Friday, August 31, 2012

Media Convergence - Advertising & New Media (Olivia Dent, 42471346)

Advertising & New Media.

By Olivia Dent (42471346)

               Advertising has always been a part of our lives and the desire for businesses to make a profit and market a particular image to us means it will always be a part of our lives. Yet this doesn’t mean it hasn’t changed. Media has always developed depending on the technology and desires of the consumer and so has advertising from newspaper ads to Google Adwords, television advertisements to viral videos. This means that more creative and sometimes more intrusive ways of advertising are developed. In this essay media convergence will be defined as ‘the process whereby new technologies are accommodated by existing media and communication industries and cultures’ (Dwyer, 2010). For advertisers, it has become much trickier to capture a consumer’s attention with the ability to fast forward through advertising on television, flick the page in a newspaper or mute the radio. While it is found everywhere we may not be paying attention, rather texting or surfing the web on our smartphones. The medium is an important factor to consider when advertising to people finding new ways to reach an audience on a new kind of device or website is crucial to retain a viewer’s attention. Spurgeon explains, ‘They [advertisers] are looking for new ways to reach increasingly distracted, distrustful and disinterested customers’ (Spurgeon, 2010 pp. 27). He goes onto explain that many advertisers must creatively integrate their advertising to avoid being seen as a nuisance or interruption (Spurgeon, 2010).

Google Adwords search (2012)
               One form of successful online advertising is search engine advertising. The method is simple; advertisers buy a space at the top of a search list related to a particular keyword. For example if I Google ‘advertising agencies’ on the 17th of August, three different paid search results come up, one for a search engine advertising on Yahoo, the second is for Believe Advertising and the third is for Press Play Creations. Press Play Creations offers integrated advertising for television, web development and social media (Press Play Creations, 2012) which is another great example of media convergence, not just the method I found it through. As Spurgeon explains ‘Advertising in search engines and online directories is the largest and one of the fastest growing segments of online advertising’ (2010, pp. 25). Google offers these services and it has earned billions of dollars from them and continues to do so. In 2011 the profit from advertising revenue achieved a 29% profit increase (Google, 2012). All parties involved are able to profit. Companies like Google are able to gain huge profits from this simple advertising technique. Businesses are targeting potential customers more effectively than television because they are searching for these businesses. The user benefits because they are shown advertisements relevant to their search. Google also profits from advertising, not just from the search words but from the details they gain about their users. They are able to effectively target potential customers due to the large amount of information they gather about their users via Gmail, Google+ and Google Chrome.

               Facebook uses a similar technique, asking users to ‘Like’ pages to gather and then they target those users via a few simple advertisements on the right side of the page. Users also have the option to remove types of ads completely and asked to explain why this advertisement isn't useful. Reasons such as it “goes against their beliefs” or just “doesn’t interest them” are some of the options (Facebook, 2012). Another convergent advertising practice is businesses on Facebook creating pages to ‘like’. These pages might feature free products or invites to exclusive events if you ‘like’ the page. This results in businesses having a direct path to their customers to advertise to. This can backfire on the business as it has with Target recently. An angry mother posted a comment on their Facebook page stating the clothing range for young children that makes them ‘look like tramps’ (Bourke, 2012). This post received 50,000 likes and comments and resulted in widespread negative media coverage (Bourke, 2012). So while convergent advertising can be a useful way of targeting customers and creating a community around a product, that community can revolt and create a negative image for a brand. Yet in this convergent world we live in, not being on websites like Facebook can be detrimental to companies, as brands are able to ‘retain some level of control in the creation of messages, and creates communities where brand managers can learn of any negative message that may occur’ (Sheehan, Morrison 2009)

               It has been proven that advertising and branding via social networking works on a whole new level. For example, a study explained by Pelsmacker and Neijens examined the strength of a campaign if sent through social networks compared to other media. It was found that something like a television advertisement sent to someone via social media creates a more positive attitude towards the brand and campaign because it was shared in a more personal manner, but if it is shown on television it would get nowhere near that kind of reaction (Pelsmacker and Neijens, 2012). An example of this style of advertising being a huge success is the ‘big beer ad’ for Carlton Draught. This ad frequently aired on television and also made a huge impact online, getting millions of views on YouTube and being shared among friends. While it didn’t impact on the share price of the company and the sales of the product slowed, most likely due to a slight decline in the market at that time, they still consider it to be a success as the brand as a whole benefited greatly (SMH, 2007). An independent survey showed after the ad aired and spread across the internet ‘84 per cent were able to name the brand unprompted, 47 per cent felt more positive about the brand’ (SMH, 2007). This kind of media convergence, an advertisement made for television and to be shared among friends online is very popular among businesses, but it must be worth sharing in the first place to be a success online.

               The shift from conventional television, newspaper and radio advertising has meant that advertisers need to be more creative in their approach. The Big Beer Ad was extremely successful for Carlton Draught, while it didn’t affect sales too much it gave them increased brand awareness because they were able to reach a wide audience across television and the internet. Another method of advertising with new media is Google Adwords which feature small advertisements when someone searches a particular term. Google also targets users via the information they collect from e-mail and the Google browser. This has resulted in a huge increase in profits and a more successful method of advertising rather than using other media.  While older methods of advertising such as television, radio or newspapers has its advantages, targeting potential customers online, or creating advertisements for multiple mediums means that it can reach a wider audience and there is a better chance audiences will react in a more positive way and reach a greater number of people than if it was created for only one medium. 


Bourke, E., 2012, Facebook targets retailer over tramp complaint, The World Today, Viewed 17/08/12,

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

Facebook, 2012, Facebook Advertisements, Viewed 17/08/12

Google, 2012, Financial Tables 2012, Google Inc., viewed 17/8/12,

Google Adwords search image, 2012, Google Inc., viewed 18/8/12, (Link)

Pelsmacker, P., Neijens, P. C., 2012, ‘New Advertising formats: How persuasion knowledge affects consumer responses’, Journal of Marketing Communications, Vol. 18, No.1, pp1-4

Press Play Creations, 2012, ‘What We Offer’, viewed 28/8/12,

Sheehan, Kim and Morrison, Deborah (2009) ‘Beyond convergence: Confluence culture and the role of the advertising agency in a changing world’ in  First Monday vol 14 no 3,

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

Sydney Morning Herald, 2012, Big Ad struggles to convert plaudits into sales, Viewed 18/8/12,

The Big Beer Ad (2006) Carlton Draught, [Television Advertisement], 

‘This Is Not A Joke’ Banner Advertisement  (2011) Viewed 27/8/12,

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