Here is the final draft of my creative project.
For my creative project about discriminatory targeted advertising towards minority groups I decided to create an advertisement that is somewhat anti-advertisement. To make the ad, I drew each separate component of the video of the iPad app Procreate using an Apple Pencil. Sometimes I loosely traced screenshots of my own social media profiles to get the spacing right, but for the most part I embraced the doodle-esque nature of the project and freehanded the elements. I tried to include some funny easter eggs in the comments or likes (Claire Sterk liked one of the posts in the first shot of the video). I separately drew and saved the post-it notes that appear in the other parts of the video. Then, I pieced together all of the parts of the video in a very long Photoshop files and took a screen-grabbed video of me scrolling through the elements while I listened to the recording I took of the audio to get the timing right. I made any timing corrections necessary when I edited in Adobe Premiere Pro.
The project explains the broad purpose of my project. Because it was intended to be a spoof of a social media advertisement, I needed to keep the content at one minute or under (which I succeeded at doing exactly). It construes my argument into an opinion that is trying to persuade the audience to do something and act on the content being presented, like an ad. Ads want clicks. So does this video.
Elements of the project directly reference some of the biggest points of the argument that I make in my research paper. Racially targeted tabacco ads throughout history most effectively demonstrate my point that targeted ads exist and can be harmful and discriminatory, and the video presents an example of one. I chose to simplify this idea by just having an advertisement directly advertising cigarettes, but there are strict rules on tabacco advertisement in any public space. Tabacco companies can’t just place ads like that on Twitter, but they can sneakily sponsor your favorite content creators (who reach certain target audiences that match the demographics that they are trying to reach) to endorse their products. The video presents a more simplified and direct version of this to make a point, but tabacco companies still more often target people of color, which is the point the video highlights.
The video also broadly details how social media networks categorize users. In my paper, I detail how social media networks sell that data to advertisers and advertisers use that data to show you ads. It becomes harmful when they use that data to make assumptions about you based on your identity – you must be rich because you attend an elite university. You must be a person of color because you frequent Indian restaurants. You must be poor because you’re a person of color. So we won’t show you ads for expensive homes in town. On purpose. We will actively disclude you. The categories shows are genuinely categories that I am placed in on my own Facebook – I made none of them up.
The video aims to explain categorization and how that can negatively affect the people it targets. It does so by explaining categorization concisely and by giving concrete examples of it. This relates to class because we talked a lot about passivity and advertising. Ad agencies capitalize on this “waiting room” ideology more and more as social media grows. Now the waiting rooms are everywhere, so how do you catch a user’s attention? Supposedly by showing them an ad just for them. But how far is too far?