One of the first things you learn as an earnest student of marketing or advertising is the 4 p's. They are first generation (old school marketing), and exist through a functional, purely tactical perspective. They are inevitably:

(The Marketing Mix, 2005)

With the integration of technology into everyday consumer life, a new marketing era has made its way out of the wings. Diverging from the previously functional perspective, second generation marketing holds a 'customer' view. Marketers of the second generation seek closer customer engagement hoping to uncover unmet needs, facilitate conversation and deliver real customer value (Mootee, 2007).

Cue the mental cringes in your automatic mental reference to telemarketers and other popular devices in the marketer’s toolkit. People are so in tune to these strategies that they may now as well be obsolete. Second generation marketers know this, and so have developed new strategic marketing theory to handle consumers in an 'experience economy'.

Enter the new 4 p's as suggested by innovation strategist Idris Mootee in 2001:

  • Personalisation: customisation of products and services through the internet.
  • Participation: allow consumer to participate in what the brand should stand for, what should be the product directions and even which ads to run.
  • Peer-to-peer: customer networks and communities where advocacy happens.
  • Predictive modeling: neural network algorithms successfully applied in marketing problems.
The new 4 p's are conversation-driven, social network-powered, technology-enabled and information-sensitive (Mootee, 2007).

(Mootee, 2007)

As a student of not only advertising, but of media and communication, I take a special interest in Mootee's notions of 'participation' and 'peer-to-peer' in the new 4 p's model.

'Participation' as Mootee describes is an element inherent to most web 2.0 activities, and resounds in Henry Jenkins’ (2006) notion of a ‘participatory culture’ which describes how media consumers may also become media producers. Citizen journalism sites and many other produsage sites integrate 'participation' in their structures to bring back the democratisation process often found lacking in mainstream news media (Bruns, 2008). In the new 4 p's, 'participation' allows anyone to create and publish their own content. 'Listen and watch' has also spread from specific media companies to anyone with a camera and an internet connection (Mootee, 2007).

Could it be seen then, that advertising in the mainstream media may be classed as having similar incompetence as mainstream news media? Traditional news in this scope is often seen to be bias, so could advertising also be seen to be bias within this context - leaving out important information or perspectives crucial to the purchasing decision? The internet and the new 4 p's in this regard may see advertising undergo a movement similar to citizen journalism and produsage concepts whereby consumers participate in the ad producing process (see Sony for an example of how this is already happening!).

I also find the idea of 'peer-to-peer' in the 4 p's model intriguing because the marketing passes through non-traditional outlets such as online customer networks and communities. This is done in the hope that it will bring consumers into a deeper conversation about a brand (Mootee, 2007). This insights what CEO Kevin Roberts of top advertising agency Saatchi & Saatchi has named 'lovemarks', brands that inspire loyalty beyond reason (Saatchi & Saatchi B, 2008).

Historically, the problem with advertising is that it imposes itself on the consumer e.g. a television ad does not engage the audience. Such a 'passive customer base' may now be replaced by 'active customer communities' where closer engagement happens in those conversations (Mootee, 2007). This in turn may make it more difficult for 'culture jamming' to defame advertising. The consumers would perceive the culture jammers to be poking fun at the consumers themselves, as they also operate with the brand in these active communities.

This can also be said as a result for 'participation', which leads me to think that the old school (i.e. old school marketing) is out. Enter the new school, the new 4 p's and an abundance of savvy marketing. The best I believe, is yet to come.

And we're there again,

Reference List (including links)

Bosman, J. (2006). User-generated content starts to take hold in advertising. Retrieved May 8, 2008, from

Bruns, A. (2008). KCB201 Citizen Journalism: Week 10 Podcast. Retrieved May 8, 2008, from courses&url=/ bin/common/

Culture Jamming. (2008). Retrieved May 8, 2008, from

Jenkins, H. (2006). Convergence culture: When new and old media collide. New York: New York University.

Mootee, I. (2007). Web 2.0 and the Marketing New 4Ps. Retrieved May 8, 2008, from

Outing, S. (2005). The 11 Layers of Citizen Journalism. Retrieved May 8, 2008, from

Pine, J., & Gilmore, J. H. (2003). The Experience Economy. Retrieved May 8, 2008, from From Production to Produsage: Research into User-Led Content Creation. (2007). Retrieved May 8, 2008, from

Saatchi & Saatchi A. (2008) Kevin Roberts. Retrieved May 8, 2008, from

Saatchi & Saatchi B. (2008). Retrieved May 8, 2008, from

The Marketing Mix - Unit 3 - The 4P's of Marketing. (2005) Retrieved May 8, 2008, from unit3/4ps.htm

Every time I log onto Facebook or MySpace, I just presume my information is being used for third-party purposes. Call me cynical, but I just understand that it’s like that quote from Eben Moglen:

"Everybody is connected to everybody else, all data that can be shared will be shared; get used to it" (Saunders, 2008).

Today however, I had a sudden urge to see what my rights were and who my details were going to (I blame my recent run in with the Wilderness Society, their tirade on my rights as a citizen, and my subsequent $15 a month donations).

During my search, I uncovered a piece of news which sparked some particular personal interest. Three announcements by MySpace, Facebook and Google, all within a week of each other, indicated the same trend; the future of online social networking doesn't live within a single entity's boundaries but instead permeates the web (Klaassen, 2008). According to the companies involved, the moves are unrelated, but they all suggest what I and I believe many other web watchers have been expecting; that social media services will spread broadly throughout the web, rather than stay contained within a single service.

…so what’s happening?

MySpace's moves will make user profile data more portable, and allow users to link their MySpace profiles to their profiles on other services, such as Twitter. Updates to a MySpace profile would then be automatically reflected on linked profiles elsewhere on the web (Klaassen, 2008).

Facebook's move appears to be developer-friendly. With the new service, a Facebook user, for example, can easily see on Digg which stories his or her Facebook friends voted up (Klaassen, 2008).

Google's FriendConnect is more of a strategy to add social media enabling widgets to sites. Site owners can add many social tools to their sites. They will also be able to add applications built using the OpenSocial platform. Users can import friends and interact via those applications with friends from other social networks, such as Facebook. The idea is that any site can become an open social container (Klaassen, 2008).

While these moves presented numerous media and communication theory implications, I stopped to consider a marketing perspective. Could, why people participate in online communities, present some untrue data to the third-parties seeking to capitalise on these social network services? Shenton and McNeeley (in Flew, 2005) observed the reasons why people participate in online communities, which included the ability to play with personas. In these online social networking sites, people often have a set of people they know differently associated with each site e.g. work friends to Facebook, school friends to MySpace etc. In a study conducted, it was found that people altered their personality from slightly different to very different across these sites in accordance with their different social circles (Anderson, 2006).

Could this, then, present incorrect personal information and therefore erroneous data to the third-parties? Furthermore, with the advent of these social media services spreading more broadly throughout the web, possibly elevating their status to a more commonly used medium and therefore holding a wealth of consumer information, could marketers come to more heavily rely on the false data?

Upon reflection, I concede my different social network accounts are at least slightly different each time. While I was not comforted by the possible evidence of schizophrenia, I was comforted by the fact that I could have my democratic right to 'stick it to the man' in the form of false data.

Stayin' Sane,

Reference List (including links)

Anderson, C. (2006). People Power: Blogs, user reviews, photo-sharing – the peer production era has arrived. Retrieved April 9, 2008, from (2008). Retrieved May 2, 2008, from (2008). Retrieved May 2, 2008, from home.php

Flew, T. (2005). New media : an introduction. Melbourne: OUP.

Google. (2008). Open Social. Retrieved May 2, 2008, from

Klaassen, A. (2008). Coming Soon: A Web-Wide Social Network? Retrieved May 2, 2008, from (2008). Retrieved May 2, 2008, from

Perez, J.C. (2008). Google Steps Into Data Portability Dance With Friend Connect. Retrieved May 2, 2008, from id,145765-c,google/article.html

Saunders, B. (2008). KCB201 Online Communities: Week 6 Lecture. Retrieved May 2, 2008, from ?tab=courses&url=/bin/common/ (2008). Retrieved May 2, 2008, from

As a lot of people do, I often buy the newspaper. But isn't it amazing how they produce so many, and distribute them over this vast expanse which is Australia. Of course they don't do it by magic, the do it by money. Advertisers pay for much of this and so the big traditional mainstream media outlets, like the companies that provide my cherished newspaper, continue on their cycle of informing the masses.

These mainstream media outlets, however, are said to operate in a corporate interest, editor-deciding-what-news-really-is-news sort of way. Advertising often gets caught up in this atmosphere and is therefore seen as part of the 'commercial' nature. Commercial news, commercial interests, and commercial business. The word commercial in fact is defined as "...prepared, done, or acting with sole or chief emphasis on saleability, profit, or success", and advertising is after all there to generate revenue.

What happens then, when citizen journalism websites are created to repurpose, recontextualise, and reinterpret seemingly integrity lacking mainstream news? The purpose of these outlets are to be non-commercial so they may avoid the supposed corruption of the mainstream news. This surely includes the absence of paid advertising which is inherently commercial in nature.

Can advertising fit into the citizen journalism site model? Who would pay for it? If it was there would it undermine the ideology of citizen journalism sites?

If advertising could not fit in to the model, how would produsage sites meet their running costs, and how would individuals become self-supporting news produsers? Many of these sites, like Dutch website Skoeps, have been forced to shut down after failing to find a sustainable business model without advertising on their site. The owners of PCM Uitgevers and investment company Talpa Media on this said, "...The ambition of the news site was partially successful, but Skoeps did not succeed in developing a financially healthy perspective," even when receiveing 1 000 to 1 500 submissions per month.

But I am not saying that the type of financially healthy perspective which produsage and citizen journalism sites need to incorporate has to include paid advertising. In fact, one site is already successfully sustaining themselves from a the long term economic perspective. The site Helium encourages lots of people to write about the same topic, then gets its community to vote the best piece to the top. If no one likes the piece it doesn't even get published on the site. This way the community nurtures its good authors and ignores its bad. In addition to which, Helium has developed partnerships with various news outlets such that its authors can get paid for what they write and Helium takes a commission. Helium simply controls the phenomenon in open source journalism that 'the cream will rise to the top' through 'the power of eyeballs' (Bruns 2008).

If this model is so effective in giving produsage and citizen journalism sites long term economic viability, where does it leave advertising? It may be that advertising's place in mainstream news media may not correspond on this other platform. With alternative forms of news media gaining popularity with enormous momentum, advertising's place in the future should be questioned. Where it leaves companies seeking to promote their products and services and to what effect should also be questioned. That said, I like buying my newspaper each week, and so do many, many others. It's tangible news and I like that. But that only poses more questions and theoretical considerations... so i digress... and conclude this post.

till then! a*ms

(note: this post is under construction but all my main elements are here)

Much hype is placed around the subject of Web 2.0. While the technological difference between Web 2.0 and 1.0 is almost negligible, it is the changes in the way software developers and previously defined 'end-users' use the web which is notable. Web 2.0 emphasises the facilitation of creativity, information sharing, and collaboration among users. The main difference in Web 2.0 and 1.0 is in the role of the consumer. Where as in Web 1.0 they did exactly that, consumed, Web 2.0 allows the network to be the platform on which users 'add value' (Bruns, 2008). But is that all Web 2.0 is?

“Web 2.0 is the business revolution in the computer industry caused by the move to the internet as platform, and an attempt to understand the rules for success on that new platform” (O’Reilly in Bruns, 2008).

The definition of Web 2.0 is often interchangeable within a marketing context. This may defy the purist ideals of Web 2.0 where people are not merely consumers of a producer’s content; but are rather a ‘produser’, a consumer also involved in the production of content (Bruns, 2008) that is not subject to any ‘deceptive’ marketing ploys prepared in the creation of content. O’Reilly’s definition refers to a business revolution by the move to the internet as a platform. The internet’s original structure by purpose opposes the very concept of a business model, with ‘free’ not only being a reference to the internet’s theoretical notion as a platform without barriers, but also in that the information available on the medium is accessible to people without a monetary cost involved (save the establishment of an internet connection). In a developed society however, business models are difficult to escape from and generally impose their structure as a means of organisation and further development.

So with Web 2.0 heralding a ‘produser’ (Bruns, 2008) driven business revolution, does advertising, a subject often criticized and rejected by consumers, still fit into such a context? The answer, why of course. While there are numerous examples, I will discuss Google’s AdSense. Many Web 2.0 start-ups that make web applications and services available to the public for free, first engage within the realm of social software and networks. While this is an effective distribution channel, it does not necessarily generate large or consistent revenue. While advertising supported content delivery represents an established media business model, Google’s AdSense adapts to a Web 2.0 format and basically copies and pastes HTML which turns up ads on the website.

However, there are emerging problems with Google’s tool. In its strict formula that matches specific advertisements to website text content,
AdSense does not take into account the idea that a certain type of person can be targeted with an ad that may pertain to the person themselves and not just the text of a page. The mindset of the website owners may now be conditioned to see advertisements exactly targeted to the text of a page to such an extent, that if the advertisement becomes user targeted they could think something has gone horribly wrong. This would make it difficult for other forms of advertising such as branding to catch on within the network. On such an opportunistic platform as Web 2.0, it may be seen that Google’s AdSense has limited Google’s scope to expand on this great system.

If treated without reason and market understanding, Web 2.0 may indeed lose some of its revolutionary business aspects and unique sensibilities.

Until then, a*ms

(note: this post is under construction but all my main elements are here)

Web 2.0 encompasses new concepts that facilitate creativity, information sharing, and collaboration among users. The term does not refer to any update of technical specifications, but rather to changes in the way software developers and previously defined 'end-users' use the web. This is different from Web 1.0 in that 1.0 stemmed from an industrial age of content being administered from producers to end consumers.

The main difference is in the role of the consumer. Where as in Web 1.0 they did exactly that, consumed, Web 2.0 allows the network to be the platform on which users 'add value' (O'Reilly, 2004).


Today I developed a philosophy; Facebook is my friend. While that may not be as deep as you anticipated, let me tell you that Facebook provides my with an exuberant amount of opportunities that run as deep as the proverbial rabbit hole. It not only lets me be myself, but also adds to who I am in real life and often reveals parts of my identity I did not know were there.

What got me thinking about this was Axel Bruns’ (2008) statement that, “A potential benefit arising out of Virtual Cultures is the emergence of new forms of personal and physical identity”. While this comment was made in reference to people like me online, I began to wonder if it could to some degree also refer to much more, including brands on the internet. In assessing whether this may be so, I find it pertinent to ask the question: Can brands be active in a virtual culture which generates a new form of individual and physical identity, elevating them to a level above brands only present in the natural world?

So, can a brand be active in a virtual culture? Of course. Firstly, the most outstanding example of a brand being active in a virtual culture is in online brand communities. A normal brand community is a community formed on the basis of attachment to a product or brand. Online, these often develop out of a marketer's use of transmedia planning, when trying to create hype about a brand or product (Oke, 2006). It is the process of constructing a ‘Collective Intelligence’ (Jenkins, 2006) usually over a viral marketing campaign that is described by Jason Oke of major advertising agency Leo Burnett to be like, “I've seen the advertising, you've been to an event, she's tried the product, he's had a good experience, and we all compare notes” (Oke, 2006). With the infusion of the internet into daily life, it has never been simpler for people to relate experiences and compare notes with anyone anywhere in the world.

What is so important about these virtual networks, however, is their ability to allow brands to transcend mere communities and create a more meaningful resonance with the consumer. It is this group collective which is fostering brand loyalty into a new era, but also creating apparent brand obsession. This obsession has had such an effect, that Kevin Roberts, Worldwide CEO of distinguished advertising agency Saatchi & Saatchi, has produced an online portal for his idea of 'lovemarks', brands that inspire loyalty beyond reason. On this website, active and new members of brand communities can do everything from discuss brands they love to nominating brands they believe deserve to be a ‘lovemark’. It is this idea that when online, brand communities allow the brand to become so much more that it may take on a new existence. An if not different, enhanced identity in the Virtual Culture which passes through to the natural world.

But it is not only through sought interaction with brand communities that brands exist in a Virtual Culture. User generated content is a phenomenon gaining increasing acknowledgment and academic study. There are websites and networks such as YouTube or Zooppa, dedicated to users generating their own content. What is significant to note here is how user generated content is being used by companies to create advertising for their products or brands. Take the Sony example, where the person who created their ad was in fact Tyson Ibele, a 19 year old from
Minneapolis. This Participatory Culture places brands on an interaction level closer to consumers than those in the natural world. In turn a new form of brand identity is formed.

Whether these notions of online brand communities and user generated content are elevating brands to a level above others in the natural world may be assessed simply. Online, there is more opportunity for consumers to interact and develop personal brand meaning which gives these brands a new identity in the natural world. When a brand is present in a Virtual Culture, the parent company may tap into the numerous consequent benefits, but do they have control over them? Another question for another time (but for now I recommend you look at Melindamarie’s post on ‘Advertising and Produsage’).

Until then,

Reference List (including links)

Bruns, A. (2008). KCB201 Online Communities: Week 6 Podcast. Retrieved April 17, 2008, from =courses&url=/bin/common/

Yakob, F. (2006). Transmedia Planning. Retrieved April 17, 2008, from

Oke, J. (2006). Transmedia planning & brand communities. Retrieved April 17, 2008, from 2006/10/transmedia_plan.html

Jenkins, H. (2006). Convergence culture: When new and old media collide. New York: New York University.

Wilson, R. (2005). The Six Simple Principles of Viral Marketing. Retrieved April 17, 2008, from

Saatchi & Saatchi. (2008). Retrieved May 17, 2008, from (2008). Retrieved May 17, 2008, from (2008). Retrieved May 17, 2008, from

Bosman, J. (2006). User-generated content starts to take hold in advertising. Retrieved May 17, 2008, from