Media’s Influence On Me
In the last week, I have exposed myself to different types of shows surrounding television, Netflix, and YouTube. It is surprising how different one channel can be from another. The reason it may be so different to me is that I usually have revolved around sports channels and haven’t “broaden my horizons” in a sense. I was just browsing through my TV and YouTube, and the media presented attracts to certain niches. With watching different things like what was currently trending on YouTube or even watching the news channel a person can tell that the commercials are targeted to certain demographics. If these commercials or channels are the determining factors to sway someone’s decision I do not know, but for me, even in my niche of sports, I have not swayed either way to get or think a different way because of media presented.
The big change that I was watching during the week was news. Local and National news pretty much having the same demographics. With shows like Today there were a lot of political commercials during breaks, but also there were also prescription medication commercials and commercials to just improve one’s health. Assuming that, the people they target are older retired people or stay at home parents because it is on in the middle of the day. Also, I watched my local news channel, and again the political commercials were on rapid fire, and they didn’t do anything to sway my decision in the race anyway, so I tried to just ignore them. There was also some restaurant commercials and other things that were my directed towards a family audience because primetime TV was about to be on. I also watched Sunday Night Football which is on that news channel, but it had the same type of commercials as a sports channel with family “primetime” commercials mixed in. As a college student, the commercials and content didn’t affect me as I think it would older people or a family. I decided to watch the news because I thought it would be a different change of pace, I also thought it would be different to be updated with current events through tv other than social media, and I wanted to see how much it reflected the election which was the main topic even on our local news channel.
Another channel I watched was my usual, which is ESPN. I watched the talk shows during the week that just discuss current events in sports which I find interesting, and generate easy small talk. Shows like Around the Horn, Sportsnation, and Pardon the Interruption are personal favorites, and again the commercials are generally reflected by the audience because the marketers want to hit that demographic of people. Simple commercials as promoting an event that is happening on that channel would appear, and a lot of “masculine” commercials with trucks and tools were frequent, and finally, a lot of alcohol commercials appeared during that time. Reason being is that the time I watch these shows in the timeframe deemed, “Happy Hour”, by ESPN, which makes it understandable why there were so many alcohol commercials. Also, political commercials did air more Trump than Hilary which seems weird to me, but the commercials were not as frequent as a news channel. I am sometimes swayed to watch the other events on the channel, but I wouldn’t go buy a truck or anything else based on the commercial, but I think that the demographic of those channels is apparent. I wanted to watch this because it is an easy control group to compare other parts of the media I haven’t been as much as in tune too.
Another big thing that I tried was just going on YouTube, and clicking the trending videos tab. These are supposedly the hottest videos of that day. You would think that this would reflect basically the entire population of people on YouTube. Which it could, but most of it was political debating or a newscast about the debate which I find interesting because I do not think that is what most people go online to search about. I could be wrong, but there were other things like from late night shows with Jimmy Kimmel and James Corden or even learning videos about a certain subject Also, there were music videos on there too with other pop culture things scattered. Even in the trending category, though it seems as if the certain niches were under their own heading which was weird because no matter what video you clicked on it seemed to me that no matter what the content of the video it was, I was going to get a political ad or an ad for the Google phone. That was basically it. I find it funny because in TV usually, the ads are in a certain niche channel for a certain demographic where on YouTube you had two different options for ads a political one or the advertisement for the phone. It is interesting because sometimes the content had no real connection to it, but the media may have had a deal in place where that would happen. I thought YouTube would be even more diverse in the ads, but it was limited which was interesting to what I have learned about ads. YouTube differed from TV, but in the opposite direction, I thought it would go with my thought process thinking it would expand the demographics. Instead of limiting the demographics more.
I think that the theme that you watch a station for determines how the marketing goes for that channel which is why so many people watch only certain channels. For news, it is to get information out there which may be biased or not, but the people it is presented to they enjoy that aspect. It is the same with sports just more revolving around information in a certain area instead of worldwide. The purpose trying to inform people, and make decisions on it after. YouTube is a little different because you may end up watching a video that you never thought you would with the recommendation system, but I think that the purpose for that can be a variety of reasons but mainly to entertain. All these channels and mediums touched on the election, and that seemed to be a driving force which it should with the election coming up, but usually on other times the ads and content are more diverse.
Exposing myself to other stations shows me how diverse people are even on what shows we watch. Certain people get certain ads, and others get certain information, which makes this world small but big at the same time. It is different from watching something you are used to watching a recommended show or channel because a person is not used to it. I do not think different platforms would sway me on anything, but I do see how channels attempt to do such an act.