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Julianna Cohen

Prof. Rodrick

ENGL 115

29 September 2017

Technology Brings Forth the Face of the Company

When you go on social media, you see the lives of your friends and family, but do you take

the time to look at the 5-second advertisement from Macys or Bloomingdales or any other major

company? Social media has become a new way for companies and businesses to advertise and

connect with their customers and create themselves a positive identity to the public. Companies

have been using social media to make a positive image of themselves into the public but social

media has also allowed the public to realize and state criticism of their negative public

advertisements. Social media allows people to create an identity but the public who views these

identities are the ones who decide if they are truly a positive or a negative one. Corporations and

companies are able to use social media and technology to create their own identity with

customers but contain both the positive and negative sides to them with advertisement and

connection such as with customer interaction, product advertisement, and false-ad advertising on

social media.

Customer interaction is one of the most important ways of keeping business and social media

has allowed companies to expand this interaction. Customers are the voice that can help a

business grow or push it down to the ground. Social media has been seen as instrumental to the

introduction of two-way communication and this has demonstrated capability of engaging

both businesses and their customers, enabling customers to create shared meaning of marketing

messages as intended by businesses and allowing the new generation of derivative marketing
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approaches, such as customer-focused marketing to become a way for customers to become a

prolonged voice to the face of businesses (Zhang and Hsin 673). Businesses use two-way

communication to show their world identity to their customers and allow the customers to

express their voice and opinions back. Zhang is expressing the fact that allowing businesses to

directly hear from their customers is permitting their views and opinions on the identity of

business to them be heard. Businesses start with a blank slate until the opinions of the customers

come into view and transform the reputation that a business has. Zhang also states that it is the

ability and willingness of the users to participate and contribute that enables an interactive

communication and without the customers permission to state their views and have them heard,

there is no interactive communication to be had (Zhang and Hsin 673). Businesses market with

creating an identity that to be seen by the public and hope that consumers are willing to articulate

their assessment of the identity that this business comes across with. Zhang expresses that being

willing is the only way for businesses to get the information and data they need to be able to find

out how to better connect with customers and bring forth the information they need to deliver.

Product advertisement is another way businesses use social media to distribute their platform

and expand the market their business identity is seen from. Businesses have introduced multiple

new ways to expand marketing and bringing their product or service to their customers. One of

the new ways that product advertising is being used is through the use of online social coupons.

Networks like Groupon and LivingSocial have brought networking and shopping together by

allowing people to buy into a group discount which allows businesses to become known as

places of affordability and maintaining connections with others (Kumar and Sundaram 4).

Consumers want to be able to go to places of affordability that still provide a quality service and

try to market these things to consumers by the use of media networks that advertise group
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discounts which help bring forth the affordability viewpoint. Kumar introduces an aspect of

online networking by businesses that is sometimes forgotten or viewed as not as mainstream as

maybe just advertising on social media with common product placement. With businesses

constantly being in the public eye, any way to make their public identity known as a positive one

they will push forward with effort. Networks like Groupon are brought towards businesses to

show consumers a positive aspect and that affordability and discounts is an important part of

their business model. As Kumar also states Goods and services are sold on the basic premise

that a product or a solution has been created by the people for the people who are looking to

solve a specific problem or to fulfill a want or a need and sometimes business lose focus on

advertising that a product fulfills this need for the consumer (Kumar and Sundamar 6).

Businesses, when advertising on social media has become a constant, the focus on selling a

product that fulfills a need is sometimes lost in the focus of flashy images and eye-catching

creations. Businesses need the identity of themselves and their products to be displayed, as

customer-focused and problem-solving and social media is a way to advertise this and have

customers respond their own experiences with the businesses and products.

While social media is allowing businesses to advertise the positive and required consumer

interaction with themselves and products, it also allows for business to use false-advertisement

and harmful advertisement targeting of their products. When businesses advertise products on

any form of media such as social media or television media, the advertisement will always have

some form of intended audience. Technology has allowed for these advertisements to reach a

wider range of audiences and have more precise focus for product advertising, which allows

companies to target audiences with the wrong product. As seen from this video posted on

YouTube, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ahMQwxN9Js, companies have created


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advertisements especially made for kids with the use of flashy images and cartoon-like designs

(Junk Food Ads and Kids). As Sally Dunlop states in her article, Common techniques used to

engage children and adolescents with these unhealthy food and beverage brands when allowing

companies to use harmful product advertising included flash animation, music and games

(Dunlop). As the advancement of technology has continued to grow, advertising companies have

been able to expand the imagery used in commercials, which allows them to reach a wider target

audience. Dunlop is expressing that these images created for the commercials and advertisements

may give companies a positive identity to the target audience, kids, but give themselves a

negative identity to the parents and adults who are able to understand and realize the work of

harmful advertising. Another strong area of harmful advertisement that has maintained steady

over the years is the marketing of tobacco on social media. Dunlop brings forth in her article the

statement that The most researched social media site in the tobacco control field is YouTube,

with many studies describing the prevalence and type of tobacco-related imagery on the site

such displaying the strength businesses will bring forth to transform a harmful product into a

positive identity on social media with uses ranging from product reviews to smoking fetish

imagery (Dunlop). Tobacco companies create a product that is proven harmful and have to use

any form of advertisement like social media to not give themselves, the company, a positive

identity, but the product itself. While companies are using technology to give them easier access

to their customers, the companies use this access to transmit the harmful advertisements and

products to their target demographic. Technology allows manipulation and use of rhetoric to

convince the targeted demographic that there product is safe and a necessity that in truth is a

false identity used to deceive the public.

With the use of technology and social media, identity has been maintained as an important
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and necessary aspect of companies and businesses creating an identity with the customer, which

could maintain positive and negative aspects such as customer interaction, product placement,

and false and harmful advertisement on network platforms. Companies believe that consumer

feedback is necessary in evaluating the effectiveness of advertising and with taking the

comments written by their consumers, they are able to improve how the public views themselves

and their products. Social media is a hub for product placement and allows companies to connect

with a wider range of audience. The connection of companies to customers needs expansion to

improve the growth of the company and how consumers are able to feel that their needs are

being met. While technology and social networks have allowed product advertising, harmful

products and false advertisement have now been able to achieve easier access to its target

audience. Technology is allowing the public face and identity of companies to be shown to wider

audiences but the positive and negative interpretations of that face is the job of the consumer.
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Work Cited

Dunlop, Sally, et al. "Marketing to youth in the digital age: the promotion of unhealthy products

and health promoting behaviors on social media." Media and Communication, vol. 4, no.

3, 2016, p. 35+. Opposing Viewpoints in Context,

libproxy.csun.edu/login?url=http://link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/A459001254/OVIC?u=c

sunorthridge&xid=3dce0a81. Accessed 15 September 2017.

Junk Food Ads and Kids. YouTube, uploaded by Common Sense Media, 11 October 2013,

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ahMQwxN9Js. Accessed 28 September 2017.

Kumar, V. and Bala Sundaram. "An Evolutionary Road Map to Winning with Social Media

Marketing." Marketing Research, vol. 24, no. 2, Summer 2012, pp. 4-7. EBSCOhost,

libproxy.csun.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=buh

&AN=78551319&site=ehost-live. Accessed 15 September 2017.

Zhang, Chrystal B. and Lin Yi Hsin. "Exploring Interactive Communication Using Social

Media." Service Industries Journal, vol. 35, no. 11/12, 15 Aug. 2015, pp. 670-693.

EBSCOhost, doi:10.1080/02642069.2015.1064396. Accessed 15 September 2017.