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Unpaid Advertisers

By Marcus Ray

Dr. Strangelove brought up an interesting point last class. In our own media (Youtube, Facebook, etc.) we advertise almost just as much as real advertisements. It’s a contradictory element, because we are so critical of ads, and yet we unknowingly continue to advertise through our own work. I collected a few basic examples of advertising through homemade videos:

Guitar Hero: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fOw8y1ue1r4

Drum Set: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pfd1ksHbtYw

The youth playing the video game is proving that he’s awesome at the game, but he’s also doing an excellent job advertising the game. He edited the video so that it could show the game alongside himself, basically making a commercial of himself playing the game.

The other commercial shows a youth playing a drumset at a school concert, and the brand is right on the bass drum, a central image a video that was seen 143 times. A mere drum set itself can already advertise a number of different things, such as the drums themselves, the drum skins, the cymbals, the sticks, and the stands. Thousands of people post up cover songs by different artists, so if someone becomes popular and gets a few thousand views, there’s a good chance that it will make corporations a few extra dollars.

This is very similar to what Marshal McLuhan said as well about technology creating a new aesthetic. A new taste of advertising mixed with art is on the rise. A lot of people won’t realize this because they are off guard when watching videos on the internet. It’s not like they can be blamed either, because the people who make these videos are trying to express themselves, not advertise a product. It ends up happening anyway. Someone who makes a product look good will make someone want to buy it.



The Toronto School of Communication Theory


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