Advertising, EVERYWHERE!

13251000543_c414f8ce94The movement from television to digital platforms has afforded consumers to be in more contact with producers, but how pervasive are these platforms? In an age of consumer technologies, producers are trying to play ‘catch up’ with these new tech-savvy audiences, and this usually results in pervasive attempts across all media. William Boddy’s article, “‘Is it TV yet?’: The Dislocated Screens of Television in a Mobile Digital Culture,” from the book  Television as a Digital Media,  explores the identity of media producers in an age of convergence and ‘sophisticated consumers’ (79).  These ‘sophisticated consumers’ to the networks mean those who are less economically valued because they are less likely to sit through television commercials. The advent of digital technology allows for television to be streamed at one’s own time, with fewer commercials– but then how will networks make money off of such consumers?

…the rise of individually targeted media messages would reinforce the customization of consumer products themselves as marketers sought to match slightly remixed or repackaged goods to more carefully defined market segments (82).

Consumers have become smarter, but so are the technologies used by television providers– they need the best consumers possible, and through accessing your information they are able to provide better Flickr_-_Daveness_98_-_Billboard_Study_^10advertisements in hopes of getting more money. A similar pattern, mentioned later in the book, can be seen in the movement of syndicated television shows, like Star Trek, through which networks realized niche audiences made money, similar to our previous discussion of indie films.  This is a business aimed at making a profit off of culture, but willing to listen to the consumer’s preferences in culture so that producers can commodify it. There is a movement to make advertisements individualized, instead of something made for the mass-market, it is made for a niche group, and especially the individual person. Boddy provides examples of Microsoft’s interactive shopping cart or Mini’s digital billboard that would provide personal messages for those who owned the car- giving them a sense that, “this is a brand that really cares about them and really treats them special”, or making the consumer the ‘star'(85). The digitization of media has allowed for a watchful eye on consumerism, which makes for ‘smarter’ advertisements, and an increasing amount of digital advertisements in public and private spaces (90). It plays off the fact that individuals feel the need for individual identities that can be delivered by producers, now in even more personalized ways.

The devices mentioned in this article are SCARY and intrusive! Although not many have taken off in advertisement, the potential is there. Here is a video of the Eyebox2– an eye-tracking device that can tell who is looking at a digital billboard.

This is an invisible intrusive space in public space- there to help producers find out how to better market their goods.

Another device is the Holosonic, which provides a beam of audio to a specific location that cannot be heard from other locations. As mentioned in the reading, this was used for A&E’s promotional campaign for their show, Paranormal State. (92)

At least the Holosonic provides some entertainment- but it is clear these advertisements are pervasive in the public space. Digital media has provided consumers with more power, in relation to television, but also provides producers better technology to better produce innovative marketing campaigns that impede on private and public spaces. However, these digital technologies also allow consumers to become better producers of culture at an increasing rate. Below are videos of a digital imaging application that can turn public artwork into a virtual space. It is the product of a collaboration between PublicAdCampaign and The Heavy Projects, creating Re+Public, stating on their website, “Re+Public is born out of a mutual interest in democratizing access to our shared visual environment. Re+Public uses emerging technologies to alter the current expectations of urban media and accomplish our core mission of re+imagining public space.” The coolest part may be the fact that the application will show the user previous artwork that has existed in that space, but that has since been painted over.

Augmented Wynwood Walls Miami (Art Basel) from The Heavy Projects on Vimeo.

Bowery Wall Mural Resurrections from The Heavy Projects on Vimeo.


Pretty awesome, if I do say so myself!



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