Lotz Ch5: Advertising After the Network Era

4/7 Facilitation: Jacob Moreno

In Lotz’s’ work we take a very very close look into how advertising emerged and evolved throughout television history and after the network era. One would assume that the term ‘evolution’ corresponds with something like “out with the old, in with the new”, but for advertising it goes something like “in with the new AND the old”. We come to understand that as audience measurement systems developed onward, the systems used to advertise did not get thrown out with the introduction of new systems, rather just added on top of preexisting ones to further enhance the power and grasp that advertising has on the public.

Lotz discusses that when the video-on-demand technology such as the DVR & VCR was introduced, advertisers were scared that they would no longer “hold captive” the viewers watching the 300-channel universe on Television. Advertising did take a beating due to the introduction of the DVR/VCR, which was somewhat the tipping point for the advertising communities. The future uncertainty plus the new tech caused tension of whether TV advertising would make it past the 2000s. After the attacks in 2001, cheaper programming was pursued leading to the creation of shows we know and love today such as “who wants to be a billionaire” & “survivor”. With this, advertisers were more adventurous to break the status quo and experiment with new techniques such as product placement within a broadcasted program. AT&T and Pringles were some of the first to pay to have their product featured within a program itself. The industry then created better data and analyses to target fragmented populations using psychographic specificities instead of demographic generalities. By the early years of the 21st century, advertisers had an array of tools to help them reach the viewers that they wanted to reach.

In my facilitation, I go about describing these techniques/practices in a friendly bulleted list format that is also moderately in chronological order.

Lotz’s chapter goes on to discuss the different advertising techniques and their ramifications at their time of introduction to even now.

Advertising Practices

during the Network Era

& the Multi-Channel Transition:

  • Radio – used a single sponsorship system in which a corporation paid all of the production costs of a show & was the only product or corporation/entity associated with it (carried over to TV but soon failed because of the high costs to produce)
  • 1940s &1950s – afforded advertising agencies and their clients more command over program content & even networks’ schedules
  • Single Sponsorship – involves the single corporation financing the costs normally recouped through selling advertising times (Ex. “now, a word from our sponsors”) – helps create narratives of some distinction
  • Company voice or corporate angle strategy – Large manufacturing corps. had dominated sponsorships & used them as opportunities to promote their corporate image.
  • Upfront Market – Broadcast networks sell the remaining advertising inventory throughout the year in the “scatter” & “opportunistic” markets. (networks make money before they begin producing programming)
  • CPMs (cost for one exposure to one thousand viewers of a certain demographic type): Standard industry currency – if an advertiser wishes to reach 50M viewers and had established a CPM of $15 a network would put together a package of advertisements that would reach the 50M viewers for $750,000.
  • “Industrial shifts caused by new media & challenges to the status quo operation television resulted in a shift of power within agencies from creative divisions to media buying & planning”. – Jack Myers
  • Placement – situations in which TV shows use name brand products or present them on the screen within the context of the show (Ex. “The Truman Show”)
  • Integration – (an additional category of advertiser support in the post-network commercial economy) The product or company becomes part of the show in such a way that it contributes to the narrative and creates an environment of brand awareness beyond that produced by advanced placement.
  • Branded Entertainment – is the 3rd advertisement strategy that has grown increasingly commonplace from the beginning. of the post-network era (advertiser creates the content of the show). *marks a fundamental shift from intrusive advertisement pushed at audiences to advertising of such merit or interest that the audience actively seeks it out*

I have compiled a few youtube videos that I saw best explained/supported Lotzs’ reading. I tried to find videos that touched on each topic I have discussed/focused on thus far.

(Below each video, I provided brief descriptions of what each one addresses)

If you’d rather listen to a poet discuss how these advertising practices affect us, click here^
Although not specifically discussed in Lotzs’ work, this video explains the 2 main types of advertising practices & how they make money
( through the eyes of someone who works in the field)
Here is a fun, easy-going documentary that I watched out of curiosity!
“it explores the evolution of content marketing through the eyes of the world’s biggest leading brands such as Red Bull, Kraft, and Marriott; and marketing influencers, including Joe Pulizzi, Ann Handley, Scott Stratten, Jay Baer and more”