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Communications & Media
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Brand Safety And Media Context In The Digital Era Marketing (Essay Sample)


Ensuring you engage with an academic literature, consider ongoing industry debates about what is being referred to as ‘brand safety’ and the importance of ‘media context’. (This issue broke Spring2017 when well known brands found their ads adjacent to ‘extreme’ and inappropriate media content on Youtube). 


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The cyberspace has become one of the best platforms for advertisers and brands to create a strong presence to meet their strategic goals. It is continually replacing traditional media as the main advertising platform. The online advertising industry has been growing exponentially as the world is continually embracing the power of technology and internet. The main players of the industry are the search engine providers companies like Google and Bing and social media sites such as Facebook, Instagram, twitter, Snapchat among others. Computing technology was incepted few decades ago and it has grown in unprecedented proportions and thus legislations and tools to contain some of its adverse effects have been tailing its progress. It is a gap that has been exploited by extreme groups such as terrorist groups and far right groups such as neo-Nazis and racists among others. These groups are known for spreading socially divisive information about other people. Their bigotry is of astronomical proportions and the public perception of their antics, their products, services and whatever they stand for is negative. These groups have also sought to harness the power of technology to spread their dogma. They have created social media accounts and they use it to propagate their ideologies to the public. The tech giants who own and operate the platforms where these bigots publish their content have a huge challenge tracking and removing their content. They have been investing in developing tools that can automatically flag the content or remove it if it has the hallmarks of extremism. Extremism is a very general area and its scope is elusive at least in the way it can be define explicitly and translated to computing logic for machines to identify and take appropriate steps. Their propaganda content is evolving by day and therefore the tech giants haven’t yet developed algorithms or tools that can keep up with their extremist users. Therefore, advances in technology have posed a huge challenge to the advertisement industry especially in protecting their brands from unwanted target groups and intentional or unintentional association of their brands to unwanted content by tech giants.
This phenomenon has birthed the need for brand safety. According to Callejo, brand safety refers to ‘practices and tools allowing to ensure that an ad will not appear in a context that can damage the advertiser’s brand.’ Advertisers generally like placing their ads in a manner that the rest of the content featured is topically relevant to the content of the ad. This placement which yields better metrics is known as media context. For example, a cruise liner advertisement would not want to be featured next to content which shows shipwrecks. The advertisers would wish such content to be placed alongside content such as how the cruise liners are made or other fascinating facts about the oceans to increase the conversion rate. The negative content featured alongside a brand or product creates and associative link unconsciously in the user/viewer and it can influence their future decisions regarding the brand or product.
Why do the companies want to protect their brand from extremism?
If brand is not protected, it can suffer adversely if it is associated with extremism and far-right ideologies which may be inconsistent with the principles of the company. Sometimes it might be hard to control the phenomenon because it is partly propagated by a neural network. Toyota has been fighting negative publicity because of producing durable, reliable and strong cars which have become vehicles of choice by terror groups all around...

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