- Editorial Introduction
In this issue, Advertising & Society Quarterly continues to explore digital advertising with a particular emphasis on advertising's connections to media. What is the relationship between advertising and media as they have become increasingly digital? How can one make sense of advertising in a world that has faced a constantly changing media landscape? How are diversity and various audience needs taken into account? How are advertising and media regulated in an increasingly digital environment?
Marita Sturken answers some of these questions through the lens of a historical and visual culture perspective. Through her close reading of Kodak and Polaroid advertisements for amateur photography from the late 19th century to the present, Sturken traces the beginning and evolution of the everyday photographer in American society. Certainly, the nature and speed of photography have changed drastically in the last forty years, especially with the emergence of digital photography tools such as mobile phone cameras and apps. However, despite the demise of Kodak and Polaroid in the digital age, their stories show how the symbiotic relationship between photographic technologies and advertising has contributed to today's instantaneous, photo-centric society.
Katy Snell and Sunny Tsai's original article on beauty for Asian American women reminds readers to consider how minorities in America view themselves and their place in society through the fashion advertisements that saturate their everyday lives. Through a series of in-depth interviews, Snell and Tsai reveal that Asian American women are proud when advertisements become more diverse and inclusive of Asian American women. However, these women also face feelings of exclusion as ad representations rely on stereotypes or limited notions of beauty for Asian American women.
In the Roundtable on New Mediascapes and the Futures of Advertising, participants grapple with the following questions: How are advertising and media related? How has advertising adapted to changing mediascapes? Participants agreed that media are intricately linked to and propped up by advertising, but advertising's new tactics have often been adaptations that have come about because of changing media themselves. Participants reflected on how recent media technologies can be used to reach various audiences in addition to the limits of such targeted messaging. The discussion links advertising's historic "digital" evolution to various future, unknown possibilities.
In an interview, Patrick Lafferty, President of Translation LLC, discusses his unique career trajectory in advertising, as well as the importance of having a media perspective as an advertising executive. Lafferty details how his US Army experiences before going into advertising, in addition to his working in media industries, helped him become an advertising leader. He explains how changes in media have altered how audiences are conceived, reached, and incorporated into advertising work. In particular, Lafferty shares several of his projects that exemplify how changes in media and culture need to be taken into account for ads to effectively resonate with relevant audiences. To conclude, he provides important advice: advertisers need to be empathetic, understand what motivates others, and embrace diverse perspectives and ideas as the advertising and media landscape change constantly.
In this issue's "Author Meets Critics" conversation with Mark Bartholomew about his book Adcreep: The Case Against Modern Marketing, participants grapple with the social consequences of advertisements' appearance in nearly all areas of everyday life, especially through various digital media platforms. The talk focuses especially on the book's arguments about the ubiquity of advertising through evolving regulations and laws that have encouraged advertising to expand its reach and power, often unbeknown to members of society. Participants voiced concerns about the rise of corporate free speech, the acceptance of a culture of self-promotion, and commoditized identities. In the end, participants agreed that advertising's reach into formerly non-commercialized social spaces is problematic and needs serious attention, especially as advertisers' tools of persuasion become more digitally sophisticated in more mediated spaces.
Chan Thai details her lesson plan and assignment on a niche area in strategic communication and advertising: public health campaigns. Thai explains what public health campaigns are, how they are related to advertising, and how professionals can leverage digital media to create effective, tailored messages that encourage healthy behaviors among various target audiences.
To conclude, the journal presents a...