The growth of new technologies, the internet and social media has changed the ways in which advertisers reach their markets.
- Banner ads – These are images or animations on a website which take users to the advertisers’ webpage when clicked on.
- Pop ups – These appear on a user’s screen without having been requested.
- Floating ads – These adverts move across a user’s screen.
- Viral adverts – Adverts placed online to encourage users to forward them to their friends. Recent growth in their popularity has meant that big brand advertisers have caught on to their benefits.
- Social networking – Sites such as Twitter, Facebook and tumblr.
- Mobile advertising – This is a fast growing market where advertisers target users on the go through apps, web search results, website content and video.
- Online vlogging – Video blogs on websites and YouTube – such as those of Tanya Burr and Zoella who have millions of followers – strongly feature targeted advertising.
Ask students to list all the ways they think social media has changed advertising. Exploring new technologies helps prepare students for the wider questions. Students need to understand convergence and the ways in which print and television advertising play a role alongside new methods of advertising. It has been announced that the ASA expects online vloggers to make it clear if they have been paid to feature particular brands or products in their videos. Previously this was unclear, despite the fact that the high-profile vloggers are being paid thousands to 'promote' or feature products.
- Brands can engage directly with audiences.
- There is an element of immediacy. Advertisers know straight away if something is working effectively or not through the number of ‘likes’ their advert receives.
- Audiences increasingly trust ‘likes’ and are more likely to be influenced by people with whom they know or are connected to, rather than by big stars or celebrities.
- Vloggers can be very influential. Some have over 5–6 million followers.
- Big brands now turn to these vloggers to promote their brand and products.
Brands like Asda use more innovative methods of advertising. For example, they post Facebook content 2 or 3 times a day and users are encouraged to interact and influence product design decisions [they might for example put up three possible designs and ask users to choose their preferred design]. Zoella uploaded a video to her YouTube channel where she makes cakes using an Asda magazine recipe. She edited the video and had control over it, but Asda paid her for using the recipe and the video contained a link to the Asda recipe.