Control Freaks: How User-Generated Content is Managed in Advertising Campaigns. The Romanian Perspective
AbstractThe advent of Web 2.0 has brought about a paradigm shift in communication: from an informational Web to an editable one. Consequently, the “one-to-many” communication model of the mass media industry has been replaced by one that involves “many-to-many”. Web 2.0 enables those who were formerly conceptualized as audiences/consumers to be part of an open-source movement that means participating into the production of brands and their meanings. It is an era of convergence, of overlapping roles between producers and users/consumers – in short, of “produsage”, “prosumption” and “user-generated content” (UGC). This article investigates how this new paradigm influences marketing communication by addressing the specific case of the Romanian advertising industry. By using in depth-interviews with 20 advertising professionals, it points out to the fact that in communication campaigns with user-generated content there is still a high degree of control from the brand management and agency teams that cannot quite grasp the concept of brand communication democratization.
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