet usage. While companies around the world are using new media, mainly YouTube, as a platform for their new advertising campaigns. Due to digital media convergence advertising and new media, or the Internet, have had to co-operate in order for advertisers to remain competitive.
Tracking a persons Internet usage is a new phenomenon of digital media convergence, especially in relation to advertising and new media. Similar to data mining, tracking involves “the … extraction of … potentially useful information from data" (Frawley cited in Anonymous, 2000, pp. 35). This method of information extraction is specific to the Internet, a form of new media, as it is a software that many website companies use to gain a better understanding of each individual who visits their website. It is from the information discovered from tracking Internet usage that causes advertisements on the world wide web to be tailored to each individual person, or as Eli Pariser refers to it, a “filter bubble” (2011). Not only is a persons search results specialised for them their advertising is as well; a further explanation can be seen in the video below
New media technology is “enabling new—and in some cases hyper-local and personalised—forms of advertising” (Nicholson cited in Greengard, 2012). This is clearly evident in the use of Facebook. This social media site uses information discovered from tracking to filter specific ‘Friends’ onto your news feed but more importantly, it chooses what advertising shows up in the “sponsored” column that appears on the side every page you go to when on Facebook.
|My Facebook Sponsor Column|
|My Friend's Facebook Sponsor Column|
“Old media are not being displaced. Rather, their functions and status are shifted by the introduction of new technologies” (Jenkins 2006, pp. 14). Advertising was present in all old media forms, newspapers, televisions, radio, etc; but since the introduction of new media, their campaigns have been forced to adjust, or shift, to this new media environment to remain competitive. Since the shift from old media to new, a parallel change has occurred between “top down or push type advertising” (Sheehan and Morrison, 2009) and interactive participatory culture. This occurred due to digital convergence and new media, the Internet, as it allows individuals to interact the content online. This altered media environment has caused advertisers to rethink marketing campaigns because the power has changed from big companies to the people as they have the power to exit or change webpages at a moments notice. YouTube is an example of the participatory culture of the Internet. Working like a social media site, people are able to create videos and post it on the site for people to comment, like or dislike in a public manner; a medium that advertisers are starting to adopt. Before YouTube, a television commercial was an expensive commodity for any company to undertake, as they have to be made in high resolution to look acceptable for large television screens. Since the new digital media phenomenon of YouTube, companies have saved lots of money making cheap low-resolution commercials. The two of the most famous examples of YouTube advertising is the Cadbury Gorilla and Eyebrow advertisements.
These two advertisements began as YouTube videos and became a huge sensation across the globe. Lucas Hilderbrand states “videos that may look acceptable in miniature reveal low resolution if blown up to full screen” (2007) which these two original videos clearly show. It was from these YouTube clips, that Cadbury decided to use them on television, allowing even more people to see these advertisements. Such success is not limited to Cadbury alone, Old Spice is a similar case. It too began as a viral video, only to have achieved such success, it became television commercial.
These advertising successes have embraced the new media form and convergent digital media by allowing people to interact with the campaigns by allowing them to ‘share’ them with friends. Campaigns like these only became possible because of the phenomenon of digital media convergence as it allows people more control over what they seen and when they see it.
The need for advertising and new media to co-operate is due to the phenomenon of digital media convergence. As more of society turn towards the digital world, advertisers have had to follow in order to promote their product with some success. Due to new media, or the Internet, marketing companies have an opportunity to “maximise results – and revenue” (Greengard, 2012) as tracking a persons Internet usage allows for a more personalised Internet for an individual. Advertisers have also sought in finding new cheaper methods of creating campaigns by utilising the low resolution that is common place on YouTube, allowing them to retain more money if campaign is not as successful as initially predicted. Both assist in showing that digital media convergence is a phenomenon for advertising and new media if they wish to remain current and competitive.
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Glassandahalffull 2009, Cadbury Eyebrowns (official version), viewed 30 August 2012, <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TVblWq3tDwY>.
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Old Spice 2010, Old Spice: The Man Your Man Could Smell Like, viewed 30 August 2012, < http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=owGykVbfgUE>.
Pariser, E 2011, Beware Online “Filter Bubbles”, Podcast, Ted, viewed 29 August 2012, <http://video.ted.com/talk/podcast/2011/None/EliPariser_2011.mp4>.
Sheehan, KB and Morrison, DK 2009, ‘Beyond Convergence: confluence culture and the advertising agency in a changing world’, First Monday [Online], vol. 14, no. 3, viewed 29 August 2012, <http://firstmonday.org/htbin/cgiwrap/bin/ojs/index.php/fm/article/view/2239/2121>.