Good, Bad, or Scary?

We are all familiar with the internet and, more than likely, all of us use it in some way or another, from our computers, tablets, smart phones, to now even in our cars. In the past couple of years, all the things that connect us via the internet has been given a name – “The Internet of Things (IoT).” IoT is defined as an environment in which objects, animals or people are provided with unique identifiers and the ability to transfer data over a network without requiring human-to-human or human-to-computer interaction. Thus, everything we do is connected in one way or another.

Some interesting facts about IoT include that it started 16 years ago; experts estimate that by 2020, 90% of cars will be connected to the Internet; and by 2018, mobile data traffic will exceed 15 Exabytes—that’s 12.7 million years of online video streaming per month.  Some other interesting statistics are shown below.

2020 graphci

What’s even more interesting to me is that there is only a portion of the tools we currently use that are connected. In the years to come, there is nothing that won’t be connected through the internet.

Because there seems to be no limit to what can be done with information found on the internet, the Internet of Things makes the world an oyster for marketers. Some have a clear vision—to create a world where every object—from jumbo jets to sewing needles—is linked to the Internet.” There are even cities being created that are totally connected to the Internet of Things which will provide marketers with a variety of opportunities to be creative in how they interact and reach out to customers.

I think there are a variety of ethical concerns regarding the Internet of Things. The biggest concern is that having such instant access to people’s privacy and being able to track their every move can open them up to being stalked by companies. As technology plays an increasing role in the lives of people, they lose their ability to be free thinking, uncensored and unwatched by others, much like in the novel “1984.” “There are broader ethical issues to consider. What are the areas wherein such devices would not be appropriate to use? How should the law deal with smart devices if an incorrect decision is acted on by someone? Who or what is responsible?”

I’m not sure about you, but this is a bit scary to me. We have so many rules and regulations already about things in the world we live in, do you think more needs to be developed for the Internet of Things?


Advergaming or Adverblaming?

This week in IMC 619 we’ve been taking a closer look at advergaming. Advergaming is an online video game that promotes a particular brand, product, or marketing message by integrating it into the game. There are a variety of companies utilizing advergaming as a major part of their advertising campaigns. Some of the companies clearly state that the game consumers are about to play is an advertisement while others don’t indicate that fact anywhere in the game.

Advergames photo

That it is not always clear whether the game is an ad or an actual game is interesting. What is even more interesting is that children have become major targets of food companies via advergames. The end result of this type of advertising is the undermining of the fight against juvenile obesity.

Because this tactic has become such a major concern, “the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) is currently able to take action against a company if a game encourages poor nutritional habits, such as excessive consumption or unhealthy lifestyles.” With this in mind, it makes me wonder why a company would even attempt to create something that could potentially be seen as negative. The result of a company being seen as promoting negative eating habits is having its advergaming product banned and turning away parents who care about their children’s health.

The idea that advergaming can have an adverse effect on the market it is targeting leads me to wonder when it is that advergaming becomes adverblaming? Where is the line crossed from one to the other?


Turning Negative Nancy’s into Positive Paula’s

While doing research for this week’s discussion question I came across a couple companies who have had to deal with major faux pas on social media. One occurred on Chrysler’s site when an employee of the social media agency the corporation used posted “I find it ironic that Detroit is known as the #motorcity and yet no one here knows how to f**king drive.” The post was immediately removed with an apology made from Chrysler and the employee was fired.

In my work we have had to deal with some negative comments surrounding an event we were hosting. The same event had been held in a town near ours and was pretty much a disaster. The name of the event was the same but the company that put it on was different. Crowd control was an issue, tickets were oversold, and the end result was a lot of unhappy people and a couple of major injuries. There are three of us in our office who work with events and we spent a good deal of time talking about how we should manage these comments. We went back and forth and finally decided that we would deal with the comments individually. If the comment warranted a response we would make it, if it didn’t we would ignore it. Ultimately we continuously promoted the event with positive information and a connection to the company’s website that we were working with.

Negative comments are one of the downsides of having social media sites. So what does this mean for companies? It means that you have to be proactive, you have to continually watch comments and determine how to respond. Do you respond publicly, privately or not at all? You can create policies about how responses will occur but I think there also has to be some gray areas where you deal with comments individually. Here is some great advice for dealing with negative comments:

  • “Don’t delay – The more time you let them go unanswered, the more time others have to see that someone has complained and you haven’t responded.
  • Be apologetic as appropriate. If someone is complaining about your products, services, or anything else for that matter, say you’re sorry.
  • React publicly first, then take it private. If someone is being particularly difficult, take your communication with them to a private channel.
  • Share your appreciation for their feedback. Treat complaints as constructive criticism or feedback.
  • Ask them how you can help, then help. If the comment you’re dealing is just blatantly offensive and lacks context, tell the commenter you’re sorry and ask them how you can help make the situation better.
  • Pick your battles. There are some people out there who make noise just for the sake of making noise.

negative nancy

When using social media be prepared for the negative Nancy’s out there. They exist and eventually will make a comment that you have to address. Be prepared, be positive and do your best to turn that negative Nancy’s frown upside down!



Ups and Downs

I have been involved with an event that focuses on teaching fifth through tenth graders about manners, respect, and bullying and internet safety. My part in the event is discussing manners and respect for yourself and others. While talking with the participants earlier today, we discussed how cellphones have become the mainstay of their communication with each other. When I asked them why, the response was that they didn’t know how to communicate without using the internet.

This is sad to me, but it is becoming more and more the reality with the younger generation. Their responses led me to think about how emerging media, mainly social media, impacts our relationships. “All the content you create, all the following you build, each of these is designed to create and foster more intimate relationships with people, in some cases, people you might not have met any other way.” Social media allows us to connect with larger groups at people all at once and also allows us to instantly connect with people from all over the world without the charges of long distance calls, etc. This can have a positive or negative effect on users.

The negative aspect of this condition is that it allows us to potentially over-estimate the level of intimacy with others. Reading words instead of hearing someone speaking them can allow us to read things into the messages that aren’t really there. People can be easily be taken in by reading emotion into a conversation that may not actually be there. It may create a feeling of trust that can result in physical, emotional or financial harm.

Another negative of social media is that “you’re more susceptible to the Social Media Contagion Effect.” What does this mean? You will connect with people who are of the same mind as you. For instance, if you are lonely then the people you tend to connect with are also lonely. If you are a person who is typically cynical then your relationships may be with others who have the same personality trait versus having friends who balance those things out in you. These connections may eventually cause you to react in ways you wouldn’t ordinarily, thus the contagion effect.

Another downside to social media is that we have the ability to see other people’s lives on a regular basis and it allows us to compare ourselves with others. This can be both positive and negative. It can help us to realize that our lives aren’t as bad as we may believe, but it also can allow us to feel that we don’t measure up and that our life isn’t anything special.

So, how do we overcome the negatives of social media? “Limit the time you spend on social networks; monitor your own emotions and reactions; take care not to compare yourself too often to others; set goals for your business relationships; [and most importantly] maintain a balance between your online and offline life.”

With new programs and ways of communicating emerging all the time, these are pitfalls we want to make sure we teach to our children to avoid as well as to learn ourselves. Social media can be a positive experience if we create checks and balances for its use.


Chicken Little

Blog Roll

Jennifer Hice –

Patricia Layte-Vidal –

Amanda Renken –

Stephanie Holman –

Laura Mogulich –

Alyssa Neil –

Emily Griffith –

Bridget Jones –

Andrea Joliet –

Kelsey Berg –

Debbie Estep –

Keith Quesenberry –

Sarim Razuiddin –

Yvonne Unubun –

Mariana DeLuca –

Kimberly Webber –

IMC Homepage –

To Care of Not to Care, That is the Real Question

Since beginning this class I have been wondering why, as a consumer, should I care about emerging media. As a marketer, it is obvious that I need to keep up to date on emerging media so that I know what the best avenues are for me to reach my target market. Without that information I may miss an opportunity to connect that may have a major impact on my business.

As a consumer, however, do I really care what the latest and greatest media options are? I think the answer is yes. “Emerging media is all around you. You use emerging media every day when you reconnect with friends on Facebook, whip out your smartphone to read the morning traffic update on Twitter, shop for shoes on your tablet, and search for a local restaurant in your area. While you have your own routines and favorite media to visit, it’s important to know how others use these media as well and how you are being marketed to via these channels.”

I use Myspace, although infrequently. It wasn’t very long after I established my MySpace account that I started hearing about Facebook and I soon became interested in that medium. I continue to use Facebook because it is used by a majority of the people I want to keep in touch with. What I’m finding, however, is that to keep in touch with all of the people I want to, I need to start using other medium such as Instagram and Snapchat. If I failed to pay attention to what’s out there and what’s being used by those in my circle, I wouldn’t have a clue what these two forms of media are.

I really enjoyed the photos below about people using Snapchat. I can’t even imagine my parents using it!

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