Saturday, December 20, 2008

It’s Our Final Week

What a past nine weeks! We have explored new avenues of marketing that many of us probably take for granted. Yes, I receive email messages daily from marketers, both at work and at home. I see banner ads and have noticed ads on search engines, FaceBook and how marketers reach our youth. We have discussed the ethics of all of these and many in my class have different thoughts. We have definitely explored a new world of marketing.

Even with this blog, we managed to put our thoughts down and maintain this throughout the past nine weeks. When I started this class, I never realized the power blogs have in marketing. Now, because of this class, I see them more apparent on consumer websites. Blogs by corporate presidents making a more personal connection to the consumer, as if he/she is talking personally to them. One of our assignments a few weeks ago was to find a blog, respond to the blogger and send the example in our writing assignment. I selected Marriott Corporation’s president Bill Marriott and made a few comments on selected subjects. In return, I received last week, a happy holiday message from Mr. Marriott himself, personalized to me using my first name and everything. As a Marriott rewards member, yes, it made me feel like they cared about my opinions and want to offer me the best hospitality they can.

We also discussed the topic texting. While this is a more popular form of communication among teens and those in their early 20s, it is catching on to others. While I don’t have free texting, I do receive free messages from cell phone provider and also from another group which I am not exactly sure how they got my number. Nevermind though, they only send them out every couple of months. This will be our next form of mobile marketing. I think this will become more popular than other forms but there will be an ethical line that marketers must never cross.

The last nine weeks has been a busy nine weeks, but the time has flown. We are definitely seeing a world evolve from traditional media to emerging media and I think it’s awesome that we get to be a part of this new marketing phenomenon.

Thoughts about Web Creativity

Have you ever given much thought about what goes into web designing? I think most of us take for granted when we enter the world wide web of the design aspects of the sites we like to visit.

According to our lesson last week, there are three dimension to the Cen and Wells’ Attitude Toward the Site scale: Entertainment: is it fun, exciting, imaginative? Informativeness: Is it intelligent, knowledgeable, resourceful, helpful and/useful? And Organization: Is it clean and efficient and not cumbersome, confusing or irritating? (Ramos, 2008).

Another aspect to look at is interactivity. Interactivity allows companies more opportunities build and create solid brand reputation and recognition for the consumer. According to lesson, interactivity can be effective and have a positive effect with consumer satisfaction (Ramos, 2008).

Our professor notes that site visitors can form a first impression of a site in less than one second and this will have an effect as to whether or not they will return and can have an effect on the business (Ramos, 2008). I know over the holiday season I have run across some sites that have made my eyes roll. But then again, I am not their target market.

So, when designers are spinning their magic in creating web sites, they know there is so much more that must be taken into account and it all should be woven into one nice package that will bring the customer back for more.


Ramos, J. (2008). Lesson 8: Creative Considerations in Emerging Media. Retrieved on December 20, 2008, from

Speaking of Ethics: Advergaming

It seems as if the world of advertising is now reaching the virtual world of video games. With the increasing popularity of PlayStations, Xboxes, Wiis, Nintendo DS and others, it was bound to happen.

Advergaming is a mixture of advertising and entertainment that takes the form of video games. It's been around since at least the early 1980s when Kool-Aid and Pepsi developed Atari 2600 games that featured their products and distributed the game cartridges as promotions (How Stuff (2008).

When playing these games at home, advertisers are now getting their messages to the players and more of their target market. Some players will see soft drinks advertised on billboards of driving games, brand name clothing designers have storefronts in other games.

But it doesn’t stop with video games. For those who play online poker or other games, advertising messages are there as well. While we really don’t think much about it in this form, marketers know that it can reach its target market with more positive results. For instance, wouldn’t it be advantageous for the Las Vegas Tourism Board to advertise on an online gambling site? With this tactic, they would be reaching its core target market at a fraction of the cost of television or print ads.

What are your thoughts on this new form of advertising?

How Stuff Works (2008). How Advergaming Works. Retrieved on December 20, 2008, from

Advertising Catching Up With Us Socially

The one thing that I have become is addicted to is FaceBook. I admit it. When I turn on my laptop at work, I get my cup of coffee, check my email, both work and personal, and then I go to my FaceBook page to “catch up.” I learn when my friends will be coming into town, I see new photos posted and I receive my “gifts” from my friends. What I have noticed however, is how many different ads show up on pages.
Like search engines, social network utilities are free to use and must rely on some sort of funding to keep them going. No one is doing this out of the goodness of their heart. And, like search engines, they are somewhat distinguishable on pages by being located down the right hand side of the page, separated by a bar line.

But one thing I have also noticed that if a FaceBook user has any notifications, at 20 percent of them is spam. Luckily, Facebook does have a mechanism in place for users to report spam and yes, I have had to use it and yes, it does work.

In an article on iMedia, it was noted by Amy Gibby, president of, “how there has been a recent changing of the guard online with social networks-- from a "push" medium to a "pull" medium. She mentioned how is using people's "attention" to engage users with advertisers. She says, ‘Teens realize that they are going to have to participate in advertisements or pay for the premium services.’ So basically, users are trading their "attention" to ads in exchange for the use of preferred services.”

Social networks have been taking the online advertising industry by storm. In fact, it has been estimated that in 2006, marketers will spend $280 million on advertising and marketing on social network sites in the United States alone (iMedia With the increasingly popularity of social networks, marketers are finding out this is becoming a new avenue of emerging media to yet advertise their products and services.

iMedia (2008). Advertising and social networks MySpace, LinkedIn and Beyond. Retrieved on December 20, 2008, from,SNYI:2005-34,SNYI:en%26sa%3DN
iMedia Connection (2006). Advertising on Social Networks. Retrieved on December 20, 2008, from

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Advertising on Search Engines

This is our last week in IMC 619 and we have explored so much in emerging media. From marketing to youths online, to blasting text messages over cell phones to marketing via email, this class provided so much insight in where we are and what’s to come.

A topic that is being discussed this week is ethics. While I believe ethics falls within our own beliefs, there are sometimes that marketers need to watch the line and be careful not to cross it.

The issue we discussed is paid ads on search engines. According to our professor’s lesson this week, the FTC asked these engines to make these paid links more conspicuous when a visitors searches for a subject (Ramos, 2008). Many times when a visitor uses a search engine they are doing their own consumer research. They want to see reports on certain brands of certain products. Whichever brand has paid the highest bid will have their name top the list of search results. However, because it is a paid ad, they are usually placed in shaded area, such as on Google which places paid ads in pink shaded areas at the top of the page or alongside the right hand page in blue. If the reader pays close attention, the description reads like an ad and not merely information that is provided on an unbiased search result.

Are ads like these ethical? I think so. Engines such as Google and Yahoo are complying with the FTC request by distinguishing them a bit differently. Maybe it’s me, but I tend to read search results a bit more closely to make sure it is the information that I am wanting. Search engines provide us with a free service and they need to earn income to support their service, just as television needs to sell advertising to support their broadcasts.

It will be interesting to see if search engines go further and allow banner ads like regular websites for their advertising.

Ramos, J. (2008). Lesson 9: Walking the Line: Ethics in New Media IMC. Retrieved on December 17, 2008, from

Monday, December 15, 2008

Advertising and the Holiday Season

It’s amazing the power of the web. With this holiday season, I bet it’s safe that most of us have visited a retailer’s site for gift information or to purchase a gift. I know I have. This week’s lesson was on web design and what I learned is that websites are designed for target audience. Why I am now just figuring this out is beyond me - I should have known. But, what I like in a website my teenaged stepkids would probably find boring and uninterested. I visited a few retail websites targeted for teens and was a bit overwhelmed with the amount of information contained on the homepage. I thought my Adult ADD was going to kick in!

But websites have two objectives – communications and e-commerce. With communications, brand building, creating customer loyalty are only two of these objectives. Others include generating awareness and how to obtain the products or services (Ramos, 2008). E-commerce is booming. Research indicates that by the end of 2008, online retail will reach nearly $230 billion and account for 10 percent of U.S. retail sales (Ramos, 2008).

However, a website should be one that the target audience is comfortable with, find it easy to use and function properly. The first time a visitor will make his/her first impression within the first second and this will also decide if they will become repeat visitors and will influence purchasing decisions (Ramos, 2008). Also, a 65 percent of U.S. Internet users said they would not make purchases from a website designed poorly and 46 percent of those also said that the design look was an important component when evaluating for credibility.

So, while the websites I looked at may not have appealed to me, it was definitely appealing to its target market.

Ramos, J. (2008). Lesson 8: Creative Considerations in Emerging Media. Retrieved on December 14, 2008, from

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Web Designs Can Make for a Success Relationship

This week in our 619 class we are looking at web design elements that make for a successful site. I have to go on the fact that simplicity says a lot about a design. A complicated site can break a relationship with a customer and will never give a relationship to form with a prospective customer.

Our lesson gives the Chen and Well Attitude Toward the Site scales for evaluating corporate websites. The scale has three dimensions that should be considered for a well-designed site: Entertaining, Informational and Organized.

After doing some online Christmas shopping this week, I have come across some sites that are just way too much. While shopping for two teenagers, one boy and one girl, I have visited the sites of the stores they like – American Eagle, Hollister, Aeropostale, etc. All of these divide their products between girls and boys, but then they offer their specials, web exclusives and more and can be too much.

While I do not fall into their target market, all of these sites could be made a bit more organized so everyone can see what they have to offer without being hit with everything all at once.

Ramos, J. (2008). Creative Considerations in Emerging Media. Retrieved on December 9, 2008, from

Friday, December 5, 2008

Example of Virile Marketing

While we are looking at social networking sites this week and how the youth use them, I have seen something that started out as an idea and will actually come to fruition this weekend. Back in September, I, along with a few other friends RSVP’d to an invitation on FaceBook about attending White Night. White Night started out as an idea to pay tribute to WVU’s quarterback Pat White and all he has done for WVU’s football program over the past four years – two BCS bowl wins, a Gator Bowl win, and more. The promoters for this idea want everyone who plans to attend the South Florida game this Saturday night in Morgantown to wear white or wave a white towel.

Anyway, now, it seems the idea is catching on. About a month ago, it was mentioned here in our local paper’s sports section and again just this morning. The marketing department at WVU’s Department of Athletics has paying attention to the idea and plan to advertise it heavily days before the game. And, now it official - fans are encouraged to wear white and now the team will switch from its conventional dark home uniforms to wear white also.

This is just one example as to how social networking can team up with virile marketing can get a simple idea of one person’s to become popular and influence 65,000 of your closest friends to get in board and do it. Here is the link:

And here are a couple of links from the newspapers’ sports sections:;;

After reading some of our readings outside of our lesson this week, I see many similarities between my stepkids and my husband. In one article, For Toddlers, A World Laden with Advertising, it describes the relationship my husband has with his teenaged kids. According the article, the Western International Media divided parents into different categories and I would say he fall into the “Conflicted” as he is the divorced father whose purchasing behavior is brought on by guilt (Masters, 2006). The article also notes that a survey of 750 kids between the ages of 12 and 17 found that kids may ask an average of nine times before the parent gives in. I have to admit, I have seen this done in my household. It may not happen in one hour, but spread out throughout the day until finally, he gives in.

Marketing to teens has been truly interesting to observe over the week. Texting is the new communication for teens and most of what I have observed, and use the internet as a way to retrieve information, entertainment and more.

As I mentioned in my last entry, my stepdaughter is more versed in the digital media than her brother. She uses text messaging on her cell phone, she has a MySpace page (protected), and goes online outside of homework daily.

A few years ago, while I worked at the WV Dept. of Education, all staff attended a three day professional development event on 21st Century Learning. There we learned how the brains of today’s kids are actually networked to learn differently than ours are. We also learned that members of our generation are known as Digital Immigrants as we have had to migrate towards and learn of this new world of communication and technology. We also learned that today’s youth are known as Digital Natives in that this new age is all they have ever known.

So, with today’s new marketing, it only seems to target today’s youth with the medium that they utilize the most just as we were targeted on Saturday morning’s on television.


NPR (2006) Foro Toddler, a World Laden with Advertising. Retrieved on December 4, 2008, from www.npr.or/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5569423.