Spinning Media: Understanding how snowboarding video producers incorporate advertising into subcultural media.
Thesis DisciplineMedia and Communication
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Arts
Snowboard media producers attempt to create subculturally relevant videos that connect with the audience. Videos provide the opportunity to report and document snowboarding activity, highlight new developments and provide visibility to prominent participants and associated businesses. Being a well-known and esteemed snowboarding participant is advantageous to being a producer, as it provides an identifiable cultural capital and implies a trustworthy ‘by-riders-for-riders’ philosophy. Connecting with the viewers is vital, as the audience plays a role in the distribution of videos by sharing and endorsing them through their social networks. Motivating factors in audience media sharing, also known as media spreading, include status seeking, improving credibility, personal satisfaction and personal expression.
Snowboarding was founded on anti-mainstream and anti-commercialism beliefs, which means that incorporating advertising and promotional messaging could negatively impact on audience connection. Yet, filming and producing snowboarding videos is difficult and expensive. Advertising represents an opportunity to attract funding and support to assist with production costs and, ultimately, provide profit. In order to accommodate advertising into their videos, producers are sometimes required to compromise their standards. This compromise represents a threat to audience connection. Producers believe that high quality, innovative snowboarding action footage provides the best opportunity to wow the audience. Various forms of advertising, including stealth marketing, sponsored journalism, and hybrid messaging, are often displayed in the moments between action footage shots, but advertising compromise can also affect action footage, particularly on client-funded projects. How advertising is incorporated can also depend on the industry the advertiser operates in. Alcohol brand advertising is identified as highly restrictive due to legal implications and public perceptions. Advertisers from businesses strongly related to the snowboarding subculture are more aware of their competitors’ presence in videos, which can cause conflict. Ski field support can be varied, despite high levels of visibility in the videos.