Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Ad CIrcular Observation

             There has been a layout change in a national chain pharmacy’s print media ad circular. The ad circular offers three ways to use their coupons by means of print media, QR codes, or printing online coupons. This ad offers more options for consumers to employ their choice in these discounts. These choices, of course, are determined by the individual’s ability to access the coupons either by digital or print media form.
            Referring to my Print Media Coupon as Artifact essay, this concept of three options pertains to my research in the section of the essay, Coupon within Print Media Culture. I reference Marshall McLuhan’s argument, which states that human senses tend to be developed with influence from different forms of media. McLuhan divides the modes of communication and the options that are offered to the senses with the terms hot media and cold media. Hot media disallows participation and are high in information content. The print culture is considered a hot media since it is more visual and is more passive on participation when it comes to shaping the flow of information. The concept of cool media leaves more spaces for the audience to participate. An obvious example of this cool media is the telephone, where options are available in the form of active participation.[1]  These two mediums are relevant in the transition of the coupon as an object of communication.
            A person’s social interaction with a hot medium tends to be with what is available by the printed means of circulation of the coupons and the expiration date. Bringing McLuhun’s example of a cool medium, the telephone, into our present contemporary time, for example, a smartphone has several options for participants to shape information. Some of the options range from the spoken word and electronic mail to digital images, and internet communication. A smartphone has surpassed a singular idea of the cool media and places the coupon into an intangible space.
            There is a third option of participation that combines the hot and cool mediums to make the coupon a tangible object. It is the internet and the personal digital printing device. These three options are communicated in the national chain pharmacy’s print media ad circular. This ad is obtained through the local Sunday paper I purchase.
            Referring back to the Transition for Local Print Media blog post (Feb 5) were I mentioned the price increase of the Sunday paper. At that time, it was free for an online subscription to have unlimited access of the news website. Now, the local paper is offering two types of subscriptions, one is full digital access or full digital access with print at home delivery with coupons in a familiar format and special print inserts. Both subscriptions are $15.00 a month. The customer has options for the digital format to access the daily news. The subscription for the print at home delivery has a choice of the weekly paper or only the Sunday paper. To purchase the Sunday paper from a retailer is now $3.00. The monthly purchase would equal $12.00, which is a $3.00 difference from the local papers subscription offer.  That $3.00 can be considered towards having a full digital access to the weekly local news.
            The ad circular and the local newspaper subscriptions are offering options to the consumers to combine hot and cool mediums to create new forms of selecting and producing discount information. The current and evolving economic and social practices will persuade a participant to make a decision for the individual use of these discounting options. These options between print media and digital could offer a longer transitional period of the print media coupon.

[1]Nick Stevenson, Understanding Media Cultures (London, Sage Publications, 1995), 119 - 120

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