Jan 12, 2018 in Informative

Mass Media Communications

Mass media communications is the use of media technologies to communicate to a large number of people. Mass media communication types are quite diverse but the common ones in the use today are broadcast media, print media, outdoor media internet media and others. Broadcast media is, basically, the use of televisions, radios and films to communicate to a large number of viewers. Print media is the use of physical magazines, newsletters, books, brochures, leaflets, pamphlets and comics to pass information to a large number of readers. Outdoor media is the use of billboards, signboards and placards placed especially in high populated places. Internet media, on the other hand, is the use of social websites and blogs to transfer information to people who have internet access (Korzenny, 2009).

Advertising is the use of the mass media technologies by the sellers to convince buyers to purchase their goods or services. Although buyers and sellers have the goal of transacting, they perceive advertisements from two different viewpoints. The sellers aim at manipulating and convincing buyers to purchase, while the buyer sees advertisement as a way of acquiring information about products and services. The main reason why marketers use mass media in advertising their commodities is due to its ability to reach large number of people around the globe using satellite television especially (Rocamora, 2009).

Korzenny (2009) in his book, mass media effects across cultures, deals with mass media and how it has impacted on the buying and consumption patterns of buyers and its effects on the lifestyle and cultures of different communities. Culture is the set of norms and values that people within a certain social setting subscribe to and it forms a basis for behavioral judgment. Culture is an essential tool for human survival but it is also very fragile since its existence is only in the human minds. Korzenny expounds on the effects that mass media has towards culture. Secondary sources of interest revolve around how consumer’s decisions are formed. There are factors that motivate consumers into buying certain commodities and not others. Human beings will always have wants and needs and through satisfying these needs, it consciously or sub consciously affects their future buying trends.

Over the past 50years, changes in technology have greatly affected the entire communication process. Due to advances in technology, a revolution in forms of communication has been taking place. Initially it was the telegraph, then radio, the magazines, television and now we have internet. The society of this era largely depends on the flow of information to continue moving in the direction perceived as right. Human beings today require information in almost everything and anything they engage themselves in. As every single day goes by, people become interested in new things. Information is power and everyday human beings are interested in knowing what is new. From reading daily newspapers, magazines and articles to listening and watching news through broadcast media. This exposure to new information changes their behavioral patterns, moral values, lifestyle and culture in general (Mathews, 2010).   

Cultural change in this age means anything new that a group of individuals come across and finds it to be useful to them. Transfer of information has affected cultures all over the world. Through advancements in technology, the world has become a global village with people communicating and trading within seconds. Certain cultures, especially from the west,  have eroded cultures in other continents. This has led to the existence of cultures within cultures and they are referred to as sub-cultures.

Culture in itself is a very broad subject. It comprises of relationships and communications. Relationships are impossible without communications and relationships define a society. Law and religion is another aspect of culture which forms the basis of rules, norms and how they are judged. Leadership provides the basis of authority is provided, hierarchy and implementation of the said rules and laws. Tradition is essential and it is what defines humanity. Animals including human beings follow the natural laws of existence (Korzenny, 2009).

This transition leaves us wondering about the factors that have led to changes in fashion. The mass media has led to changes in fashion which has in turn caused a change in culture all over the world.

Research questions

  1. Where is the information on new fashion trends got from and how is it spread?
  2. Which media channel is more preferable to advertise fashion?

Objectives of the research

  1. To identify the contribution of mass media to the changing fashion trends
  2. To explain how the different forms of mass media affect fashion trends

Literature review

Fashion is a general term used to mean a popular style or practice. In most cases it is used to define all accessories ranging from clothing, footwear, make up, body piercing and furniture. It is also used to define the trend in the style a person dresses. To other people it is the newest creation in terms of clothing that a designer comes up with (Solomon, 2004). Fashion has been changing rapidly for the past several decades. In this era, everyone wants to look unique, thus the need for new styles emerges. More and more institutions are introducing higher learning courses related to the fashion and design industry, all these in a bid to satisfy the unlimited need (Solomon, 2004).

The mass media today is the easiest form of passing information to people around the globe. With arrival of new clothing styles in the market, new commercials advertising fashion are aired in televisions. Today, people subscribe to monthly fashion magazines just to keep themselves updated with what is new in the market (Kim & Fiore, 2011). Dressing is also the part of culture. Dressing patterns have been changing drastically over the past decades due to the number of reasons. Beauty has been redefined over time and people have been made to believe they should dress in a certain way. Certain forms of dressing are perceived to be correct while other forms are perceived to be wrong. In this age, everybody is trying their best to dress decently. Over the past century, clothing in general has undergone a rapid revolution. From wearing clothes made of fur, leaves, grass and animal skin to wearing suits made from cotton and textile (Mathews, 2010).

Research methods

In my quest to answer the questions and the hypothesis that form the basis of my research on how advertisements, though mass media, affect fashion, I will be applying three major techniques of undertaking research.

The first one is the experimental technique which is an important source of information as it allows us to make causal statements i.e. those factors influencing a particular behavior. Scientifically, it is a research tool that enables researchers to find out whether a particular treatment causes occurrence of a given phenomenon by randomly assigning some participants to get the treatment (experimental group) and the other participants known as the control group, not to receive the treatment (Pertti, 1995). This method will be efficient in determining which factors of media advertisements actually shape the way people wear and their choice of acceptable fashion. It will be able to verify and distinguish between the hypothesis that holds water and the one to be discarded.

The second tool to be used in this research is the survey research method. Survey research works towards identifying what large numbers of people (mass) think or feel about certain things. It is applied extensively in matters of politics and marketing i.e. areas such as TV advertising (Rocamora, 2009), hence its application in this research. It is also be viable in this research due to its characteristic of low margin of errors.

The final technique to be applied is the use of Focus groups. This involves the gathering of in-depth data by interviewing a number of six to twelve experts of the researched topic. The discussion is done in an informal manner with time lasting between one and two hours (Korzenny, 1992). This method will be applicable in this research since professional opinions on media and marketing will have to be sought.

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