In this talk Sven and Nicholas present key arguments relating to participation, choice architecture and media infrastructure from their forthcoming books about brands and computational media systems: Brand Machines, Sensory Media and Calcualtive Culture.

With the shift from a broadcast to an interactive media system, advertisers have reinvented themselves as the strategic interface between computational media systems and the lived experience and living bodies of consumers. Where once advertising relied predominantly on symbolic appeals to affect consumers, it now centres on the use of computational devices that codify, monitor, analyse and modulate human capacities and actions. Advertisers have worked to stimulate and harness consumer participation for several generations. Consumers undertook the productive work of making brands a part of their cultural identities and practices. With the emergence of a computational mode of advertising consumer participation extends beyond the expressive activity of creating and circulating meaning. It now involves making the lived experience and the living body available to the experimental capacities of media platforms and devices. In this mode of advertising brands become techno-cultural processes that integrate calculative and cultural functions. We aim to conceptualise and theorise these significant changes in advertising. We take consumer participation and its interconnectedness with calculative media platforms as the fundamental aspect of contemporary advertising and critically investigate how advertising, consumer participation and technology are interrelated in creating and facilitating lived experiences that create value for brands.


Nicholas Carah is a Senior Lecturer in Media and Communication at the University of Queensland. His research examines media platforms and devices, branding and everyday life. He is the author of Pop Brands: branding, popular music and young people and Media and Society: production, content and participation.

Sven Brodmerkel is an Assistant Professor for Advertising and Integrated Marketing Communications at Bond University/Australia and a Board Member of Miami Ad School (Sydney). Before his academic appointment, he worked for several years in the advertising industry. His research investigates the intersection between advertising, technology and popular culture.





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