Mass Media and Marketing Today
Before motion picture or books that printed color pictures, people had to see a painting or sculpture in-person to get to experience it. For the art aficionados it was costly to travel exclusively, unless the artists traveled with their works. Some reproductions were available but usually fell short of the true understanding. Like Jon Berger stated in the series Ways of Seeing, “reproductions distort” and can make works of art “ambiguous.” Paintings have a curtain silence and stillness about them that books and film don’t possess.
Original acrylic painting “Untitled” by Shawn Patrick Greene 2022.
Marketing in today’s world needs to be cleverer than ever since there are more outlets of information than ever in our world’s history. Contemporary art needs new vehicles to promote them and the artists. Social media helps to bridge the gap between spectators and the art world. A quick Snapchat photo or video can reach people instantly. Add a filter to it and the meaning, however, can change the viewers perception of the true meaning of the original. Walter Benjamin wrote in Modern Art and Modernism that “even the most perfect reproduction of a work of art is lacking in one element: its presence in time and space [Ch 33 The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction].”
The way we use memes in social media change the way we see and understand the reference and meaning of images used in relation to a post, or what text is on the memes themselves. Some memes are still images of an original work, or a close up of it. Some memes are in Gif format, allowing a series of images to show movement or video images to transform the meaning. Music and sound can change any of these to do the same. In addition, adding extra images, like emojis, can also affect the meanings.
John Durham Peters stated in “Mass Media” in Critical Terms for Media Studies that “word-of-mouth is one of history’s great mass media.” But even he didn’t anticipate where we would go since he wrote that in 2010. In the next 5 to 10 years, a fully developed augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) used by artificial intelligence (AI), will replace the current ways of marketing. An example would be the innovation of Holograms, which can give many marketers an advantage over their competitors to reach their audiences. The new technologies controlled by computers and programmers have changed the marketing game forever.
From my original Facebook post on June 16, 2019