Mental health in the music industry

Becoming successful in the music industry is an incredibly hard to attain. They face psychological pressures that most people in 9-5 professions would not encounter.

Some of the issues that can cause a decline in good mental health include:

  • Pressures of constantly performing
  • Drug-induced issues
  • Pressures for continual fan gratification. (i.e putting out music, bad feedback on released songs)
  • Pressure from label and representatives
  • Financial pressure
  • Concern about ability to sustain long-term career

When musicians publicise that they are struggling with a mental illness, some of the public at times become very critical and judgemental.

e.g “They get to travel the world and play music to large crowds, what do they have to worry about?”

A Victorian University study found that “musicians are five times more likely to suffer from depression and 10 times more likely to show symptoms of anxiety.”

In the video section of my article my intent was to focus on the reasons why mental illnesses are more prominent in musicians. The focus of this piece is to concentrate on the differences between a musician and someone from the general public, and the reasons someone in the music industry could become ill.

 

For the podcast, I focussed on the lack of support for musicians from all different avenues of life. For this piece I narrowly focussed on how a lack of respect and support towards musicians from both government and social levels can have an effect on their mental wellbeing.

Why anthropomorphism is so effective in television advertising?

Animals are a part of our everyday life. They may be pets, part of our occupation (vets, farmers), or just the local wildlife we observe outside our window each and every day. We have a close relationship with these creatures, and whether these animals make us feel overjoyed or make us infuriated, or somewhere within that range, our emotions are caught up.

Currently, more and more frequently we see animals used in all types of media. Movies, TV shows, books, and smart-phone applications all have had an influx of animal-related content.

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In a marketing sense, animals are heavily used in advertisements to attract us into purchasing a product. We see features in them that we see in our own human lives. Related or unrelated to the topic or theme of the product, animals are used to make the consumer find common ground with the advertisement.

This is heavily due to the strong bond humans have with animals, and the increasing trend of pets as loveable, surrogate family members (Tomkovick, 2000). In the 1990’s it was reported that, in America, 1-in-6 Super Bowl commercials featured some form of wildlife (Tomkovick, 2000). Tomkovick also concluded that a positive relationship exists between the inclusion of animals in Super Bowl advertisements and advertisement likability.

Recently we’ve seen the “Compare the Meerkat” ads use a delicate play-on-words to place meerkats in a foreign and bizarre business environment. However, these ads serve their purpose and have been successful over a number of years. In fact the ads follow a pattern now where a new story line is introduced after a few months of presentation of the current ad. The audience’s attention becomes very focused again: intrigued to see what the new story lines will add to the continuing narrative.

So why is it that anthropomorphism is so effective in television advertising?

Our close relationship to them

 Our close association and appreciation for animals is one of the biggest factors in determining our likability of an advertisement. When we see an animal in an advertisement, we are immediately drawn to it.

Most families around the world have a pet, or have previously had one, so they immediately relate to the advertisement in a nostalgic way. By including animals in advertisements, it subtly illustrates the ways in which humans love pets, treat pets as family members, and deeply mourn pets when their lives end. Advertisers often attempt to tap this human–animal bond when they use animals in persuasive messages (Lacendorfer, Atkin, Reece, 2008).

As an audience we love to be able to relate to the content we view. Anthropomorphism is another method used by marketers to blur the lines between animal and man. When an advertiser dons an animal with, for example, human clothing, a human smile, or eyebrows, that animal becomes anthropomorphised (Spears, Bowen, Chakraborty 1996).

Marketers have long used anthropomorphism widely to create awareness or to maintain a relational connection and belongingness between the product and the consumer (Stone, 2014). Anthropomorphised animals are commonly used for advertising in two different ways;

  1. To act as a metaphor for the product itself.
  2. To help people associate with the animal by anthropomorphising it, which will in term help relate the company to the audience.

Examples of this include; the ‘Cadbury’ drumming gorilla, the ‘Bridgestone Tyres’ gecko, and the ‘M&M’s’ chocolate.

Stone notes that the animals that evoke loyalty, friendliness, and human-pet attachment are commonly used in advertisements. These emotions are considered as interactive and pertain to relationships. Thus, it is predicted that these emotions will spur the viewer to buy the product/service which otherwise may be overlooked at the store (Stone, 2014).

Forming an identity

If animals are successful in the initial advertisement, marketers of the company can build on this knowledge, featuring the animal numerously in future ad campaigns. The animal’s continual presence in a company’s advertising helps it symbolically act as the face of the company. A prime example of this is the ‘Kleenex’ toilet paper advertisements featuring a Labrador puppy.

Through years of advertising with these dogs, Kleenex has been able to build a reputable brand that uses the Labrador as a metaphor for its product, suggesting it is soft, luscious and comfortable- some features of which, similarly relate to the puppy.

Another aspect about this idea is that when animals act as the identity of the company, they act as a scapegoat for any misdemeanours associated with the company. For example- to use Kleenex again- audiences would associate the brand with cute puppies, and soft tissues. However, they would not generally associate Kleenex as a company that causes mass deforestation to produce their product. Even if this did cause a concern for the public, they wouldn’t lay the blame for this on the head of a golden 8-week-old Labrador?

Brand identity suggests consumers are more likely to remember the product and be expected to purchase it in the future (Kanungo, 1969; Brown, 2010).

Cheap Labour

Another point to touch on is the financial efficiency of using anthropomorphism in marketing. For a small business, which may not be able to afford a big personality or high quality production in their advertisement, using animals to illustrate your idea to a large television audience is a cheaper and successfully proven method of advertisement.

Conclusion

Advertisements that bring out some form of emotional connection from the audience are always going to be successful. One of the biggest reasons anthropomorphism works in television advertising is because of the strong historical attachment between animals and humans.

Some of these ads may not necessarily leave a positive impression on us; sometimes the marketer’s objective is to leave us feeling jarred.

As for the biology: “When you touch and look at your pet, it makes your brain release chemicals that make you feel good,” Herzog said.

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As for the need for affection: That boils down to the fact that pets offer unconditional love. And unconditional love feels good.

Indeed, the human fascination with animals is so ancient and so widespread that it seems to be a cross-cultural trait.

 

References:

Chuck Tomkovick , Rama Yelkur & Lori Christians (2001) The USA’s biggest marketing event keeps getting bigger: an in-depth look at Super Bowl advertising in the 1990s, Journal of Marketing Communications, 7:2, 89-108.

Lancendorfer, Karen, JoAnn Atkin, and Bonnie Reece. “Animals In Advertising: Love Dogs? Love The Ad!”. N.p., 2008. Web. 30 Mar. 2017.

Spears, Nancy, John Mowen, and Goutam Chakraborty. “Symbolic Role Of Animals In Print Advertising: Content Analysis And Conceptual Development”. Journal of BusinessResearch, 37 (1996): 87-95.

Stone, Sherril. “The Psychology Of Using Animals In Advertising”. (2004): n. pag.

Kanungo, R. N. (1969). Brand Awareness: Differential roles of fittingness and meaningfulness of brand names. Journal of Applied Psychology, 53(2), 140-146.

Brown, S. (2010). The Penguin’s Progress: A Mashup for Managers. Marshall Cavendish: London.

Anderson, Emily. “This Is Why You Care More About Some Animals Than You Care About Humans | Bdcwire”. BDCWire. N.p., 2015. Web. 30 Mar. 2017.

Why is society so jarred by images of death?

In the real world, opposition to an idea can sometimes question your own appreciation of that idea. In every walk of life, there are always individuals, or groups, who will resist an idea or belief. Their outlook can be directly opposite to any popular belief.

In the media industry, the beliefs of audiences are challenged all the time when viewing different forms of media. What makes this content special? What story is it trying to tell? Does this affect us positively or negatively?

Viewing this art is exciting for us as it gives audiences the chance to observe the media and self-reflect on how it emotionally impacted us.

However, in a world of political and social correctness, many different forms of art can be suppressed due to the concern of moral panic. The decision not to publish this art, warranted or not, undermines how we consume media.

I did some research into banned or controversial photos. I scrolled through image after image of those criticised for public display. After a while I recognised a common theme: death.

It seems that many of these criticised or banned photos have a close relationship to death, or they in fact are photos of death. So what is it about photography of death that makes it such a delicate taboo?

Before I start, I wish to outline that I will not be discussing the issue of whether or not it is morally justified to take and publish these images? I know there are many issues, both legally and ethically, surrounding the publication of these images. I will not discuss this in detail, but rather ask the question why do we, as an audience, become so disturbed by images of death?

Death.

It surrounds our lives every day.

We hear news stories recalling it, we read books describing it, we see movies commercialising it, and we may even become a witness to it. We live in communities where people we know do die, that is part of life.

As adults, we can become used to it because we have been exposed to it regularly. Sure, it still affects us: although maybe not as profoundly as in the early years of our lives.

Despite an increased tolerance for death within the media, society seems to be jarred by images of death.

Maybe this pain can have something to do with the context of the image? There may be an aspect of the photo that has a special relationship with the audience. For example, a photo of a dead soldier might emotionally affect someone who may have family members who have been in the military.

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Roeder, a WW2 photographer notes that “the longer the war went on, the more futile it seemed to suppress harsh pictures. Casualties within families or communities confronted more and more people with evidence of war’s capacity to kill and maim” (Roeder, 1995).

What about what is not seen in any photo.

Howard Becker notes in his book, ‘Visual Sociology’ that “If we think there is no context, that only means that the maker of the work has cleverly taken advantage of our willingness to provide the context for ourselves” (Becker, 1995).

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The above image helps illustrate Becker’s argument. We don’t know any additional information outside this image.

Is her mother just out of shot? Maybe the vulture is stalking another animal! Do we truly know this small girl is in immediate danger?

We don’t know any of this information, thus our mind generates our own series of events. When we manufacture our own context of the story we tend to assume the worst, making us have compassion for the subjects in the image.

One of the biggest issues of these photos is the suffering it causes the audience. They may be raw images that are confronting and evocative, forcing the reader to peer for only a mere second before having to turn away.

Although, there is an underlying paradox in how we digest these images.

The negative effects of death force us to feel sadness and have empathy for the subjects in the image. This sadness can at times, however, fill us with slight fulfilment. We recognise the bounds of our humanity, the ability to feel empathy for those depicted in the images, and their very confronting circumstances.

This does not mean we necessarily still welcome the image- as it still causes us suffering- rather we appreciate our ability to empathise.

When we petition against publishing images of death, we take away their true target. By saying certain images cannot be published, because of a fear to offend or anger individuals, we are identifying the audience as the sufferer and not the subjects in the image. This filters and blurs the story trying to be told by the photographer: and certainly the narrative of the deceased.

Think of it this way.

Might we be doing the victims a disservice if we do not publish such hard-hitting photographs?

If you had died a violent and unjust death, wouldn’t you want the world to know all the details surrounding that death? (Tooth, 2014)

Extra insight into the world of being a photo editor

 

 

References:

Roeder, George. “The Censored War: American Visual Experience During World War Two”. Google Books. N.p., 1995. Web. 30 Mar. 2017.

 

Becker, Howard. “Visual Sociology, Documentary Photography, And Photojournalism: It’s (Almost) All A Matter Of Context: Visual Sociology: Vol 10, No 1-2”. Tandfonline.com. N.p., 1995. Web. 30 Mar. 2017.

 

Tooth, Roger. “Graphic Content: When Photographs Of Carnage Are Too Upsetting To Publish”. the Guardian. N.p., 2014. Web. 30 Mar. 2017.

 

Dabbing grandmas to cancer hoaxes. How online identities are polarizing in success.

What is the weirdest, most bizarre thing you’ve seen online? Maybe it was a webpage? A video? Or maybe even an individual; partaking in strange behaviours, bound to evoke interest from an online audience?
Do you remember how you found it? What you were doing at the time? And, why you found this particular thing so perplexing?

Let me put you in my shoes for a minute. Now this is nowhere near the category of ‘strangest thing online’, but it is quite weird!
She’s an instagrammer.
She’s a grandma.
And she’s a cannabis advocate.

Dabbing Granny’ is her name, and she uploads intriguing videos to her Instagram: smoking bongs, skolling beers, and testing out new varieties of marijuana.
Lame? I know! Ridiculous? Definitely!
However, her content is so compelling; its like you’re barracking for the underdog. ‘A grandma surely shouldn’t be able to do that,’ you may think. So every time you view her uploads, it’s as if you’re willing her on.
Her branding is unique, but entertaining, enthralling and engaging.

In an online context, we see people like this each and every day. From fitness bloggers, to amateur social commentators, to videogame reviewers, individuals moulding their identities in various internet-based platforms.
Image is everything!
How you present yourself to the world around is everything.

Daily, knowingly or unknowingly, our interactions with the world around us subtly shape our identity. ‘The Pygmalion effect’ suggests that identity is not something you create for yourself by yourself; rather your identity emerges through interactions with other people.

This is certainly true in a real world sense, although in this modern world of new and developing technologies- where we can create completely new identities online- this idea is outdated. More digestible is the idea of a ‘splitting’ identity, where particular facets of our identity can be concealed in the real world, and other facets nurtured in the online world.
The distance between performer and audience, that physical detachment makes it easy to conceal aspects of the offline self and embellish the online self. (Bullingham, 2013)

This is illustrated through the example of the ‘Dabbing Granny’, who’s content on her Instagram shows none of her personal life; she only uploads videos which stick to her brand, her online identity.

However, with the opportunity for these identities to become globalized and popular, many individuals can become immersed in the continued interactions with their audience. People consciously seek media for obtaining specific gratifications. The choices people make when consuming media are motivated by their desire to gratify a range of needs (Krishnatray, Singh, Raghavan, and Varma, 2009).

Belle Gibson is an infamous Australian figure who exemplifies this idea.
Many may be familiar with her blog, ‘The Whole Pantry’, which wooed the nation with the miraculous notion that ‘healthy eating cured her brain cancer’. After releasing consistent blogposts her popularity soared, and by late 2014 she was in discussions with major book dealers and even Apple.
It was revealed subsequently in early 2015, that her claims of having multiple cancers were actually fabricated. She had deceived a naïve nation and the world.
This revelation not only brought down the hope of cancer victims, but it showed, in no uncertain terms, how easily individuals can hide behind their online identity and present false information.

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Photo: Brent Parker Jones

Belle’s determination to market her brand, and an addiction to gratification and adulation from an audience forced her to fabricate one of the most immoral stories ever presented.

In a study done on ‘Internet Gratifications and Internet Addiction: On the Uses and Abuses of New Media’, the authors note that people become addicted to the pleasurable outcomes associated with a behavior (or identity). After the gratifications are sought, the continued success of the behavior becomes a goal in itself (Song, Larose, Eastin, Lin, 2004).

The opportunities within the Internet are immeasurable. It allows us to develop our identity online; and embrace things we wouldn’t wish to show in a real world sense.
These identities can be weird, quirky, niche: even empowering.
Gratification is an addictive entity and a growing desire to impress online communities can lead us into actions we wouldn’t normally do in the real world.

Initially our foray into a juxtaposed identity online would begin with a subtle understanding that we can be “ found out” as case after case is reported worldwide. Success brings with it gratification that can lead to addiction, that then can lead to the false belief that you can hide your online identity. Hard to sometimes accept, but no, it all comes out in the end.
Tall poppy syndrome- take that successful person down!

References:

Oloo, Frederick. ““Instagratification”: Uses And Gratification Of Instagram By University Students For Interpersonal Communication”. (2013): n. pag. Print.
http://i-rep.emu.edu.tr:8080/jspui/bitstream/11129/1367/1/OlooFredrick.pdf

Petersen, Deborah. “Social Media Redefines Mental Gratification”. The Sydney Morning Herald. N.p., 2013. Web. 30 Mar. 2017.
http://www.smh.com.au/digital-life/digital-life-news/social-media-redefines-mental-gratification-20131108-2×661.html

Song, Indeed et al. “Internet Gratifications And Internet Addiction: On The Uses And Abuses Of New Media”. N.p., 2004. Web. 30 Mar. 2017.
https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Robert_Larose/publication/8381338_Internet_Gratifications_and_Internet_Addiction_On_the_Uses_and_Abuses_of_New_Media/links/58409c1d08ae8e63e61f8603.pdf

Krishnatray, P., Singh, P. P., Raghavan, S., & Varma, V. (2009). Gratifications from New Media: Gender Differences in Internet Use in Cybercafes. Journal of Creative Communications, 4(1), 19-31. doi: 10.1177/097325861000400102
Bullingham, L. and Vasconcelos, A.C., 2013. ‘The presentation of self in the online world’: Goffman and the study of online identities. Journal of Information Science, 39(1), pp.101-112.

Bullingham, L. and Vasconcelos, A.C., 2013. ‘The presentation of self in the online world’: Goffman and the study of online identities. Journal of Information Science, 39(1), pp.101-112.

‘Cowmitment’advocacy campaign

For my advocacy campaign, I made a Facebook page, cowmitment, which helped me easily spread the message of my campaign to a much larger audience. Cowmitment, is a campaign, where people show their support for Australia’s dairy farmers by sending in photos of dairy products they’ve purchased, using the hashtag #cowmitment.screen-shot-2016-10-30-at-8-07-04-pmscreen-shot-2016-10-30-at-8-07-25-pmscreen-shot-2016-10-30-at-8-05-04-pm

Through doing this, it gave people to question their particular dairy purchases next time they enter the supermarket. This was successful in that aspect, as many people jumped on board the idea, sending in many photos.

The idea of using a hashtag for my project was something that appealed to me, as it gives the campaign the possibility to trend across social media platforms. I replicated this from the many successful social media campaigns I researched; like the Garnier Men Powerlight a Village campaign.

The aim of this project was not only to rally people together to show their support for the nations dairy famers, but also to share news articles, videos, and other related content to hopefully create further discussion amongst the audience and educate them on the issues these dairy farmers are facing. Although they may not have got the same amount of ‘likes’ as the other #cowmitment photos, Facebook let me know that although people weren’t liking these posts I was sharing, they were viewing them nonetheless. This was potentially creating conversation in their social media realms.

This is an enjoyable campaign and something I’ve loved doing. I hope to continue this campaign long after the University session, to hopefully make the audience realize the enormity of the issues surrounding Australian dairy farmers.

Case Studies of Advocacy Journalism

Campaigns of advocacy journalism are made in large numbers every year. Some intended for small-scale issues, others intended for much larger and more pressing issues. Thousands and thousands of different campaigns are initiated each year, though only few gain public traction and are subsequently noticed. This public awareness can be due to many number of factors: the justification of the idea in the campaign, the failure of elements in the campaign itself, or low publicity, and thus no outreach to a large audience. Some campaign failures are doomed to happen. Analysing a successful campaign started by a big corporation compared to one started by a member of the public, I feel, it’s unfair to contrast them against each other. Certainly some campaigns gain support purely by luck, for example an influential member of society with a large public backing may see a particular campaign, share it to his social media, and within days, the campaign has reached a considerable audience. There are aspects however, about different advocacy campaigns that help solidify the ideas presented within them. Without notable elements, however strong the message of the campaign is, the exemption of these important elements will limit its success. I will be looking at two contrasting cases of advocacy journalism, one that was successful, and one that wasn’t. By analysing the elements of these campaigns I will be able to have further clarity and understanding towards what works for a campaign and what doesn’t. This analysis will help enlighten me on any future advocacy campaigns I undertake and enable me to successfully involve an audience towards my work.

Garnier Men ‘Powerlight a village’

Background: Men’s skin care company Garnier Men initiated the ‘Powerlight a village’ campaign and its aim was to help light around 72,000 villages across India that subsist without electricity (Shorty awards, 2013). It started as an online Facebook campaign but quickly spawned into a national phenomenon in India. For Facebook users, every like, comment and share by users contributed an allocated amount of energy towards a village, which was then donated by the Garnier company towards assisting the village. Villages were provided with small solar lights, and solar charging equipment, which was also built by nearby patrons in job-challenged communities (Shorty awards, 2013). The campaign, because of the Garnier Men influence, was initially targeted at men aged 15-35 and many of the celebrities who supported this were primarily male. However due to the wide exposure of the campaign many women subsequently became involved as well.

Strengths: This campaign was so successful and effective for a number of reasons, some influenced by the Garnier Company itself, and others were indirectly influenced by the public. Firstly, for a company like Garnier Men with such power, influence and a large fan base, starting a reputable campaign wasn’t going to be a risky concern. They have over 2 million likes on Facebook and the concept of the campaign was relatively simple and required no effort from the users (Shorty awards, 2013). The campaign had a “feel good”, “I am helping humanity” appeal to it. Giving users the ability to support the campaign just by the ‘click of a mouse’ without any effort was a clever idea- the downfall of supporting many advocacy campaigns is that you have to fill out numerous details, which is a turnoff for some users.

Once the campaign had commenced, it gained the recognition from many celebrities, including high profile cricketers like Rahul Dravid, Ishant Sharma and Kumar Sangakarra. In a cricket-mad city like India, whose residents worship their cricketers, support from these superstars would’ve made the fans curious about this project to say the least. Garnier Men organised a Google+ Hangout with these cricketers, which gave them an opportunity to speak about the ‘Powerlight A Village’ campaign in greater detail (Lighthouse Insights, 2013).

The ‘Powerlight A Village’ campaign was a success and helped power over 800 households in Villages across India: 1,894,769 watts of power were generated online alone from the project. It is an excellent case of a very successful advocacy campaign.

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Invisible Children ‘Kony 2012’

Background: ‘Kony 2012’, was a 30 minute documentary campaign which was created by charity group Invisible Children. The video was aimed at giving recognition to the plight of children in Uganda who were being forced into war and slavery at the hands of the infamous warlord Joseph Kony. It became a social media phenomenon, circulating around the internet vigorously, and within the first week had over 100million views on YouTube. Its slick Hollywood-like production attracted a large audience, with the target market being anyone with a social media presence aged anywhere from 12-50.

Strengths: This film had a high level of professionalism in its production, and this was the main reason for its success. The film also focussed around the narrator’s young son, who was asked questions about scenarios relating to Kony and he responded with his own answers. The film appealed emotionally to the audience, both through its extreme portrayal of death and suffering, and through its description of the young, helpless children. Both these aspects create a huge sense of empathy and emotion from the viewer. It was shared, liked, watched, retweeted on many social media platforms and thus it could be readily globalised.

Weaknesses: However successful the film actually was, it was heavily criticised for many aspects within the video. Its misreported facts and over-simplified the issues surrounding Joesph Kony in Central Africa. Many experts of African affairs condemned it at the time. Another issue with this campaign is that the difficulty of impacting the situation. Although the audience were made aware about Joseph Kony and his army, the video’s main aim was for action to be taken post-release of the film. It would be inadvisable for western countries like Australia and the United States to put time, money and resources into trying to catch such a criminal. Joseph Kony had no significant relation to either country. He has successfully evaded the authorities in his own country for 20 years.

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Rapid success of the film led to increased pressure and heightened media scrutiny on the filmmakers of Invisible Children. A video emerged around 10 days after the release of Kony 2012 showing filmmaker Jason Russell having a psychotic episode on a San Diego street, running naked and muttering nonsensically. This was due to the contrast in success and criticism from the publc in relation to the documentary. This detracted from the success of Kony 2012, itself becoming a viral video.

This was one of the most successful and watched video campaigns of all time, however it is most notorious for being a crazed social media viedo. The videos following were inflated due to support from celebrities like Oprah Winfrey, who used the hashtag #Kony2012: the video spread not long after from 66,000 views to over 9 million, an increase of over 13,500% (Kanczula, 2012). The problem with this campaign was it failed to constantly post content after the success of the original film. It did not keep people thinking about the issue, and within a month people had already forgotten about the problem. This was evident when a sequel ‘Kony 2012: Part 2’, was released and only elapsed 2 million views on Youtube, 2% of its predecessor.

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How aspects in these campaigns help inform my own advocacy aspirations?

Through analysing these campaigns I have noticed many aspects that will be suitable for me to use in my future campaigns. For my campaign, ‘Reducing the purchase of corporate dairy products’, I will use a Facebook page to post constant and relevant information. We’ve seen, through the success of the ‘Powerlight a Village’ campaign, just how much of an asset a Facebook page is. It is a great way of easily promoting your campaign, and once people like and follow the campaign page, they are able to interact with any information you share. My aim through Facebook is to set up a system where people can interact in polls created by myself depending on how many independent dairy products they bought that particular week.

Many campaigns stall, due to a reluctance to regularly post relevant and engaging content. A prime example is the Kony 2012 project above. If they continued posting more videos, photos or even news articles relating to events in Central Africa, people would continue to be discussing the issues. The campaign I’m designing will hopefully try to post two or three relevant pieces of information each week, whether it’s a news article, a photo or possibly a poll. I intend to keep consistently updating the page with new information all the time, because it is an issue that needs to keep being circulated. We witnessed three months ago, the big social media presence of the dairy farmer’s crisis, and now it’s been forgotten by most of the public. I hope to change this.

After analysing the channels that these campaigns use, I am confident I know what direction I am taking with my campaign. I know what is effective, and what is ineffective. Through my campaign’s Facebook page, I aim to constantly test people’s thinking about their dairy purchases, and involve the audience into a bigger discussion about an issue that needs addressing.

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References:

  1. Curtis, P. and McCarthy, T. (2012). Kony 2012: what’s the real story?. [online] the Guardian. Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/politics/reality-check-with-polly-curtis/2012/mar/08/kony-2012-what-s-the-story [Accessed 9 Oct. 2016].
  1. Kanczula, A. (2012). Kony 2012 in numbers. [online] the Guardian. Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/news/datablog/2012/apr/20/kony-2012-facts-numbers [Accessed 9 Oct. 2016].
  1. (2016). Kony 2012. [online] Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kony_2012#Cover_the_Night [Accessed 9 Oct. 2016].
  1. Duerson, M. (2016). Kony 2012 filmmaker on naked meltdown: ‘It really wasn’t me’. [online] NY Daily News. Available at: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/kony-2012-filmmaker-naked-meltdown-wasn-article-1.1177514 [Accessed 9 Oct. 2016].
  1. Tharoor, I. (2016). Why You Should Feel Awkward About the ‘Kony2012’ Video | TIME.com. [online] TIME.com. Available at: http://world.time.com/2012/03/08/why-you-should-feel-awkward-about-the-kony2012-video/ [Accessed 9 Oct. 2016].
  1. com. (2016). Garnier Men PowerLight A Village – The Shorty Awards. [online] Available at: http://shortyawards.com/6th/garnier-men-powerlight-a-village [Accessed 9 Oct. 2016].
  1. (2016). Garnier Men PowerLight A Village. [online] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WROsL8_jy44&list=PLSE6psEzCd92-Ou-RwegqMCKpda59w2Ox [Accessed 9 Oct. 2016].
  2. Lighthouse Insights. (2013). Garnier Men Lights Up Homes With ‘PowerLight A Village’. [online] Available at: http://lighthouseinsights.in/garnier-men-powerlight-a-village-social-media-campaign.html/ [Accessed 9 Oct. 2016].

How Tom Waterhouse’s unwanted media presence led to a change in gambling advertisement regulations?

For fans, sport is an opportunity to relax, sit down, turn on the TV, and take enjoyment out of a match.

For betting agencies, sport is an opportunity to seize control of a once innocent past time, directly or indirectly influencing the minds of punters. Ad after ad throughout a sport-filled television timeslot has riddled the idea of enjoying sport for the game itself: more and more fans being concerned with the resulting profits from the match. This advertising of gambling hit a peaking point in 2013, when betting spruikers were detailing live odds during sports broadcasts. Public outrage to this issue led to new rules banning live odds during sports broadcasts. The man at the centre of this saga was bookmaker Tom Waterhouse, public enemy number 1 for gambling advertisement activists.

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Waterhouse’s continual presence during Channel 9’s coverage of the NRL was widely criticized, and resulted in a large amount of complaints from the public. He was painted as the poster boy for gambling immorality and constant public disgust. Anti-gambling campaigns forced Waterhouse to significantly reduce the amount of advertisements publicized by his company. Consequently Prime Minister Julia Gillard and her government cracked down on gambling advertisements during sports broadcasts, TV agencies and betting agencies agreed to new rules banning live betting odds during sports broadcasts.

So why was it that these gambling advertisements caused such an outcry from the public, which ultimately created media regulation for betting agencies? There are three main reasons, and both circulate around morality.

Firstly, Australia has a gambling epidemic. Australians are amongst the worst gambling countries in the entire world, and statistics show that over 300,000 people in the country have a gambling problem. Gambling addicts are constantly put into positions of heavy debt, which can then result in further criminal activity to help fuel the addiction. For a country that constantly seeks to reduce that number, and try to change the stigma surrounding gambling, a constant barrage of gambling commercials does not vie as the solution.

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Secondly, the effect on children. Sport is a universally shared love by all different ages. From a young age, kids will be watching sport, to support their team, as a bonding experience with friends and family, and simply to enjoyment the sport they love by watching it on television. Children will respect all aspects of their favourite sport, the players, coaches, referees (well, possibly, lets not go too far) and teams. So when constant gambling advertisements are paraded in front of them while their favorite sport is on, the child forms an association between the two. Gambling regulations restrict commercials being directed to children and portraying children, however, no matter how minimal the amount of advertising they view, they will surely take in some of the advertising.

 

The last reason has to do with space and place. When people watch sport, they want to feel comfortable during the game. A ‘break’ in the match, should be a break, where the audience doesn’t have to concentrate and think about the match. The bombardment of gambling advertising from Tom Waterhouse left many feeling claustrophobic during broadcasts, and their sense of space constricted: many opting to switch off the Television. Thus the amount of viewers watching free-to-air sport was reduced, which was something that was actually against the whole purpose of having that sport on the television, so people could view it.

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The events that unfolded in 2013 were a turning point in the government stamping the foot down on the regulation of Gambling advertisements. The over-exaggerated amount of these gambling messages from betting agencies- namely Tom Waterhouse- unified a majority to lobby against the gambling paradigms at currently exist in Australia. Sadly for Waterhouse, he personified the whole gambling industry, and created a target on his back.

Waterhouse’s company has now re-invented himself under a new name, William Hill, the former name untenable. The majority of Australians hate the betting ads but are powerless to completely stop them. They keep reinventing themselves with different betting strategies.

Though 2013 gambling advertisement saga is a prime example of how a public armed with ammunition, can successfully defeat the big corporations: in this instance changing media regulations towards gambling.

 

References:

  1. ABC News. (2013). Tom Waterhouse: you will see less of me on TV. [online] Available at: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-05-31/waterhouse-apologises/4724560

Attention in the presence of multiple media devices

In our ever growing society of technology and digital-based behaviour, we are constantly looking towards our media devices for the solution. These devices can be a blessing, enabling us to efficiently research something, be guided via maps to a destination and most importantly, to communicate with our friends and help us in many innumerable other ways. The public however, is constantly overusing these technologies because they are now such an integral part of our lives, these digital technologies, and our reliance on them has created many distractions for modern life. Our increased media consumption and digital lifestyles has reduced the ability for consumers to focus for extended periods of time.distracted-texting300

A prime example is the education system, with many teachers noting that students lose focus in the presence of these devices, impacting their will to intellectually engage in the classroom. The idea of intelligence being relative to attention is something that challenged me to think much more critically about that idea. Is the presence of multiple media devices honestly so damaging to our attention that it affects our will to learn? So I set up a small test, to view the attention of participants in relation to identifying articulation mistakes made by myself reading out an original story.

 

I started off by choosing two participants, of the same age, and bringing them to my room, in which the media devices were set up. Reid, and Bill were the two subjects of research, both in their 2nd year of Commerce at UOW. I informed the participants that all I wanted them to do was to carefully listen to myself read an essay I had written, in the presence of other media devices (TV and mobile phone)- and raise their hand every time I incorrectly pronounced a word. I must also note that the TV was placed on mute to avoid confusion when articulating words. These particular words were identified before the study began. They however, did not know, that their attention movements would be continuously recorded throughout the test. The main aim of this test was less to see if they could recognise a majority of the articulation mistakes, but rather to identify how many times their attention drifted.

 

 

The results of this test were quite as I had expected. For the first one and a half minutes in both instances of the study, participants were engaged and routinely recognised articulation mistakes. Their attention at this point had not switched to either their phone or the TV. As I continued further and further into the paper, their concentration levels lapsed and so too did their levels of attention. The results show that Reid identified the articulation mistakes much more than Bill, which is not surprising considering Bill turned his attention to the TV and/or phone much more than Reid. A Microsoft study notes that due to multiple media devices being in our presence each day, our levels of encoding and decoding tasks have been heightened (Microsoft, 2015). Though in this case, despite being an informal task, the inability to recognise significant mispronunciations of words in the last 2 paragraphs by both participants suggested that one’s level of media distractions is closely related to one’s ability to effectively learn. Higher the level of distractions, lower the willingness to learn.

 

Clifford Nass, a co-author of ‘cognitive control in media multitaskers’, concluded that “heavy media multitaskers are distracted by the multiple streams of media they are consuming, or, alternatively, that those who infrequently multitask are more effective at volitionally allocating their attention in the face of distractions.” If we are to believe this conclusion, then it would be fair to suggest that both participants in the study, Reid and Bill, both have a high level of media devices in their presence each day.

 

This test gave a small indication as to the effects of media distractions on learning. It is something I would love to research further, with a bigger pool of participants, and a much more carefully thought out design to help address the main research question.

Learning with new technologies, and multiple devices, is somewhat of a double edged sword. They have an ability to stunt our attention to learn, though their vast power in relation to productively research is something that is widely recognised. Maybe what Microsoft said is true? Maybe we do have the capability to encode and decode information much more efficiently after being in the presence of multiple devices? Though I believe this is only true for certain situations, and after watching the two participants undergo the small test today, I have good reason to back my suggestion.

 

References:

  1. Ophir, E, Nass, C, Wagner, A, 2009, Cognitive control in media multitaskers, Stanford University, Available online at http://www.pnas.org/content/106/37/15583.full.pdf

Leave your cameras in your pocket: leave the players alone

 

For many using your phone in a public area is a constant occurrence. It is a way to keep connected with different interests all around the world. The evolution of smartphones has enabled them to be a multipurpose tool; one tool that is constantly in our grasps. The role of the camera on mobile devices is very important, and has increased our use of public photography. It is a tool that empowers the public to share videos and photos with people all around and create related discussion. Witnessing the impact of public footage in America regarding the shootings of African Americans by police, can give just a small indication of just how powerful a device it actually can be. But why is it that a technology once used for capturing and saving precious memories, can now at times be a corrupted method of bribery and extortion?

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Let me set the scene. It’s a Saturday night and you’re in the city with the rest of your teammates celebrating the end of the footy season. This is the culmination and celebration of what you’ve worked towards all season. The effort of those early morning starts, extended fitness sessions, and mentally challenging game situations is now passed you and its time to relax. You have a few beers… and a few more… and a few more, buts it’s all a bit of fun because you’re hanging out with your mates and having a good time. You’re feeling pretty drunk, so you decide its time to go home. You stumble out of the establishment and struggle to the nearest taxi, around 100m down the road. You witness some people with their phones out, but it’s all a bit of a blur and you think nothing more of it.

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It’s the morning, you’re feeling pretty groggy, you get out of bed and go and turn on the TV, and to your horror, a drunken video of you has been given to the media for all to see. The one night a year you can celebrate is now a night you wish had never happened.

All too often we see things like this happen to high profile sports stars all around the world. People considered being the elite and respected in society are now paraded as the poster boys for alcohol-fuelled intolerance. But is it really their fault?

These sportsmen and women are regular people just like the rest of us, so why is it assumed that they should be exempt from having a good time like the rest of the public. Certainly there are cases where these stars are in the wrong, and thus should face the consequences. Examples like Joel Monohan… need I say any more? If these celebrities are drunk and do something illegal, than sure use the photo or video as evidence just like it would be used for any person in a similar illegal situation. Though for someone to use footage of an intoxicated sports star just to further scrutinise him or her in a public environment, is nothing more than cowardly.

The increased public appetite for celebrity misdemeanours has led to a surge in the amount of public footage sent in to media organisations. These forms of media are encouraged by the media outlets, and are good pieces of evidence to build a story around. Theses outlets are willing to pay good money for the evidence, and this has been recognised by the public and makes bystanders much more aware of who is around them and what they’re doing. In a roundabout way the media outlets have unmeasurable reporters out there looking for a good story! Recently we saw the example of Parramatta Eels player Corey Norman, who was blackmailed for $30,000 by a woman who was threatening to leak an explicit sex tape of him. The issue was reported to the NRL integrity unit, and the matter was resolved.

The biggest issue with these extortion attempts is the legal side of these images, which are consistently overshadowed by the related evidence. The ‘Arts and Law: Street Photography’ information sheet explains that, “the test of whether the publication of a photograph is defamatory is: does the publication lower the public’s estimation of the person portrayed, expose the person to hatred, contempt or ridicule, or cause him or her to be shunned or avoided.” Photography or videos of this nature surely defame the individuals involved, however the legality is forgotten if there is an issue in the footage that implicates the individual or individuals.

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These sports stars, although of high social status, should not be treated differently to any other person in society. They work hard for most months of the year to perform at the best of their ability so they can entertain and create enjoyment for the public. Surely they can be forgiven if they want to let their hair out for that one available month in the year. The increased tolerance of public photography has only discouraged sports stars from going into a public environment to celebrate. There needs to be a social change, to accept these high-profile individuals as regular people who strive their hardest to please the sport’s loving public in their respective sports. We shouldn’t be aiming to exploit at every available opportunity those same sport’s stars if by chance they err at times. Pity help ourselves if we came under that same “mantra”!!

 

References:

  1. Walter, B. (2010). Monaghan faces sack over Mad Monday dog photo disgrace. [online] The Sydney Morning Herald. Available at: http://www.smh.com.au/rugby-league/league-news/monaghan-faces-sack-over-mad-monday-dog-photo-disgrace-20101104-17fx1.html
  2. Arts and Law Centre of Australia, ‘Street Photographers Rights’, Australian Federal Government
  3. Logue, M. (2016). Police investigate Norman extortion attempt. [online] Dailytelegraph.com.au. Available at: http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/sport/nrl/teams/eels/corey-norman-is-the-victim-of-an-alleged-extortion-attempt-that-has-become-a-police-investigation/news-story/b0d9bae2b572db974edbe75675cc27b6

The first cinema experience

I walk into the building, hand in hand with my mum. I gaze around. To the left, adults crowd around, fixing their eyes to a small screen of movie trailers. To the right, a dispersed group of rogue children run rampage amongst the various game machines, all unsupervised, behaviour unrestricted. In the middle, a large section of parents, grandparents and middle aged children all congregate impatiently, all ready to splash money on their unappreciative children. We collect our ticket and popcorn and make our way towards the cinema. We both sit, the smell of popcorn masks all other odours, I slump back into my chair and eventually the movie begins. A screen the size of a 100 TV’s surrounds me, the speakers blast out a sound that captivates me, and story …..well I don’t really remember the story, but the ending was good, so it must’ve been a good movie. I leave the establishment; I’m satisfied, impressed, and excited to tell everyone of my new experience.

This was the first time I visited the cinemas.

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The experience of going to the cinema is an enjoyable for all. It combines a love for fiction and storytelling, and the aspect of relaxation all in a well recognised social environment. The cinemas are a place where all ages can come together to experience all different genres of fiction. In my own regard, the idea of attending the cinemas is foreign to me. The development of new streaming technologies, and movie websites, has left many, including myself, questioning the option of going to the movies, when all your favourite films can be found on a computer in the comfort of your own home. For some, a trip to the cinema is a common occurrence, an event that takes no time or planning, however for others there are many constraints, which limit the amount times, an individual can attend the cinemas. As seen in Hagerstrand’s paper…. These constraints fall under 3 categories, capability, coupling, and authority.

Coupling constraints refers to the need to be in one particular place for a given length of time, often in interaction with other people. There are time factors internally- in the cinema- and externally- outside of the cinema- that have a huge impact on whether or not you can attend the cinemas. In regards to the cinemas, the audience must analyse both the delegated time slots, and the running time of movies to assess the availability of attending. A movie with a long running time, or a late time slot leaves poised to decide if pursuing the movie experience is truly worth all the effort. In the case of our own lives, the movie set times impact how we plan our day, and inevitably we work out these plans around the awareness of watching a movie. Personally, growing up in a country town 60kms from the nearest cinema, careful time planning would have to be taken to watch a movie, and so in many cases we would not go. Possibly this is one of the reasons I don’t have a keen interest in the movies, it was rarely feasible to attend.

The coupling constraint would be the biggest factor that reduces how often we attend this establishment.

Capability constraints refer to the limitations, on human movement due to biological or physical factors. The capability constraints have aspects that are closely related to those of coupling constraints and these both supplement each other in many ways. For an audience attending the cinema, you will need some form of transport to reach the destination, and if you have limited or no transport, than the chances of going to watch a movie are very low. However, if you have some kind of capability constraint that impairs you, but you are willing to take the time to reach the cinemas then more time planning must go into your coupling constraints. For me, reaching the movies wasn’t difficult as my parents had a car and were willing to drive, if the circumstances satisfied.

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An authority constraint is an area that is controlled by certain people or institutions that set limits on its access to particular individuals or groups. For an establishment like a cinema, there are no realistic constraints that apply in this case. It opens at around 8:30-9am and closes around midnight, depending on the running time of the movie in the final time slot of the night. Not many people would consider seeing a movie in the early hours of the morning, unless however, it is a special screening or a premiere.

For many a decision on whether or not to attend the movies does not fall under any of these constraints. Surely these problems exist when making the decision, but most of the factors that affect the decision making process are certainly social. As similar in my case, many are overwhelmed by the high capabilities of streaming services and thus do not need to attend the movies. For others, it can depend on what movie is showing, if their friends are attending or if they are in a financial state to afford it. These constraints are issues, however the socio-economic issues far outweigh these constraints.

 

References:

  1. Corbett, J, 2001, Torsten Hägerstrand: Time Geography, UC Santa Barbara