Traditionally transparency is referenced with news media to inform the public what and how information is gathered from various sources. Transparency in social media especially pertaining to blogging and covering a product, brand or service means that specific website is giving you an honest non-biased opinion or truth when I write or cover a particular topic. Online this can mean that, a person is who they say they are, and that reason for posting or having a discussion about a product, brand or service does not have any hidden agendas. In 2009 Facebook exhibited how un-transparent they were when they changed their privacy policies, and claimed to own the rights to content posted on Facebook, including photos. After a huge public backlash Facebook was forced to apologize to its users and create a group dedicated to future policy changes. This example is the reason our book states many companies dislike transparency because, “transparency often works against strategy making and planning by companies, as they do not want to give away secrets to competitors (Pavlik 276).
I believe transparency with social media is extremely important because without it, major companies or the government can be viewing and using our personal information without our knowledge, which would be a complete infringement on our rights. Our textbook also mentions without transparency sometimes astroturfing, where “companies create a fake movement or campaign so that it looks like it was created by concerned citizens as a grassroots movement”, can occur (Pavlik 275).It is also important to be aware of transparency issues, so you know if the social media you are using has the ability to use your information or if they are actually not even who they say they are, like with astroturfing.
I also believe that online transparency is more important online versus the offline world because content can be more easily shared and distributed. Therefore if your personal information get into the wrong hands of major corporations, they can share or do with it what they want very quickly and easily. Also it is easier to change things online like rules and policies, without the public catching on as quickly, just like it happened in 2009 with Facebook. Therefore this makes an individual much more exposed and at risk to be taken advantage of, which makes online transparency much more important than in the offline world.
When I watched the new for Channel 7 News I noticed that they tended to advertise to an older age group. There were no children’s ads at all. This is probably because not many children are willing to watch the news. The age group of the intended audience would probably be around middle-aged persons. Many of the commercials were about cars, finances, etc. The targeted gender audience seemed to be leaning toward women in general. There were many ads that were specified directly at woman.
Some of the ads that I saw during one of their news programs were for cars. The car ads ranged from BMW to Toyota, but many of them seemed to be geared toward promoting family friendly cars. I believe these family car ads are predominantly directed at women. Also, I saw a few jewelry store commercials, which hinted at the fact that Channel 7 is targeting women more. The jewelry ads may have been there because Valentine’s Day was near though.
There also many financial ads. There were several advertising credit cards. This made me suspect that people from ages 20 to around 40 were being targeted because these are the type of people who would most be interested in credit cards. Not many seniors or children would have a need for them.
Another theory that I have is that Channel 7 is targeting people who are somewhat affluent. The car commercials like BMW are definitely not for people who have low incomes. The same would go for diamonds. There were some car commercials that advertised their product by promoting its affordability, but they were still pretty pricy. I would guess that the station is going after people from lower middle class and above.
One ad that I found to be very peculiar among all the other ads was one for dentures. It is clearly targeting much older people than the other ads. It just did not seem to fit with the trend of the other commercials. But, I assume that since the news is supposed to be for everyone, the dentures company thought it would be a good idea for them to buy an ad on Channel 7.
Advertising is defined as “an ancient form of human communication generally designed to inform or persuade members of the public with regard to some product or service.” It has now become very specific to the audiences that are watching the program or channel. As I observed this weekend watching Channel 7 news, there were different advertisements on the morning broadcast than the evening broadcast. It was very easy to determine the audience that most commercials were aiming towards. In the early morning, most of the commercials are focused on the older generation. I would guess the average age watching the broadcast is 40 and up. Some of the commercials shows were for Valentine’s Day because it was the day before and advertisers were in full swing to get as many customers to buy their flower delivery as possible. It was interesting to observe how obvious the commercials were focused on the older generation. Many of them were about retirement communities and credit unions. Another category of commercials shown in the morning was more expensive jewelry, cars, and products.
There were some differences in the advertisements in the evening. Once again, it was interesting to see how easy, if you were paying attention to the ads, that you could depict the audience that was being targeted. I noticed many new commercials in the evening that were advertising college such as University of Phoenix, clothes, and other popular shows coming up. There still was the commercial of cars and Valentine day treats.
Reviewing the commercials during the write up makes sense for the advertisements to be placed where they are. I am sure there have been numerous studies and questionnaires on the demographics of who watches the news and at what time. Branding is defined as “the process of creating in the consumer’s mind a clear identity for a particular company’s product, logo, or trademark.” Channel 7 as a news program participates in branding by personalizing the advertisements at the specific times. Channel 7 wants to have their viewers feel as if they are customizing to them and will therefore do what they can to have more viewers by showing advertisements to target a specific demographic.
It was my first time viewing and out of state news program, and channel 7 was not the slightest bit different than News broadcasts in Chicago. Depressing topics such as violence and tragedies litter the everyday media world. The idea of reporting the news seems to focus on more of a negative light than a positive one. The daily weather and sports seem to be parellel supplimentary cities like Chicago, which both seem emphasize on local and national news. The regular news seems to follow the same pattern, but tends to shed more light on the negative aspects. Which such rivals such as NBC news as well as the recently popular altitude sports news, Channel 7 has to Brand themselves in a way that differentiates themselves from the competitors. A way we can see this is through Channel 7’s advertising. Aside from the corporate grocery and medical insurances, something i interestingly saw a good amount of commercials supporting GM products. Commercials featuring automakers such as Ford, Buick, and Saturn were scene throughout advertisements. In theory, i believe Channel 7 is trying to promote an “American Style” of living. With the global market expanding, consumers have more options at their fingertips than ever before. By supporting GM, an American car producing empire, ABC is supporting their patriotism and are hoping to give back to the U.S economy. Another ad that supports this idea is a University of Phoenix commercial i saw on the internet. the commercial is what appears to be a student working on an electric car. the subtext of the commercial is scratching at the idea that we are the ones who are preparing for the future. They want to make you believe that by attending this online college, you will be starting to attain a road to success. Although the image of the electric car is inspiring, something about this ad touches me the wrong way. Although they do show people succeeding, it does not show the hard work, and the extra work they must have put in to become what they desired. Aquiring and online degree is a start, but is no where to finish. By framing it as a “then and now” it tricks the viewer into thinking that college is simplest, which is ultimately the wrong idea. Challenging the mind and exploring new theories is what college consists of, and, i believe, cannot be summed up in 15 seconds.
I watched the local news on channel 7 two evenings in a row, on Sunday and Monday at 10pm. Advertising during the two nights were pretty similar, most likely because the same demographic watches at the same time every day. There were ads for other shows on ABC, and a mixture of local and national ads. On both nights there were ads for Natural Grocers, Medved, and Brian More “the bulldog”. These local ads mean that many of the 10pm audience members are Denver locals, that will probably be staying in town long enough to need an attorney or buy a car. The audience is also probably mostly middle aged. There were many advertisements for Valentine’s Day, like jewelry, which is probably due to some seasonal aspect. Jewelry can be very expensive, so I would expect the ads to be targeting people who could afford jewelry, people in steady jobs making a steady income. Young people could be targeted as well, because there were ads for new clothes and food which seems more appealing to a younger generation. As for branding, I feel like the station did a good job, advertising about future stories, features of their website, and what makes them different/ better from the other local channels. Their news personalities also did a good job of branding themselves, with local products, or in future stories that they were working on talking about how they are all special. It seemed that channel 7 works hard in the evenings to show that they have solid values and stream truthful news.
I watched channel 7’s news broadcast twice, once on Friday night and again on Sunday night. Based off of the advertisements shown both nights, I would predict that the target audience for this time slot would be for middle-aged men and women. However both nights there seemed to be quite a few advertisements geared towards middle-aged women, especially those who might be stay at home moms. A lot of the commercials were by jewelry corporations who were advertising the sales they were having for Valentines Day. These ads could have been targeted to either men or women, however usually depicted a man giving his spouse or girlfriend a piece of jewelry to show his love for her. Also, because of the high price of the jewelry being advertized, there is reason to assume that the target audience would be couples that have a reasonable amount of a disposable income. Many cleaning products for the home were also advertised, and usually showed a woman having difficulty using a different product and then having amazing results with the product being advertized. There was also a Chevy car commercial that did not show the driver of the car, so I felt that the commercial could have been targeted to either sex. I believe running these kinds of advertisements at this time at night is smart because older adults that are more settled in their lives are the most likely to be able to afford the kinds of products that were being advertised, and they are also most likely the age bracket that will be watching the news right before they go to bed at night.
I watched channel 7 news in the morning around seven o’clock and again in the afternoon around four o’clock. In the morning, I noticed that there were a lot of car dealership, lawyer, and medical advertisements. From this, I felt as if the station was targeting people with careers that require them to be at work by 8 o’clock or people in the older generation who wake up early. The various car dealership and lawyer advertisements indicated that it is focused on the people who work and start their day in the workplace by eight or nine o’clock in the morning. Additionally, there were advertisements for medical care such as wheelchairs or health safety for the elder. There are not many teenagers or young adults who are up at that time and if they are up at that early, they are probably not watching news. Naturally, there are not many ads that are geared towards the younger generation. In the afternoon the advertisements included ones pertaining to car dealerships, grocery stores, and cleaning products. These ads are centered on stay at home parents who perform most of the cleaning and cooking in the household, as well as taking children to and fro school/activities.
It seems as if the target group for channel 7 are the working people, older generation, and stay at home parents. As a result, the branding for this channel includes cleaning products, grocery stores, and car dealerships.