Audience Experiences of Media Context and Embedded Advertising

A Comparison of Eight Media

Fred Bronner and Peter Neijens
The Amsterdam School of Communications Research (ASCoR), University of Amsterdam

Media placement and media planning decisions are very important in advertising and public information campaigns. According to a study by the Advertising Research Foundation (US), approximately 80-85% of a campaign budget is spent on advertising space in media (Kelley & Juggenheimer 2004, p. 4). Media decisions have been made more difficult by the increasingly complex media environment. During the past two decades, there has been a revolutionary growth in the number of TV channels and radio stations, magazines, newspapers and outdoor media, together with the rise of the internet. The new media situation provides media planners with more options for reaching their target audience, but it also makes their jobs more difficult because consumers react to this media abundance by being selective and paying less attention to messages (Olsthoorn 2003a, 2003b). As Franz (2000, p. 459) has stated, 'The psychological key to coping with the overwhelming variety of media is selectivity. The media choice of the consumer will be more specific than ever before'. Schultz (2002, p. 6) observed that 'consumers . . . live in a world of simultaneous media usage. They watch television while they surf the Net. They listen to the radio while they read the newspaper. They page through a magazine while they download music from the Web'. Franzen (1992, p. 47) stated that media consumers pay only superficial attention to much that is on offer and Van Cuilenburg (1998, p. 23) said that 'We listen with only half an ear. Television is increasingly a moving wallpaper, only looked at with half an eye, while only the newspaper headlines are scanned. In other words, media are consumed less frequently with “mindfulness”'.