Mainstream Media as Amplifier

Mainstream Media as Amplifier

DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-4578-3.ch006
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Abstract

This chapter focuses on mainstream media as amplifier and how viral marketers can have greater social impact. For viral marketers to achieve a greater social impact, the ultimate goal is to have their ideaviruses enter traditional mainstream media – national or regional television networks and influential newspapers, which function as an amplifier for Internet mercenary marketing. A usual pattern is first to launch an ideavirus on the Internet, to make it brew, grow and spread along the social media networks so as to infect whoever is in its path. When it obtains a certain online “reputation,” it is a time to get the mainstream media involved. Once it is covered by the mainstream media, it would intensify the interest on the Internet in searching and sharing the story.
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Introduction

This chapter focuses on mainstream media as amplifier and how viral marketers can have greater social impact. For viral marketers to achieve a greater social impact, the ultimate goal is to have their ideaviruses enter traditional mainstream media – national or regional television networks and influential newspapers. Traditional media function as an amplifier for Internet mercenary marketing. A usual pattern is first to launch an ideavirus on the Internet, to make it brew, grow and spread along the social media networks so as to infect whoever is in its path. When it obtains a certain online “reputation,” it is a time to get the mainstream media involved. Once it is covered by the mainstream media, it would intensify the interest on the Internet in searching and sharing the story. There has rarely been a case which became widely known in society without the involvement of mainstream media. Almost all the famous cases of Internet mercenary marketing that we are familiar with today have benefited from the amplifying effect of mainstream media. It is because the traditional media, despite a reducing influence, still remain prominent in establishing and propagating public agendas in society. It is a well recognized rule in the trade of Internet mercenaries that if a pushing hand ideavirus can not enter the mainstream media, it is a failed case.

There are three major reasons for this ultimate emphasis on the mainstream media in the Internet mercenary strategy. First, the traditional media, particularly television, have the largest reach in society. They have a much higher penetration rate than new media. China has the world’s largest population of traditional media. Its television population reached 1.21 billion, a penetration rate of 93.72%, according to the 5th National TV Audience Survey conducted by the State Statistic Bureau for CCTV. 1 In 2012, this figure was estimated to reach 1.24 billion, 2 almost accounting for 95.7% of the total population. In comparison, by the end of June 2011, the number of Internet users in China reached 485 million, a penetration rate of 36.2%.3 It is evidenced that the size of television audience is nearly three times the size of Internet users. Although viral marketing is a vibrant, creative and low cost method of advertising, the whole Internet market is still not comparable to that of traditional media. By having a pushing hand virus publicized in mainstream media, the reach of the virus is extraordinarily extended.

Second, mainstream media add more credibility and authority to a viral buzz. Audiences still place more trust on traditional media than the Internet media. According to Nielsen’s global trust in advertising survey 2011, the most trustworthy media for product or brand information is “earned media” - recommendations from friends and family members. Viewers’ trust in traditional media, although it has declined considerably, is still higher than on Internet media. The trust rate on newspaper reviews is 58%, television advertising 49%, magazine ads 47%, newspaper ads 46%, radio 42%. Meanwhile, the trust rates on advertising in Internet video and social media are both 36%. The trust on mobile phone advertising is the lowest at 29% (Nielsen, 2012). An Internet buzz becomes more credible and legitimate once it enters the main channels of reputable television networks and print media.

The third reason relates to advertising costs. As mainstream traditional media still command an ultimate influence, it is most desired to have brand information publicized on traditional media. However, advertising on traditional media is very costly. Table 1 indicates some of advertising prices in various types of media.

Table 1.
Advertising prices of various media
Media TypeAd Time/TypeAd Prices (CNY)
TV
National TVAt 19:55 (Prime time theater)165,000/15s
Provincial TVAt 20:19 (Theater)80,000/15s
Local TVAt 19:306,600/15s
At 18:576,000/15s
At 19:302400/20s
Print Media
   Magazines
   (fashion)
1/3 inner page120,000/issue
1st across page780,000/issue
   Newspapers
   (provincial)
Whole page260,000/day
7,800,000/month
93,600,000/year
4*8cm4500/day
140,000/month
1,620,000/year
Radio (city)Live broadcasting65,000/30min
120,000/60min
Business Connection15,000/3min
Prize sponsor2,500/h
Oral reference3,000/30 words
New Media
Portal homepageText link165,000/12h
Top banner360,000/12h/5s
Inside banner360,000/2h
Video window ad260,000/12h/15s
Screen movie ad650,000/h/5s
QQQQ pop-up ad500,000/piece/12h

Source: 2011 overview of media advertising quotations4

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