Week 6: Critical Perspectives
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  • What is the Marketing Neo-Renaissance? It is successfully connecting with a prospect/customer by sending not only the message they want to hear, but also when and where they want to hear it. The era of integrated multi-channel marketing is here, and the consumer is calling the shots . The challenge for marketers in this new era is to understand target audiences so intimately that they can incorporate marketing messages into the audiences’ lifestyles without being a distraction . The bedrock of integrated marketing communications is having a thorough knowledge of one’s customers. It will be the marketers who understand their customer’s media consumption habits , lifestyle interests and purchase behaviour who will survive and thrive in the coming age. [Fragmentation of audience] In 1995 it took three TV commercials to reach 80 percent of women aged 18 to 49. In 2000, it took 97 TV ads to reach that same group.
  • Out of the old forms direct mail is the only even remotely trackable tactic, and with that you can only tell if someone has responded using the coupon or whatever it is you’ve sent them.
  • Advergaming is on the rise using techniques such as in-game billboards. It’s considered less intrusive than product-placement in film and TV. Buzz, viral and word of mouth marketing on the rise . 87% of US consumers indicate they trusted word of mouth recommendations the most. P&G have consequently created groups such as 300,000 teenagers identified as being ‘thought leaders’ or ‘influential’ among their peers. They are then given first access to products in hopes they’ll spread the word about them. As Misloski was writing P&G were just replicating the project with 400,000 to 600,000 mothers. The subservient chicken example of advertainment received 46 million hits in it’s first week (hits are virtually meaningless as a measurement tool these days). The main focus of online advertising in 2010 is contextual and behaviourally targeted advertising . Contextual example: on car safety website you’re shown ads for Michelin’s safest road tyres. Behavioural example: you look at a few sites relating to car safety, and others to do with SUVs, the software will compile this information and show you a Volvo SUV ad (Volvo’s are traditionally ‘safe cars’). Video advertising , where you get content you want like sports coverage from ESPN, but there are adverts you have to watch before you get to the content you want. Spotify is now trying a similar model for music. Know your customer – know their lifestyle interests, product consumption behavior, purchase behavior, media consumption habits, demographics, motivations and attitudes. Establish pertinent product offerings and relevant communications. Establish and maintain a strong brand. Design creative that stands out from the competition. Give customers something to talk about (encourage word of mouth) and the customers will become your sales force.
  • [Structuralism] This was taken forward in the thirties by Jacobson who proposed that language is an unconscious model built around relationships; difference and oppositions, which exists independently of the observer. Language is no longer seen as a means of expression at the disposal of a speaking subject. Language is not an instrument of thought but the precondition for thought and social existence. It is thought the unconscious is structured like a language (Jacques Lacan). [The Gift] The giving of the gift creates an inherent obligation on the received to reciprocate the gift. Key examples: Health charities sending you a free pen so that you feel obligated to donate. Open source software, encourages the rapid development of community around a shared goal. [Death of the Author] Could be read as early echo of our modern empowered consumer defining how they want to interact with your marketing materials because they have the choices, especially online. [The Hidden Persuaders] Packard explores the use of consumer motivational research and other psychological techniques, including depth psychology and subliminal tactics, by advertisers to manipulate expectations and induce desire for products, particularly in the American postwar era. It also explores the manipulative techniques of promoting politicians to the electorate. The book questions the morality of using these techniques. This idea of manufacturing desire stems from the psychoanalysis of Freud and was first applied to business by Edward Bernays (Freud’s nephew) in the US in the 1920s. He was used by the US govmt to make Woodrow Wilson appear as a great liberator of the people, but after the war Paul Mazer, a Wall Street banker working for Lehman Brothers in the 1930s: "We must shift America from a needs- to a desires-culture. People must be trained to desire, to want new things, even before the old have been entirely consumed. [...] Man's desires must overshadow his needs." Bernays 5mins 46 into the Youtube vid till the end: In the 1920s, working for the American Tobacco Company, he sent a group of young models to march in the New York City parade. He then told the press that a group of women's rights marchers would light "Torches of Freedom". On his signal, the models lit Lucky Strike cigarettes in front of the eager photographers. The New York Times (1 April 1929) printed: "Group of Girls Puff at Cigarettes as a Gesture of 'Freedom'". This helped to break the taboo against women smoking in public.
  • This is what Baudrillard refers to at the beginning of his Simulation & Simulacra
  • From Disneyworld Company – Baudrillard – 1996 In the early 80s, when the metallurgical industry in the Lorraine region entered its final crisis, the public powers had the idea to make up for this collapse by creating a European leisure zone, an "intelligent" theme park which could jumpstart the economy of the region. This park was called Smurfland. The managing director of the dead metallurgy naturally became the manager of the theme park, and the unemployed workers were rehired as "smurfmen" in the context of this new Smurfland. Unfortunately, the park itself, for several reasons, had to be closed, and the former factory workers turned "smurfmen" once again found themselves on the dole. It is a somber destiny which, after making them the real victims of the job market, transformed them into the ghostly workers of leisure time, and finally turned them into the unemployed of both.   But Smurfland was only a miniature universe. The Disney enterprise is much bigger. To illustrate, it should be known that Disney "Unlimited," having taken over one of the major US television networks, is about to purchase 42nd Street in New York, the "hot" section of 42nd Street, to transform it into an erotic theme park, with the intention of changing hardly anything of the street itself. The idea would be simply to transform, in situ, one of the high centers of pornography into a branch of Disney World. Transforming the pornographers and the prostitutes, like the factory workers in Smurfland, into extras [figurants] in their own world, metamorphosed into identical figures, museumified, disneyfied.   At Disney World in Orlando, they are even building an identical replica of the Los Angeles Disneyland, as a sort of historical attraction to the second degree, a simulacrum to the second power. It is the same thing that CNN did with the Gulf War: a prototypical event which did not take place, because it took place in real time, in CNN's instantaneous mode. Today, Disney could easily revisit the Gulf War as a worldwide show.
  • From Mark Poster’s introduction to the Selected Writings of Baudrillard
  • Attempts to combat the impact of the modern societal fragmentation have included: Nationalism, trying to draw people together under the shared auspices of their relation to a nation (works particularly well in wartime). Communism, bringing people together under a global ideology of equality of labour. Modernism, bringing people together under a common search for progress.

Week 6: Critical Perspectives Presentation Transcript

  • 1. Unit 1.2 New Media & Technology Unit Leader: Tom Allen
  • 2. Week 5 Critical Perspectives
  • 3. Last week
    • We looked at Google’s:
      • Analytics
      • Webmaster Tools
      • Dashboard
      • Buzz
      • Streetview
    • Balance of privacy against advertising
    • The Law – self-regulation vs legislation
    • Data visualisations
    • Tim Berners-Lee’s Linked Data (Web 3.0)
  • 4. From New Media papers
    • Jennifer Rowley – Remodeling marketing comms in an Internet environment - 2001
      • It is no longer possible to view marketing communications as a distinct and bounded area of activity.
      • 3 differences with new media as a marketing channel:
        • It’s on 24/7 in any location, user has more control over access
        • Audience is global but can be individually identified and targeted
        • Majority of messaging is in text form, and due to the nature of some platforms (i.e. Social media) broadcast doesn’t work, messages have to use dialog to spread.
    • Pallab Paul – Marketing on the Internet - 1996
      • Main gist is “interact”, do not advertise.
  • 5. William Misloski - Marketing’s Neo-Renaissance - 2005
    • The consumer is calling the shots.
    • Incorporate marketing messages into the audiences’ lifestyles without being a distraction
    • Understand consumption habits, lifestyle interests and purchase behaviour
    • Fragmentation of audience
    • Proctor & Gamble’s 3 marketing principles:
      • Holistic marketing: using new & traditional media together
      • Permission marketing: create such compelling marketing elements consumers actually want to engage with it
      • The need for measurement: particularly measuring holistic marketing
  • 6. Misloski - Marketing’s Neo-Renaissance – 2005 cont.
    • Chief Marketing Officer for McDonald’s, Larry Light, declared ‘an end to brand positioning as we know it’ in 2004:
    • Instead of using one execution for one big idea, Light envisions taking one big idea and presenting it to consumers in a “multidimensional, multilayered and multifaceted way,” such as the “I’m Lovin’ It” campaign. Light has called this new way of marketing for McDonald’s “Brand Journalism,” where McDonald’s tries to communicate with consumers individually over a period of time across a multitude of media.
    • The “I’m Lovin’ It” campaign speaks distinctly to different audiences based on age group, lifestyle, interests and cultural preferences. It is with this “Brand Journalism” that McDonald’s is able to weave into consumers’ lives and catch their attention at the most niche level.”
    • In what he calls the ‘Age of I’ he states that consumers want to be identified as individuals, rather than simply targeted by mass marketing. Consequently they’ve switched their focus to product placement, advergaming (advertisements within video games) and integrating their message into pop culture music.
  • 7. Misloski - Marketing’s Neo-Renaissance – 2005 cont.
    • Integrated marcoms disciplines used to be as simple as direct marketing, advertising, public relations and sales promotion.
    • New Media allows you to track when a consumer:
    • Opens your email (and how many times)
    • Clicks on any of the links in it; which links and how often.
    • Forward it to friends (and illegal software could also then pick up their email address)
    • Out of the traditional tactics, only direct mail is remotely trackable.
    Traditional Tactics New Media Equivalent Print ad Web banner ad or advergaming TV commercial Webisode coupled with word of mouth Direct mail E-mail Press release Search engine marketing Sales promotion Behaviourally targeted pop-ups
  • 8. Misloski - Marketing’s Neo-Renaissance – 2005 cont.
    • Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
    • SEO – he suggests keyword stuffing. Now it means meeting W3C standards, ensuring keywords are mentioned early in the copy and several times (maintaining semantic standards), and having top quality links into your site from topic related websites.
    • Paid inclusion in natural listings (pretty much a scam as companies cannot guarantee results)
    • Paid placement in sponsored listings – like Google Adwords
    • They tend to fall into two categories, content (1) and links (2+3). Many of the techniques he lists are collectively known as ‘spamdexing’ techniques.
    • i.e. trying to influence how a search engine indexes it’s results to boost the position of your own website. These days spamdexing is a sure way to have your site removed from a search engine’s results pages.
  • 9. Misloski - Marketing’s Neo-Renaissance – 2005 cont.
    • Main areas of focus:
    • Advergaming
    • Buzz, viral and word of mouth marketing
    • Advertainment (Subservient Chicken for BK)
    • Contextual and behavioural targeted advertising
    • Video advertising
    • How do you join this ‘era of the consumer’?
    • Know your customer
    • Establish pertinent product offerings and relevant comms
    • Establish & maintain a strong brand across everything
    • Creative design that stands out from the competition
    • Give customers something to talk about so they become your sales force
  • 10. Broader critical theory
    • From Ferdinand De Saussure - Structuralism (1916 – to circa 1960s)
    • The search for the underlying patterns of thought in all forms of human activity.
    • Language is not a list of names of things, but a system of signs, consisting of a signifier (‘acoustic image’) and a signified (‘a concept’)
    • Marcel Mauss – The Gift 1924
    • Gift giving and exchange display both self-interest and a concern for others which simultaneously reinforces both of these human attributes making it popular, and a good propagator.
    • Roland Barthes – Death of the Author 1968 (Poststructuralism/ Postmodernism)
    • The author is no longer the primary source of the semantic meaning for any text.
    • Vance Packard – The Hidden Persuaders 1957
    • Examines the manipulation of expectations and manufacturing desire for products
    • Adam Curtis – The Century of the Self 2002
    • How Freud’s concept of the unconscious is used to make us consume
  • 11. Jorge Luis Borges – Exactitude in Science - 1946
    • In that Empire, the Art of Cartography attained such Perfection that the map of a single Province occupied the entirety of a City, and the map of the Empire, the entirety of a Province. In time, those Unconscionable Maps no longer satisfied, and the Cartographers Guilds struck a Map of the Empire whose size was that of the Empire, and which coincided point for point with it. The following Generations, who were not so fond of the Study of Cartography as their Forebears had been, saw that that vast Map was Useless, and not without some Pitilessness was it, that they delivered it up to the inclemencies of Sun and Winters. In the Deserts of the West, still today, there are Tattered Ruins of that Map, inhabited by Animals and Beggars; in all the Land there is no other Relic of the Disciplines of Geography.
  • 12. Jean Baudrillard – Simulation & Simulacra - 1985
    • The consumer society is dominated by a system of object-signs (eg. consumer goods & gadgets) which circulate endlessly and constitute an order of signification which can be compared to the signs of Saussure’s linguistics system. The use-value of the object (i.e. GPS on the iPhone) is less important than their ability to signify the status of the consumer. Ownership of a specific mobile phone allows one to do a specific number of functions, but also signifies membership of a social group.
    • In a post-industrial society where the importance of economic production is in decline, it is consumption that binds society together.
  • 13. Jean Baudrillard – Simulation & Simulacra – 1985 cont.
    • In Symbolic Exchange and Death (1976) , Baudrillard argues in the era of postmodernity, signs are replaced by simulacra, and the real by hyperreality.
    • This concept of hyperreality means a situation where the conscious mind cannot distinguish reality from fantasy. Popular examples are Disneyland, and the McDonalds brand representing cheap exactly replicated food produced ad infinitum, which of course isn’t the actuality of going to a McDonalds. Another good example is how a casino attempts to make itself seem as fake and unreal as possible (hence mini-Eiffel towers, etc) so that your conscious mind objects less to handing over irrational amounts of money for chips. Similarly in Ikea, they don’t have any windows or other reminders of the outside world to help promote a surreal sense of removal from it, and the source of where your money comes from. eg. Fulfillment being found in owning a branded good, rather than the object’s inherent value for being well-made or useful.
    • “ Henceforth, it is the map that precedes the territory - precession of simulacra - it is the map that engenders the territory and if we were to revive the fable today, it would be the territory whose shreds are slowly rotting across the map.”
  • 14. Jean Baudrillard – Simulation & Simulacra – 1985 cont.
    • “ Individuals are no longer citizens, eager to maximise their civil rights, nor proletarians, anticipating the onset of communism. They are rather consumers, and hence the prey of objects as defined by ‘the code’.”
    • Baudrillard proposes this confusion of reality with simulacra comes from:
    • Contemporary media which obfuscates which goods serve our needs, and for which goods we have had needs generated for. Think manufacturing demand and the Hidden Persuaders. Particularly internet, TV, film & print.
    • Exchange value where the abstraction to a monetary exchange based world renders value meaningless. Relative value is only defined in terms of financial cost, rather than usefulness or beauty.
    • Multinational Capitalism which has divorced goods from the resources required to make them.
    • Urbanisation (as above). We experience the world as fish fingers, not as trout we have fished for ourselves.
    • Language & ideology are both now freely used in the public sphere to obfuscate rather than reveal reality. i.e. our politicians lie more than ever before.
  • 15. Other perspectives
    • Zygmunt Bauman – 1982
      • Consumption and consumer culture have taken on the central role in the economy that once belonged to work. Consumption becomes the social link between the life-world of individuals and the purposeful rationality of the whole system. The exacerbated individualism that results leads to even further social fragmentation.
    • Daniel Miller – The Comfort of Things 2008
      • The big fear is that as modern life becomes more ‘modern’, it actually fragments society into mere isolated individualisms and loses any sense of purpose or order.
      • The liberal market is a threat to society as it reduces us to individuals who merely express ourselves to the degree that we choose a particular commodity. Although perhaps we could be united by the ideological commitment to the market itself?