Mass Comm Blog 4: Advertising is Everywhere

We were assigned to record every exposure to advertising for an entire day to see when and where we were exposed to ads in our daily lives.  My impressions are a little different than the average person because they are primarily web advertisements and ads I see in on billboards or signs hung up. This is largely due to the fact that I don’t listen to the radio nor do I really watch television in the traditional sense too often because I typically watch most television shows online via streaming websites like Hulu.

The vast majority of these  advertisements are on websites that I visit whether they are in my Gmail email account or if they are on Facebook. However, although I know they are there on the side of  numerous websites, I more or less ignore them and they are more or less white noise on the side of the page that I don’t really look at, let alone click on. I also have a web browser extension that block ads from being displayed on many websites as well further reducing the number of advertisements that I see online.  Another place where I see ads are on some of my mobile applications, they are a little more in your face than web ads, although that is what they essentially are. I think this is mainly because the screen is much smaller so the ads are more noticeable.  But even with those ads, I never click on them unless I accidentally tap on them, but I rarely even do that.

Hulu offers television shows online with commercials at regular intervals similar to watching on tradition TV, often, these ads are actually normal television ads although some are more interactive or better suited for the web so that they keep the viewers’ attention.  These ads are often ignored and many times, I end up leaving my computer. The form of internet ads that I find most effective in getting me to pay attention and many times make a purchase are the ads found in the many podcasts I subscribe to. This is because the shows that I subscribe to only have a few commercial break during the program and they have the host personally talk about the product and interact with the product or service on the show and recommend them. These ads also get a lot higher CPM, which is the cost per thousand viewers, because they get more value than a standard television commercial due to the niche  audience of the podcasts which makes the audience much more likely to be interested in buying from the advertiser. The final category of ads that I see regularly are Billboards and other sign ads, these surprisingly do get my attention much of the time, especially those electronic billboards because the flashing lights of the ads changing get my attention which is definitely dangerous when driving.

As for location and time of day for these ads, in the morning, I see mostly web ads while I get ready to go to the gym when I’m checking my email, Facebook and typically watch a show online on  Hulu or a podcast on my second monitor. The gym is one of the rare times every day that I actually hear the radio, although only for the brief period of time between when I enter the gym and when I get my headphone in and then again when I am leaving so I really only listen to only a few minutes each day.  Then between leaving the gym and when I return from class for the day I mostly see web advertisements from websites and from mobile applications and signs posted around the campus. When I return to my room after class I watch TV shows on Hulu and then podcasts, either when I the internet becomes too slow to stream or when I run out of shows to stream. Then I’m also seeing web ads on websites I browse and some signs hung around campus when I’m walking around. Most people are more exposed to more traditional advertisements in Televisions, Radio, and newspapers but because I use the internet for most of my content, I get less traditional advertising.

One comment

  1. Mary Bock says:

    Michael — all good observations. What do you think is the impact on society for us to be so surrounded? How well targeted are you as a heavy internet user?

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