The many faces of Media.

Is media more divergent or convergent in the digital world?

SharingThere’s no doubt that with the advent of home studios it’s now easier to generate and create your own content. Hence we see that in the media sources side of the business there is a huge increase in the number of content creators and this has had a divergent effect on media generation and story telling.

What is more often missed is how our media consumption habits have changed. I don’t mean the device we consume it on but the fact that though there are soo many new media sources you would expect a scattered playing field with a lot of niche content being consumed by different people based on interests, location etc.

Though usage of niche media is rising, we are also seeing a greater rise in everyone consuming the same media story. The collective conscience is more aligned than ever before. We’re consuming the same shows, the same news stories, even the same underground news stories. It’s almost as if certain stories / narratives have been able to fully utilize the reach of the internet by spanning across categories, interests, location, language and all the other usual barriers to captivate the entire globe’s (or at least those with TV & internet) attention.

Is this simply good craft or marketing or a mix of the two or are we just social creatures and will gravitate towards what everyone else is talking about so that we are informed and have talking points that allow us to participate in groups.

The Near Future.

The Near FutureNowadays Big Data seems to be the buzz word of the year! We hear how it’s going to change our lives and change the way marketers address consumers.

One of Big data’s most important applications for marketers is that it uses consumer data (buying habits, location, routine, routes etc) to better target and better inform (relevant) consumers about deals, sales, location based needs (umbrella’s for a sudden rain shower, water fountains on heat-wave days, mall maps downloaded to your phone etc.)

Privacy concerns will have to be addressed and marketers will have to learn the fine line between helpful and creepy (there will surely be some mis-steps).

Ogilvy (my old agency) gives you a peek into the near future (all the technology shown in the video is up and running) and how big data will manifest itself into users lives once companies have fully integrated it.

A bit heavy on the consumerism but that’s a bigger debate.

Banksy’s take on Advertising

Being an Adman myself, I can understand Banksy’s ire at the profession.

It can at times be a hollow one filled with it’s fair share of insecure individuals who are over-compensating for that insecurity with imaginary renditions of beauty, society, family anything we aspire towards. Working in advertising you’re always told the one secret to success is flexible morals. Seems like a sad way to make a living!

Advertising makes creatives a tad bitter too, cause it’s perhaps one of the few creative arts where the creator is not free to do as he/she pleases. Rather they must take instructions and perform to someone else’s subjective preferences i.e. The Client.

Artists, Musicians, Film Makers have the majority of creative control and final say on their work. In advertising that final control lies with the client and as you can imagine it breeds frustration and resentment.

In advertising’s defense though, I think banksy is giving it too much credit for influencing the public at large’s perceptions. IMHO there is a backlash to advertising and it’s messages. We have or are soon reaching a point where advertising messages are droned out and no longer the influencers they once were. Societal norms are changing and admen are no longer defining them but chasing them.

The credibility of advertisers has taken quite a beating in this media messaged generation, nothing a brand puts out is taken as gospel. In fact it is put to intense scrutiny and suspicion cause consumers are savvy enough to realize that a brand’s not paying for (media) messages that do not serve it’s purpose. Dove never ran a negative testimonial, Car companies never publicize their failures, FMCG companies don’t talk about the health hazards.

But now they all are – Coke has an ad that speaks about it’s initiative to control diabetes in America, McDonalds wants to answer questions about its food, Dove wants women to be themselves, the list is long and Hooray for that!