As Content Migrates Online How Does This Effect ADHDvertising?

by John Mce - Date: 2008-09-27 - Word Count: 458 Share This!

The tectonic plates of advertising are shifting. With the migration of most traditional media from broadcast to online the advertising paradigm we are all used to is changing. As increasing amounts of people (typically the 14-40 demographic) are offering more and more personal information about themselves up onto social networking sites and online services such as Facebook and Amazon, advertising campaigns are evolving to be more user specific.

We are all well accustomed to mass media commercials between television programs but as the developed world moves deeper into the information age analysing the open data online allows third parties, businesses and brands to section users into enthusiast groups depending on their interests, preferences, what they've bought, watched and listened to in the last year. All this information is readily available to companies looking to capitalise on it and of course this brings data protection and privacy issues into the limelight. A year ago Facebook was in the publicity firing line because of its Beacon project which exchanges data from external websites to profiles without the permission of the user. After such a large amount of bad press (a 50000 strong Facebook group was formed against the initiative within two days) the problem was soon rectified with an added opt-out feature for users.

However hyper-targeted advertising was not stalled there. Soon MySpace followed suit with a similar project with campaigns being aimed at relevant users of the site based around the personal information they have entered into the relative fields. This new breed of behaviour targeted advertising can of course be effective in the sense that it has been specifically targeted towards users based on our attitudes and habits online and so bringing relevant products and services to the attention of those that are best suited.

This viral advertising is to some extent the spawn of YouTube, with its myriad of quirky diary-style video entries made by the consumer. Or are they? We are seeing a trend of big money corporations employing DIY methods to create these grassroots-looking campaigns that are subtly or obviously littered with product placement within the content itself. This guerrilla tactic advertising is evident throughout the internet and adding to the viral advertising mushroom cloud. After the popularity of Lonelygirl15, the creators of social networking site Bebo started working on KateModern, an interactive online teen drama series funded entirely by the product placement within the show. As you would expect the adverts within the show are all appropriate brands for the target audience who are torn between flattery and intrusiveness. Many appreciate having tailored advertising, while others are more protective over their data and do not enjoy the ever more covert strategies being employed by PR teams across the globe to impose their brands and businesses.

Related Tags: advertising, news, viral

John McE writes articles on a number of subjects including advertising and news. For more on this see the Maidenhead Advertiser.

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