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.