Brands these days have exploded to include just about everything we do and see. Everything is owned by a company, and each one of these companies have a brand. It will not be long until people become brands, living and breathing advertisements for companies, using human empathy and sympathy in order to make the consumer feel comfortable and more inclined to use that specific brand.
For example, take the movie The Truman Show; Truman in this instance is essentially his own brand; a brand that encapsulates all that he does while in reality not granting him any reward. He is exploited by the company around him to advertise products and services, all the while this is done without him knowing.
Some critics say that this was an accurate premonition of modern society’s obsession with “reality” T.V. Think about it; is the Truman brand really that different from that of the Kardashian Empire? Both brands encapsulate the world and both brands transcend normal advertisement boundaries!
The age that we live in is an age of a new type of celebrity; the Lifestyle Celeb. These glorious human beings are who we strive to be, they are our goals and they are our friends. At least, this is true for fans of these lifestyle gurus. These celebrities perfectly cultivate an online presence, and only put up what they want us to see! So really when you are absorbing their content, you are really only seeing the highlight reel of their lives.
An example of this type of personal branding is Zoella. Zoella has cultivated a humongous online following through her YouTube channel, her Instagram, and her Twitter. She has done this so well that the advertisements that she does are blended seamlessly into her brand. She now has 2 books out, a makeup line and even a wax figure of herself in Madame Toussauds! But, we have to keep in mind that this is not who she really is. That’s the only problem with these internet celebrities; we never really know who they are.
If you’re a gamer, just think for a second; what makes games continue to grab your attention and make you want to play? For me, it is the readily available downloadable content, whether it is paid for or not. Usually this content is made by the game’s publisher, and is available for a price. However, there are huge communities of creators who make digital content for games to share with the wider community, free for use.
Companies are fully aware of these communities, and they can choose to embrace the wider community or reject it. Personally, I think that when the user generated community is embraced it enhances the game play amazingly! Take Cities Skylines. This Sim City replica has generated hundreds of thousands of pieces of user generated content, making the possibilities endless for what you can create in game! This is a good example of a company that has embraced the user generated content surrounding its brand, and it’s serving them pretty well!
Music sampling and remixing has been around since the early dawns of personal technology’s; from duplicating records, to producing mix tapes for your loved ones, to the modern age where all music is available online and for free (if you look hard enough), regardless if it is legal or not. Remix culture has become so prevalent in the music industry of today where the lines almost blur in regards to ownership; how do you fairly compensate someone for the use of their riff in your song? Can you claim royalties on a song included in a compilation CD?
For example, when I was younger I heard 2 songs that each had the same riff in them, albeit used in a different way. The riff was from a Michael Jackson song, and was used in two different ways in two different songs. Was Michael compensated for these uses? Or did the re mixer reap the benefits of his hard work? Where is the line?
A new genre of art has arisen with the advanced digital age: pixel art and the glorification of past technologies and the aesthetic they exude. There is a very clear style to this art, with the inclusion of seemingly shoddy graphic work as a valued addition. Molly Soda is a graphic artist in New York. She specializes in GIF work and pixel art, focusing on the everyday struggles the typical Gen Y adult goes through. She runs a Tumblr blog, and her theme is very much into pixel art and graphical glitches.
It’s interesting how the gradual advancement of technology has encouraged artists to glorify the past; we can see this happening with things such as fashion and artistic movement, but it is also very evident within the media. With artists like Molly Soda basing their entire online presence on technology that is slowly eroding, it’s fascinating to see how they progress.
This week we are looking at audiences in the media, and how they provide allowances for dialogic media. Business of today relies on one thing; consumers. And how do we connect with the consumers? Through the use of cleverly placed advertisement and product placement. Companies have developed intrinsic and highly developed ways in which they connect with their target audiences, through the use of third party information, and tailoring advertisements to the individual customer.
Have you realised that after you view an advertisement once, it keeps popping up everywhere? Just recently I used the trial version of Wondershare Filmora in order to create a video for a subject, and then I started to see the advertisement created by the brand pop up before the Youtube videos I watched! An interesting look at how in depth companies go to invade our internet privacy for their corporate gain is seen in this piece; https://vimeo.com/39677781.
So, I think that I was not alone in the second weeks lecture when I was completely confused by the topic; the Medium is the Message. Since then, I have done a couple of things to kick my brain into gear, such as:
- I had a nap.
- I played some Grand Theft Auto
- Ate way too much lasagna
After this wild night of mine, I started to really think deeply about the topic. How I understand it, is that sometimes the way in which a message is communicated provides more information than the message itself. This isn’t to say that the message itself is not important, but the way in which it’s presented adds to the information that the message supplies. Now in my dusty mind I am still trying to figure out what this actually means, but the video below is what really got in my head:
In the video the Youtube user Nerdwriter focuses on the impacts of online video, and how it impacts people differently to say television or radio. When we watch television we are aware of what we are watching, say if we think its hilarious or if we think its dumb as hell, but we don’t think about the actual experience of watching TV. We are literally surrounding ourselves with sound and entertaining visuals to flood our mind so we have something else to focus on. This differs to something like online video, where we are actively participating in what we watch. Our hands are always on the mouse, ready to jump if we get bored or annoyed. In this way, online media has to work a lot more for our attention than TV does.
This becomes blurred when you think of the fact that we can easily get media made for television online, and then this becomes a cycle. What really is online media? is it really different to television?
Typing this all out for you guys has made me think and now my mind is a mess again! I guess the way in which you experience the media, changes the message that it delivers!
I hope this wasn’t too confusing, hopefully the next topic won’t hurt my head as much.