Friday, August 31, 2012

Assignment 1

Digital media convergence, that is the flow of content across multiple media platforms (Jenkins, 2006), has essentially forced the advertising industry to adapt to new media or die. As media markets fragment, because new media has increased the versatility of human action (Dwyer, 2010) advertisers must move away from traditional ideas of “mass” media and advertise through or with the help of new media. The internet is the fastest growing advertising hub as it Spurgeon (2008) highlights, that online adverting expenditure now frequently exceeds these more traditional forms of advertising, and in Australia alone, between 2004 and 2006, online advertising grew by 60%. This boom in online advertising plainly shows advertisers utilising the new media of the internet. While outdoor advertising can be seen as a traditional way of advertising, it can be seen that it has adapted to new media through technologies such as QR (Quick Response) codes and interactive game- style advertising. Another way in which advertisers are adapting to new media is through branded content in order to connect with uninterested consumers. Thirdly, the rapid expansion social media has allowed advertisers to spread their message through viral campaigns. It is imperative that modern advertising must cut through the clutter of traditional forms of advertising and spread their branding across various platforms of new media in order to excite and encourage consumers and keep their brands relevant in a modern society.

"Rebuild Central Park"
campaign with embededd
QR code
While outdoor marketing can be seen as more traditional form of advertising, a convergence can be seen in today’s more modern styles of outdoor advertising. This convergence can be clearly seen though the use of the modern technology of QR codes being used on the “older” bus bench ads, posters and billboards. Wilken and Sinclair (2009) explain this QR technology as a “physical hyperlink”, via a camera phone which scans the code and then links the user directly to the relevant website. The application of this technology to outdoor adverting clearly shows a clear convergence of advertisers overlaying different forms of media in order to suit the modern consumer. Another way in which outdoor advertising has adapted is the Fantastic Delites’ “How far will you go for Fantastic Delites?” campaign in which a vending machine style box was placed in a high pedestrian area and gave away free boxes of Fantastic Delights after participants engaged in certain tasks and games. This new form of outdoor advertising effectively cuts through the clutter of regular outdoor advertisements as it effectively engages consumers by utilising new technologies. The campaign has also had further exposure though the release of a YouTube video of people playing the “Delite-o-matic” generating over 2 million views in just over a month, which again shows how, by and aligning both new and old media, advertising can thrive.

Apple's product placement in
"House M.D."
The development of branded content was necessary due to the digitalisation of media as consumers are now able to remove advertisements in their entirety in the process of discovering and time-shifting programmes (Spurgeon, 2008). Branded content also allows brands to be contextualised and targeted towards certain groups through product placement. A successful example of product placement is Apple computer, which Russell (2006) points out to be the computer brand of choice in Hollywood productions. By subtly having the Apple logo appear in both television and cinema Apple creates a brand awareness and familiarity, without many consumers even realising they are essentially viewing an ad during a TV program or film. However some forms of this advertising can become over done, with obvious and even scripted references to particular brands, which can evidentially lead to exposure on YouTube as a parody, which may in fact be successful as it keeps the brand at "front-of-mind". Branded content can be taking further, in the form of branded entertainment, which allows consumers to actively seek out the content (Spurgeon, 2008) for the purpose of entertainment. BMW aligned advertising and film to create a series of short films based on the brands previous association with the James Bond films. This is a clear example of convergence and its success within advertising as it actively engages consumers by providing entertainment, encouraging consumers to actively seek these “films” out. These examples of branded content clearly show that the uniting of advertising and television and film effectively engages consumers in a modern society, a clear convergence between once separate media forms.

Viral marketing is a relatively new form advertising and it is also a potentially risky venture as it relies on users’ motivation to forward online content, voluntarily (Ho, 2010). However, if done well, viral campaigns can be very successful in promoting brand awareness. Viral campaigns can also be an effective to gauge consumer feedback, for example Evian’s “Rollerblading Babies” campaign was first released online and after receiving tens of millions of views, it was then released onto television. Coca Cola has also tapped into viral marketing with their “Let’s look at the world a little differently” campaign. A simple advertisement featuring a compilation of security camera footage from around the globe of people doing good deeds. The ad itself is an example of convergence at work, and the ad then going viral, with over 6 million views in just few months, shows how by engaging audiences over a variety of social media platforms advertising can succeed in today’s society.

In conclusion, it can be seen through various forms of adverting in new media that convergence is key in ensuring the campaign’s success in modern society. The convergence of outdoor advertising and new technologies has changed the way in which consumers view and interact with advertising. This combination of new and old media can is also seen in branded content, most apparent in Apple’s dominance in both the film and television industry through the mean of product placement. Furthermore, viral marketing, arguably the newest and most successful form of advertising media, gains its success by utilising the power of social media and consumers ability to propel their brands. It is clear that all of these forms of advertising triumph through digital media convergence by cutting through the clutter of old media to reach uninterested consumers through new media and technology relevant to today’s modern society.

Jenkins, H. (2006) Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide, NY University Press, pp 1-24

Dwyer, T. (2010) Media Convergence, McGraw Hill Berkshire, pp 1-23

Spurgeon, C. (2008) Advertising and New Media, Oxon Routledge, pp 24-45

Wilken, R. and Sinclair, J. (2009) “Waiting for the Kiss of Life”: Mobile Media and Advertising, Convergence: the Journal of Research into New Media, Vol 15 no 5 pp 427-445

Rebuild Central Park QR code image (2011) Bullpen Marketing, Available at: [Accessed August 26 2012]

How far will you go for Fantatstic Delites? – Delite-o-matic (released July 5 2012) by TasteFantastic, Available at:

Russell, C.A. (2005) A Managerial Investigation into the Product Placement Industry, Journal of advertising research, Vol 45 no 1 pp 73

Apple computer in House M.D. image (2011) PC Mag, Available at:

Ho, J. Y. C. (2010) Viral marketing: Motivations to forward online content, Journal of Business Research, Vol 63 no 9 pp 1000

Let’s look at the world a little differently (released June 11 2012) by Coca Cola, Available at:

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