Changes in Media History and Links to Consumer Culture
The content that is released to users has been evolving since the 20th century following the influence of technology on mass media agencies. Due to the changes that have been observed in media history, the impact has been felt in various aspects and fields, for instance, advertisement, among others. Media changes have also influenced the relationship between the consumer and the manufacturer through contemporary well-calculated promotion strategies. This paper discusses how changes in media technologies have influenced advertising and consumer culture. It also examines how advertising has affected the development of media technologies.
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According to Castells et al., the world is at the peak of media changes. Media content dissemination has moved from analog where the materials aired were exposed to the risk fading and snow (177). The contemporary media dissemination has adopted digital technology, which is not only free from interference but also one that allows media industries such as the television to avail crystal-clear images and audible sounds. As Castells et al. assert, as the changes take place, consumers are transferring their media intake from desktop to mobile platforms via devices such as smartphones (177). In other words, people who used to consume their news, entertainment, adverts and much more through print media, TV, and radio are getting the same data via other advanced devices that range from personal computers to tablets.
The above modifications have led the media industry and other sectors to migrate from traditional methods of transacting their businesses to online or Internet-enabled means. By advertising online, companies can now access the target consumers easily, as well as increase the survival chances in their line of business. Therefore, the revolution explains how media bodies have connected people and/or influenced their day-to-day consumption, thanks to development in technology around the globe. This impact of technology advancement has drawn the consumer close to the advertisement industry since promoters can now access their clients’ information through the current refined expertise. This situation has helped companies to alter their adverts to appeal to their target clients’ demands. The changes in media technologies have helped to create another level of consumption culture.
According to Castells et al., media technology changes have been evident whereby the internet has become part of communication in the community, making it very easy to deliver information to the absorbed audience (177). Since companies have managed to access their consumers’ materials, it has become easy to stream-live information that is of better value to consumers, instead of invading their space with general information that might not be of interest to them, however much the advert may be appealing. This mounting pressure on the media sector has led to the discovery of new technologies, for instance, the development of product promotion apps, where clients can review items and/or go through comments from other customers to get a rough picture of the items before making a purchase decision (Vinikas 3). Besides, some years back, only a few people could use Skype for video calls. Presently, in line with Grier and Bryant’s exchange theory that presents customers as always struggling to attain the best value for their money, the majority of people can video call, access Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram cheaply provided they have an Internet-enabled smartphone that is connected to a social media network (321).
Conclusively, media technology changes have made the consumer more empowered in terms of making decisions on what to consume. On the other hand, changes in media technologies have made advertisers grow in their line of business by using the Internet to remain in the competition. As the rate of consumption expands across the world, advertisers are doing their possible best to retain and/or give relevant information to their clients.
Covert advertising is a marketing approach where manufacturers promote their products indirectly, for instance, depicting a character in a film applying Vaseline on his or her body (Samuel 51; Eagle et al. 237). Although the movie may have another theme to convey, such a character may help to promote the uptake of the product among viewers. This section reveals the role of covert advertisement in consumer culture, how it is contributing to advertising as a cultural institution, and the links between it and identity in consumer culture.
The role of covert advertising cannot be undermined. This method of advertising has been long used by advertisers and moviemakers to appeal to consumers to acquire a particular item (Samuel 51). On the other hand, it has become a major factor in marketing communication. Despite being done indirectly, this mode of advertising has been adopted as a marketing tool, owing to its cost and the possibility of viewers being reminded about the product every time they watch a film where the method has been applied. Hence, the method has been adopted because of its capacity to influence the aimed consumer.
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This form of product promotion has contributed to advertising as a cultural institution. Producers are trying to woo their target clients through covert advertising. Covert advertising has had a great impact on the consumer culture, as witnessed in the case where the target audiences are going for products that are connected to their superstars. For instance, a viewer who prefers a particular actor who is depicted consuming McDonald’s products may want to watch a particular movie while having the same company’s commodities (Eagle et al. 237). Although covert advertising is an indirect way of promoting businesses, it has created a big effect in the market where industry players want to adopt this marketing technique as a way of attracting new clients while retaining the current ones (Samuel 51). Convert advertising has greatly opened another door where companies can reach an audience that could not be directly obtained. This technique of advertising has contributed to the current growth and popularity of the movie industry and hence the rise of consumer culture among the target consumers.
Covert advertising has helped in the creation of awareness of brands by clients. It has enabled producers to create a new perception that seems to attract customers’ attention through movies (Ragusa 654). Consumers get to understand either an existing brand or a new one differently. In this advertising means, brands are placed as additions during intervals whereby a celebrity or movie star is captured using a particular product. Here, viewers stand a chance to appreciate the brand by going ahead to purchase related items. Following the role of convert advertising in enhancing brand popularity, it is indeed apparent that the future of advertising will change as the demand for some products increases.
Covert branding has played a key role in boosting companies’ identity. Besides, it has led to clients wanting to be associated with the particular product or brand that their favorite character is captured using in a film. For instance, a superstar who is depicted enjoying a Coca-Cola drink boosts not only the company’s image but also the popularity of the particular product among consumers/viewers. Hence, such audiences will want to be linked to the company’s commodities, thus boosting their identity too. In other words, convert advertising has helped in the creation of awareness that other conventional methods could not have attained in the advertising industry.
Conclusively, convert advertising has helped to increase the level of consumption among customers. Such an approach has been used as an advertising medium whose agenda is to create awareness about products and varieties to targeted consumers. Filmmakers mostly embrace this mode of marketing.
Castells, Manuel, et al. Aftermath: The Cultures of the Economic Crisis. Oxford University Press, 2012.
Eagle, Layne, et al. “Subtle Sophistry or Savvy Strategy: Ethical and Effectiveness Issues Regarding Product Placements in Mass Media.” Advances in Advertising Research, vol. 3, no. 1, 2012, pp. 237-247.
Grier, Sonya, and Carol Bryant. “Social Marketing in Public Health.” Ann. Rev. Public Health, vol. 26, no. 1, 2005, pp. 319-339.
Ragusa, Angela. “Social Change and the Corporate Construction of Gay Markets in the New York Times’ Advertising Business News.” Media, Culture & Society, vol. 27, no. 5, 2005, pp. 653-676.
Samuel, Lawrence. “Advertising Disguised as Advertising.” Television Quarterly, vol. 34, no. 2, 2004, pp. 51-55.
Vinikas, Vincent. Soft Soap: Hard Sell, American Hygiene in an Age of Advertisement. Iowa State University Press, 1992.