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Synergy in media promotion: a useful strategy or an optimistic decoy?

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The tendency towards synergy in media promotion, started in earnest in the 1980s, has only grown since then. With the wide variety of possible media in existence, news and entertainment alike are struggling to use all of these different tools to their advantage. Film, television, print, music, the Internet, and cell phones are all seen as different outlets for content and different opportunities for marketing, and media companies believe they have to hit each of these media - in all their various forms and subgroups - in order to be successful. However, not everybody agrees with this strategy, or even with the idea that these new media outlets must revolutionize media culture.

[...] "Synergy in 1980s Film and Music: Formula for Success or Industry Mythology?" Film History 4 (1990): 257- 276. Graham, Margaret. "The Threshold of the Information Age: Radio, Television, and Motion Pictures Mobilize the Nation." A Nation Transformed by Information, A. Chandler Jr. and J. Cortada, eds. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press Stewart, David W. and Qin Zhao. [...]

[...] Furthermore, while the Internet can certainly provide huge amounts of information an idea very attractive to believers in synergy as a strategy too much information has hurt the internet's usefulness as a source of information; too many sites means too much for any one person to possibly research through, a problem that has only gotten worse in the decade since this article was written (289). Meanwhile, the free access to information is one that companies have more and more reason to restrict; even 9 years after this article was written, it is still true that it's hard to tell what consumers will demand for free and what they will be willing to pay or give up for more information or access (293). While Stewart and Qin admit the extent to which "consumers . [...]

[...] However, their examples are varied: sometimes the strategy seems successful, as with Footloose, which enjoyed success both as a film and as a soundtrack despite terrible reviews and sometimes it is a failure, such as the U2 concert movie Rattle and Hum, whose missteps are marked up to "overexposure" (272). In the end, Denisoff and Plasketes discuss the fact that the strategy of synergy may not be completely successful, but are still fascinated with its success. Denisoff's and Plasketes's approach uses both of the analyses I mentioned above, which is why it sends something of a mixed message. [...]

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