Thursday, August 30, 2012

Assignment 1: Rodney ALBERTS

This essay will discuss the phenomenon of digital media convergence as it applies specifically to advertising and new media. In order to appropriately discuss the phenomenon of digital media convergence regarding new media and advertising it is integral to understand what new media is and how it has developed over time. Secondly, a discussion between digital media convergence and advertising and new media, regarding their role within media convergence, will be given. Further, through the aid of several academic sources and a real world example, the question regarding the phenomenon of digital media convergence regarding advertising and new media will be discussed.

 Firstly, media convergence can be identified as the flow of content across multiple media platforms (Jenkins, 2006). The creation of new media platforms opens up the possibility of dissimilarity across media platforms. Consequently, looks for ways to ensure that the content people see on one type of platform (computer) will be the same if they were to see the same content on another platform (smartphone) (Jenkins, 2006), (Dwyer, 2010). The concept of multiple media platforms is relatively new, particularly in the last five or six years there has been an increase demand of new media technologies (Dwyer, 2010). Previously, individuals would need to use multiple devices in order to access a wide range of information. For example, the television would be used to watch T.V, the computer would be used for word processing and a mobile phone would be used to make phone calls. (Alexander, 2008). Today this can all be achieved through the use of a smartphone such as the iPhone. Consequently, new media has developed at an exponential rate, particularly in the last five years with the emergence of smart phones. Competition in this industry between competitors has meant that new technology has continued to develop at a fast rate.

 Prior to the emergence of new media, the majority of advertising was either on the internet, on televisions or in the public sphere through billboards. However new media, through media convergence, has led to a participatory culture allowing users to be in charge of what they choose to see and when they want to see. The control that new media gives to an individual results in many choosing to skip advertisements (Jenkins, 2006). Initially, the industry focused on the internet and created specific website that would give a user a free item or discount if they would register their email address. However, this type of marketing campaign was considered uninspiring and dull. (Khamis, 2012)As such, the advertising industry focused on the users of new media in particular – that is, people who, an average, would use only one device to access information that would normally been seen on a wide variety of devices Advertisers focused the development of marketing campaigns on new media, in particular through utilising video sharing websites that can be accessed through a phone, tablet or a computer. While there where several successful online marketing campaigns (i.e. the Dark Knight marketing campaign), the most successful were the ones that were not necessarily intended to be a marketing campaign This is referred to as ‘viral’ (Khamis, 2012). A viral video is a video that has spread from user to user through social media websites such as Facebook and Twitter or by word of mouth. From the advertisers’ perspective, the best type of advertising is a viral video. There are many reasons for this is including the fact that the company who made the video does not have any costs associated from publishing the video and users spread the video to other users through social media. An example of a viral video is the old spice marketing campaign. Old Spice, a male grooming brand, in 2010 launched a new campaign that featured a single shot of a man transitioning from different scenarios with the concept of “anything’s possible”. Originally airing on television, the advertisement grew on social media websites such as YouTube, Twitter and Facebook. Since its original airing the video has been seen more than 40 million times on YouTube and more importantly though, sales of old spice grew by 107%(Vaynerchuk, 2011). Media convergence made the video more accessible through the way users were able to access it on their smartphones and portable devices and quickly share and send it to friends using the same device. However very few marketing campaigns go viral and as a result many advertisers’ realised users were becoming increasingly distracted, distrustful and disinterested (Khamis, 2012) decided to focus on making their advertisements more interesting and appealing. Branded content is combining entertainment with advertising. The rise of media convergence, new media and the changing habits of the consumer forced advertisers to adopt a different approach to marketing. As such many companies focus their attention on advertisements that had high on production costs and purposely place the product in the background. An example of branded content is Kony 2012. Kony 2012, created by Invisible Children, promotes the organisation’s “Stop Kony” movement. The documentary examines the crimes Joseph Kony has committed and the need for him to be arrested. The advertisement is a form of branded content due to the fact that despite the intentions of the organisation, Kony 2012 is promoting a brand and encouraging users to purchase products from that brand (Walsh, 2012). Through media convergence and new media, the advertisement has been seen more than 80 million times though YouTube alone. The success of the first video caused the creators to release an updated video about the progress regarding Invisible Children and their “Stop Kony” campaign. Kony 2012 is considered a form of branded content that is, in its essence, an advertisement. Another form of branded content is online music videos. Recently, many music videos feature a wide variety of products within the clip, many of which are products that are generally owned by the parent company. For example Sony Music placing a Sony TV in a music video is considered a form of branded advertising.

This essay has discussed the phenomenon of digital media convergence and the way it relates to advertising and new media. An understanding of what media convergence and new media is, along with a history of the development of new media, has established how the concept has grown. Through the use of real world examples such as Old Spice and Kony and the examination of concepts such as ‘going viral’, the importance of utilising new media, particularly for the advertising industry, has been established. The importance of new media in not only the advertising industry, but business in general, coupled with the growth and development that new media has seen over the last five years, and in all likelihood will continue to see into the future, establishes how important a concept it is and how it influences are interaction with society.


Alexander, J. (2008). Media Convergence: Creating Content, Questioning Relationships. Computers and Composition, 1-8.
Dwyer, T. (2010). Media Convergence. 1-23.

Invisible Children (2012) Kony 2012. [video online] Available at: [Accessed: 30th August 2012].
Green, L. (2010). Internet : an introduction to new media. Berg Publishers.
Jenkins, H. (2006). Convergence Culture: Where old and new media collide. NY University Press, 1-25.
Khamis, S. (2012, August 22). Is media sustained by or for advertising? Macquarie University. Sydney, NSW, Australia.

Procter & Gamble (2010) The Man Your Man Could Smell Like . [video online] Available at: [Accessed: 29th August 2012].
Vaynerchuk, G. (2011). The Thank You Economy. New York: HarperCollins.
Walsh, L. (2012). More mixed messages about youth participation . Youth Studies Australia, 3-4.

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