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AMV BBDO Advertising Agency

Evan Schall

No matter where you are in the world consumers will be surrounded by advertising campaigns whether they realize it or not. Advertising in general has become so relevant in recent decades because it is such a vital part of businesses in today’s global economy. Whether it’s the McDonalds ‘golden arch’ or the Nike ‘swoosh’, these logos combined with advertising tactics, help to establish a strong brand that consumers can associate with. Creating and maintaining a strong brand is not easy though, which is why there are firms like Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO (AMV BBDO) that specialize in doing this for businesses.

AMV BBDO was founded by David Abbott, Peter Mead, and Adrian Vickers on January 1, 1977 out of London. Today AMV BBDO is located on 151 Marylebone Road in the heart of London, just minutes from Regent’s Park. This location is ideal for business in the United Kingdom because of its central location in London. The company itself is part of the BBDO network which is the 3rd largest agency network in the world, with 287 offices in 77 countries, employing 17,200 people. AMV BBDO also currently belongs to the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising, or IPA, and has belonged to the IPA since 1979 (IPA Agency / Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO).

AMV BBDO specializes in advertising, public relations, and expanding their clients’ brands.  They do this through unique methods of advertising through various forms of media including digital, experimental, print, and broadcast. They work with a variety of different clients, all of which have a unique position in their market. Some of their clients are global brands like Adidas and Doritos who spend millions of dollars on advertising each year while other clients like London’s Museum of Childhood are local and spend much less. All in all, AMV BBDO has done business with 88 different companies, and that number continues to grow (About – AMV BBDO).  A few of their top clients include Blackberry, Guinness, M&M’s, Mercedes-Benz, and Starbucks (Clients – AMV BBDO). What separates AMV BBDO from the hundreds of other PR firms in London is that their advertisements are not about promoting a new product, but rather expanding the brand of their clients. An example of this would be a commercial that they shot for Starbucks Coffee.  The advertisement didn’t promote their newest type of coffee, but rather highlighted the Starbucks philosophy and showed the consumer why they care about the customer as a person and not just another way to profit.

Over the years AMV BBDO has fine-tuned the way they work with clients to near perfection, and thus recognized for their superior work. In 2013 they were named the ‘Agency of the Year’ at the Marketing Week Engage Awards. This awards ceremony judged companies on their ability to demonstrate innovative thinking, creative implementation, and return on investment. They also won two separate awards in the same awards show for two different campaigns with clients. Additionally, AMV BBDO won the ‘Agency of the Year’ and ‘Digital Agency of the Year’ awards at the Kinsale Sharks 50th International Advertising Festival. Not only are the awarded for their work, but also their friendly atmosphere as they were recognized as the ‘best media or advertising place to work’ and was ranked the 17th best place to work in the UK among all businesses in 2011 (Langdell).

Part of the reason AMV BBDO is located in London is due to the city’s global recognition. Because of this, a lot of their competition (other advertising/public relations firms) is located just minutes from their offices. One of these companies is Brothers and Sisters. Located just minutes from AMV BBDO, B&S was founded in 2007 and specializes in brand strategy and social media innovation. Some of their top clients include Adidas, the Museum of London, and Sony Playstation (Brothers and Sisters).  Another local advertising agency to London is Grey London. Their 97 year tenure in London is longer than most companies, and as a result they have quite an impressive list of clients including Nokia, Visa, and Toshiba (Humphrey). These are just two prime examples of many advertising firms located in the London area which shows that AMV BBDO needs to stay on top of their game or else they will be surpassed by one of their many competitors.

When comparing the United States to the United Kingdom it is easy to find many correlations either culturally, economically, or even the way the countries do business. From a structural and functional point of view, AMV BBDO operates very similarly to its American counterparts. Whether it is brand management, social media insight or communications planning, advertising from a global perspective is done almost systematically now with each firm putting their own individual touch to it.  An American agency that closely resembles the business model of AMV BBDO is Brunner. Brunner, just like AMV BBDO, specializes in all forms of media including digital, print, and broadcast.  Brunner has been around for over 20 years with offices in Pittsburgh, Atlanta, and Washington with top clients including Heinz, Consol Energy, and GNC (Brunner – About Us). Both companies, as stated previously, take a very similar approach to advertising to their clients and showcasing their work.

As technology continues to advance, it will provide advertising firms with more tools to market their clients and help expand their brand. Leading companies like AMV BBDO have shown that they can not only adapt to any change, but also be innovators and thrive in an ever-changing market.  Their advertising campaigns are unique, and as a result they are one of the top agencies in their field in not just the United Kingdom, but the world. Companies will always need assistance with promoting their businesses which means the future is bright for AMV BBDO.

Works Cited
“About AMVBBDO.” UK’s Most Creative Agency – AMVBBDO. N.p., n.d. Web. 2 Feb. 2014. <http://amvbbdo.com/about>.
“Brothers and Sisters | ABOUT US.” Brothers and Sisters. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Feb. 2014. <http://www.brothersandsisters.co.uk/about_us/>.
“Brunner – About Us.” Agency / Brunner. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Feb. 2014. <http://www.brunnerworks.com/agency.aspx>.
“Clients – AMVBBDO.” UK’s Most Creative Agency – AMVBBDO. N.p., n.d. Web. 3 Feb. 2014. <http://amvbbdo.com/work/clients>.
Humphrey, Will. “Top 30 London Advertising Agencies.” NewsDrill Digital RSS. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Feb. 2014. <http://newsdrilldigital.com/?p=122>.
“IPA Agency / Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO.” Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO. N.p., n.d. Web. 2 Feb. 2014. <http://www.ipa.co.uk/Agencies/Abbott-Mead-Vickers-BBDO-Ltd>.
Langdell, Jessica. “AMV BBDO Win ‘Agency of the Year’ and ‘Digital Agency of the Year’ at Kinsale.” UK’s Most Creative Agency – AMVBBDO. N.p., n.d. Web. 5 Feb. 2014. <http://amvbbdo.com/news/awards>.

Iris Nation Worldwide Lmtd: A Global Communications Network

Kelli Murphy

Iris Nation worldwide Limited was born when employees working at an advertising agency in England became fed up with agency politics and bureaucracy. They decided to break away from that environment and create a new, more creative agency that specializes in building participation brands—brands that are interactive. They wanted to create brands that people love being involved with; brands that stand out in their category; brands that outperform and threaten their rivals. These brands can be driven by a variety of things—content, conversations, experiences, communities—but they all have one thing in common: They make brands more open, accessible, involving and successful (Iris Worldwide 2). Providing that iris uses their strategy of building participation brands, they will become a global powerhouse in advertising and become a key leader in the development of new-age marketing.

Ian Millner, Stewart Shanley, Sean Reynolds, and Sam Noble founded iris Nation Worldwide Limited in 1999. The marketing agency is an international company based out of London, England. The agency offers an array of services, including brand consultancy, communications planning, public relations, point of sale and direct marketing, print and retail marketing, TV marketing, sponsorship, advertising, marketing research, digital marketing, social media development, and launch support and promotions. They hold offices in thirteen countries on the European, North American, and Asian continents (“Company Overview” 1).

Iris focuses on maintaining “a global creative innovation network,” and insists they can’t be called just a digital or a marketing agency because of their intense diversity. They pride themselves on the company culture of being creative, innovative, and “ahead of the game.” At Iris, there is no place for ordinary. Iris employees are those who aspire to make extraordinary a reality, “because innovation is all about competition and in competition there’s no place for ordinary (Iris Worldwide 1).” This is different than agencies in the United State, where many agencies focus on specializing in one type of marketing, such as sports marketing or digital marketing, rather than integrated marketing. Iris Nation is an integrated marketing communication agency if there ever was one, and they try to provide all evolving marketing tactics all the time. This truly shows how devoted they are to developing their participation brands. Without integration, participation brands—brands that are interactive—would die. In order to communicate effectively and egage people efficiently, clients need to be wherever their target market is; whenever they’re engaged in that particular space. Integration becomes a necessity, not an option. The DNA of iris Nation aids in their effort to build their brands. In any iris office around the world, you’ll find “hybrid teaming in leadership and delivery; faster, more collaborative ways of working; open access to an enormous pool of diverse, creative talent; no borders, no boundaries, and no bull (Iris worldwide 8).”

Iris tries to build these participation brands through “Extraordinary Ideas,” which provide compelling and diverse insights into certain areas of marketing. By thinking outside the box, they’re able to create distinctive results for their clients (Iris Worldwide 2). However, they do not do it alone. They have some help from a view of their system put it place to increase global communication and strengthen secondary research.

One of those system is named Project 72. In the project, the goal is to strengthen the agnecy’s global communication and is defined as their rapid response system.  If iris has a client, one office will drawy up a creative brief. In advertising, that is the basic outline of the “look and feel” of the campaign. They send the creative brief to all other agencies around the world. Each agency will collaborate on their ideas for the campaign and send a response to the main agency within 72 hours—hence the name. This strategy helps charge their creative output and gain a global perspective on the product (Iris Worldwide 4). This effort helps give the agency an edge over other global agencies, and especially over local ones. Project 72 has worked so well that clients request it as a single service.

A couple other system they use include “Urgent Genius” and “Meredith.” Since 2010, iris has used what they call “Urgent Genius” to track the trend of real-time creativity and news-jacking, or injecting ideas into a breaking news story and generating tons of media coverage and social media engagement. Editors of their blog search the world to find the power of this real-time creativity, whether it is work done elsewhere or under their own roof. (“Urgent Genius” 1). With this mindset, they have created melting QR codes on the frozen canals of Amsterdam to highlight climate change for the World Wildlife Foundation. If creative work is done swiftly, originally, and makes a social impact, it can be labeled under Urgent Genius (“Iris Worldwide 5”).

With Meredith, the world’s leading publishing and interactive media company, iris has the ability to tap into the lifestyles and values of its target markets. Iris’ main goals are to reach out to generation Y and millennial mothers. This insight into these key markets give the necessary information iris needs to create useful, compelling content over the right platforms that speak to the wants, needs, and values of the target. (“Iris Worldwide” 6). In order for iris to develop effective participation brands, they need to know what targets are participating through their platforms. Iris picked these two target markets because they are deemed the most digitally connected people of the digitally-influenced age.

To help their particicpation brands even more, iris is conducting their own primary research studies that look into the minds of generation Y, millennial mothers, and retailers. They named the study devoted to generation Y and “always online” millennial mothers “Planet Hyperconnected.” This global study investigates the digitally-influenced attitudes and behaviors of these two targets, and will provide insight into their day-to-day thinking (“Iris Worldwide” 7).

The second study, labeled “The Outsellers,” looks at retail companies and their strategies to reach their customers, such as which companies outsold their compeititon and how they go there. They’re looking for more than just discounts, but how those retailers “get into” the mind of their target markets and maintain brand equity and healthy profit margins. Many retailers strategies were becoming outdates, so in summer 2012, iris gathered 200 industry experts at a conference called “Retail Retold” to talk about he new age of retail and envision the new retail experience (“Iris Worldwide” 8).

This is a growing trend among all marketing agencies around the world, including the United States. Agencies around the U.s> are looking for ways to tap into generation Y and millennials—the “networked” age—for lack of a better term. This age of networking has changed the shape of marketing forever, and agencies are striving to keep up wit hthe lifestyles of their clients in order to provide compelling, relevant content. Iris has a lead in the game by knowing which direction the world is headed and actually taking action to keep up with it. This global communications reservoir will become a leader in the marketing world for their efforts, and have already received numerous awards fo the world on generation Y and their creative output.

Described on Glass Door by reviewers as an innovative, creative, entrepreneurial think tank, they seem to have the creativity and culture of the agency at the forefront. On every industry review, culture of the company was listed very high. Iris seems to have a sense of identity and “self” that their employees can recognize and appreciate, which allows for better team work on projects. They also have a number of prestigious clients, including Sony Mobile, Adidas, Shell, Reckitt Benckiser, Heineken, Nestle, Volkswagen and Barclaycard. However, the agency had many previous employees complain of disorganization and lack of direction from upper management. Even so, creativity can often seem disorganized.

Regardless of the lack of direction former and current employees see, iris remains one of the largest most successful agencies in the world, and will probably only grow larger and strong as time progresses. Iris will become a global powerhouse in advertising and become a key leader in the development of new-age marketing, shaping the future of marketing for years to come.

Works Cited
 “Company Overview of Iris Nation Worldwide Limited.” Businessweek.com. Boomberg, 2013. Web. 13 Feb. 2014.
“Iris Nation Reviews.” Glassdoor.com. Glassdoor, n.d. Web. 13 Feb. 2014.
“Iris Nation Worldwide Ltd.: Quotes & News – Google Finance.” Iris Nation Worldwide Ltd.: Quotes & News – Google Finance. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Feb. 2014.
“Iris Worldwide :: Hello There.” Iris Worldwide :: Hello There. Iris Nation Worldwide Limited, 2014. Web. 19 Feb. 2014.
“Urgent Genius – The Power of Real-time Creativity.” Urgent Genius The Power of Realtime Creativity. Urgent Genius, n.d. Web. 19 Feb. 2014.

Bell Pottinger Wired Emphasizes Online PR in the Digital Age

Kim Roberts

Public relations is a field that has embraced the digital world. No longer a field reliant on traditional media, PR has expanded to incorporate digital PR tactics to better reach and interact with audiences around the world. The widespread popularity of social media across countries and continents has made social media a necessary digital marketing tool. One firm that embraces these new media tools is Bell Pottinger Wired, a digital PR firm that focuses specifically on digital communications services. Founded by managing director James Thomlinson, Bell Pottinger Wired launched 2010. It is a subdivision of one of the world’s leading public relations and communications companies, Bell Pottinger Private. Bell Pottinger Wired is located at Bell Pottinger Private’s world headquarters on High Holborn Street in the heart of London, nestled among universities including London School of Economics and Political Science and the University of the Arts, as well as a mix of hotels and businesses. Bell Pottinger Wired is made up of a team of 17 digital PR professionals. As a PR-based digital communications company, Bell Pottinger Wired approaches the digital age head-on through its innovate and creative use of new media to effectively serve its clients.

Bell Pottinger Wired provides a wide range of expertise to clients around the world, but the majority of its clients are concentrated in the United Kingdom. The company provides services in the following areas: design, production, development of websites and mobile applications (apps), social media campaigns, multimedia relations, and search engine optimization (“Services”). Bell Pottinger Wired helped the London Chamber Orchestra by developing a new website, lco.co.uk, with a creative design and logo just in time for the orchestra’s performance at the royal wedding. The digital PR work resulted in global media coverage, the all-time highest number of visitors to the orchestra’s website in history, and the orchestra’s royal wedding album featured on the iTunes home page. Another client was The British Association for Adoption and Fostering. Bell Pottinger Wired developed and designed a free mobile app to help couples hoping to adopt find all the important information they needed in one simple, easy-to-use app. Also, Bell Pottinger Wired launched a social media campaign for a United Kingdom-based tour operating company, Canadian Affair, on Twitter and Facebook that succeeded in building an online fan base and increasing engagement (“Portfolio”).

International clients include All Global, an international healthcare data research company that wanted to improve its digital presence; the Malaysian Investment Development Authority, a division of the Malaysian government, which needed helped increasing online awareness of the prime minister’s visit to the United Kingdom; and Plan International, a global communications company that needed help developing an internal communications platform (“Portfolio”). The wide variety of digital services provided by Bell Pottinger Wired demonstrates its expertise in the digital world and its ability to help clients succeed in the digital age with any kind of communications needs. In 2013, the company was commended for its high quality work through national recognition and awards from PR Week, the Drum Marketing Awards, the CIPR Excellence Awards, the digi CorpComms Awards, the Digital Awards, and the Sabre Awards. These accomplishments have helped make Bell Pottinger Wired a leading agency in the United Kingdom’s digital PR landscape.

Bell Pottinger Wired does not significantly differ from its United States counterparts in its approach to its online work. Because social media and the Internet are global entities, their use and development are very similar—particularly between the United States and the United Kingdom. Both countries have similar Internet and social media usage habits. For example, Google, Facebook, and YouTube were all within the top five most-visited websites for both the United States and the United Kingdom in 2013 (“Websites”, “Most popular”). Additionally, the United States ranks thirteenth worldwide for average number of hours per day people spend on social media at 2.3 hours, while the United Kingdom ranks seventeenth with an average of 1.9 hours per day (“Average numbers”). Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube are among the most popular social media networks in both nations as well. Because of these similarities in Internet usage, Bell Pottinger Wired’s digital PR tactics on social media in particular translate well across borders and effectively reach wider audiences in similar cultures.

As mentioned previously, Bell Pottinger Wired maintains social media accounts for the United Kingdom-based tour company, Canadian Affair. The company’s Twitter and Facebook accounts are well-maintained with daily posts. The Canadian Affair Twitter account is used for customer service (direct interaction with customers’ questions, complaints, and comments), to share links, announce sales and special offers, hold contests, and humanize the account through humor and “just for fun” content. The Twitter account, which has 8,000 followers, uses relevant hashtags, tags related users in tweets, and occasionally retweets. Similarly, the Facebook account has 20,333 fans, and it is used for similar purposes—sharing offers, photos, humorous posts, and contests. When these social media accounts are compared to the Facebook and Twitter accounts of U.S.-based travel company Travelocity, it is clear that the social media strategies are similar. Travelocity, though based in the U.S., follows the same digital marketing strategies as the London-based Canadian Affair on Facebook and Twitter. This example shows the similarities between digital PR agencies in the United Kingdom and the United States. Social media accounts for a tour company run by United States-based PR agencies look just like the Canadian Affair accounts.

The popularity of the same social media networks in both the United States and the United Kingdom has encouraged use of the same social media tactics from digital PR agencies in both countries, and these accounts have been successful across both nations. However, there are some differences between United States and United Kingdom-based social media campaigns. Canadian Affair’s social media accounts, while thriving, are limited to Twitter and Facebook. United States-based companies make sure to have a wider range of social media accounts. Travelocity, for example, has a presence on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Google+. The social media strategy of Bell Pottinger Wired is to only use the social networks that will most effectively reach the client’s target audience. Rather than stretch team members and content to maintain profiles on a large number of sites, the company chooses to only focus on key sites instead to ensure that the content is high quality and well-maintained (“Services”). This example shows the similarities in online content in US and UK-based digital PR tactics despite differences in online social networking platforms.

The Bell Pottinger Wired website, bellpottingerwired.com, is a well designed website with information presented in a way that is visually appealing. It is complete with creative photos, videos, and design elements. For example, the website features short videos with animation and graphics to tell about the firm’s areas of expertise and its approach to working with clients. These videos demonstrate the firm’s abilities to produce creative, high-quality videos. Additionally, the website features innovative takes on common subjects. For the “team” page that introduces the user to the team members working for Bell Pottinger Wired, the website does much more than just list names and occupations. Instead, the seventeen team members’ images are displayed as looping videos that make them look as if they are really there on the screen, living and breathing. When the user’s mouse hovers over a team member’s image, the person does an action, such as laughing, winking, smiling, taking a photo, or something else that gives the user a bit of insight into who that person is and what his or her personality is like. Users can click on the moving image to learn more about that person and what they do for the company. These features make Bell Pottinger Wired’s website stand out compared to other websites because of its inventive approach to using the Internet.

Interestingly, Bell Pottinger Wired’s own social media accounts are not quite as popular or well-maintained as its clients’. While the Bell Pottinger Wired Twitter account, @BPWired, has a solid fan base of 964 followers, its intermittently updated Facebook page has only 70 likes. As is the case in the United States, the popularity of Facebook is declining in the United Kingdom—particularly in the eyes of the younger generation (Shaughnessy). Rather than pouring time and effort into maintaining a Facebook page, the team at Bell Pottinger Wired chooses to invest its time in the upkeep of newer social media sites, like Twitter. This choice on the part of Bell Pottinger Wired is reflected in the company’s own Facebook and Twitter accounts and the number of fans and followers associated with them. However, the company continues to maintain a wider variety of social networking sites for its clients. Bell Pottinger Wired also maintains a presence on LinkedIn in order to make a name for itself in the professional online landscape. Digital PR agencies in the United States place more of an emphasis on building a fan base on Facebook, Twitter, and a variety of other social media sites instead of just focusing on one or two, like Bell Pottinger Wired.

Bell Pottinger Wired does an effective job of serving its clients to the best of its ability through the use of creative and effective digital PR tactics. The company has proven that it is able to handle digital communications needs from clients ranging from national companies, to nonprofits, to government organizations. Though fairly new, the company has a positive reputation as a subdivision of the larger, global Bell Pottinger Private, which was ranked as the number five PR company in London in 2013 by PR Week and 29th globally by the World PR Report in terms of revenue (“Top 150 Table 2013,” “Top 250 Global Rankings 2013”). Bell Pottinger Wired has proven itself to be a competitive contender in the digital PR environment because of its range of clients and its full portfolio of work. The agency has shown that it is able to be successful as a niche PR firm by concentrating specifically on the digital aspects of PR in the ever-changing world of new media. The company has made itself a contender in the digital public relations landscape because of its abilities to handle all aspects of its clients’ online communications needs.

Bell Pottinger Wired is important to professionals in all areas of the communications field. As a digital PR agency, it requires design, multimedia, production, PR, and marketing skills. Team members’ occupations range from web designers and developers, to production managers and digital strategy directors, to SEO managers, strategists, and account executives. The skills of many different kinds of communications professionals are essential to provide the wide range of digital services Bell Pottinger Wired offers. Bell Pottinger Wired has made a name for itself in just the few years it has existed. It can be expected to continue to flourish as a digital PR agency thanks to the fast-paced and global importance of social media, mobile devices, and the Internet.

 Works Cited
“About.” Bell Pottinger Private. Web. 05 Feb. 2014.
“Average numbers of hours per day spent by social media users on all social media channels as     of 2013, by country.” Global Web Index, 2013. Statista. Web. 08 Feb. 2014.
“Most popular websites in the United States in January 2013, based on market share of visits.”   Experian Marketing Services, Jan. 2013. Statista. Web. 08. Feb. 2014.
“Portfolio.” Bell Pottinger Wired. Web. 08 Feb. 2014.
“Services.” Bell Pottinger Wired. Web. 08 Feb. 2014.
Shaughnessy, Haydn. “Facebook Is Dead And Buried To Teens, Says EU Study Lead.” Forbes.   Forbes Magazine, 27 Dec. 2013. Web. 18 Feb. 2014.
“Top 150 Table 2013.” PR Week. Web. 05 Feb. 2014.
“Top 250 Global Rankings 2013.” World PR Report. Web. 03 Feb. 2014.
“Websites ranked by share of visits in the United Kingdom (UK) as of September 2013.” Experian Marketing Services, Sept. 2013. Statista. Web. 08. Feb. 2014.

 

The Role of New and Social Media in the Royal Wedding

Kim Roberts

New and social media, consisting of the Internet and social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, have changed the way that people all over the world consume and share news. Few events in recent years have been more widely publicized than the royal wedding of Great Britain’s Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, to Catherine Middleton on April 29, 2011. The modern-day fairytale of a regular girl marrying a prince caught the attention of virtually everyone, and that global fascination was reflected in the sheer volume of royal wedding-related content online leading up to and on the day of the event. The wedding was a landmark event for the royal family because it brought the British monarchy into the twenty-first century through the extensive use of new and social media to connect with people around the world. Often called the “wedding of the century,” the wedding of Prince William and Kate was the first major royal event made accessible to the world via new media (Sutu 28). New and social media usage by both representatives of the royal family and by worldwide audiences marked the royal wedding as an event with global importance in the digital age. The royal wedding exemplifies the ability of new and social media to create global conversations and escalate interest in a topic of shared interest through the British Monarchy’s use of the social networks Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Flickr, as well as websites.

Some of the key social networks in 2011—Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Flickr—played an important role in creating online interest, or buzz, about the royal wedding around the world. The royal family’s communications department oversaw official accounts for the British monarchy on each of these social networks, giving the public unprecedented, behind-the-scenes access to the royal family’s preparations for the wedding.

Twitter served an important role in starting conversations about the royal wedding. The social networking site functions through 140-character updates that anyone in the world with a Twitter account can view. This site serves as an ideal method of sharing up-to-date information and interesting tidbits that can be quickly shared, making it a good method of communication concerning the royal wedding preparations and events. Tweets from the royal family (@BritishMonarchy) and the house of Prince William’s father, Prince Charles, (@ClarenceHouse) gave the public “exclusive information” leading up to the royal wedding and on the day of the event, sharing details about the event as well as live updates (Sutu 31). Even the account for Westminster Abbey, where the couple was wed, actively tweeted news during the day of the wedding. In addition to this official information, Twitter users around the world actively engaged in conversations about the event. In fact, the majority of social media buzz about the royal wedding in the 30 days leading up to the event happened on Twitter, as seen in Figure 2 (“The Social Media Buzz”). The public used Twitter to discuss everything from speculation about Kate’s dress to commentary on every aspect of the ceremony. Twitter allowed people all over the world to connect with each other and converse about their shared interest: the royal wedding. The ability of people to access this “insider information” from official sources created interest because it bypassed traditional news sources and went straight to the people. According to the web analytics company Webtrends, 911,000 tweets about the royal wedding were generated in the month prior to the event, which evened out to about 30,000 tweets per day (“Royal Wedding Chatter”). On the day of the wedding, the topic was mentioned in a tweet 67 times a second (“24 Million”). Twitter proved to be a useful tool for sharing and communicating live updates.

The British Monarchy’s official Facebook page (facebook.com/TheBritishMonarchy) served as a resource for inside information about the royal wedding as well. It kept people updated through posts including status updates, photos, and videos, in addition to a Facebook event that people could RSVP to as a sign of their commitment to watching the royal wedding unfold. Facebook was the second most popular social media platform for people to comment on the royal wedding leading up to the event. More than 200,000 Facebook updates were posted from around the world in the 30 days leading up to the event (“Royal Wedding Chatter”). It was extremely popular on the day of the wedding: “In [the] 24-hour interval [of the royal wedding day] more than 10 million posts were registered on the social network Facebook, where people commented on the clothes of the participants or on the religious and military ceremony” (Sutu 31). While the ceremony was taking place, the royal wedding was mentioned on Facebook 74 times every second (“24 Million”). Facebook and Twitter were the most popular social networking sites for royal wedding conversations both in the month leading up to the event and as the wedding happened in real time.

The royal wedding essentially took over social media in terms of the general networking sites discusses above, as well as niche platforms like YouTube and Flickr. The British Monarchy used its official YouTube channel to share behind-the-scenes videos of preparations for the event, from the cake to the dress, as well as a three-and-a-half-hour video of the entire royal wedding. YouTube “became so busy that [it] encountered distribution problems at the prime time of the ceremony transmission” (Sutu 31). Official videos were not the only royal wedding-related content gaining popularity on the social media platform: “YouTube videos tagged with top Royal Wedding-related keywords (Royal Wedding, Kate Middleton, etc.) [grew] more than 10 times from 37.5k per day to 460k per day” since the announcement of Prince William and Kate’s engagement (“Royal Wedding Chatter”). Through the use of social media sites like these, the British Monarchy was able to help shape itself in a positive, favorable light in public opinion not only in Great Britain, but around the world. The photo-sharing site Flickr served as a platform to share and organize collections of photos from the royal wedding. Because of the high visual appeal of the wedding, these photos were extremely popular and circulated throughout the Internet, on other social media sites, and also in traditional media. The British Monarchy’s official Flickr account houses collections of photographs from the day of the royal wedding, giving visitors a sense of what it was like behind the scenes, during the event, and in the city of London during the day. This method of sharing photos allowed people around the world to see for themselves what was happening in London instantly. The British Monarchy used Flickr for its ideal mode of sharing and storing photographs. The efforts that the British Monarchy invested in social media was able to effectively spur online conversations about the royal wedding that began long before the wedding and continued long after the event concluded. This social media usage symbolizes an era when social networking and the Internet in general serve as the most effective and far-reaching tools of public relations.

New media consists of the capabilities of the Internet in general in addition to specific social media sites. The royal family’s official website (royal.gov.uk) provided a wealth of information about the royal family and events related to the wedding, and it served as a base that linked to each of the official social media sites (“Official Website”). Also, an official website (officialroyalwedding2011.org) was set up for the wedding specifically. Although the site is no longer available, it served as a resource for all wedding-related information to keep the public informed and involved. It is possible that the British Monarchy found that its social media accounts were more effective for storing the content from this website rather than attempting to keep the website updated as well. By taking advantage of features such as Facebook’s timeline, content from the past can be stored and organized easily. The Internet also allowed for live streaming of the royal wedding: “More than 6 million worldwide audiences followed on their personal computers the live streaming generated by Associated Press, UK Press Association, CBS and Entertainment Tonight” (Sutu 31). Other uses of the Internet to highlight the royal wedding included an interactive map by BBC that showed the route of Prince William during the day of the wedding to supplement the news outlet’s coverage, and more than 145,000 posts about the royal wedding were also posted on blogs from around the world leading up to the wedding (Sutu 30).

The scope of royal wedding buzz on social media as well as the Internet in general increased the global interest and importance concerning the royal wedding. New and social media allowed everyone to have a say in the “wedding of the century,” whether they were official representative of the royal family, proud British citizens, or admirers from around the world (Suku 35). The popularity of the royal wedding online exemplifies the ability of the Internet to bring people together and create a sense of unity around a shared topic of interest: “Fans experience mutual feelings regarding the royal fairy tale and interact with admirers from different places in the world through social networking” (Suku 32). The positivity surrounding such a happy, ceremonious event proved to be something that people everywhere really wanted to talk about. In fact, royal wedding buzz surpassed that of other major world events happening at the time, including the uprising in Egypt and an earthquake in Japan. (“All Abuzz”). While new and social media are important tools for disseminating information about all types of news, the joyous occasion of a royal wedding brought people together for something happy, which “demonstrated that media events continue to exercise a restorative role in society, and offer a shared sense of humanity and membership in the global community” (Suku 34). Social media showed its ability to highlight and share news and information globally and instantly while creating conversations across borders. Additionally, the Internet’s unique multimedia capabilities made it the most effective medium for sharing news, stories, and information about the royal wedding through a combination of text, audio, and video. The popularity of the royal wedding on the Internet and social networking sites in particular exemplifies people’s interest in finding news for themselves rather than having it spoon-fed to them through traditional means and being able to share and comment on that information as they pleased. This ability to gather information from both inside sources and official new sources and then share it immediately is a capability of the Internet that has only increased in popularity around the world in the years since the royal wedding.

New and social media played an important role in publicizing and increasing interest in the royal wedding, and it was embraced by the royal family for its ability to make the monarchy more accessible than ever, as well as by the global public for its ability to share information instantaneously. New technology allowed Great Britain’s royal family to engage and share with the public like never before: “the organizers of the [royal wedding] proved that they know how to use the new technologies to efficiently deliver the message” (Suku 35). In addition to traditional media coverage, new and social media coverage by both official sources and fans highlighted the royal wedding and turned it into an event of worldwide importance.

Works Cited
“24 Million Tune in to See Royal Wedding as Facebook Updates 74 times a Second During           Ceremony.” Daily Mail. Associated Newspapers, 30 Apr. 2011. Web. 27 Mar. 2014.
“All Abuzz About The Royal Wedding.” Webtrends Blog. Web. 23 Mar. 2014.
Official Website of the British Monarchy. British Monarchy. Web. 23 Mar. 2014.
“Royal Wedding Chatter Amps Up on Facebook, Twitter [STATS].” Mashable. Web. 23 Mar.    2014.
“The Social Media Buzz Behind the Royal Wedding [INFOGRAPHIC].” Mashable. Web. 23       Mar. 2014.
Sutu, Rodica. “The Role Of The New Technologies In The Coverage Of Media Events. Case        Study Of The Royal Wedding Of Prince William Of The United Kingdom And Catherine             Middleton.” Communication & Marketing / Revista De Comunicare Si Marketing 3.5           (2012): 25-37. Communication & Mass Media Complete. Web. 23 Mar. 2014.

The Impact of NME

Liz Cook

NME is a magazine that tells stories about the news in the music world. This includes the songs, the bands, and the lives of the bands. The purpose of the magazine is to entertain but in doing so, it also informs. Music is a huge part of today’s culture and it often is a reflection of the times, including the issues and concerns of a nation. When a magazine like NME reports on music, it can also be reporting on the state of the union. NME does not specifically report on political issues and news. However, by covering artists who are writing or speaking about these issues, they are in turn informing the public of these issues. For example, a recent issue launched on January 4, 2013 is titled “The Banned Issue”. This issue discusses bands, albums (including album artwork) and songs that were at one time banned from the public. NME reports the story from the musical and pop culture side. But the real story comes from their pop culture piece, in the reasoning for the bans. They reflect the nature of the times and controversies around culture in musical entertainment. Another article on NME’s website titled “Banned! 10 Songs The BBC Tried To Censor” lists songs that made an impact on society. One of these songs is “I’ll Fly For You” by Spandau Ballet released in 1984. The first Gulf War banned records that could be misconstrued as being about war, bombs, or fighter planes. Thus in 1991 “I’ll Fly For You” was banned by the BBC. These things are common in times of war. Tensions are high and governments worry about what a song can do to the people. Another example is the Sex Pistols, who released a song titled “God Save the Queen” in 1977 right as Queen Elizabeth II was having her Silver Jubilee. The song was banned and was listed as second on the charts when it in fact reached number one (NME). The lyrics in the song were not well taken by the media and some accused the band of treason (History.com). The issue with the song was that it intended to create controversy and the governments did not want to cause uproar. So, the issue was not that the Sex Pistols released a song in “bad taste” but what that meant to society at the time (History.com). By NME reporting on these bans of music is in turn reporting on the real issue and the state of a society.

The New Musical Express (NME) is a weekly magazine based in London that reports on music news and trends. NMEwas born from failures of previous magazines. In Britain in the 1930s there was a boom for accordion music. Because of this craze, a magazine was born called Accordion Times published in 1935. In the mid-1940s the accordion boom had passed and the magazine merged with a new magazine called the Musical Express published in October of 1946 to avoid closure. By 1950 the magazine became the best-selling music paper in the country. The Musical Express hit trouble in 1952, however, when musical tastes and trends began to shift and circulation fell to 20,000 a week. At this point the magazine was bought and became the New Musical Express launching the first issue in March of 1952 (May).

The new version reinvented itself and became a more interesting piece for the younger, hipper crowd. NME covered show business and popular music in a new format. The writing began to focus on the performer of the song rather than the writer. NME really broke through when it introduced Britain’s first UK singles chart, which was based on music sales in shops around London. This created a rise in circulation of fifty percent for the magazine (May). Pat Long, author of the book “The History of the NME: High Times and Low Lives at the World’s Most Famous Music Magazine” gives insight into the meaning of the UK singles chart. He said, “Crucially, this new list reflected NME’s shift in emphasis from covering the writer of the song to its performer, simultaneously opening up a new market for the music press…record buyers and fans”. (May) From this point, the company went through ups and downs trying to stay alive because of changes in popular music taste and ownership and publishers (May). NME had to reinvent itself many times to keep up with trends and avoid failure. The most current hurdle for NME was the shift from print to digital where NME finds itself trying to keep up.

NME is similar to the American magazine Billboard. Billboard magazine has been reporting on the entertainment business since 1894. The magazine began as a weekly for the billposting and advertising business. The magazine evolved to be the frontrunner for music charts and information on trends and music news “serving music fans, artists, top executives, tour promoters, publishers, radio programmers, lawyers, retailers, digital entrepreneurs and many others” (Billboard.com). This is similar to the creation of NME which spawned from other publications that had a different audience. NME has operates out of its London headquarters. Billboard is headquartered in New York with offices in Los Angeles and Miami with correspondents around the world. With this information it seems that Billboard has the advantage with multiple offices and correspondents.

Seemingly anyone can subscribe to the magazine and receive it in the mail or receive the digital version. The prices for each country vary, with the lowest subscription rates in the United Kingdom. For print subscriptions in the United Kingdom, the cost (converted to US dollars) is $121.98 for one year. The price for the digital version is $82.23 per year. If someone in the US wanted to subscribe to NME it would cost $163 for print and $59.99 for digital. Similarly, the cost to subscribe to Billboard Magazine is $249/year which gives access to the print, digital, and online versions of the magazine. For only the digital and online versions, the cost is $14/month or $168/year. International subscriptions are $299/year for print, digital, and online versions while the digital and online subscription costs $14/month or $168/year. Billboard may be a little bit more expensive but it seems that the customers are getting more for their money and more options with Billboard than with NME.

NME focuses on music news with some music charts. NME covers a lot of information from music news to tickets to film and television. Billboard reports on news but also has a big focus on their music charts, as they were reportedly the first to publish such a thing (May). A writer from each magazine would be reporting from the view of their home base. Billboard and NME each posted an article reporting on an issue with rapper Nicki Minaj. Apparently Minaj used an image of Malcom X for a new song called “Lookin Ass Ni**a”. This created controversy and groups petitioned for Minaj to remove the image. The story on NME gives the information using many quotes from Minaj. The quotes are relevant and give information about the incident; however, it seems that the story may be too full of quotes. There is not much actual writing and informing. The story seems a bit lazy or rushed because of the lack of actual writing. The same story on Billboard reports much of the same information but in a different format. The story seems cleaner and well put together. Instead of using the entire quote from Nicki Minaj, the writer uses a part of it to explain the story and gives more information. An interesting note about each article is the fact that the one on NME spells out the racial slur while the Billboard article does not. This gives an interesting view to the styles and norms in the US and London. It shows how media in each country is different. US media can often be conservative while the UK may be more open and daring.

NME began, as most magazines, as a print publication. But, with the increase in technology use the magazine had to create an online presence. NME has a website and offers a digital version of the magazine for subscription. This allows the magazine to survive and allows more people to access the content that NME provides. NME also has a presence on social media sites such as Myspace, Facebook, Twitter, Spotify, Tumblr, Instagram, YouTube, Soundcloud, and Google+. Have a big presence on social media platforms definitely greatly helps the success of a company. This is especially so for a magazine such as NME because of the content they are delivering and because their audience has a big presence on social media. NME seems to keep up on its social media very well, almost too well. Too little posts and the audience will become disinterested. But too many posts and the audience will become annoyed and may discourage others from connecting with NME. NME may have the problem of posting too much. Many people do not like their news feed cluttered with multiple posts from the same source. There is an ideal number of posts and type of post made each day that will enhance the user experience as opposed to deterring customers.

Overall, NME seems to be a weak contender in the weekly music magazine business. The company has poor circulation and the magazine had to be redesigned multiple times to avoid failure. The Guardian reports that NME has fallen to less than 20,000 in weekly sales. Just last year NME reinvented and redesigned itself promising better content and better sales. It does not seem that it is working however with the recent numbers. An article written by John Plunkett of The Guardian, says that NME is facing difficulties due to the shift of an online focus. Plunkett says that NME plans to launch a new app and make more changes to the website. This may not be enough. NME claims that 2013 was a huge success for the company but it will be interesting to see where the company goes and how they will try to compete in the digital and global marketplace.

References:
Associated Press. “Nicki Minaj Apologizes for Malcolm X Cover Art.” Billboard. N.p., 14 Feb. 2013. Web. 15 Feb. 2014.
Billboard.com. “About Us.” Billboard. N.p., n.d. Web. 04 Mar. 2014.
History.com. “The BBC Bans the Sex Pistols’ “God Save the Queen”” History.com. A&E Television Networks, n.d. Web. 04 Mar. 2014
Horton, Matthew. “Banned! 10 Songs The BBC Tried To Censor | The Latest Music Blogs, Free MP3s, Best New Bands, Music Videos, Movie Trailers and News Analysis.” NME.com. IPC Media, 15 Apr. 2013. Web. 15 Feb. 2014.
May, John. “NME IS 60: THE HISTORY.” Web log post. The Generalist. N.p., 05 Mar. 2012. Web. 15 Feb. 2014.
“Nicki Minaj Apologises for Using Image of Malcolm X to Promote New Song.” NME.com. IPC Media, 15 Feb. 2014. Web. 15 Feb. 2014.
NME. “Sex Pistols Announce Plans to Re-release ‘God Save The Queen'” NME.COM. IPC Media, 16 Apr. 2012. Web. 04 Mar. 2014.
NME.com. IPC Media, n.d. Web. 14 Feb. 2014.
Plunkett, John. “NME Sales Falling off the Charts.” Theguardian.com. Guardian News and Media, 14 Feb. 2014. Web. 15 Feb. 2014.
“Subscriptions.” Billboard. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Feb. 2014.

 

Pulse Group: In the Pursuit of Creating Happy Humans

Melanie Vadney

Pulse Group Limited is an integrated marketing agency located out of London, England that is known for its unique tagline of a mission statement – “we create happy humans.” As an agency their mission is to listen carefully to the needs of the client and the target market in order to come up with creative solutions for events, promotions, digital communications, and much more. In the crowded international communications market as well as locally in London, Pulse seeks to find the problems that exist in communication efforts and improve upon them to fit the needs of the clients.

A simple search on the “Companies In The UK” website of advertising agencies brings about 4,531 results. In a crowded media market, Pulse Group decided to take a different approach to integrated marketing. Integrated marketing refers to pulling all realms of marketing fields together – such as advertising, public relations, promotions, events, etc. in order to create a successful communications campaign. Pulse Group is one of many in the market and they are constantly trying to prove that even as a boutique agency (small agency) they can contribute and offer something other agencies do not. This is where the mission of “creating happy humans” comes from. In order to make a name for itself in the industry, Pulse Group decided to put an emphasis on the humans involved in all aspects of the communications process in order to find and meet the needs of everyone involved and ensure successful communication practices and campaigns. As an agency, the people of Pulse decided to put emphasis on listening to feedback, creating lasting emotional connections to create action, and to learn and develop as an agency. By applying all of these things, Pulse can cater to the clients needs to reach the intended target audiences and also constantly improve as an international agency. Under this mission of “creating happy humans,” founder and owner Gerry Ellender took the agency from several employees in the 80s to dozens of employees and three global offices, one in London, one in Dublin, and one in Dubai (“Key”).

In the growing age of television advertisements, DVR’s and internet marketing globally and in the UK (Hall), companies needed to find new ways to reach their intended audience. This is where agencies like Pulse step in. Not only do they create a marketing experience that can be based on traditional means of reaching the public such as television advertisements and direct tools such as mailings, they also are invested in the idea of creative story to reach the public. Pulse describes itself as an agency that can do “Events, exhibitions, digital, direct, brand building, experiential, sponsorship, shopper, pure advertising, pure something-there-isn’t-even-a-marketing-term-for…” (“We Made”). By combining a multitude of marketing tactics that fall into both the public relations realm as well as the advertising realm, Pulse allows itself to be versatile and serve its clients completely. For example, they have done poster campaigns as well as direct campaigns for the non-profit React. React’s tagline is “Giving Depth to Short Lives” and their mission is to provide services to children with potentially terminal illnesses who might not be able to afford the services otherwise. Pulse created a poster campaign in which they created an outdoor advertising billboard with a picture of a pink pair of little girl’s shoes. The copy next to the shoes reads “Ella’s first shoes. Ella’s last shoes.” (“Poster”). This sign created awareness for React by using powerful imagery and creative copy to truly tell React’s story and get people involved in the non-profit’s efforts. Pulse is able to use creative story telling in order further the dynamic of two-way communication within the marketing field because it allows the intended audience to not only participate, but also give feedback to the client, and consequently to Pulse Group.

Pulse Group has found its identity within the term “creative agency.” While all marketing communications agencies seem to dub themselves with the term “creative,” Pulse has found its place in the market by pairing creative storytelling with integrated marketing approaches. The idea of being an integrated creative agency instead of just a public relations agency or just an advertising agency is one that mirrors the US norms. In both the UK and the US there are advertising agencies, public relations agencies, and integrated marketing agencies which combine the tactics of both realms. At times in both the UK and the US there appears to be an emphasis on picking what you are good at, and doing it effectively. Here in Pittsburgh we have Havas PR who is known for bringing events such as the “One Young World” summit to Pittsburgh (“Client”) and Smith Brothers Advertising, which focuses in consumer packaged goods such as Nestle and Heinz (“Smith”). While a PR agency might pull from advertising tactics and vice versa, they typically cater to their individual spectrum within the communications field because it is what they are good at and what they set out to do. While this might be their niche within a bustling market, an integrated approach combines the most effective strategies from public relations and advertising. Integrated agencies within Pittsburgh include Think Communications and Gatesman+Dave, both of which apply advertising and public relations tools to serve the needs of their clients. With an integrated marketing approach, Pulse Group seems to be utilizing tactics from both fields in order to create creative solutions campaigns for their clients.

One big difference between communication agencies in the US versus their counterparts in the UK is regulation. The US seems to be largely self-regulated with some overseeing by government agencies while the UK utilizes a non-government agency. The US relies primarily on the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Small Business Administration (SBA) to regulate advertising practices while the UK relies upon the non-government agency the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA). While the FTC is a government agency and is free of charge to the US communications agencies, the ASA is paid for by the advertisers in the UK. These so-called watchdogs of advertising in the UK aim to “… ensure that advertising in all media is legal, decent, honest and truthful, to the benefit of consumers, business and society” (“About ASA”). Because more regulation and “rules” of advertising exist in the UK, I believe advertising as an industry is run more loosely in the US. The idea of paying for a service from the ASA means the communications agencies in the UK expect that service – which in this case is regulation and oversight for the advertising world. This could explain why agencies in the UK rely on integrated approaches such as events, promotions and digital media more heavily than the US, and also explain why Pulse Group found its niche within a global market by utilizing integrated tactics.

Pulse Group takes integrated tactics and theories and puts them into practice in the work they do for clients, one of which is the children’s charity React. For Daylight Savings Time, Pulse Group partnered React up with a famous local restaurant to place a small stop watch clock on every table around lunch time. These clocks all had tags on them with the message “OUR CHILDREN WOULD GIVE ANYTHING TO GAIN AN EXTRA HOUR.” The tags told customers they could take a clock with them and also had information about how to help React with their mission. This publicity stunt gained notoriety locally and created a social media buzz in the area for React. By combining a timely event with a small stunt at a popular place of business, Pulse was able to pair a worthy cause with an audience it might not have reached before. Not only did they have a successful event and raise awareness about React, Pulse Group was also able to create a call to action in the form of further investigating React and also donating to the cause.

Another notable campaign piece for Pulse Group is the work they did for a small start-up company Rocktails at the Taste London food and drink festival. As a start-up trying to build its brand presence, Rocktails could only afford a small booth at a distant location within the festival. In order to create an interactive experience with festival goers, Pulse Group created the “Rockice flyer” which was a flyer within an ice cube that gave a free Rocktail Frozen Vodka Cocktail to those who could return the ice cube to Rocktails’ booth before it melted. This genius tactic not only was the buzz of the festival, it also promoted interaction among the festival goers to get talking about the brand and also to try the product free of charge. Despite being given a small budget for the event, Pulse Group was able to come up with a creative plan to get consumers involved and talking about the up and coming brand. Not only was this event successful on an interactive level, it also created a call to action of becoming aware of the product and purchasing it.
I believe these two campaign examples show what Pulse Group is all about as an integrated creative agency – creative story telling that promotes involvement of the target market for the client. Through the involvement, they are able to create awareness and also create a call to action that caters to the client’s needs. One thing Pulse Group seems to focus on in campaigns is the overall experience. They don’t want to send people something in the mail they can brush off or give them a brochure to throw away – they want the target market to experience something and truly gain an understanding for what the client represents and is all about. Their unique voice in the global industry is that they are constantly combining different communication tools and tactics to find creative, memorable, participatory solutions.

Because Pulse Group is able to meet the needs of their clients through integrated marketing tactics, they are able to compete in a competitive market within the UK and also internationally with clients such as React, method, Palmolive, JVC, and Wyld Wood Organic Cider. Pulse is able to contribute to the growing communications world by effectively utilizing integrated marketing tactics that essentially aim to create memorable experiences with customers and clients in order to create successful campaigns. They are able to meet the needs of their clients by listening to them and also by investing in the people involved through every step of the process. As a group, Pulse is not afraid to try something a little zany and different in order to accomplish the goals of a campaign and also the goals of creating happy humans. Pulse is able to contribute to the growing communications world by effectively utilizing integrated marketing tactics that essentially aim to create memorable experiences with customers and clients in order to create successful campaigns. In a rapid paced world of marketing communications, Pulse seems to have found its niche by focusing on the humans involved a

 Works Cited

“About ASA.” – Advertising Standards Authority. Advertising Standards Authority Ltd, n.d. Web. 15 Feb. 2014.
“Client List – Havas PR US.” Client List – Havas PR US. Havas PR, n.d. Web. 17 Mar. 2014.
“Direct – React.” Pulse Group. Pulse Group Ltd., n.d. Web. 15 Feb. 2014.
“Experiential & Direct – Rocktails.” Pulse Group. Pulse Group Ltd., n.d. Web. 15 Feb. 2014.
Hall, Emma. “Brits Watch More Ads than Ever.” Advertising Age 79.5 (2008): 8-9.Business         Source Premier. Web. 15 Feb. 2014.
“Key Members of Our Team.” Pulse Group. Pulse Group Ltd., n.d. Web. 15 Feb. 2014.
“Press & Poster – React.” Pulse Group. Pulse Group Ltd., n.d. Web. 17 Mar. 2014.
“Smith Brothers Agency.” Our Work. Smith Bros Agency, n.d. Web. 17 Mar. 2014.
“We Made This.” Pulse Group. Pulse Group Ltd., n.d. Web. 17 Mar. 2014.
   

Interactive Billboards: The New Frontier

Melanie Vadney

Interactive Billboards: The New Frontier

Gone are the days of print ads simply sending out a message to the public – we have reached the age of interactivity even when it comes to outdoor advertising. Interactive billboards have recently become a trend in advertising and are taking over European outdoor ad space by storm in a variety of modern campaigns. These “smart” billboards allow the viewer to interact with their environment on a new level that did not exist previously, and create a new level of immersive advertising that the general public has to accept due to innovative and creative technologies.

The history of outdoor advertising is a long one that dates back to at least 5,000 years ago when Egyptian vendors would create signs on stone tablets and place them along road ways to direct travelers to their shops. From there, the outdoor medium was used by Babylonian shop owners to indicate the purpose of their shop and also in Ancient Greece to tell of government proclamations. Additionally, signs used by the Roman Empire typically featured large pictures and little text due to the low literacy rates in these societies (Taylor 284). By featuring mostly pictures and little to no script, these pre-cursors to modern advertising set a standard for outdoor advertising with the idea of eye-catching graphics and little text. In modern advertising, this helps the viewer understand the message easily as fast as possible.

Outdoor advertising in Europe developed later with the invention of new laws and technologies. Regulations dictating that shop owners must identify what type of shop they owned placed an emphasis on self-promotion. This was also helped by new technologies such as the movable type that allowed for the creation of circulated handbill and the posted bill (small advertisements for shops). Later, it was allowed that shop owners could advertise for their own shops in areas where the most people traveled and would be more likely to be seen by the general public. Paris and London were the first cities in Europe to develop outdoor advertising as an official medium to target messages (Taylor 284). This development of outdoor advertising as a medium of self-promotion set the tone for what would come later – an influx of outdoor advertising space as a way of reaching the most amount of people with a specific target message.

After the legislation that allowed for outdoor advertising, the outdoor advertising business began to boom in Europe. With the formation of National Outdoor Advertising Federations in France, Germany, Belgium, Finland, Italy, and the Netherlands, a uniting force came together in 1959 in Paris in the form of the Federation European Publicite Exterieur (FEPE). Later, federations from Great Britain, Switzerland, Spain and Ireland joined the FEPE in their efforts to “FEPE International advocates freedom in communication. It actively opposes advertising bans and statutory restrictions on the freedom of communication (“About” “History”). As an organization, FEPE lobbies for the freedom of outdoor advertising practices across Europe, which assists outdoor advertising companies in achieving the goals of their clients. By advocating for the freedom of communication, FEPE creates an open market for outdoor advertising that allows companies to create creative and innovative ads utilizing outdoor advertising.

An open advertising market environment allows for creativity and innovation. Digital interactive billboards have taken the idea of sending a message out to the public and married it with the idea of creating an interactive environment that will create a memorable experience for the public. According to Stan Jackson in his article “Interactivity billboards: keep in touch with consumers” for Business Review Europe, the invention of the interactive billboard comes at a time when outdoor advertising was growing stagnant and cliché. It also is going to become more commonplace because of the lowering costs. Jackson writes, “Interactive adverts are becoming more cost-effective.  The technology involved is by no means new, and as the skills required to make such an advert are becoming less specialized, the overall cost of projects is decreasing rapidly” (Jackson). Because it will no longer cost as much money to create an interactive experience, marketers will use the technologies more than ever in the coming years. This will create a more competitive environment for the interactive billboard market, meaning advertisers will have to come up with even more creative ways to promote a product or company or idea.

Several creative interactive billboards in recent years include last year’s NYC Corona advertisement that places a bottle of Corona on a digital billboard. Next to the bottle, the copy read “Night or day. Find your beach.” Around the bottle the phases of the moon were shown, and at the top of the bottle the actual moon in crescent shape rested where a cut lime normally would. This iconic imagery was interactive because it relied on the movement of the moon and it also was timely because it could only appear when the moon was at the perfect position to appear in the normal lime placement. This ad is just another example of the creativity and innovation that the new technologies call for.

In the United Kingdom, one of the most highly regarded digital billboard campaigns comes from British Airways for their “Look Up” campaign. In 2013, British Airways placed ads in Piccadilly Circus as well as Chiswick that truly interacted with their environment. These ads included a small child that would stand up and point to an actual British Airways plane as it landed or took off. Using “surveillance technology” to keep track of the flights, the copy next to the child would then read something about the flight such as, “Look, it’s flight BA475 from Barcelona.” Next, the child would “follow” the plane off the screen, and new copy would appear that read “More flights to more destinations.” Finally, it would lead to a link for viewers to go to “ba.com/lookup.” Additionally, the copy could read information about the next departing flights to Barcelona, or even price information for that destination (Miller).

The “Look Up” campaign was orchestrated by Ogilvy 12th Floor, an integrated marketing agency in the UK. One of their objectives with this campaign was to raise the level of engagement with customers and potential customers through their advertising. They decided to create the ads in such a way to “remind customers how magical flying can be, from the perspective of children” (Macleod). British Airways’ head of marketing Abigail Comber said:

This is a first, not just for British Airways but for UK advertising. We all know from        conversations with friends and family that we wonder where the planes are going and           dream of an amazing holiday or warm destination. The clever technology allows this          advert to engage people there and then and answer that question for them. (Macleod)

Because they chose such an interactive and interesting way to show information about their flights, British Airways was able to create an interesting interactive experience for the consumer. They did not simply make print ads or fliers to hand out, they gave them an experience that the consumer is much more likely to remember.

Interactive advertising is becoming more and more important in the digital age we live in. It will become more commonplace to see these types of interactive billboards because the technology is becoming easier and easier to use, which means it will cost less and more advertisers will choose to create an interactive experience rather than just create a print advertisement. With this trend, advertisers will now have to be more creative and innovative than ever, which is something to be on the look-out for in the coming years.

                                                                       Work Cited
“About Fepe.” About FEPE International. FEPE International, n.d. Web. 09 Apr. 2014.
“The History of FEPE.” The History of FEPE. FEPE International, 2011. Web. 09 Apr. 2014.
Jackson, Stan. “Technology  .” Business Review Europe. WDM Group, 7 Aug. 2012. Web. 09     Apr. 2014.
Macleod, Ishbel. “British Airways Unveils Digital Billboards to Remind Customers How             Magical Flying Can Be.” The Drum. Carnyx Group Ltd, 19 Nov. 2013. Web. 10 Apr. 2014.
Miller, Jennifer. “These Interactive British Airways Billboards “Point” To Planes Flying Over In             Real Time | Co.Create | Creativity + Culture + Commerce.” Co.Create. Fast Company &     Inc, n.d. Web. 09 Apr. 2014.
Taylor, C. R., and W. Chang. “The History of Outdoor Advertising Regulation in the United        States.” Journal of Macromarketing 15.1 (1995): 47-59. Print.

The Rise of the Sun

Nathan Keenan

             Imagine you are waiting at a checkout line at a convenience store. While you wait in line, your eyes are browsing around and chances are you will notice something. What you might notice is a newspaper among the magazines with a headline in bold font that reads anything from ‘Baby with six legs born’ to ‘The President is a time traveling zombie’. This genre of newspaper is called tabloid. Tabloids are notorious for the attention grabbing headlines to interest someone into purchasing their paper rather than priding on giving solid content to drive people to purchase their newspaper. One of the most popular European tabloids is The Sun.

The Sun is the prime tabloid newspaper published by the News Group Newspapers, a division of News UK, an owned subsidiary of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. Rupert Murdoch’s net worth is 14.3 Billion dollars, he owns Twentieth Century Fox as well as over 15 Sports networks and publishes over 150 Newspapers (Rupert Murdoch & Family). Included in his media portfolio is England’s top outlet: The Sun. The Sun has been very controversial at times even up to current day. Aside from acting as a tabloid The Sun does cover real news stories that focus in the United Kingdom area. The stories in The Sun range from celebrity, sports, to politics.  The Sun is the most popular Sunday paper, beating the Daily Mail tabloid whose readership is just under two-thousand in the United Kingdom and according to the News.UK article “The Sun is the UK’s most successful and best loved newspaper, read by more than seven million readers in the UK every day” (News UK). The Sun newspaper is one of the most relevant papers in the United Kingdom and is one owned by Rupert Murdoch. The Sun has laid foundations for many American tabloids such as The National Enquirer.

            The Sun started publishing in 1964 by International Publishing Corporation, or IPC. After reaching an audience but not making much of a profit, in 1969 Rupert Murdoch purchased The Sun and ran its publishing. The kind of material that The Sun originally published was the appeal towards the social and political radicals in the UK. At the time The Sun’s biggest rival was another tabloid The Daily Mirror. The Sun started to mimic its rival by using the same layout of the front page and font type. Without paying close attention, seeing The Sun next to an issue of The Daily Mirror, one would think they were the same tabloid. One thing The Sun did to stand apart from the majority of tabloids around the world was “Page Three Girls”, started in the 1970’s. Listed on page three are photos of topless women. This is not illegal in the United Kingdom due to their censorship laws that allow this form of nudity in their media that differ from America. This is mostly to target their male audience readership. As of March 2013, there were over six million men reading The Sun while just under four million women reading it. The Sun holds a yearly page three modeling contest where they show case upcoming glamor models and offer the winner of the contest a modeling contract. However many have been taking action against page three in attempt to get the topless photos removed.

Page three has united feminists groups over the world calling out The Sun saying the images are objectifying women and harmful to society calling it softcore pornography. Groups have risen such as No More Page 3 and have actively tried to gain public interest and support against the page. There has been many unsuccessful attempts at taking down page , such as in 1986 when  Clare Shor introduce a House of Commons bill trying to ban topless models from British newspapers. The Sun called “killjoy Clare.” And when she renewed her campaign in 2004, the Sun photo-shopped her face on a Page 3 girl and labeled her as”fat and jealous.”. The Sun recently has changed their attitude towards the page 3 models. In late 2013 Rupert Murdock tweeted  “page three so last century! You maybe right, don’t know but considering. Perhaps halfway house with glamorous fashionistas.” (Quinn, Ben). Murdock’s tweets are analyzed heavily in an attempt to see where the corporate giant might be planning next, and many believe that his tweet shows there will be change in the future with page three turning towards fashion models.  Surprisingly though page three is not the most notorious event in The Sun’s history.

The Hillsborough disaster occurred on 15th  of April 1989 during a soccer match in Hillsborough Stadium Sheffield, England between Liverpool and  Nottingham Forest. The bleachers collapsed and killed 96 people. The following morning The Sun headlines ran false details of the events in an attempt to capitalize and make sales due to the disaster. Once people realized the stories published in The Sun were false, outrage and full boycott of the paper in Liverpool occurred. The editor of the Sun was removed and this was the only time someone has publicly apologized for content that was published within The Sun.

Though no American tabloid has surrounded itself in as much controversy as The Sun, we can see the same style of journalism in our tabloid media as people experience in The United Kingdom. The most comparable form of media in America to The Sun would be The National Enquirer. While The Sun has never had a clear mission statement, the mission statement of The National Enquirer reads “reports the unvarnished stories about celebrities: their antics, celebrations, loves, mishaps. Also included in the editorial mix are high profile stories regarding current criminal investigations, human interest and health. No matter what is reported, National Enquirer readers are first to know!” (National Enquirer). In 2005 when The National Enquirer’s readership fell below one million, they brought in Paul Field, a former executive at The Sun, to be a head editor. The National Enquirer is a popular tabloid known for its far-fetched stories rather than its hard-hitting news. Though the Sun is more news worthy, the headlines and the format layout with both of these tabloids are very similar.

The Sun overall provides services as an entertainment news to its reading audience rather than hard hitting news. Despite being poorly received in the Liverpool area, The Sun is one of the highest selling papers in The United Kingdom and has Irish and Scottish Editions.  The role it seems to serve in the current media is entertainment value. Though it was created with political activism in mind, it now serves a purpose as an entertainment and political tabloid.

                                                                             Work Cited
“National Enquirer.” Home. American Media INC, n.d. Web. 14 Mar. 2014.
“News UK.” News UK. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Feb. 2014.
Quinn, Ben. “Rupert Murdoch Hints at Ending Page 3.” The Guardian. Guardian News     and Media, 11 Feb. 2013. Web. 20 Feb. 2014.
“Rupert Murdoch & Family.” Forbes. Forbes Magazine, n.d. Web. 19 Feb. 2014.
“The Sun.” Media UK. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Feb. 2014.

 

EMI Music

Samantha Crowe

Electrical and Musical Industries, or more popularly known EMI Music, is a predominant music publisher and record label in London, England. They were not formed till the early 1800s after they merged with the Columbia Gramophone Company, an American company who was making a mark in the music industry (“EMI Music History”). Together they produced artists but it wasn’t helping the music industry in the United Kingdom. So EMI parted ways with their US counterpart in order to form a voice for music in England. Since that day, EMI Records has been a crucial instrument in Beatlemania, the introduction to grunge and continuously renewing their business model in order to maintain their popularity and status.

It is astonishing that all record labels in the United Kingdom had turned The Beatles down. Even EMI turned The Beatles away until Brian Epstein presented them to Parlophone Records. Parlophone Records was “acquired by EMI in the 1960s” and became a subsidiary to the label (“EMI Music History”).  George Marin, manager, was intrigued by the band and signed them to the label. Pop music had been slowly growing in the United Kingdom and climaxed in the 1960s. EMI continued to build more partnerships with UK labels as well as reaching out to overseas. As a result of this deal, the Beatles were able to record their first single “Love Me Do” which “reached only number 17 in the UK charts” (EMI Music History). While this was breaking records in the United Kingdom, it was barely making noise in the United States. According to an article on the breakout of America on the Beatles, EMI attempted to push The Beatles to their partner, Capitol Records. However it was not until “the release of ‘I Want to Hold Your Hand’ in December 1963” that Capitol records “decided to take a chance and release The Beatles music “(Grant). Once EMI Records had faith in the Beatles, they promoted them until they Beatlemania came to America.

It was not until the 1970s when EMI turned to punk-rock, which became a rocky start with the infamous Sex Pistols. The Sex Pistols are a well-known punk-rock band from the 1970s, who are known for their raunchy behavior in public. EMI Music dropped the band because of this behavior. The record label released a statement declaring, “EMI feels it is unable to promote this group’s records in view of the adverse publicity generated over the past two months” (“1977: EMI fires Sex Pistols”).  The record label was not a fan of the behavior presented on stage. This left the band confused since they had only been 90-days into a two-year contract. However, this statement caused a series of events that launched the Sex Pistols’ careers. They released an album called “Never Mind the Bollocks, Here’s the Sex Pistols” followed by a song titled “E.M.I” which alludes to being dropped. The song quotes “they only did it ‘cos of fame, I can’t stand those useless fools” which obviously projected their emotions towards being dropped (Sex Pistols). This message was released to fans. However, shortly after EMI dropped them, they “had joined Virgin Records and sold 150,000 copies of God Save the Queen in one day” (“1977: EMI fires Sex Pistols”). The incident made a footprint on the Sex Pistols’ history.

EMI Music’s business partner and United States counterpart is Capitol Records in Hollywood.  They worked as an US agent to present United Kingdom artists into the American market. The Americans and Europeans “launched its’ own British Invasion of America” (“Sale of EMI”). To this day, Capitol Records and EMI Music brought The Beatles, Elton John and the Iron Maiden to America. The two companies together would announce in the new millennium “that its urban unit would work with EMI Records in order to refocus on rock, alternative and pop artists” (“Capitol Records, Inc”).  They dealt with new media outlets and worked with new ways to market to their target audience. Together they have produced and published artists such as Arctic Monkeys, The Beatles, and Coldplay. As two separate companies, Capitol Records works with EMI Music in order to ensure the best possible outcome for EMI.

It has been three years since EMI Music was acquired by one of the giants in the music industry: Universal Music Group. It has been a long process for EMI to make the proper adjustments even though the public viewed this as a loss (“The Sales of EMI”). Since EMI Music was sold to Universal Music Group that means Capitol Records, Parlophone Records, and any other labels under EMI’s subsidiary. According to Economists, EMI was once considered one of the top four record labels to sell artists’ albums (“The Sales of EMI”). As a result of their actions, Britain mourns “the loss of EMI” since it was a “largely symbolic blow to British music” (“Sale of EMI”). EMI is no longer as big of a company as it once was. According to government figures “Britons spend more per head on music-related products than any other nation” (“Sales of EMI”). This leaves fans and music-lovers confused on why the record label did the trade. With this acquisition of the company, “EMI is a business solely focused on music” and their artists “are world class as we continue to be leader” (“EMI Music”). The music industry is eager to see what this acquisition of the EMI will bring.

EMI Music had control on the music industry in the United Kingdom and United States. However, they are now a subsidiary for Universal Music Group. It will be interesting to see how the company preforms from now on. From this point on, UMG will continue to grow EMI and, hopefully, generate more traction for both businesses.

 Works Cited
“Capitol Records, Inc.” International Directory of Company Histories. Ed. Tina Grant.
Vol. 90. Detroit: St. James Press, 2008. Business Insights: Global. Web. 20 Feb. 2014.
“EMI Music History.” EMI Records. EMI Group Limited, 2013. Web. 19 Feb. 2014.       <http://www.emimusic.com/about/history/>.
Grant, James. “Beatlemania: 50 Years since The Beatles Landed in the United States.”       News Sentinel. N.p., 6 Feb. 2014. Web. 19 Feb. 2014. <http://www.news-    sentinel.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20140117/ENT/140119679/1009>.
“The Sale of EMI: Revenge of the Sex Pistols.” Editorial. The Economist. The Economist Newspaper, 19 Nov. 2011. Web. 20 Feb. 2014.             <http://www.economist.com/node/21538751>.
Sex Pistols. “EMI Lyrics.” Lyric Freaks. Lyricfreaks, 27 Oct. 1977. Web. 20 Feb. 2014.   <http://www.lyricsfreak.com/s/sex%2Bpistols/emi_10214104.html>.
“1977: EMI Fires the Sex Pistols.” BBC News. BBC, 01 June 1977. Web. 20 Feb. 2014.            <http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/dates/stories/january/6/newsid_2476000/247              6723.stm>.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Q Magazine: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

Samantha Lynn

 

Since 1986, Q Magazine has been keeping music fans of the United Kingdom updated on everything happening in the international popular music scene from new releases to the biggest bands touring.  It all began with founders Mark Ellen and David Epworth, whose goal was to publish a music magazine aimed at a demographic that wasn’t just teenagers. The publication is known for their excellence in photography and printing as well as the many promotional CDs included with the purchase of each issue. (Qthemusic.com) Q Magazine releases monthly issues and is published by Bauer Media Group, one of Europe’s leading media companies which is based in Hamburg, Germany. (Bauer Media Group)

Before being sold to Bauer by Emap in 2008, the magazine was very much focused on the types of music they covered and the promotional giveaways that were a big part of their draw to music fans. According to Music Week, Q Magazine worked to revamp their image in 2006 following a decline in sales and drastically reduced the amount of CDs they circulated in order to focus more on editorial content such as interviews and articles. (Cardew) While the company experienced a large drop in sales during the first half of 2007, their circulation grew for the second half of the year to officially make them the biggest music magazine in the U.K. (Cardew)

The revamping of the magazine continued after the purchase by Bauer. The changes made included a lesser amount of text, a continued decrease in promotional gifts, and a focus on things not directly music driven such as gadget “must-have” lists. (Leahul) While these changes have been criticized by some readers who believe that Q Magazine is losing the unique edge it once had, executives of the publication believed it to be necessary in order to keep the magazine thriving. Q also tried to exercise cross-promotion in 2008 with the launch of Q Radio: an online, DAB, and DTV station focusing on a large spectrum of musical tastes. The station closed in May of 2013 after Bauer launched two other Kiss radio stations. (McCabe)

Q Magazine is largely circulated all over the United Kingdom. 58,980 copies were circulated during the first half of 2013 and readership was at 277,000 the year previously. (Bauer Media Group) It is also distributed in the United States by certain bookstores and independents and in Australia by Gordon & Gotch. (Qthemusic.com) Readers of the magazine are reportedly about 68% male, 32% female, and over two-thirds are in the 15-24 age range. (Bauer Media Group)

With an active website and social media efforts, Q Magazine has also expanded into other facets of the industry. The company welcomed 329,000 unique users to their website in 2013 and also offers their publication in digital format. Because of Q Magazine’s focus on music, they are not known for having much of a political affiliation towards any party in particular. Comparably, a lot of popular entertainment magazines in the U.K. and the U.S. do have some sort of political leaning.

Although the stories, features, and promotions may be different, the operations of Q Magazine do not differ much from those of its U.S. counterparts such as Rolling Stone. In recent years, Q has shifted a lot of attention to social media and other online features, which is prevalent to most publications in the U.S. and other developed countries. Expansions into different platforms are important to Q in order to stay culturally relevant in the country. One of the most successful of these platforms is the Q Awards, which have taken place every fall since 1999. It is one of the biggest British music awards shows and has been hosted at many historical music spots across the U. K. such as Abbey Road Studios. The Q Awards welcome performances from the biggest and most popular acts in the world, but are also known for their many lifetime achievement recognitions.

The most significant U.S. counterpart to Q Magazine is Rolling Stone. Both of these magazines serve as a unique voice for their respective countries and offer up a variety of content that doesn’t always directly relate to music. Since Q Magazine was revamped in 2008, it has received a lot of criticism for being too much like Rolling Stone. However, due to the success and relevance of Rolling Stone, this may or may not have been a coincidence. Both Q Magazine and RS are two of the top tier music publications in their respective countries and offer a unique voice to their demographics.

Q Magazine’s content consists of reviews of music, concerts, radio, TV, and films, as well as other monthly features.  If an artist receives a high rating for their album by Q, it is often used to help promote the album when being sold in the U.K. Many of the magazine’s cover features concern various countdown lists, such as the “100 Greatest Albums of All Time” or March 2014’s “120 Greatest Stories in Rock ‘n Roll.” Although Rolling Stone similarly offers features like this, they are often in special editions of the magazine or are featured in the midst of more focused content. This reiterates the point that RS puts more news-based features in their weekly issues than Q does, including articles focused on topics from politics to new album releases.

The publication’s biggest social media efforts are on Facebook and Twitter. Their Facebook page has over 53,000 likes and their Twitter has over 92,000 followers. Features on these platforms include Who? What? Why Where? When?, which features stories from a different artist every week, Track of the Day, and new playlists that are posted on their website periodically.

Q Magazine has not been immune to the suffering in recent years by print publications due to the influx of digital content. However, their commitment to innovation has proven that they are an important part of British music culture and have every intention of remaining that way. Although circulation for the magazine has fallen over the past decade, so has that of its competitors. It remains today one of the premier music magazines in the United Kingdom. Q Magazine will hopefully continue to offer readers all they need to know about their favorite artists and entertainment news for years to come.

Bibliography
 Bauer Media Magazines. (2014). Q. Retrieved February 12, 2014, from
            http://magazines.bauermediaadvertising.com/magazines/detail/Q
 Cardew, B. (2008). Q magazine bouyant in ABCs despite adopting anti-covermount
            stance. Music Week, (8), 4-5. Company. (2014). Bauer Media Group. Retrieved March 04,                 2014, from https://www.bauermedia.com/en/unternehmen/
Leahul, D. (2008, September 26). Q Magazine looks beyond music in revamp. Magazine Looks beyond Music in Revamp. Retrieved March 4, 2014, from http://www.brandrepublic.com/news/849294/Q-Magazine-looks-beyond-music-revamp/
McCabe, M. (2013, January 5). Bauer Media to launch sister Kiss digital stations and close Q radio. Media News & Media Jobs. Retrieved March 4, 2014, from http://www.mediaweek.co.uk/article/1180882/bauer-media-launch-sister-kiss-digital-stations-close-q-radio
Q Magazine | Facebook. (n.d.). Facebook. Retrieved February 15, 2014, from  https://www.facebook.com/QMagazine
Q Magazine | Twitter. (n.d.). Facebook. Retrieved February 15, 2014, from
           https://twitter.com/QMagazine 
QTheMusic.com. (n.d.). Q RSS. Retrieved February 15, 2014, from
            http://www.qthemusic.com/

 

BBC News: History Brief of the International Media Network

Tyrone Smith

Founded nearly a century ago in 1922, the British Broadcast Corporation also known as the BBC has become a major media outlet in Britain and around the world. Specifically BBC News is the leading broadcast news operation in the world, with more than 2,000 journalists. Before being broadcasted on television the BBC was known for their radio news where many British people turned for newsworthy events such as sports coverage, world and local news. Although BBC is headquartered in central London it’s known internationally reaching more than 260 million viewers worldwide. BBC News’ unbiased coverage, history of impartial journalism, and constant improvement has helped made the company one the largest, most prestigious and well-respected broadcasting news operations in the world.

The coronation of Queen Elizabeth II was a major event that helped launched BBC News’ in the 1950’s.  During World War II BBC radio was the most frequently consulted source for news and updates. British people wanted to know about significant happenings around the world and airing the coverage on BBC News’ on television helped made that happen.  BBC News would continue to cover events all around the world growing and attracting and larger audience outside of Britain. By this the BBC is aiming toward their vision to be the most creative organization in the world. According to BBC News’ website the company has more than 40 international offices, seven which are in the United Kingdom.

One of BBC News’ popular programs is “BBC News at Six”which first aired in September of 1984. Previously titled “The Six O’clock” News the 30 minutes newscast attracted on average 5.3 million viewers nightly in 2004, which is equivalent to the population of Colorado. Since then “BBC News at Ten” has taken the leading spot in viewers. On May 23, 1988, the night before section 28 became a law (an amendment against intentional promotion of homosexuality in schools), The Six O’clock News studio was invaded by a group of women during a live broadcast. One of the women managed to handcuff herself to a camera which was filming the broadcast, making a lot of noise in the background. BBC handled this situation professionally by continuing the broadcast and calling the police escorting the women out. The women possibly chose the BBC News studio because they knew that they would be noticed. Sue Lawley the news anchor later apologized for the noise and explained to the viewers that the studio was invaded and the women would be removed shortly. BBC News covered this controversial act in a later broadcast of The 9 o’clock news in which Tony Hall, Editor of News and Current Affairs, was interviewed and addressed the issue.

BBC News is constantly emerging to a broader audience. The British recorded news corporation is broadcasted in the United States on some premium cable networks. Some Americans prefer BBC News to American news companies like Fox News, CNN, and NBC because of their fair and accurate journalism.  Fox News claims that they are fair and balanced but many disagree and think that the company is conservative according to an article titled “Fox News all day: Hard, and conservative” published by the Washington Post.  According to Neil Thurman author The globalization of journalism online the BBC attracts greater numbers of American users than such important domestic US news outlets as Fox News, the Wall Street Journal and USA Today. BBC World News which is headquartered in Washington D.C. is a reason why the British company has attracted many United States citizens.

Technology has helped BBC News reached an international status. It was listed as the seventh popular United States reading online new website in April of 2005, while British newspaper The Guardian was listed at number 14. BBC News is transmitted to audiences on an increasingly diverse range of platforms including tablet and mobile phones. Social media has also contributed to BBC News’ success as one of the largest media outlets online. On Twitter BBC has multiple accounts reaching to different audience’s based on what type of news their followers wants to here such as sports, breaking news, and world news. Their main Twitter account (@BBCNews) has over 2.4 million followers from all around the world. BBC’s breaking news Twitter account has the largest amount of followers with 8.8 million followers. They share photos and links allowing their followers to see visuals of breaking news if on their mobile devices if they are not near a television. According to Journalism.co.uk. BBC News shares six to eight post on Facebook a day, three or four on Google+ and, post 200-300 tweets over the course of a week. They also post frequently on their YouTube account short videos of news highlights. The consistency of these social media accounts has tremendously benefited BBC News’ audience by instantly sharing breaking news.

The history and success of British Broadcast Corporation has allowed the company to grow and become an international household name. The effort from their non-biased and accurate journalists has attracted a wider audience. BBC News serves their audiences as promised reporting factual news, this has permitted BBC News to be leading broadcast news operation in the world. Not only in the United Kingdom but many Americans turn to BBC News to hear about major events going on in the world in contrast to US news outlets. Because of this it has made BBC News’ the largest news operations in the world.

Works Cited
Thurman, N. (2007) ‘The Globalization of Journalism Worldwide: A Transatlantic
Study of News Websites and their International Readers’, Journalism 8(3):
285–307.
Bicket, Douglas and Melissa Wall. “BBC News In The United States: A ‘Super-Alternative’ News Medium Emerges.” Media, Culture & Society 31.3 (2009): 365-384. Communication & Mass Media Complete.
“Leabians Invade the Six O’Clock News BBC Report.” YouTube. YouTube, 28 Mar. 2007. Web. 17 Feb. 2014. <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O6xxMSc0-DM>.
Marshall, Sarah. “10 Lessons as BBC News Hits Social Media Milestones.” Journalism.co.uk. N.p., 22 Nov. 2013. Web. 15 Feb. 2014. <http://www.journalism.co.uk/news/10-lessons-as-bbc-news-hits-social-media-milestones/s2/a555195/>.
“Shall Not Intentionally Promote Homosexuality or Publish Material with the Intention of Promoting Homosexuality” “Encyclopedia: Section 28.” NationMaster.com. NationMaster, n.d. Web. 15 Feb. 2014. <http://www.nationmaster.com/encyclopedia/Section-28>.
Wemple, Erik. “Fox News All Day: Hard, and Conservative.” Washington Post. N.p., 23 Mar. 2013. Web. 18 Apr. 2014.
“19 March 2014Last Updated at 18:25 ET.” BBC News. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Mar. 2014.

 

Daily Mail UK

Holly Tonini

Since the beginning of newspapers, publishers have used various tactics to generate readership over competitor publications. Before newspapers and the printed word, tales of news were told by word of mouth. In both cases, the better, more ear-catching story would be the one to “catch fire,” to spread among the population of the small village all the way up to the entire world. These tales, especially those of spoken word and in early publications, were spun in a way that did not always tell the whole truth. Flair and fluff were added to half-truths to catch the ears and eyes of listeners and readers. Since some time, newspapers and now broadcast stations (both radio and television), have all mostly strived to stick with fair and truthful news, or so they say. That isn’t to say that they still don’t use tactics like bold headlines and shout-like phrases to grab attention. One newspaper and now an online publication, The Daily Mail, based out of London, England, still uses a very old-style, attention grabbing way to tell the news.

Living in the United States it is hard to assess what a printed copy of the Daily Mail like on its pages. A Google search of front page images shows that it indeed has a tabloid look and feel to it. The name header is crunched at the top to make way for highly bold and sometimes colorful headlines. A large image, usually relating to the headline is splashed somewhere on the page, leaving just enough room for a brief few paragraphs that usually are only seen on regular newspapers in the United States and not on the tabloids. Upon visiting the web version of the paper, The Mail Online, one also gets the same feel as the newspaper. Pictures take up most of the page with bold, big-lettered headlines that describe the images. News on the Mail Online ranges from everyday people, to celebrities and from local London stories to stories around the world.

The Daily Mail’s headlines have been attention grabbers all over the world. The website has a page that lists the popularity of the stories but it only allows one to search for the most recent 30 days. In the past 30 days, one headline reads, “I’m a stay-at-home mother but childcare is SO boring I’ve hired a nanny (Daily Mail).” The story is about a mother, Esther Walker. There are pictures of Esther with her children to accompany the children. A quick search though shows that Esther has written other shocking stories for the Daily Mail. This might mean that the story has very little or no truth and was written just to get a reaction.

Other stories in the paper and on the site go along with concurrent news that was published in or broadcasted on reputable media. The latest sports headline out of the Olympics seems so normal and out of place almost compared to that mentioned above. “Bronze for GB! Muirhead’s girls can’t hold back tears after winning curling medal,reads across the top of the sports page on the Mail Online. The images use come from wire services like the AP and Getty images and the writing is one that while somewhat informal, can go along with any sports news story of the day. It has more emotion in it than maybe on that would be written by a stats-type sports reporter. And that is what the Daily Mail and all of its subsidies are about: evoking emotion.

The Daily Mail, published out of Northcliffe House on Derry Street in London by Associated Newspapers Ltd and is owned by the Daily Mail and General Trust (DMGT), a public trading company (Daily Mail & DMGT). Currently the newspaper is edited by Paul Dacre. Dacre has been the editor of the Daily Mail since 1992 and also the editor-in-chief of DMGT (Morrison). In October 2013, The BBC published an article on Mr. Dacre they quote the Guardian, as saying that Mr. Dacre is the most dangerous man in Britain. The government believes that he uses the paper to hound minorities and to savage liberalism in any form. The same article quotes The New Yorker as saying that Mr. Dacre and The Mail are a defender of traditional British Values and the voice of an overlooked majority (Morrison). The Daily Mail and DMGT operate The Daily Mail, The Mail on Sunday, Mail Online and Metro out of Northcliffe House. The Monday through Friday circulation of the Daily Mail in 2013 was 1,594,421 and the readership was a little over 4 million. In July 2013, The Audit Bureau of Circulation confirmed 134 MILLION unique browsers visited the Mail Online Website. That same month, The Guardian only had 84.4 million unique browsers. (Will list source of the circulation data before it is put online, They are listed on my other computer in my power point presentation—I pulled this off of the notes I printed up but didn’t list sources on it)

The Daily Mail began in 1896 by brothers Alfred and Harold Harmsworth to bring an affordable publication and “quality journalism” to the people of London (DMGT). They wanted to bring an affordable publication and “quality journalism” to the people of London. Before they Daily Mail, Alfred believed, and later printed in a pamphlet that ‘journalism was only a few aspects of life. What we did was to extend its purview to life as a whole (Chapman).” The startup cost of the paper was 15 thousand British pounds. The Daily Mail prompted halfpenny newspapers, much like the penny press here in the United States. To make revenue, the newspaper needed a large volume of sales which would attract advertisers to invest. It was called Britain’s first truly national newspaper because it used trains and careful organization to distribute the news to the rest of the country outside of London (Chapman). In 1904, Alfred Harmsworth, later known as Baron Northcliffe because of his contribution to journalism, created a system to certify numbers and fix advertising and thus created the modern structure of the press industry (Chapman 82-83). The reading does not go further into discussion of certifying numbers or fixed advertising but it did explain that it was the creation of what the current business system in the newspaper business is now. In 1905, The Daily Mail became the first British daily to become a public company under the name Associated Newspapers LTD (DMGT). In 1922, the Daily Mail and General Trust was founded to control Associated Newspapers Ltd. Holdings and a decade later made its debut in the London Stock Exchange (DMGT).

Until 1971, the Daily Mail was published as a broadsheet (DMGT). A broadsheet is just as it sounds, a single page of printed text to bring the news. After its 75th birthday in 1971, the Daily Mail became a tabloid in printing style.

Tabloid is a form that those in the United States are familiar. The definition of tabloid on the Merriam-Webster Dictionary website has several entries. First, it is stated as “condensed or compressed into  small scope,” and second “featuring stories of violence, crime, or scandal presented in a sensational manner.” This is consistent with the modern day tabloid. In the United States, tabloids are seen on newsstands in the grocery store checkout line, away from where the real newspapers are usually located. Familiar names are The National Enquirer and The Star in the United States. Headlines are sensational and meant to grab the attention of a person browsing the racks. Something like Alien stole my baby, is both a sensation and attention grabbing. It also is a type of news that many may not believe but enjoy reading for entertainment. In the United States, many tabloids are centered around celebrity gossip.

This is where the conclusion of The Daily Mail comes in. It is a paper of emotion. That is how it started and how it continues to be today. The history of the tabloid and almost yellow journalism style history is fascinating as well. It is a paper that changed the course of business and will probably continue to change the course of business.

                                                                        References
Chapman, J. (2005). Comparative media history: An introduction: 1789 to the present. Cambridge, UK: Polity.
Daily Mail contact us. (n.d.). Daily Mail. Retrieved from http://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/article-1227210/Contact-Us.html
DMGT about us. (n.d.). DMGT. Retrieved from http://www.dmgt.com/about
 Folley, M. (2014, February 20). Bronze for GB! Muirhead’s girls can’t hold back tears after winning curling medal. Mail Online. Retrieved February 20, 2014, from http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/winterolympics/article-2563702/sochi-2014-Bronze-GB-Muirhead-steers-curlers-medal-tense-finale-Swiss.html
 Morisson, A. (2013, October 2). Profile: Paul Dacre, Daily Mail editor. BBC. Retrieved from http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-24366980  
Walker, E. (2014, February 19). I’m a stay-at-home mother but childcare is SO boring I’ve hired a nanny. Mail Online. Retrieved from http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2563361/Im-stay-home-mother-childcare-SO-boring-Ive-hired-nanny.html

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