Thursday, 17 May 2012

The Gaze

This ad for Dolce & Gabbana is a good example of Gaze but for the wrong reasons. The viewer is confronted by this semi nude male, an archetype of masculinity, muscular, tanned and good looking. He is in a very provocative pose that makes the viewer almost uncomfortable. There is no sense of voyeurism in this ad as the model is staring straight at the viewer. The lipstick mark above the bottle indicates that women will want to kiss you if you wear this cologne and will view you in the same category as the model. However as a male, who i am presuming is the target audience, the sheer provocativeness of the models pose makes it seem as if he is directing it at you which to a lot of men would put them off.

Marxism and media ownership

According to Branston & Stafford conglomerates such as News Corporation can wield powers of censorship through their huge incomes that can be as big as a nations. An example of this would be Rupert Murdoch's intervention in 1989 to prevent the publication of a memoir by Chris Patten which was critical of the Chinese regime. He did this because he was setting up business links with the chinese at the time. Powerful figures such as Mohamed Al Fayed also have to power to sway public opinion with government-scale propaganda.
Marxist philosopher Althusser states that media (including advertising) is an Ideological State Apparatus (ISA) which maintains power at an ideological level, in peoples minds, by producing imaginary relations to power structures. It does this by naturalising assumptions and ideas which are ideological in that they manufacture and maintain consent to the existing social order.
Golding and Murdock claim that individuals who control huge portions of media such as Bill Gates or Rupert Murdoch ensure that the social imagery and knowledge which is circulated through the media is mostly in their interest, and this reproduces the system of class inequalities from which it benefits.
Ideology is "knowledge that is constructed in such a way as to legitimate unequal social power relations" Williams says that Advertising is one of the most influential ideological forms in contemporary society.
Karl Marx and Frederick Engles "the class that has the means of material production at its disposal, has control at the same time over the means of mental production, so that thereby, generally speaking, the ideas of those who lack the means of mental production are subject to it."
Judith Williamson, in Decoding Advertising, claims that advertising encourages people to buy certain things to be perceived in a certain way by creating a human bond with the product. She states that Adverts are selling us ourselves. Essentially people are associated with what they consume, not what they produce.

Power through surveillance

  2. To help advertising creatives understand what type of video is most likely to be viewed
  3. It is free advertising essentially. The aim of virals is to create hype and get viewers to create media volume by sharing it. It means the public are interacting with the ad, rather than being forced to watch it, they may even actively seek out the ad
  4. Advertisers are raising the question of wether campaign success can be gaged by viral scope and wether a new type of advertising is needed for the future
  5. TV ads that had been placed online
  6. Buzz is an excited interest ie. "the viral created a buzz"
  7. 1-4
  8. How many hits the video receives and the overall enjoyment are indicators of viral success
  9. Videos must be distinctive compared to the millions of other videos on the web, celebrity endorsement and created buzz
  10. The element of luck is how the viral will be received. once uploaded it is totally out of the brands control, it is down to the viewer. It might be that it is received well and there is a lot of online chatter, or it might be received badly and become negative for the brand

Monday, 30 April 2012

Technology & Social Strategy

The World Wide Web has become a tour-de-force for advertising over the last few years. Googles main source of income is through advertising netting over $6.5 million a year. It is through an initiative called Ad Words that companies can bid against each other to be higher up on the search page. Google also records your key search words and displays relevant adverts on the page to your search. This means advertising has become more tailored to the individual consumer. If you type in Sardinia you will notice holiday booking and flight company ads appear more often. Google also uses cookies to scan your activity on the internet and distribute this information to advertising agencies so they can gain a greater understanding of trends and the way to more successfully target consumers. This is called behavioural targeting. Behavioural engines are also a popular tool on sites such as and lovefilm. By using your resent search history on their website they can recommend similar titles for you to look at.

Monday, 27 February 2012

Panopticism, IPA & Social Media

1) To induce in the inmate a state of consciousness and permanent visibility that assures the automatic functioning of power.
2) The prisoners do not know if they are being watched or not. Using a tower that is far enough away that surveillance can be carried out without the prisoners knowledge, and the use of open barred cages means that prisoners will behave through fear that their actions could be being monitored at any one time.
3) The person subjected to this treatment is himself the enabler. He consciously obeys his own rules which have been manipulated by panopticism because of the threat of punishment if he is seen to be doing anything bad. He becomes the principle of his own subjection.
4) It can be used to experiment on altering behaviour and to train or correct individuals. It can be used to test medicines and monitor their effects on patients.
5) It was a laboratory as it was used to test how you can manipulate different aspects of human behaviour and emotion. For example, testing the effects of segregated learning of orphans and the challenges faced when reinstating them after a number of years back into social environments.
6) Panopticism strengthens power by reducing the number of people who exercise it whilst increasing the number of whom it is exercised upon. The constant pressure of intervention acts before the offences even occur. Its power is the fact that it may never have to intervene, or even exist, but the fact that it is a possibility is enough to keep people in line.
7) Julius said 'It was to the modern age, to the ever-growing influence of the state, to its ever more profound intervention in all the details and all the relations of social life, that was reserved the task of increasing and perfecting its guarantees, by using and directing towards that great aim the building and distribution of buildings intended to observe a great multitude of men at the same time.'
8) Julious also said that rather than suppress an individual it continues with the concrete training of useful forces; the circuits of communication are the supports of an accumulation and a centralisation of knowledge.

Is the IPA Panoptic?
Yes in a way the IPA has panoptic tendencies. It tracks agencies progress and evaluates almost everything they do, keeping records of all agency activity. There are guidelines that agencies must follow to qualify to be part of the IPA, for example net profit, and if agencies fail to meet these guidelines then they will not be able to re-subscribe. They have a finance team which does constant surveys on agency census, Salary & Benefits and Agency software surveys. They offer many professional courses for all aspects of advertising, along with seminars, mentoring and new qualifications. They also act as lobbyists, representing advertising when government policy means changes to the industry.

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

The Internet as an Advertising Medium

Throughout the history of Advertising there have been many mediums that have been used including print ads, radio and television, and events. The most recent medium to emerge is the Internet. Although the Internet is a relatively new creation it holds a huge amount of promise in its capabilities to reach a much larger demographic than print ads or even television.

The Internet is the fastest growing medium that we have ever seen. It achieved 50 Million users in its first 5 years, whereas it took TV 13 years to reach that figure and it took Radio 38 years. In North America roughly 70 out of 100 people use the Internet and on a global scale 1 Billion people are surfing the Internet every month. However because the Internet was only released to the general public in 1992 it is still a working development and the Internets full capabilities have yet to be discovered. As of today there is still 80% of the worlds population that does not use the Internet. And although the majority of this percentage is from Low Economically Developed countries, it means that the possibilities for global campaigns are still a far off thought. Joe Cappo says “So far, it has not been as effective an advertising medium as television, but its multidimensional adaptability supersedes that of any other medium.”

One of the major problems with the progress of Advertising on the Internet is the stigma created by spam emails. A lot of Internet users are overly weary of all Internet advertisements as they might be scams. These spam adverts normally consist of a message like “You are the Millionth viewer!!! Click here to claim your prize!” And because these spam messages are usually in the same places as genuine banner adverts, they all get mixed together and are equally ignored. So far the only real form of Internet advertising are Banners. These are small adverts which appear at the side, bottom or top of the internet page you are surfing. These banners can take many forms, ranging from just simple messages to interactive pieces. They are becoming increasingly interactive as agencies try and push the limits of what’s possible on the Internet. Some have started to use two banner spaces and have them interact with each other. For example there is an advert for the TV programme Fugitive Chronicles where there is a banner at the top of the page with a picture of a prison wall and then there is a banner at the side of the page about half way down selling car insurance with a picture of a car. A prisoner then runs across the top banner followed by two policemen and a helicopter. The prisoner then jumps from the top banner into the Car Insurance banner, steals the car and drives off. Other forms of banners are ones which totally dominate your page by interacting with it. For example, a promotion for the re-release of the film Back to the Future saw a banner with the famous car in it. When you clicked the car it drove out into your page and took you to an old newspaper page that contained stories relevant to the movie and played the trailer. These sorts of banners are very cool but agencies have to be carful with how they produce them. Banners that contain involuntary interaction can be very annoying, especially when you are surfing a site with a purpose. One example that I have found increasingly annoying is a pop-up banner by BT, promoting their Christmas programming, that would appear at the top of your page with a load musical chorus. The banner would then follow you as you scrolled down the page.

The Internet has also indirectly helped advertising. Researchers have previously explained that Word of Mouth (WOM) influences consumer behaviour, however consumers are increasingly turning to online WOM in the form of online forums and social networks. This helps the spread of advertising campaigns. In terms of Facebook, people will find an advert, usually a viral, and send it to a few of their mates as they want other people to know about it. Their friends will then send it to someone else. This creates a chain reaction and soon an ad can become way bigger than if it was solely showed on TV. Youtube has a huge part to play in this as you can pretty much find every video you can think of, including most adverts. Through this process ads can obtain cult status, such as the Heineken “Walk-in Fridge” ad or the Old Spice “The Man Your Man Could Be” ads. There are also a lot of specialist blogs that help collect relevant material all in one space. This helps people find adverts that they might not have stumbled upon during browsing the Internet. Examples of these blogs would be Bannerblog, Adverblog, IBelieveInAdvertising and AdRants. In these blogs people can discuss adverts they liked or disliked and this helps WOM.

In conclusion, the Internet looks set to become a leading medium for agencies to produce adverts. Be it through banners, social sites such as Facebook and Twitter or viral ads on Youtube. Advertising agencies are increasingly shifting their budget towards Internet advertising and the Internet has become an essential part of an agencies advertising strategy. Increasingly an ad campaign will contain a TV advert, Print ads and some type of Internet banner. The Internet as an advertising medium is still in its early stages and it has not become a major priority over the likes of TV. However the Internet is progressing at an astonishing rate and soon agencies will be able to use technology in new and exciting way. The truth is that no one knows how far the Internet will take advertising and whether it will re-invent it or damage it, but in the next 10 years the face of advertising will be dramatically different.


· Joe Cappo (2003) The Future of Advertising

· Gerard Prendergast and David Ko (2010) Online word of mouth and consumer purchase intentions






Post Modernism

Post Modernism came around as a rebellion against the conformity of modernism and saw a total disregard for its views on the future and trying to progress. Post modernism took a very negative view and is often seen as pessimistic. It has a disillusionment of the idea of absolute knowledge. It was very much driven by the new generation after modernism and carried the typical rebellious nature against the rules enforced by an elder generation. Modernism is seen as an expression of modern life, technology and communication, whereas Post Modernism is seen as the reaction to these things.

Post Modernism is mostly associated with architecture but can also be seen in Advertising. In the modernism era adverts were very much to the point, giving you the necessary information and images. However in the post modern era ads became a lot more complex and became almost an art form rather than an information service. A good example would be most car adverts. In some of these ads the only indication that it is an Ad for a car is the company badge at the end. Advertisers started trying to sell you a feeling using visual stimulation.

However with every new generation the rules implemented by its predecessors can be seen as very old and each generation wants to create its own identity. Many people disregard the idea that we are heading towards a post-post modernism era, but i feel that we are heading towards something totally different to both modernism and post modernism. With more enfaces being put on Viral advertising and the use of new media such as the internet, it is becoming apparent that the new generation is creating its own era in the arts world, especially advertising.