This post is not about Disney vacations , nor is it about how “The genetic lineage of Europe mysteriously transformed about 4,500 years ago“. It is about Media Principles and Advertising on web-sites. I happened upon a news article about research into the genetic history of Europe and recent discoveries related to that research. What caught my eye was the image I have posted above.
Now the image and the ad placement was intended to catch the eye of the viewer. Unfortunately, the content of the ad and the content & context of the image did not go together. What this produced, besides a funny & ironic digital moment, was a classic example of a poorly placed advertisement in a constructed reality to which it did not belong.
One of the Principles of Media is that a message is shaped by the type of mass media used and that the unintended messages can be conveyed based on the codes and conventions of a particular medium. Visual images and short eye-catching slogans & headers can be powerful advertising and marketing tools. However, if you are not in total control of the image that will be placed with your marketing message, then be prepared for your message to be unintentionally modified.
This can be a serious problem for advertisements & marketing messages that are part of online sites, be they blogs, news or entertainment websites. You must know your target audience and the target audience of the website where the advertisement is placed. You must be aware of what images your message is placed near, or, as in this case, attached .
The results may be minor amusement for the viewer or perhaps create an offensive connotation with the advertised product or service. Something to think about, along with whether those missing Europeans all went to Disney World and never came back.
Note: Links to the original news item are provided in the post. Clicking images will take you to image sources or related topic links. For another interesting and amusing example of a message going wrong see “Aren’t You Sorry You Don’t Live in South Carolina? ” , a post by blogger Andra Watkins.