When marketing context goes wrong ?

One of the problems faced with marketing using the digital text of current Mass Media, is how to effectively place your advertisement. Some marketers try and cheat by placing  advertisement into Social Media comments & links. The dueling Komodo dragons  connection to lady’s clothing seems  surreal and possibly inventive; unfortunately, the context was created by a sneak-placement on the National Geographic Twitter page.

The actual Twitter post was , Photo of the Day – Dueling Komodo dragons, January 30 .

The third comment was from a clothing advertisement for women. There was no attempt to create context with some comment on the photograph.


The consequence is that the viewer must create their own interpretation and association. They may ignore the advertisement or snark about it and perhaps create a ironic context.  There is a risk for the marketer that a comment could go viral and undermine the marketer & the product. Obviously, the marketer hopes that enough viewer will be curious enough to check out the Twitter page. The long shot that a viral reaction to the ad placement, even a negative one, could also potentially bring in a few customers. 

So did this marketing context go wrong or not ? On a superficial level, it may have  created a ridiculous surreal association in the minds of some viewers. If this association is something the viewer conscious of, then chances are that this will, at best, put the product line in a comical context. If the association is more glancing and barely acknowledged, then there is now way of knowing dueling Komodo dragons will encourage to purchase  a lady’s jumpsuit.



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Fashion as Mass Media: Dollar Wears




Colin Meredith’s collection includes track pants made from umbrellas, 3 jackets made from Ziploc bags, beach balls and Dollarama plastic bags respectively, and a pullover made out of face cloths and a hanging shoe rack. CBC News

Montreal-based designer Colin Meredith is finding ways to overcome the cost prohibitive hurdles faced by young fashion designers looking to establish themselves. Meredith’s more recent collection,called Dollar Wears, makes use of only products from the dollar store. The thirteen piece collection includes eight tops/ outerwear pieces, two pairs of pants and three Vans shoes (a sponsor of the project), made by hand from Dollarama (Quebec dollar store chain) products.


Beach Ball Jacket in the Montreal Festival Mode & Design installation display.


Keep in mind that this collection is an art exhibition and that included in the materials are used are Dollarama plastic shopping bags. These bags include the store logo. So, besides demonstrating the Colin Meredith’s creativity and effective recycling of materials, this creative exercise in fashion design also is an example of Mass Media Principles.

Dollarama Bag Jacket


Primarily, this demonstrates how Mass Media consumes other Mass Media, turning it into content. In Merideth’s use of Dollarama products, as an artist he was working with physical materials and repurposing them as clothing. Clothing has both practical use and use as art (cultural expression through fashion) . Clothing functions as Mass Medium, conveying cultural messages about a person’s station in society and about their own individual sense of self.

Racegoers at Warwick Farm Racecourse c1934


Hats & Harlem Pants c. 1910-1915

In Western society, the cultural message conveyed by fashion choices can incorporate logos and brand names, as well as icons from the entertainment industry, sports, and national & regional identifiers.

 Missoni Fashions – Photograph: REX/Shutterstock – The Guardian


The Dollar Wears exhibit alters the message of the original products and creates a new context. It both comments on social prestige that is associated with high fashion branding and logos, and it demonstrates how inexpensive materials can be reused in imaginative ways.


Colin Meredith’s creation of a motorcycle jacket made out of duct tape from Dollarama.

Sources:  Montreal designer uses Dollarama materials to make exclusive clothes – CBC News

Colin Meredith  Website


Constructed Reality & Unintended Messages: Visual Context

Mass Media constructs reality.  Placement of text and visuals  builds associations & context. This in turn conveys messages, both intended and unintended, which contribute to values, beliefs & ideologies.

Links to actual articles:

Trump’s London visit still uncertain after call with May as tensions continue

Some clownfish have no personality, Australian study finds



AIDA-Magazine Covers – What do they have in common ?