advertising Media & Society Lecture Notes Professor Zack Furness
How Is Money Made In Media? How is money made from media texts? • Direct Payment– when consumer pays directly for a magazine, film, etc. • Indirect Payment – when the advertiser offsets the cost by paying for ad space in TV shows, newspapers, magazines, radio, Internet sites & search engines, etc.
Why Advertising Is Not Free • Inconvenience – interrupted entertainment. • We are used to it but this was not always the case. • Higher Product Prices– brand names and trademarks can actually cause prices to rise (more so with textiles than with media) • Federal Subsidies– advertising expenses are tax deductible business expenses and, as a result, the U.S. loses tax revenue. • When this happens, someone has to pick up the slack (that’s us). • This is money that could be going to services and programs.
Why Advertising Exists • Differentiation • Psychology • Absorption of Surplus Production KEY PERIOD: 1880s – 1890s
Follow The $ In Advertising Seller has product or goal Seller pays Agency tomarket the product Agency pays market researchers, their employees, Media Outlets and keeps some for profit Media Outlets are supported through advertising Consumers get “cheap” or “free” entertainment Back to top
Advertising - Not A Public Service 1. Selective Information • Advertising is persuasive communication NOT informative (who made the product, how it is made, or what to do if product fails to live up to promise are not part of the equation). • Ex. Pharmaceutical commercials 2. Not Integral to the Economy, Despite the Hype • Ads don’t necessarily lead to more sales • Not an essential part of the economy • Doesn’t always make or break a company • Ex: Movies did ok before synergy • Ex: Hershey went for decades without direct to consumer ads
Advertising + Capitalism Capitalism’s way of saying “I love you” to itself • “People do not necessarily need to believe in the values that advertisements present. Nor need they believe for a market economy to survive and prosper. People need simply to get used to, or get used to not getting used to, the institutional structures that govern their lives. [...] So long as alternative articulations of values are relatively hard to find, capitalist realist art will retain some power.” (232)
Remember ‘Synergy’? • Product Placement – promotion of a product within a movie, TV show, song, or some other media text. • Media Text Within A Media Text – similar to product placement but recognition of the layers of text. • Ex. Magazine ads for TV shows. • Celebrity Endorsements – appeals to star quality.
Why Corporations Think Synergy is Cool 1. One product or service promotes all the others • tie-ins • everybody wins (in theory) 2. Synergy is pretty cheap and easy compared to other approaches. • Branding • Recognition/Attention • Product cycles • Flexibility
Effects of Synergy on Media Content • Erosion between the media product and advertising • Decrease in the diversity of content • Decrease in willingness for media producers to take chances