Advertisement as Part of Entertainment Culture and its Effects on City Culture

Advertisement as Part of Entertainment Culture and its Effects on City Culture

Betul Onay Dogan
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-6190-5.ch028
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One of the implementation areas that advertisements are used in as a part of the entertainment industry is out-of-home channels. Like other industrial branches focused on consumption, the entertainment industry is in pursuit of bigger profits. The scope of the audience that is reached has an impact on the profit. That is why advertising agencies prefer lively urban settings and busy roads for out-of-home advertisement purposes. In this chapter, the relation between entertainment culture and advertisements is examined, and advertisements' impact on the city's spatial communication is explained. In this way, the link between the advertising culture, which is a commercial phenomenon, and the spatial culture of the city, which constructs society, is explored. Certain suggestions about what needs to be done for establishing a healthy relationship between commercial culture and urban culture are developed in the study.
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Advertising is a tool guiding people towards consumption through signs, or in Baudrillard’s (2012) words, consumption is a system of indicators regulated by codes. The aim of advertising is to grasp the target audience’s perception and mold it in a desired way. Different advertising media are deployed for this purpose. Out-of-home advertising channels are one branch of these media, and they are the most common form to be encountered as one walks around in the city. Every one of us sees hundreds of advertisement images in the cities we live in. There is no other image that we encounter so often (Berger, 2010, p. 129). Throughout the history, no other society had to perceive so many things moving so fast.

When William Harvey’s discovery regarding the blood stream in 1628 re-formed the image of body, it also affected the formation of the image of the city, which is related to the former. Urban planners tried to create firstly a place where people could wander around freely and take a breath and later a city consisting of fluid arteries and veins in which people flow healthily like blood cells. Yet these plans have the risk of that body may get isolated and cut free from the place in which it moves (Sennet, 2008, pp. 229–231). This alienation is related not only to spatial but also to cultural norms. Speed, movement and the pile of images that markets the content of entertainment have become one of the consistent features of the city. On social and individual level, both are accepted and there is the desire to form both of them according to the needs.

Along with industrial developments, new products and designs emerge targeting consumption-driven lifestyles. New lifestyles also trigger new consumption spaces such as restaurants, boutiques, art galleries, cafés and bars to become more widespread. These new, consumption-driven lifestyles become integrated with architectural developments, marketing, commercials, and entertainment through intricate strategies. City governments support visual consumption in public spaces and strategic solutions that pay regard to aesthetic criteria. When consumption culture becomes established in the city, the city gets organized as a locus of consumption rather than production (Zukin, 1998, p. 825). New lifestyles’ change and focus on consumption has a general impact on the city. Urban space holds an active position in consumption. The city, supports consumption with diverse settings from shopping malls to museums. Advertisements placed in the city are another means for access to consumption.

According to the data collected during the first six months of 2011 by the media agencies that are members of Turkish Association of Advertising Agencies, investments for open-air advertisements have increased by 5% (Arvak, 2013). According to the data concerning first six months of 2013, the number of open-air advertisements increases by 10%, in accordance with the growth in the advertising sector (Stroer A, 2013). GfK Türkiye, Ströer Kentvizyon’s independent research company, has made an investigation (Stroer B, 2013) including the cities of Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir. Following the completion of each city campaign, a total of 3451 people from ABC socio-economic status groups, whose age varies between 15-50, have been interviewed. According to the first part of the investigation on urban mobility; the participants spent time outside of their houses approximately 6 days per week, and each day they spent approximately 1 hour and 53 minutes outside. The proportion of those who went out 5 days per week was 84%. High-mobility participants (17%) spent 4 hours and 23 minutes outside each day. In order to measure consumer perception, units supported with visuals and explications were shown to participants and they were asked whether they have seen these panels or similar ones. Nine people out of ten responded that they had seen at least one outdoor advertising unit. When advertising campaigns without logos were shown to participants, outdoor advertisements (72%) were the second best-remembered medium following TV commercials (89%). Taking the results of these up-to-date research findings as a point of departure, it can be argued that out-of-home advertisements with different designs are exposed every day to target larger audiences with efficiency.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Out of Home Advertising: Advertisement implementations which are found in crowded urban spaces and which are created to grasp the perception of masses outside their homes.

Advertising: The activity or profession of producing advertisements for commercial products or services.

Leisure Time: Time when one is not working or occupied; free time.

Consumer Culture: A culture in which the buying and selling of goods and services is the most important social and economic activity.

Visual Pollution: Irregular formations, which are mostly found in natural and built environments.

Urban Culture: Focuses on their defining institution, the city, and the lifeways, or cultural forms that grow up within cities.

Urban Aesthetics: The reactions given at the end of a perception process by citizens who perceive the city as a whole.

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