RIT Symposium Will Explore Advertising in the Digital Age, Dec. 11

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Digital media have given advertising professionals new tools to reach their target audience. The Internet introduced the pop-up ad and provided platforms for glowing product reviews and chat room participants to hype products or services.

Rochester Institute of Technology’s Department of Communication will host the symposium “Advertising in the Digital Age,” Monday, Dec. 11, to explore how technology has transformed the advertising field. The event—free and open to the public—will take place from 8:30 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. in the Student Alumni Union on the RIT campus.

“Unlike traditional forms of advertising, such as a radio jingle or a newspaper supplement, digital media are interactive and doubles as virtual marketplaces where business can be transacted and goods and services purchased,” says Rudy Pugliese, director of graduate program in communication and media technologies at RIT and coordinator of the event.

Embedded product placements is another development in advertising the symposium will address. “In the past, advertisements conspicuously interrupted media content, often with annoying effects,” Pugliese says. “Increasingly, they’re likely to be part of the content, appearing as part of the entertainment as product placements. Traditional advertisements may be relegated to directing audiences to new media sites where business can be transacted.”

Roundtable discussions and panel presentations, each inviting audience involvement, will focus upon elements of advertising—messages and strategies— as they appear on the Internet, in print and as broadcast. Advertising and marketing professionals and RIT scholars will discuss the state of the art of advertising; digital advertising’s impact on traditional media; new advertising outlets; the consumer in the digital age; and how new advertising effects older, traditional media.

“The introduction and broad public adoption of digital media at once represent exciting possibilities and significant challenges for the advertising and persuasive communication industries,” says Bruce Austin, chair of the department of communication at RIT.

Participants will include Sharon Napier, president and CEO, Partners + Napier; John Roberts, account planner, Partners + Napier; Howie Jacobson, Dixon Schwabl Advertising Inc.; Brian Maier, online sales manager, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle; Barry Wacksman, EVP, chief growth officer, R/GA; Andrew Phelps, associate professor of information technology in RIT’s B. Thomas Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences; Susan Barnes, professor of communication in RIT’s College of Liberal Arts; and Neil Hair, associate professor of marketing in RIT’s E. Philip Saunders College of Business.

In addition to panel presentations, the symposium will feature a student exhibition about advertising. Photography and design students created posters and companion-piece mailers promoting the event as part of a class project. The exhibit will be on display throughout the day in the Fireside Lounge in RIT’s Student Alumni Union.

For more information, call 475-6649. To register online, go to http://www.rit.edu/advertising.