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An Introduction to Influencer Marketing

Aim: This is research/ information based blog on Influencer Marketing for social users to gage further understandings of the operations behind this field. Through my content my aim is to showcase the methods and strategies brands implement to attract us into buying products. I look to use my research behind this topic to enlighten readers on how this form of marketing has both positive and negative attributes, as well as the exploring notions of trust for consumers with distribution of authentic products.

What is Influencer Marketing:

The introduction to new mediums like social media has shifted content from a centralised model. This has created new opportunities for any individual to voice and give perspectives online. Looking at the aspects of marketing in this sense, social media has become an significant part of any business. In the age of immense social media use it has become a must for these brands to secure a place in both the conventional and digital marketplace. With Influencer marketing designed to tap into an existing community of engaged followers, these influencers are specialists in their niches. Companies look to target selected journalist, giving them access to aspects like information, products, spokespeople and even company events with the goal of building a long lasting relationships that facilitate positive coverage. With the digitalisation and shift of businesses, the focus of marketing has shifted from offline to online opinion leaders, as they offer a wider reach via their social networks.

Breakdown Example: 

Alex Lifestyle is a Youtuber/ business owner that uploads videos to show audiences tips, tricks on social media hacks. Using the platform of Instagram as an example, this video illustrates the operations behind this strategy as well as emphasizing the power behind this marketing.

Alex’s content is not only useful but also a great source of inspiration for the creation for this blog.

Who are Social Media Influencers?

Freberg, Graham and McGaughey’s 2010 paper on social media influencers and the study of public perceptions of personality defines social media influencers to “represent a new type of independent, third-party endorsers that shape an audience’s attitudes through blogs, tweets, and the use of other social media channels (Fredberg, 3). Through sites like Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook, social media influencers create content through the promotion of certain brands and products, with the overall goal obtaining a following and receiving brand recognition.

Influencer marketing on social media opens up a new channel for brands to connect with consumers more directly, organically, and at scale to their everyday lives. These social media influencers promote brands through their personal lives, making them relatablable to the average consumer. Looking at the popularity of these individuals, they serve as the ultimate connection between a brand and a consumer. Being candid and open with audiences, these influencers have high social credibility making the phenomenon so successful as traditional marketing only looks to target mass audiences.

Example featured in one of my posts- : St. Ives’ Skin Care Advertising:

With the approach to raise brand awareness, St. Ives opened a New York City pop up- retail store between June to September of 2017 called the St Ives Mixing Bar. Running through a 3 month period, the promotion gave people the opportunity to test St. Ives’ products, purchase a customized facial scrub or lotion, as well as take photos in an Instagram friendly “Apricot Room.”

Owners of the brand Unilever (who also own brands like Dove, Lux and Lynx) have struggled in the past to find success among millennial men and women in the skin care category. Using the strategy of Influencer marketing, the brand utilized these individuals to bridge the age gap of their audience through various sponsored instagram posts.The skincare company collaborated with 12 influencers to create 18 sponsored photos promoting the brand, product and store features.

Seen here, the majority of the influencers involved posted a photo of themselves at the store with branded hashtags like #stivesmixingbar and #stivespartner

Lili-Reinhart-St.-Ives-skincare1.png
Screenshot Captured from @lilireinhart on Instagram (2017)

With the combination of these posts and the bar itself, it looked to bring influencers, fans and new customers together in a kind of mini-conference so they were able play with the brand’s products, learn techniques and mingle with each other.

MediaKix (influencer marketing agency) reported the results from the campaign 1.8M likes, 9,000 comments, and an average engagement rate of 9.9%.

Example: Remi Ashten Cruz (@missremiashten)

Lifestyle YouTuber Remi Ashten Cruz maintains 848,000 Instagram followers and created one St. Ives sponsored post. The multiple image post captures Cruz’s visit to the Mixing Bar and garnered over 56,000 likes and 1,000 comments for an engagement rate of 16.7%. Cruz is well known for her bright style and the post fits in well with her colorful feed. The 22-year-old is also well positioned to advertise St. Ives, as her viewers look to her for skincare and beauty advice.

Cruz’s partnership with St Ives looks to reach a new, younger market for this product that has been predominantly sold to middle-aged women in the pre-social media era. Along with Instagram content for the brand she also weaves these products into her YouTube videos to try to expose it to her following of over 2.2 Million, which a lot include St. Ives desired demographic.

References: 

 

 

 

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Hidden Anxiety, Hidden Place

Anxiety disorders are a common mental health condition effecting suffers and their families. People experiencing Anxiety describe feelings of pressure, fear, apprehension, hopelessness …. a lack of control. The sufferer, crippled by these thoughts, looks for ways to process the feelings and regain control. Naturally each individual experiences different effects of this illness and practice different coping strategies, this is the story of an adolescent who uses a ‘Hidden Place’ as a way of calming his thoughts and feelings- his anxiety, and a view through the eyes of the parent of this long suffering individual.

The opportunity to interview a mother and son about living with anxiety from the perspective of both the parent and the adolescent sufferer provided an insight into how crippling this illness is and the difficulty of managing the illness at a young age. The interview revealed techniques and coping strategies each of these interviewees used to manage the illness, one of which is a ‘Hidden Place’. The parent expressed concerns about the adolescent isolating himself in a ‘Hidden Place’ and in contrast the adolescent expressed the comfort and sense of ease he felt with having a ‘Hidden Place’, his secret spot to retrieve to and find peace and a sense of control during times where his anxiety levels were at their worst.

The interviewees revealed they have been managing this illness without professional intervention for many years. The parent encouraged the adolescent to remind himself he was young and that things would improve as he matured and obtained skills to manage and process his feelings. The adolescent spoke about controlling the ruminating thoughts by escaping to a ‘Hidden Place’ a place he describes as a “spot where he could be alone and calm himself, process his thoughts and put the thoughts into perspective.” It was interesting but not surprising that while the adolescent found solace at his ‘Hidden Place’ the parent was apprehensive about the adolescent isolating himself. The adolescent and parent in this story deal with the mental illness privately, whilst to the outside world, everything seems normal.

Although retrieving to an isolated place helped this adolescent to deal with his condition, I don’t believe it would help individuals overcome this illness in the long term. Reaching out for support from organisations such as ‘Headspace’ can provide information for young people and their parents, on how to cope with this condition, as well as strategies to minimise anxiety throughout day-to day life. As a result, this slideshow/ video piece is a broader context of the hidden aspect of mental illness. Among the images and videos of the interviewee, audio and portrait of the ‘Hidden Place’ are included to emphasise the significance of this silent illness and its’ effects.

Links:

Storify and Tweets: https://storify.com/davidgski/hiddenanxiety-hidden-place

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Nigerian Actors are Exulted as the Potential for ‘Nollywood’ Grows

‘Hollywood’ is often referred to as the capital of the entertainment industry, as hopeful individuals are seen flocking there everyday to make there dreams a reality. However despite being one of the biggest industries, with various cultures existing in the world, Hollywood may no longer reign as supreme in the entertainment industry, as the Nollywood industry is increasing becoming more popular. ‘Nollywood’ refers to the film industry of Nigeria, and is seen to be the 3rd largest film industry in the world, producing 1687 movies as of 2007, trailing the very popular Indian film industry of Bollywood.

Nollywood-600x450Commencing in the 1990s ‘Nollywood’ was derived from Yoruba travelling theatre tradition. Unlike its North American counterpart, Nollywood movies are made directly to video rather than having a screening in theatres. These films are shot on tight budgets, with productions pricing varying anywhere from $10 000 to $50 000, which is a huge contrast to western produced higher budget films. Most of the content of these films relies heavily on the viewer, as most of these films and their themes are shown to cater toward Nigerian citizens

As technology is constantly evolving, the demand for quality equipment becomes very high, especially for the production of films/ television. Nowadays watching a film can be quite distracting if the quality is subpar, as the push for technology, has created viewers to expect high standards. Through ‘Nollywood’ producing films with low budgets, these Nigerian directors only purchase technology when it becomes affordable. However it is worth considering that this film industry has excellent grounds to increase the production quality of its films due to remaining on a low budget, possibly becoming the biggest film industry in the world.

 This popular ‘Nollywood’ film industry has numerously been labeled as a product of globalisation, however, Onookome Okome states “While there is no doubt that Nollywood exhibits the hybrid character that is obvious in many forms of African popular arts, it is its acute notation of locality that gives it an unprecedented acceptability as the local cinematic expression in Nigeria and indeed in Africa…Yet, the form and content of Nollywood narratives reminds the casual observer of the obvious ties it has to the complicated trade in global media images even when the point has been made of its unique place in world media culture”. To sum Okome’s quote whilst there is definitely an element of global media influence, Nigerian film directors are shown intentionally incorporating popular African arts and revolving their themes around Nigerian and African focused culture.

The introduction to Netflix’s on western culture has changed the way we view our media, even having influence on the ‘Nollywood’ industry as they begin to take advantage of the Internet and social media as a means of distributing their films. Labelled the ‘Netflix’s of Africa’ iRokoTV, is a streaming service that is home most ‘Nollywood’ films. Alfred Joyner’s article ‘Exploring the future of Nollywood’, this streaming service will more people around the world to have access to ‘Nollywood’ films as they are no longer exclusively available in a hard copy.

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Countries all want quality film industries that compete with Hollywood’s extremely successful industry. Our world is increasingly globalised through every aspect, and our cultures are always mixing and linking in some way.

So on a final note,

Do you believe that ‘Nollywood’ or even ‘Bollywood’ has the potential to over take the success of western industries?

Feel free to leave a comment down below.

Thanks,

– davidsdistrict

References:

Featured

I-G-G- WHY?

Understanding what ‘Cultural Appropriation’ is throughout today’s society is as easy as turning on your television or watching your favourite music video, it occurs around us constantly. ‘Cultural Appropriation’ looks at individuals adopting aspects of a culture that’s not their own. On a deeper understanding it refers to a “particular power dynamic in which members of a dominant culture take elements from a culture of people who have been systematically oppressed by that dominant group” (Maisha Z. Johnson). To many, the term implies the theft of culture, without respect to its history and an ignorance of underlying cultural meaning.

Through analysing today’s media, there are many well- known individuals whose actions have lead to negative connotations regarding the adoption of a culture rather than their own. An example of this is the Australian born female ‘Hip-Hop’ artist Iggy Azalea. In a genre dominated almost exclusively by African American men, Azalea stands out, but unfortunately it’s not for the right reasons. The hometown ‘rapper’ has recently sparked a great deal of controversy as her ‘Cultural Appropriation’, hints to underlining tones of racism.

iggy-showOne example of Azalea’s ‘Cultural Appropriation’ events first occurred on the song entitled ‘D.R.U.G.S’ as the artist refers to herself as a “runaway slave… master”. This incident caused massive amounts of controversy, especially in the African- American community, leading many to speak out on the issue, including Iggy’s peer, African- American ‘Hip-Hop’ artist Azealia Banks. Banks took to various media outlets to talk about the history of American capitalism beginning with slave labor as well the discussion about reparations. Banks goes on to state “at the very least y’all owe me the right to my f***ing identity and to not exploit that s***. That’s all we’re holding on to with ‘Hip-Hop” and ‘Rap’”. Being classified as any type of artist provides many individuals an outlet for self-expression and vehicle for identification, however using expressions whilst having a lack of cultural appreciation becomes dispensable, and is an insult stemming from a long history and trend of racial and ethnic discrimination and prejudice. When violence systematically targets a group of people through genocide, slavery, or colonisation, the resulting trauma lasts through generations. It’s insulting to say the least.

Iggy Azalea 'Blackcent' memeThe Daily Dot’s Derrick Clifton writes: “‘Fancy’ new starlet is now dominating the entire genre, especially since she’s now the female rapper with the longest reign on the ‘Billboard Top 100’ But it seems as though every time conversations crop up about Iggy Azalea, the vocal critics get panned—mainly by white people—as a horde of racists for ‘attacking’ their participation in black art forms, no matter how intrinsically rooted they are to black experiences… Our sayings, dialects, and even vocal dynamics may bear common roots, but are heavily influenced by life experiences, education and regional differences. Iggy azaleas ‘natural speaking voice’ is actually the sugary-sweet, rural Australian accent she grew’ up with—not the grungy, Southern ‘’blackcent’ she adopts for the sake of rapping”

As Clifton suggests here, there are ways to imitate black artists that don’t explicitly demean them or the black community, and that actually honor the legacy of black music. In fact, he singles out Adele, Duffy, and Sam Smith as prime examples. However the problem with Azalea here is with her accent, her clothes, and her general image, as he agues that she’s basically a step away from black face. That’s not to say Azalea doesn’t truly love the kind of music she’s taking from. The ‘rapper’ personally shares her admiration for legendary rap artists such as Tupac, even citing him as the reason why she felt so inspired to enter the industry in the first place. Nevertheless loving hip-hop, or any kind of music relating to a culture for that matter, doesn’t really make it okay for you to “act black,” as it becomes a strike against her authenticity and tips her over the line from appreciation into appropriation.

So what do you think?

Do you believe Azalea is inappropriate when it comes to ‘Cultural Appropriation’?

If so, what other individuals have you seen been doing the same?

Please feel free to leave a comment.

Thanks,

– davidsdistrict.

References:

  • Chang, Jeff. ‘Azealia Banks, Iggy Azalea And Hip-Hop’s Appropriation Problem’. the Guardian. N.p., 2014. Web. 4 Sept. 2015.
  • Clifton, Derrick. ’17 Things White People Need To Know About #Yesallblackpeople’. The Daily Dot. N.p., 2014. Web. 4 Sept. 2015.
  • Johnson, Maisha. ‘What’S Wrong With Cultural Appropriation? These 9 Answers Reveal Its Harm’. Everyday Feminism. N.p., 2015. Web. 4 Sept. 2015.
  • Morrison, Aaron. ‘Rachel Dolezal, Iggy Azalea And Cultural Appropriation: When Admiration Of Black Culture Becomes Offensive’. International Business Times. N.p., 2015. Web. 4 Sept. 2015.
  • Osterndorf, Chris. ‘Iggy Azalea And A Culture Of Appropriation’. Media Diversified. N.p., 2013. Web. 4 Sept. 2015.
  • Iggy Azalea Photo: prettystatus.com
  • Iggy Azalea Photo meme: davidsdistrict
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No Need For A Plane Ticket, Experiencing Diverse Culture Is Just A Click Away

The world of the 21st century is immensely different in that which our parents or even grandparents have been being raised in. Increases in technological advances and developments over these last decades have created a virtual sense of connection between different global boarders, which occurs through ‘Globalisation’. “Globalisation offers a sense of interconnectedness by facilitating interpersonal communication and the formation of communities and relationships across geographic, racial, religious and cultural barriers” (O’Shaughnessy & Stadler P45)

This can be more accurately understood in reference to ‘Americanisation’. American is often referred to as having one of the largest impacts on the world, therefore ‘Americanisation’ is a commonly used analogy to describe the idea of globalisation as it looks at the influence of American culture on countries, determining its effects on food, technology, media, business practices, and political techniques.

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Analysing Australia’s media, with popular shows such as F.R.I.E.N.D.S, The Simpsons and Orange is the New Black; it is evident that American culture frequently played out on Aussie screens. With many countries including Australia adopting and reconstructing adaptions of American shows such as ‘Big Brother’ this idea of ‘Americanisation’ and its effects on culture is further reinforced.

This phenomenon of ‘Globalisation’ is characterised by a sense of interdependence, where national borders become blurred in the face of instantaneous connections and the virtual sharing of information. No matter the physical difference, with just a click of a mouse, we are able to make quick connections on a global scale, exposing many new experiences, as different countries can shape and adapt different diverse culture.

Although American is seen to be very influential, our world today is defiantly becoming more multi -cultural, as our society adapts to different cultural influences including the music we listen to, how we dress and the food we consume. Going out for dinner has never been more difficult in todays society, from Thai to Mexican to Italian, the endless amount of cultural options has opened up the world to different experiences without even having to leave a 5km radius, a great positive that ‘Globalisation’ offers to many individuals.

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The ease of exchanging information is also becoming the most evident in today’s media. Through analysing today’s media, well-known celebrities and pop stars are embracing many aspects of different cultures other than their own. Nicki Minaj, Katy Perry and Selena Gomez are three examples in particular, as they find inspiration from Indian, Native American and Asian culture (represented in the images above). Through integrating several traditions into their music and fashion, they allow individual’s to positively embrace and understand different cultures without having to even visit the country, which is pretty amazing.

So on a final note- Do you believe ‘Globalisation’ is helping to make a positive change in the integration of diverse cultures in our society, or is there no need for Globalisation?

Please feel free to leave a comment down below.

Have a great day and Thanks for visiting.

– davidsdistrict

References List:

  1. O’Shaughnessy, M and Stadler, J (2008) ‘Globalisation’, Media and Society (fifth edition) Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 458-471.

Marketing Corporates Play With Dolls

FeaturedMarketing Corporates Play With Dolls

The exploitation of children by the media is a growing concern within todays over sexualized culture, posing a threat to our younger generations innocence. Shifts have occurred within today’s society compared to past years due to the introduction of evolving technology, affecting most young individuals daily. Although this technology has brought positive benefits in the development of various areas such as education, communication, social and creative skills, the media and it’s effects on younger children can be treacherous. The danger is augmented due to the difficulty of monitoring the child’s exposure to technology and media.

In the last decade, the evolution the media has expanded and grown tremendously as the demand to stay current increases. Social media connects individuals within seconds, making it the most popular media platform. The overuse of personal information on these platforms is threatening younger individuals as the growing amount of social predators befriending children places them in serious harm. As the demand of technology within today’s society increases, the more difficult it is to protect children from the dangers of these platforms, due to its accessibility. Within todays culture it is becoming more common for younger people to share EVERYTHING online, due to a lack of knowledge and education about social media, privacy and on what type of people are viewing their page or site. This can lead to dire situations where youth become an easy target for abuse by predators. Support services such as nobullying.com offer parents help, with by advising them how to protect and educate about predators and potential harm, ways to stay safe online, thus protecting younger children from being taken advantage of within the expanding this media.

In today’s society the term of ‘Corporate Pedophilia’ is used to illustrate the branding and marketing of younger children in unethical ways. Due to the increasing number of media platforms that attempt to sell/present these younger individuals in sexualized ways, the fear of this becoming a norm within today’s culture is prevalent. Australian commentator Philip Adams refers to Corporate Pedophilia as “molestation on a massive scale”, as these media campaigns and the premature exposure to sexual images heighten pressures in younger individuals to strive to look a certain way. The promotion of young models portraying sexual images throughout the media, leads them to believe these actions should be duplicaFeatured imageted to gain attention in their reality.

The editorial spread entitled Cadeaux, photographed by Sharif Hamza featured in Vogue Paris; December January 2011 endorses the use of younger models through the editorial fashion spread. This gained a great deal of negative attention due to the sexualised perception of younger models throughout the shot (refer to image). This is an example of how ‘Corporate Pedophilia’ occurs within the marketing of media in today’s society as although the magazine attempts to make readers believe its all about the fashion, the use of sexual body language and sensual gazes of these younger models demonstrates the promotion of unethical behaviour by the media. Along with Adams, many other critics agree with this view on the marketing of children and ‘Corporate Pedophilia’, for example the Australian Senate links Beauty Pageants with dangers of body image and child abuse.

Do you think this is an appropriate way to portray under aged individuals?

References:

  • Hamza, S, (2011), Cadeaux [ONLINE]. Available at: http://en.vogue.fr (Accessed 20 April 15).
  • Adams, P. (1995). The death of childhood, in Marketing Toys: It’s child’s play. Papers from a national conference, Sydney NSW, Institute for Values Research and Young Media Australia. (Accessed 20 April 15)
  • POLLEY, H, (2012). Adjournment Fashion Industry. In Adjournment Fashion Industry. Tasmania, Wednesday, 09, May. Tasmania: Parliament of Australia . 3004. (Accessed 20 April 15).

My Anaconda Don’t Want None Unless You’re Eighteen or Above

FeaturedMy Anaconda Don’t Want None Unless You’re Eighteen or Above

Within today’s society and culture many anxieties revolve around the obsession with celebrity due its negative effects on today’s youth. These recognised role models are perceived as dangerous towards younger audiences as their own actions and decisions are seen to play a vital part in shaping what is perceived as the right and wrong thing to do. Whether it be Miley Cyrus’s over sexualised music videos or Justin Bieber’s constant trouble with the law, the effect of these reoccurring celebrity outbursts captured through the media creates these anxieties, as the more common it becomes to act out, the easier it is for younger individuals duplicate these actions.

Within today’s popular culture, recognised individuals use media to send a wide range of messages to different audiences all over the world. Through this platform many individuals are given a sense of power and voice as the messages they choose to portray to society are monitored and closely analysed. Anxieties within the media are formed through the negative messages that these ‘ famous’ individuals direct to impressionable audiences as these are shown to shape their actions and  thoughts. The  reoccurring  mentality that ‘sex  sells’ through the  media within today’s  culture can have  serious effects of  younger audiences  lives, especially with  women. For example  Nicki Minaj’s viral  music video Anaconda created  media frenzy due  to it’s over  sexualisation of a naked Minaj, rapping and flaunting about her most famous asset. Due to the relevancy of this music video, Minaj’s message of having to be half-naked with a big behind to be desired and attractive creates anxieties for young women as their lower self esteem at this age can trigger negative understandings on body image and what it takes to be beautiful. These damaging messages that media portrays affects the development of younger individuals. The obsession with being perfect causes distractions within these individuals’ lives as they are less focused on achieving goals like higher education and more concerned with being comparable to their favourite celebrity. The measures and pressures to sell within industries create anxieties within popular culture as these sexual images younger audiences are exposed to have negative effects. Anxieties are a reoccurring factor within the media and todays society. As the media becomes more and more sexualised, exposing audiences to negative messages at younger ages, it becomes more difficult to shield and protect these dangerous actions from being duplicated. Although it may seem easy younger people are exposed to harmful images and actions everyday through a simple of a button. Although the technologic outbreak of the Internet ‘s convenience has done great things for todays expanding culture it’s damaging to younger audiences providing a gateway for harmful media. Which leads society to question is this type of media damaging to younger individuals and their development?

What do you think ? Check out the video here and leave a comment down below.

Final Statement:

Work Title: THE LOSS OF SUBURBIA
Projection and Sound Work
Overall Loop: 3:40
Name: David Gusevski

Statement:

‘The Loss of Suburbia’ is projection/sound work that portrays a local resident’s experience with construction and over development in her area of ‘Wolli Creek’ in Sydney’s south. Centred around her struggles, this piece showcases her challenges as she faces the loss nostalgia with the increase of high rises against and around her home.

Featuring pieces collected from her home, this installation is created in combination with this work to display a living room design. These were featured to set the subjects point of view, helping to understand her story and connection to home. The film work is projected onto a mock window, displaying the changes and fast paced notions of this updated community. This is used to symbolize the lack of control these residents have as they watch these changes occur. Featuring a stop motion effect, the differentiation of each frame creates radical shifts that maintain a sense erratic inconsistency. Accompanied by a heavy sound piece, this work highlights the subject’s emotion and experience, opening up about her struggles. Displaying these thoughts, this piece reveals a sense of chaos through intense layering of collected construction noise from these areas, creating an unsettling feeling for audiences.

With the increasing amount of areas affected by over development this piece gives insight to individuals situations as they battle modifications throughout their community and surrounding suburbs, leading us to discover how these advancements are not always positive.

 

Post 8 and 9:

As this is the final week before the project is due I am finishing off this work for presentation. I have begun to collect my items to make a living room setting which I am looking forward to creating. I played around with having my video developed off a green screen but ultimately I feel like it is much easier for me to build it around the size of my mock window. Emailing with Aaron back and forth this week he has approved this change and suggested I make my window smaller to avoid it looking tacky. I think this is a better Idea as I want to ensure the setting looks as realistic as possible, reflecting the real thoughts found in the interviews and projection.

The next week:

As I began to collect my shots featured on Google Images I was having trouble ensuring the quality of these images were cohesive. As these were captured in past years these images contrasted against the updated ones brought the quality of my work down significantly, creating it to feel very scattered and unfocused. Although it focuses on an interested aspect of this suburb, I don’t feel confident utlising these images. Facing this issue I decided that it would be best if i captured my own images of the area in hopes to showcases these changes. With this in mind I found it would also reinforce the ideas and challenges discussed throughout my interview, giving audiences an opportunity to match these stories to a visual. Driving down to Wollongong I borrowed a DSLR camera for two days to photograph the main parts of the community where this construction and over development has occurred . Attempting to steer away from the traditional slideshow of images my goal for this video work was to create movement through still image, pairing with my sound piece. Using a stop motion effect, the video showcases over 80 images moving through these suburb streets, symbolising the movement of change. This was added to create a sporadic effect, highlighting the feelings of chaos and resistance. After developing this film I decided to curate a test run at home with a mini projector. While the video worked to display the stories and emotions discussed in the sound piece, I decided to edit in a window frame onto my this film to ensure audiences were able to understand the vision of this piece and layout. Although I did have doubts with this living room design, I was happy to see that implementing these changes has created a more cohesive project. I am now just adding in collected noises of construction, cranes and trucks from this area to create chaotic ambience, intruding into the safe space of home. I am looking forward to hearing Matt and Aaron’s thoughts on how I have taken their advice to improve my overall concept/ work.

Final Layout Form:  

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BRANDING BREAKDOWN: INFULENCER MARKETING- Contextual Essay

This semester I have successfully produced the information/ research based digital artefact ‘Branding Breakdown’ focusing on ‘Influencer Marketing’. Hosted on WordPress the blog looks to help social users to gage further understandings on the operations of this marketing field. Through this content, my aim was to showcase the methods and strategies brands implement to attract us into buying products. I my research behind this topic to enlighten readers on how this form of marketing has both positive and negative attributes, as well as the exploring notions of trust for consumers with distribution of authentic products. Initially, this artefact was constructed to just showcase the facts and methods behind social influencers. Whilst this did look to be an an informative platform, I wanted to push past descriptive content as these sites are already available. Looking to stand out amongst competing sites, I focused on constructing a source for audiences to discover more about this practice, looking at techniques through the relation of physical examples to illustrate how authenticity and what to avoid. Speaking with Chris, I also wanted to conduct several interviews to gage young individuals experiences with this marketing strategy. With competing blogs only focusing on information based content I looked to produce a mix of scholarly and peer opinions, covering all areas of this marketing strategy, leading more readers towards this site as it host all this content on a single platform.

Although influencer marketing targets a wide range of audiences, I looked to target my content towards young individuals due to their prevalence throughout social media. Focusing on these individuals I was able to use popular influencers as examples to further explain the message of my content. With influencers like ‘Bella Thorne’ and ‘Lili Reinhart’ directing their own branding to target young people, implementing them throughout this blog helped to ensure my content was easily understandable. With this artefact targeting young individuals, utilising topics from this audience looked to produce engaging content through the use of this prevalent issue. Although WordPress is a great source to host this artefact I was worried that it wouldn’t have the potential to reach my target audience compared to traditional social platforms. With this in mind I utilised Cooper Smith’s article from the Business Insider Australia to determine the platform that best targets my demographic. With the article providing statistics and information on many social apps, Smith’s research compares the opportunities these platforms offer revealing Instagram to have a strong connection with young adults, with users stating they use the app “several hours a week or more”. Using this research I focused my examples around influencers with popularity based on Instagram. While this platform wasn’t the most suitable to host the amount of content, I found implementing these aspects ensured that young individuals were able to connect with these arguments.

Looking at this artefacts trajectory, with the influx of influencer displayed across social platforms, this blog looks to be a valuable source for individuals. This content is beneficial as it illustrates these techniques, whilst also helping to simplify this strategy for social users who are not familiar with these processes. Businesses are also able to utilise and compare this content to their own campaigns, to further build their brand and best target young individuals using these techniques. Hosting both successful and unethical case studies from other business will look to drive these businesses towards more ethical behaviours, as they are able to learn of others mistakes. With influencers already curating a large following the longevity for audiences intrest in this blog will remain stable, as these flowers are constantly researching to ensure they can trust these individuals.

Although I have previous experience with blogging already throughout my degree, when first commencing this artefact I utilised sources like Crick and Winfield’s article on academic blogging to assist with maintaining professionalism throughout my content. Although these post display are more relaxed style of writing, I wanted to ensure I was conveying my arguments clearly so readers were able to benefit from this work. During the course of this artefact, it was easy to identify the success and limitations regarding our project and social platforms. Reinforcing its positive attributes, my choice of WordPress worked the best in highlighting my content. Managing these posts with the sites features was very simple to navigate due to my experience of blogging in the past, leading to a consistent outflow of content weekly. Having all my posts featured under one tab extension, the pages were easy to find having the content and cases studies as the focal point. WordPress as a platform was a great way to feature other fields of media like photos, gifs, news and videos to visually support my content. This was most beneficial when embedding examples from Instagram as I was able to utilise the benefits from both applications. However, a limitation that I did face was having a lack of customisation ability when designing the overall blog. When first constructing the page it was difficult to sort through templates and find a design that showcased my work clearly without changing my overall blog. Along with this I did have to replace some added plugins as they were producing the page to slow down. Luckily these issues were easily manageable and I was able to configure a design that best showcased both my media and written work.

In conclusion, through research and testing, I definitely feel we have been successful in producing original work that many young people can turn to as a valuable source of information and interactive content. Looking at providing both a supportive and entertaining service, this platform is definitely something I look to continue throughout the following years, inside and outside of my studies. Undertaking this project has shown me through establishing guidelines and targets throughout research and collection of data, this will therefore ensure the best quality work as well as a deeper understanding towards your audience and overall topic.

Contextual Essay References:

Full References List:

Proposal:

  • Brown, D., & Hayes, N. (2008). Influencer Marketing: Who really influences your Customers?. London, :Routledge.
  • Lu, L. C., Chang, W. P., & Chang, H. H. (2014). Consumer attitudes toward blogger’s sponsored recommendations and purchase intention: The effect of sponsorship type, product type, and brand awareness. Computers in Human Behavior, 34, 258-266

Relevant Research Post:

Post: An Introduction to Influencer Marketing:

Post: Cost and Pricing:

Post: Authenticity:

Post: The Shift of The Celebrity

Post: Interviews and Consumer Thoughts

 

Influencer Marketing: The Shift of The Celebrity

We as a society are constantly consuming various forms of media. As we tour our homes today, every corner of a room is filled with countless means of new technology, providing hours of entertainment. The development of digital media has revolutionised the way we view news, information and entertainment. Any major historical event from the past 50 years we have witnessed happening through a screen. From the horrific events of the 9/11 Terror Tower Attack to man’s first steps on the moon, this documentation and new wave of technology creates an extent sense of connection, bringing individuals together through discussion and reaction.

Growing up in the early 2000’s traditional media played a huge role in my upbringing. My generation was probably one of the last to shape their nights around a television screen, tuning in to watch our favourite programs at a specific date and time. With this medium having such prevalence at the time, these featured celebrities and their influence were pushed as spokespeople for many brands. (Think Michael and Britney for Pepsi).

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Screenshot from Pepsi’s ‘Generations Campaign’ paying tribute to musicians Michael Jackson, Britney Spears and Ray Charles

However, from what we can see shown throughout this blog, Today’s audiences don’t hold this past way of consuming media. Although CD’s, DVD’s and Television has given place to streaming services like Netflix and Spotify, people are also turning to other forms of entertainment platforms like social media. With TNS global market research company reporting that 71% of this millennials use social media daily and 76% watch online videos, the number of hours spent watching old forms of media are diminishing with each generation.

With the introduction to social influencers through online platforms, many are challenging past mediums with the shift towards producing their own content. This has proven to be well received as shown through their success in views and followers, which each influencer pushing activities that target specific niches.
Example: Kayla Itsines (@kayla_itsines) Instagram: 9.6m Followers

Kayla Itsines is an Australian personal trainer, author, and entrepreneur. She is the creator of a series of fitness ebooks titled Bikini Body Guides, and a meal-planning and workout app, Sweat with Kayla. While this content has previously been made before by various other fitness trainers, Sweat with Kayla has generated more revenue than any other fitness application. Being named one of the 30 most influential people on the Internet, Kayla notes her success at leveraging social media to promote her brand. Itsines’ interval workout regimens may not be revolutionary, but she leveraged an enviable body, #transformation pics, and an achievable lifestyle into a true fitness empire.

Estimated income: $17 million from “Sweat with Kayla” app alone, $150,000 per Instagram post (Data retrieved from Complex.com)

Looking at these online individuals influence, their factors of credibility challenge the notion of the traditional celebrities. Look at actress Jennifer Lawrence for example. She is a traditional celebrity as a result of numerous acting roles over the last decade. Although she has a large following she isn’t apart of the online world, having no accounts throughout social media. Comparing her to the popular influencers of today, audiences are more attached to these online stars rather than traditional celebrities. A survey executed by Variety compared the 10 social influencers against the 10 traditional entertainment stars with the highest Q score among teens, a widely recognized measure of influence by advertisers and marketers. Testing a sample of 1,500 people aged 13-17 , these individuals were asked how these 20 personalities stack up in terms of approachability, authenticity and other criteria considered aspects of their overall influence. Looking at the respondents data it was the social stars that rated on all counts a quarter of the top 20 list, including the top three influencers ­— KSI, PewDiePie and Vanoss -Gaming. Other findings found in these surveys noted that young individuals have “emotional attachment to social influencers as much as seven times greater than that toward a traditional celebrities” (Variety), with these being perceived as “17 times more engaging” (Variety).

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Screenshot of ‘Felix Arvid Ulf Kjellberg’ (@PewDiePie) to the left and ‘Olajide William “JJ” Olatunji, Jr’ (@ KSI) to the right

What I have gathered from this data is there is a deeper relationship between audiences and social influencers over traditional celebrities. There is a relatable sense throughout influencers as they act on free will, whilst tradition stars are often orchestrated by PR strategies to act in a particular manner. The relatable factor acts as a new wave of media for the public as audiences and consumers are able to get to know these individuals on a deeper level, due to these people being more likely to share their lives and experiences more openly. According to a study commissioned by Google, 40% of millennial YouTube subscribers say that their favorite content creators understand them better than their friends and 70% of teens admit that they can relate to those folks more than to traditional celebrities. This also looks to drive more engagement with audiences through making connections with viewers. Looking at the platform of Instagram for example, audiences are offered direct contact with these individuals through private messaging and open field commenting. As this career is built off strong fan bases, these infulencers are constantly connecting with audiences to maintain their relationship and audience .

Before the eruption of social media, a standard celebrity endorsement would involve a long-term collaboration full of lengthy conditions between the brand and high-profile figure. Nowadays, this arrangement has been facilitated with the rise of social media’s popularity. The emergence of this ‘modern celebrity’, combined with changing consumer behaviours, means that brands and influencers have the capacity to be more flexible, by collaborating over short-term projects, strategically chosen by both parties to ensure relevance, which in turn leads to authenticity. From what we can see the traditional celebrities influence on audiences has declined over recent years with the introduction to this new form of marketing. My advice for these individuals would be to maintain an online presence, utilising both traditional and social methods throughout their distribution. A great example of this shift can look at Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson as he has understood the concept of a modern celebrity, adapting himself into the online environments and now embrasing a total of 77.3 million followers on Instagram alone.

References:

 

 

Post 6 and 7:

Over this week I have conducted an new interview with my grandma that I am pretty happy with. Again, her interview was fairly long so I have begun editing down to the main points so it is more cohesive with video. As she is very unwell at the moment it was quite challenging to find time where she was well enough to talk, but I am happy with what I have collected. Listening to this sound piece, it offers a great description of these areas as well as her thoughts and feelings. I have begun editing my video and I am looking forward to see how both this sound piece and film will look together.

The next week-

This week I have decided to alter my project. Although we are drawing close to the due date, over the past week I have been brainstorming ways to push this idea further. After drawing up designs and testing I have decided to move towards an projection/installation piece rather than an single screen, as I think I can design something that would create my work to be more engaging. Describing my final idea further I am developing an installation piece that illustrates my grandmother’s feelings towards her neighborhood and it’s changes. I have focused this project on one subject rather than capturing six perspectives to steer away from journalistic aspects. For my work I am capturing film from past and present years to display the immense differences in my grandmothers area. This will be presented against a fake window frame on the wall to symbolize her witnessing these changes whilst her own surroundings remain the same. I am still creating a sound piece that features more of a ranting style to convey her frustration (which I found more entertaining). In my last talk with Aaron he mentioned that I should showcase aspects of isolation within her home. With this is mind I have decided to create a living room setting to accompany my projection, featuring items from her house to depict her perspective. These items look to invite audiences to sit experience her thoughts and emotions through the combination of the projection and sound piece.

Mock Design:

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Blog Post 9- Week Eleven: Game Rules and Final Thoughts

Game Title: What’s Trending?

‘What’s Trending?’ is an interactive based board game utilising Google’s top trending searches.

How quickly can you describe these trending topics?

Speed is of the essence in this fast-paced game – the more words your team can guess from your descriptions, the quicker you’ll cross the finishing line. What’s Trending? is separated into yearly segments ranging from 2001- 2017, with answers varying from diverse categories.

From popular culture, How-to searches, sports and even world news this game incorporates all interests as it’s enjoyable for all generations. When it comes to nostalgic and exhilarating entertainment, ‘What’s Trending?’ simply has no rivals! Relive iconic moments in history and see if you can keep up.

Objective of the Game:

Work in pairs to discover Google’s top searched results from 2001-2017. Progress is made by correctly guessing what your teammates are describing, the more correct answers, the further you advance on the board.

Preparation:

  • Unfold board. Set up tokens at starting position
  • Place clue/answer cards in corresponding sections and prepare timer to start at 0.
  • Evenly divide into teams of two or more
  • Decide amongst each other who will begin first
  • Each round team members are nominated as either describes and guesser (Alternating each round)

Starting the Game:

  1. Each round begins once the 30 second timer is flipped.
  2. The describer’s take a card corresponding to the year their token is placed on the board. (As the start position is on the year 2017, this is the segment each team will start)
  3. The ‘describer’ to use clues that help the ‘guesser’ discover the answer on the card. Once the question is successfully answered the round continues using cards from the same year until time runs out.
    Players are only allowed to skip two question cards each round. If you are unable to answer the question and needing an additional skip they will have to go back and answer a previous skipped question before doing so.
  4. The describes will then count the number of cards that were correctly guessed in that round and move their playing token forward to that number of segments.
    Example: If a team collected 3 correct guesses, the would move 3 space forward on the board.
  5. The round then begins for the next team corresponding to where their token is on the board
  6. Players will then make their way around the board until one team reaches the finish mark

Description Rules:

When describing you must NOT:

  • Say the name or letters of the answer.
  • Say the word or any derivative eg. if the word is “post” you may not say “postage” or “postman”; for “swim” you may not say “swimmer” etc.
  • Use “rhymes with” or “sounds like” type clues.

When describing you CAN:

  • Gesticulate, act, mime but not mouth the word
  • Use inside jokes or past experiences in addition to clues

To further gain a further understanding of ‘What’s Trending?’ and this design process I have linked my weekly blog posts below:

  1. Blog Post 4- Week 6: Contribution to the Group Game
  2. Blog Post 5- Week Seven: Initial Ideas
  3. Blog Post 6- Week Eight: Game Prototype and Inspiration
  4. Blog Post 7- Week Nine: Game Prototype with Attention to The Abstraction Involved
  5. Blog Post 8- Week Ten: Game Play Testing

Final Thoughts: 

As this session and game development comes to end I have learned a lot from this process. Looking back I can see that I have definitely benefited most from play testing and peer feedback. Though sometimes it can be difficult to take criticism, the critiques that I have received have been a great source of advice for my final game product. Doing these weekly blog posts have also ensured I have stayed up to date with my work and development in time for game play at the end of each week. This has not only made this process less stressful but also has given me the opportunity to make the most of our lessons. From what I can see ‘What’s Trending?’ has been well received with audiences of many ages which has made this hard work and on occasion, challenging experience worth it.

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Screenshot of Game Play