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BUYER BEWARE Advertising Techniques and Social Repercussions Sarah Carter, Nate Eberly, and Lindsay Garrard A BREIF HISTORY Very soon after the introduction.

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Presentation on theme: "BUYER BEWARE Advertising Techniques and Social Repercussions Sarah Carter, Nate Eberly, and Lindsay Garrard A BREIF HISTORY Very soon after the introduction."— Presentation transcript:

1 BUYER BEWARE Advertising Techniques and Social Repercussions Sarah Carter, Nate Eberly, and Lindsay Garrard A BREIF HISTORY Very soon after the introduction of the World Wide Web, Internet advertising originated since it came with countless advantages. A commercial online service called Prodigy was the first to experiment with online advertising in 1990. Online advertising hurt rather than benefited another company that followed Prodigy, Canter and Siegel, because they used what came to be known as spam. Wired magazine then launched HotWired, a Web property with an advertising business model; they created the banner ad because they feared their original dimensions would receive backlash. It signed on with AT&T and launched its site in 1994. After their success, other sites were quick to accept advertising. 1.INTERACTIVITY The internet is the only medium that the user can directly engage in. They can interact with the product, test it, and even buy it all within a few clicks. With some ads, users can complete the process without ever leaving the advertisement Games, contests and videos 2.TARGETABILITY Advertisers have the ability to target specific audiences through context and content, site registration (providing personal information), cookies and database mining, profiling and personalization/customization, collaborative filtering. Ad management solutions help advertisers group target audiences by company, age, gender, race, SIC codes, geographic location, browser, computer platform, and even the and time of activity. Search engines, like Google AdWords, can generate ads (“smart ads” based on certain keywords. 3.TRACKING Computer servers can record IP number of a computer, computer platform (Mac, PC, etc.), browser (Internet Explorer, Safari, etc.), date and time of request, what was requested, and referring URL. Advertisers can track and measure number of click-throughs, number of visits, frequently requested pages or popular paths, pages viewed per visit and length of visit, first-time versus repeat visitors, entrance and exit page, and closed loop reporting. Cookies can track activity Can determine which ads work and which do not There are concerns of invasion of privacy, protecting personal information, and spam. 4.FLEXIBILITY AND ACCESSIBILITY Available 24/7 Delivers information and results quickly, reducing the time of the transaction process Ads can easily be updated, improved or canceled. Advertisements are everywhere in our day-to-day lives. We wake up to commercials on the morning news, see ads in the newspaper, drive past billboards and promotional signs, and try relentlessly to avoid pop-ups and other advertising on the internet. There is much more to these advertisements than meets they eye. They both mirror and reinforce pre-existing social ideologies. Advertising agencies use cunning techniques to persuade consumers to buy products they may not have been interested in otherwise. Emerging technologies will only strengthen their influence on society; new developments in nanotechnology and the internet could allow advertisers to target more specific consumer-cohorts with more powerful subliminal messages. IMAGE SOURCES: 1. http://www.subliminalsex.com/1.2-Benson-4.5webO.jpg 2. http://davidwpeacockthefirst.files.wordpress.com/2009/10/little_mermaid_ver22.jpg 3. www.gawker.com/assets/resources/2008/06/AJ2.jpeg 4. http://www.onewomanmarketing.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/06/090613-popcorn.jpg 5. http://static.howstuffworks.com/gif/web-advertising-mapquest-ad.gif 6. http://kaufmann-mercantile.com/body-soap/ 7. http://www.auntjemima.com/aj_history/ 8. Bullock, August. The Secret Sales Pitch. San Jose, CA: Norwich, 2004. Pages 209, 211 9. http://www.informationarchitects.jp/wp-content/uploads/2007/03/413996918_faac24130f.jpg 10. http://www.adsavvy.org/25-most-racist-advertisements-and-commercials/ Advertising Inequality See No Evil, Hear No Evil: Subliminal Messages in Advertising Online Advertising The human mind is easily manipulated. Sensory stimuli delivered below an individual’s absolute threshold are not consciously perceived and can be used to convey a message subliminally. In advertising, these messages establish a connection or familiarity between the product and consumer, but are highly controversial. A CHECKERED HISTORY First Uses: During WWII the military used subliminal teaching techniques and tachistoscopes to train soldiers to quickly identify enemy aircraft. During the Cold War, the American public gained knowledge that POWs in North Korea were being subliminally persuaded to switch sides and gained suspicion that commercial industries were unfairly manipulating consumers in the same way. The 1950s - American Fears Realized: 1957: James Vicary subjected movie goers to subliminal messages that read “Hungary? Eat Popcorn” and “Drink Coca-Cola.” He claimed a 57% increase in popcorn sales and his study subjected subliminal advertising to harsh public scrutiny. Radios soon marketed whisper ads, films introduced subliminal flash frames, and television stations were boycotted for suspected use of subliminal communication. Towards the end of the 1950’s various attempts at state and federal legislation were made to make the use of subliminal techniques in the media illegal, but none passed. 1960-1975: Vicary admitted to falsifying his results in 1962. Subliminal messaging lost the focus of the public eye, but advertisers continued doing research and hid subliminal advertisements beneath the shadow of public ignorance. Concerns were sparked again when Wilson Bryan Key published his book in 1972 entitled Subliminal Seduction on the use of hidden sexual images in advertising. In 1974, the FCC claimed that subliminal messaging, effective or not, was not in the best interest of the public because it stifled freedom of choice through deception. DID YOU SEE IT? Subliminal messages have been used countless times in recent history and continue to be used today. Here are a few examples: Led Zeppelin used back-masking in the hit song Stairway to Heaven. Many Disney movies including The Rescuers, The Little Mermaid, The Lion King, and Aladdin have been accused of using sexually focused subliminal messages. No one knows, however, the true intentions of these messages. During the 2000 presidential campaign a television ad promoting George W. Bush subliminally flashed the word BUREAUCRATS followed by the work RATS. And that’s just the beginning… SO NOW WHAT? The shaky history of subliminal advertising is an example of the negative social repercussions of blind science and use of technology. Subliminal advertising is (and will always be) controversial not only because of its deceptive nature, but also because it makes use of unproven science. In the 1950’s and 1970’s consumers feared they were being brainwashed because the advertising techniques being used were unfamiliar and unsubstantiated. Today, we see similar public fear regarding blind use of science in climate engineering; the consequences (positive and negative) have yet to be determined. Similarly, today’s research and technological developments offer us a new understanding of the human mind. We must not use such knowledge for manipulative or deceptive endeavors like those seen regularly between 1950 and 1975. 1 34 5 2 Advertisers strive to capture the public’s attention and link an image and a product in a way that will leave a lasting impression in the public’s mind. Because they must accomplish both of these tasks in a very brief period of time, advertisers frequently utilize existing social stereotypes in their images and slogans. ADVERTISING AND RACE Advertisements both reflect and reinforce racial ideologies. Advertisers incorporate pre-existing racial stereotypes in their messages to depict a certain image or target a specific population. In turn, these racialized images help create and perpetuate the racial norms. After the abolition of slavery in the US, which forced black freed-people to construct a new African American identity and white Americans to make sense of black’s new role in society, advertisers used racialized images in commercial advertising to reinforce the black/white binary construction of race. AUNT JEMIMA 1890- The Aunt Jemima breakfast foods company began using the image of a Southern black mammy to promote its products. The earliest depictions of Aunt Jemima originated from the black- faced minstrel character and reflected the stereotypical characteristics of a black mammy—she was overweight, uneducated, wore a headscarf and was happy to assist Southern white women in any way possible (see fig 1). Today, the company still uses Aunt Jemima on its labels. However, her figure less resembles a mammy—she wears a white collared shirt, pearl earrings and has traded a headscarf for a dark perm (see fig 2). TRADE CARDS In the late 1870s and early 1880s advances in technology for reproducing pictures made possible one of the earliest forms of advertising: trade cards. Trade cards combined visual images with advertising slogans. Most trade cards of the time depicted African Americans as subservient, poor and unskilled laborers. African American children appeared cute, comic and dirty. This imagery connoted that despite African American’s freedom, they would never fully integrate into white’s ‘superior’ culture. In 1875, a trade card advertisement for Pear’s Soap showed a clean- clothed white child washing the blackness off a wild-eyed African American child (see fig 3). MODERN ADVERTISING 3 76 4 1 8 “I AM HONEST. I WON’T STEAL. STEALING IS DISHONEST.” - A threshold message played at over 1000 stores in the United States 5 2 AND IN THE FUTURE? The possibilities for the future of Internet advertising are endless, but currently it seems as though increased integration with other advertising media, namely television, is likely in the near future. Personalization will probably also become more target-specific and coincide more exactly with the consumer’s preferences. 9 In the mid-1960s African Americans protested the lack of Black figures in advertising and advertisers’ use of stereotyped images. However, some contemporary advertisements are still blatantly racist (see fig. 10) Today, most advertising companies strive to be much more egalitarian in their depictions of race. Many critics believe this multicultural approach ignore the very real racial inequalities in American society. 10


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