Advertising, Music and Big Data

This blog post will evaluate the article made by FRUKT AND NEXT BIG SOUND. It will discuss the relationship between artists and brands with advisory ideals of the outcome between the two.

Value Exchange

Companies will use benchmarking to set a new measurement of standards and quality; they evaluate things like products, programs and strategies. The objective of doing this is because they will then know what sectors need improvement and discover how competitors reach better goal/targets compared to their own.

FRUKT and NEXT BIG SOUND have written an article that explains the current situation about partnerships between brands and entertainment. The content is broken down into 4 key sectors: Partnerships Involved, Big Data, Exchange Rates and A New Valuation Model.

The first topic explains how artists should aim less in securing short-term lucrative deals with brands and more about a long-term play. There are more non-monetary benefits that both parties can achieve and it isn’t just artists who are the only ones feeling the economic pinch but brands as well.

The next subject talks about how brands can achieve more awareness on platforms like social media through partnerships with celebrities. Brands spend billions of dollars each year to engage and interest customers, however in comparison to artists they have got millions of followers from websites like twitter. Together they could benefit and achieve much more through on going campaigns and social media exposure.

It then goes on to express the attitude among artist managers and their opinion towards striking an alignment with brand partnerships is essential. They justify which type of brands from food to technology that artists prefer to choose, as 8/10 were interested in some form of equity in a brand campaign. They desire to generate scalable income in alliance with brands, instead of one off payments.

Lastly, FRUKT and NEXT BIG SOUND talk about their system that compares different artists to gather a perfect insight, as to which brand they will be most suitable for. They can observe the act of a campaign in real time and check which artists are reacting the marketplace. Overall the establishment can form the perfect partnership between a brand and artist.
The article points outs that upcoming musicians have the tendency in partnering with brands to earn large sums of money. This puts a negative spotlight on upcoming artists and reminds me of storylines that WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment) have produced in the past. There have been previous encounters when wrestlers have chosen to join the villainous authority and been handed the easy route as champion instead of truly earning it. These wrestlers have been considered to turn ‘heel’ (evil) and are booed by crowds. To Conclude, I believe that the fans that reject these kinds of wrestlers will share a similar response for artists who prefer to do one off payment with other brands.

Are one off payments from brands to artists really that bad?



Advertising’s Gone Native

Cost efficiency
Click bait
Faustian pact

Click bait is a term for an attention-grabbing link on a website. The link is paid by advertisers who earn revenue based on how many times the link is clicked.

The following readings are about Native Advertising, explaining how brands like Buzzfeed have taken advantage of this new style of advertising disguising to be articles. Buzzfeed is a good example of a company who is using Native Advertisements. They lure their consumers by making their ads look like regular news articles. Traditionally advertisements and content were easy for consumers to distinguish the two, however in recent times this has changed as we are now unable to tell the difference. Although Buzzfeed is being criticised using this style of advertising, they are the one of many few companies who choose to clarify who is sponsoring them.

The article goes on to argue that native advertising is deceiving consumers by not making it clear enough if what they’re reading is an advert or actual news. Buzzfeed’s board member Chris Dixon says that he wouldn’t necessarily say native advertising is tricking readers, if they enjoy the reading. Other companies have begun to follow this route hoping they will gain the same growth in revenue that Buzzfeed has gained.

Whilst new companies choose to not say who is promoting them, it is Buzzfeed’s team that sets them apart with their competition. This is because they make all the content, channel and ads, however in order for Buzzfeed to continue they’re successful outburst. Buzzfeed will have to continue and design new methods from stopping their readers in differentiating ads and organic content. Otherwise consumers might begin to stop reading their content.

Native advertising’s crucial problem is that deceives its readers. Due to Buzzfeed’s rapid success, our chances have increased in entering other websites with this form of advertising. We should have the right to know whether we are reading an advertisement or it will continuously feel like we’re entering a trap. This particular topic reminds me of the recent appointment of America’s new president Donald Trump. Trump is known for his wealth and his unexpected achievement in being elected president. He promises an investment on infrastructure which surely should create more jobs for people. Now chosen, working class voters have come across to realise that construction workers will be priority. Going back to native adverts, the left out voters are in the same position as those who have finished reading a native ad. They were introduced to this idea, unknowingly that it was all a deception from beginning.

Should native advertising be more identifiable to customers, even if they enjoy what they’re reading?

SEARCH Me: Google a Case Study

This blog will be evaluating how Google performs as a search engine. It shall have an insight towards its algorithyms and the company’s values.

GOP primaries
Big Data
Murketing (Murky Marketing Tactics)

The term Edgerank is an algorithm that is used by Facebook. When entering the Facebook webpage after log in, the next page you come across is your ‘Newsfeed’. Edgerank assesses which posts (news) should appear on your feed. Actions like ‘likes’, ‘shares’ and ‘comments’ are called ‘Edges’. The method is to hide the uninteresting stories. The more ‘Edges’ you receive the likelier your post is going to get viewed.

The Article explains that Google over the years has had a huge transformation compared to its early days as a basic search website. It is now the number one search engine; its algorithm development has distanced itself from all its competitors. They have met up with their consumers needs in providing more dynamic searches than stable sources.

Google has become a guide for searchers, as it influences what we should think or buy; however some argue this could also be a bad thing. The website is vastly filled with so much data that it has the power to include and not include which public impressions should show and be kept away. If a user is searching for something the site has introduced auto complete and rank brain, which means that it can finish off your sentences and show the most relevant results.

Every user has an unofficial account with Google, meaning that if 2 people searched the same word they would receive different results. This is because Google has saved your search history and filtered the results to your preference. We as users pay no money to use Google, except someone must pay for its engineers. Google sells it’s users data to advertisers who so desperately want and need it. Many criticise this personalisation and manufactures the site has made, however it doesn’t seem to be a problem for Google with their revenue reaching 14 billion.

When searching for a word on Google the user must wonder how does the website decide which results appear first. In their analysis Pasquale

“It rates sites on relevance and on importance. The more webpages link to a given page, the more authoritative Google deems it” (2015, p.64).

My first impression of the search engines algorithm reminded me of Christopher Nolan’s movie ‘Inception’. The movie involves a thief with the extraordinary ability to enter people’s dreams. At some point in the film the character is left with a difficult task in planting an idea in someone’s brain; which involves creating a dream within a dream. The character faces the possibility of getting lost and never finding his way back. This concept reminds me of the complications users face with web links taking them to different websites.

For example, a user might be searching something on a specific topic and be taken to a website which has various links to click on. Once clicking on one, there is a chance that the user will begin to get lost and forget what they originally searched about. Just like Nolan’s character, Google’s algorithm in can be problematic for users who face the chance in getting lost through a series of thoughts.

So I ask, who gains more Google or it’s users?


Pasquale, F. (2015) The Black Box Society. Harvard University


Our interpretation of gender in the media can take place intuitively, it gradually develops from numerous images that we see and become accustomed to and accept as normal. The Cultivation theory (Mass Communication Theory 2010)

“Posit that television viewing can have long-term effects that gradually affect the audience.”

The theory goes on to explain that the more time a person spends watching television; the more likely they’re consumed and misled for it to be reality. For example if you continuously watching western films of cowboys, your interpretation of a masculine man is someone who is brave, robust and who knows how to use a weapon.

During the early 1980’s films that had really pin pointed masculine male gender were ones like Rambo and Terminator. Both Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger had toughness, bravery and muscle. During the 80’s they had defined the meaning of masculinity for American men, in their analysis Jefford S. (1994, pp. 46-47) states that

“if there is anything heroic left in American culture it rests in male bodies like these!”

This is a 1980’s print advert for Calvin Klein who is advertising the iconic underwear and takes place in America. The image is of a man who is standing strong with his hands firmly on his thighs that connotes a sign of control and power. The second shot of the advert covers the models face and the audience’s focus is directed to his body. This muscular build is a clear indication of how the public in 1980’s thought a real man should look like.

This is another advert by Calvin Klein, however it is taken place in the spring summer 2015 campaign. Justin Bieber a famous musician models the underwear; he is hugely admired by his female fans and considered one of the hottest music artists around in today’s generation. When comparing the two Calvin Klein adverts, it is obvious that physically; Bieber is considered a mere boy because of his baby face and small build. In the second shot Bieber is directly looking at the audience, which takes us to Laura Mulvey’s Male Gaze and the idea of ‘confrontation’. Bieber staring directly at the audience illustrates the feeling of intimidation and supremacy.

This advertisement is from Ralph Lauren for a 2013 summer Ad campaign. This particular print advert goes against the typical masculine male,
the dog he is holding is something that captures the audience’s attention. It is well known that dogs are considered ‘a man’s best friend’, however it represents this male to be affectionate, a quality that some may consider quite feminine. He is also wearing a pink Ralph Lauren polo, a colour that is thought to be a binary opposite for masculinity. That being said, Smith K (2012) says that in Japan

“The color pink has a masculine association […] said to represent the young Japanese warriors who fell in battle in the prime of life (the Samurai)”.

This colour viewpoint is clearly subjective, depending on the culture you grow up in. One might also argue that both Calvin Klein adverts have serious facial expressions, whereas the modern Ralph Lauren advert has someone smiling. The modern masculine man in todays generation doesn’t need to be somber, but can instead be just as manly with a smile.
Overall, conventional masculine themes don’t really prevail strongly in this generation as it once did before. Instead through the progression of time, societies idea of a masculine man can have feminine features and still be as strong as the orthodox male in the 80’s.

Mass Communication Theory (2010) Cultivation Theory. Available at:
(Accessed: 27 March 2016).

Jeffords S. (1994) Hard Bodies: Hollywood Masculinity in the Reagan Era
California: P. Tomasulo.

Smith K (2016) All About the Color PINK. Available at: (Accessed: 28 March 2016).

Conspicuous Consumption

This blog will analyze and assess how customers are easily manipulated in
societies marketplace through conspicuous consumption. Over the years brands have been abled to influence their customers into buying needless merchandise, through advertising techniques. Packard (1957) studied contemporary social trends and indicated,

“As a public we began to be sold products, not because of their intrinsic qualities, but because of their symbolic significance to our wishes, our fears and hopes – our subconscious.”

Proclaiming that as individuals we buy goods to hide our insecurities and fulfill our desires as we try to fit into society. This theory is beyond 50 years old, however there are numerous examples that can support Packard’s concept.

Abercrombie & Fitch’s 2015 advert features a man and a woman holding each other intimately. Their target audience is most likely aimed at teenagers and young adults. Packard’s theory is undeniably applicable with this advert; A&F draw their shoppers showing that you’ll never get this attractive or popular unless you wear their brand. The advert reminds those who regard themselves as ‘popular’ if they don’t wear A&F jeans; popular social groups won’t accept you.

The Scarcity Principle (Investopedia, 2016) is another method of advertising that businesses use to persuade its customers in buying their products.

“When a product is scarce, consumers are faced with conducting their own cost-benefit analysis, since a product in high demand but low supply will likely be expensive […] he or she sees a greater benefit from having the product than the cost associated with obtaining it.”

During 2015 Adidas signed a deal with musician star Kanye West who is hugely admired by many for his music and clothing line. His ‘Yeezy trainers’ are somewhat special because you’re unable to buy them normally like you would with other branded shoes. Instead you need to line up at a given time like it shows above at 9am, as there is a limited amount available. It is clear that the ‘Scarcity Principle’ is being applied because consumers have to follow specific guidelines in order to buy these trainers. Therefore this makes the trainers much more desirable no matter the price, due to scarce level of ways in purchasing them. One would argue because a celebrity designs the trainers it stimulates fans and shoppers to be imbibed by conspicuous consumption, even if the money paid is past its value.

Rene Girard was a French historian, who designed the Mimetic Theory (Woody Belangia, 2015); he believed that

“based on the observable tendency of human beings to subconsciously imitate others and the extension of this mimesis to the realm of desire.”

Marilyn Monroe in 1950’s was considered one of the sexiest females in America. She took part in an advert for Tru-Glo makeup in 1953. A majority of American men in the 50’s idolized Monroe for her physique and appearance. This is a prime example that can be referred to Girard’s theory, women across the world would want to instinctively buy this make up and it would be Monroe who was responsible. This wasn’t because of the brands quality and ingredients, but because women had aspired to be and look like her. This impression draws their ‘desire’ to buying the make-up, similar to the previous advert with Kanye West’s shoes and how a famous icon can create an impact on someone’s perception on purchasing something.

Consumer’s consumption is a theory that has continued to grow over the years, starting from the 1950’s to 2016 you can see that adverts use them throughout. Companies have learnt to use advertising mischievously, where a consumer is unaware that they’re being controlled by brands. The power and growth of the media has helped companies use consumer consumption more effectively because shoppers are surrounded by advertisements.

Packard Vance (2000) The social construct. Available at: (Accessed: 4 April 2016).
Investopedia (2016) Scarcity Principle. Available at: (Accessed: 5 April 2016).  
Woody Belangia (2015) What is Mimetic Theory? Available at: (Accessed: 7 April 2016).


This blog will be assessing the belief that racism is an issue, which will repeatedly be brought up in every generation. Three adverts from different epochs will be analyzed and broken down to see if there are any racist signals or signs.

Galton’s (1869) categorizes race into different ranks from highest to lowest. He believed and ranked

“mental capabilities of different ethnic groups. He came to the conclusion that people of African descent were two grades lower than Europeans”.

Meaning that people weren’t judged for their character, but instead already arbitrated depending on the colour of their skin. The colour of your skin would determine you as a person and were you stood in society.

Although this theory is over hundred years old, it is one that can be used in some adverts today. If we take a look at this Benetton Advert (1982) it pictures two innocent girls holding each other, however there’s an inequity. On the left we see a smiling white girl with blonde curly hair and rosy cheeks, representing an angel. On the other hand we see black girl with hair pointed upwards (horns) repelling a smile, representing a devil. These annotations of the two children link to Galton’s theory of rank, the white are two grades higher (heaven/angels) and the black are ‘two grades lower’ (hell/devils).

After identifying (Critical Race Theory 2015) looks at white supremacy and racial power, one belief they had was Social Construction it

“refers to the notion that race is a product of social thought and relations. It suggests that race is a product of neither biology nor genetics, but is rather a social invention.”

This is an advert made by Cadbury in 2011; the announcement is for their new type of chocolate called Bliss, however there is a twist. It references the English model Naomi Campbell saying “Move over Naomi, there’s a new diva in town”. Cadbury deliberately compares their chocolate with Campbell for her skin colour. The advert in someway undermines Naomi because it advertises an inanimate object such as chocolate and replaces a black individual, giving this social construct that black people are devalued in society. It also quotes “I’m the worlds most pampered bar”; this in itself is another social construct. It suggests that being “pampered” raises your significance and importance, making Cadbury look shallow and petty.

In 2016 Gap made an advert for it’s children clothing line, featuring four friends posing playfully. It is obvious that some of these kids are gymnasts from the way they’re able to stretch their body and balance, yet this isn’t 100% clear because of one child. We see a small black girl who is being used for an armrest by her white ‘friend’. The standing for this girl makes it unclear whether she is actually part of this group because of how she is captured in the picture. Strauss and Barthes theory (Binary Opposites) is one that can be used, they believed

“words depends not so much on any meaning they themselves directly contain, but much more by our understanding of the difference between the word and its ‘opposite’”.

In this advert the binary opposites are white girls and blacks girls, it portrays black girls to be incapable of being as flexible compared to the white girls. It puts white skinned people in the spotlight, showing that you’re able to do more than what a black person can. The black girls unhappy facial expression demonstrates the campaign completely and people’s response to the advert, which has left Gap, criticized and frowned upon by many of its viewers.

Overall you can see that race is a theme that will always be around, over the years it’s obvious that adverts have gradually become less racially offensive. It’s mainly all about perspective and how you view an image. It depends where you come from and how long you analyze an advert.

Scott. L Thomas (2014) Galton’s (1869) Atlanta Blackstar. Available at: (Accessed: 22 March 2016).

Owl Purdue Online Writing Lab (2015) Critical Race Theory. Available at: (Accessed: 24 March 2016).

EnglishBiz Binary Opposites Available at: (Accessed: 25 March 2016).