Essay-in-lieu Q4 Chromolithography and Social Media

Question 4: Investigate and compare the impacts of chromolithography and social media, one pre-1900 and one post 2000 publication technology on marketing industry

Script :

The strategies adopted by marketing industry are directly related to publication technologies available. Since, publish is meaning to make something public. Therefore, this radio documentary is going to Investigate and compare the impacts of  one pre-1900 and one post-2000 century publication technology on marketing industry. The two technologies are referring to chromo/litho/graphy and social media respectively.

Chromolithography was developed in 1837.  It was a method that texts or pictures would be engraved on a stone for colour printing. Chromolithography documented an era. It populated children and fine arts’ publications, as well as advertising art.

Impacts on marketing industry:

This tech allowed mass production, the gateway to advertisement was opened ever since. That was a total breakthrough in marketing from tedious “word of mouth” to attractive graphics to establish a brand image. Since message could be documented on tangible channels, such as handbills and posters (the top two popular means for advertising in the 19th century), gimmick kicked in. For example, poster of Elliman’s Embrocation marked the success of gimmick. It portrayed a woman who eschewed their petticoats and layered skirts in favour of bloomers and boots. This small fashion shift revealed women’s legs, and women’s bodies, in mainstream culture like never before. Women were simultaneously more masculine and also more sexual. The marketing team broadened brand’s market and redefined women’s identity as equally outgoing. Owing to extensive coverage of this poster, women’s identity became hot issue at that time and every time when the issue was brought up Elliman was the first association. How clever that was.

Therefore, gimmick has been commonly practised in marketing industry until present.

In 20th century, a lot of social interactions have been digitalised which foster the growth of social media. It is defined as a group of Internet-based applications technology built on the ideological and technological foundations of Web 2.0, and that allow the creation and exchange of user-generated content.”

Impacts on marketing industry:

According to the social media marketing industry report conducted in 2011, 43% of Australian population is committed to social media more than 5 hours per week. For the reason that people involved in the content broadcasted on social media are closely related to users, it is able to keep people online. Thus, the potentials of social media are ingrained in users’ network that hold everyone in line. Take the ALS ice bucket challenge as an example, neither celebrity nor ordinary individual was paid to promote for them. All they did was just manipulate network by nominating different people on social media. As proved, nominees complied due to peer pressure. They would be watched by their own network. Additionally, individuals may have social ties overseas which further enhance the influence of this campaign.This campaign has raised more than 100 million dollars donations in total for the ALS Association. Hence, this encourages investment in social media marketing in order to grab attention from market.

Comparing the impacts of chromolithography and social media in marketing industry

The major difference between chromolithography and social media is the level of social involvement. Although the reach of printed material is vast, it could be limited by physical constraints. Whereas social media is able to link anywhere without a financial cost, the target audience will only be cut off if there is no wifi. Besides, social media highlights the relevance of information to target audience in forms of connecting to their network (like tagging or creating groups). Thus, the content of information can be easier to manage and tailor to market. Consequently, loyal followers of business can be created.

However, it is easy to overlook the income gap in society, lower income group do not have access to internet which may deprived from the right to receive information. Therefore, I suggest these two tech should be used at the same time to supplement the gap. Meanwhile, marketing industry should co-operate with urban planners in developing our environment to be more information immersive, so that everyone in the society will have equality in information reception. I believe a win-win situation would be achieved through synergy.


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Wikipedia, (2014). Ice Bucket Challenge. [online] Available at: [Accessed 6 Nov. 2014].