Turow’s approach to audience construction in advertising can be seen with the idea Digg.com had to generate revenue from their website. Their idea deals with advertising to their own, constructed audience. A program called Digg Ads allows advertisers to submit or sponsor content that has the look and feel of a Digg post. Digg’s chief revenue officer claims that this allows consumers to view ads in the “local language” which will lead to increased attention to these ads.
Digg Ads have the look and feel of regular content, but say, “Sponsored by [Advertiser Name].” Similarly to regular content, users are able to “Digg” (promote) or “Bury” (demote) ads based on their like or dislike for the ad. Through this system, Digg generates feedback that affects the price of the advertisement as well as how often the ad gets shown. The more “Diggs” an ad gets, the less the advertiser has to pay. This promotes advertisers to monitor their audience closely and provide tailored ads to the website. More information about Digg Ads can be found here.
Turow writes how “the digital world marketers and media firms are building consequently has at its core in the belief that success will come from seducing customers to release their personal data in the interest of rewarding relationships with media and marketers.” This is essentially what Digg Ads has accomplished. By disguising their ad space as actual site content, customers are automatically drawn to the sponsored ad. By integrating the ability for a user to “Digg” or “Bury” the ad allows the site to collect valuable data regarding what ads are popular among Digg users. Not only is Digg Ads a pleasant alternative to annoying banner ads, it is the source of 40% of Digg’s revenue.
Here is a link to an entertaining video that turned up on Digg.com this morning. Although it is not apart of Digg Ads, it the video is sponsored by State Farm, similar to the Mega Woosh example. Enjoy.