Document Type

Student Research Paper


Spring 2016

Academic Department



Kotler’s (2000) textbook definition deems advertising “any paid form of non-personal presentation and promotion of ideas, goods, or services by an identified sponsor” (p. 578). This traditional definition gives an accurate depiction of the activities involved in advertising; however, the distinction that advertising is “non-personal” is changing (Winer, 2007). Technology (especially the Internet) has provided firms more opportunities to interact with customers (Voyer, 2007). The rapid dissemination of digital technology in the 20th century has also changed the way society thinks and understands information (Prensky, 2001). These technological changes have affected interpersonal, professional, and commercial communication, and the methods and expectations that accompany each. Nowhere is this shift more relevant than in the realm of advertising. Today’s advertisers must understand how individuals consume information and entertainment, both in terms of media (physical or virtual) and platform (online, app, social media, or traditional formats). Although researchers have been paying close attention to the technology landscape, they have not yet exhaustively explored another sociocultural trend introduced by technology—a growing need for personalization of consumer experience and powerful brand narratives. Buyers want individual experiences that reflect personal needs, attitudes, and situations. The need for inclusive individuality is the need to be respected as an individual but also have a feeling of belonging to a bigger picture (Light, 2014). Advertisers who have grown accustomed to focusing on what’s inside the package now face pressure to differentiate their brands by connecting with target markets on a deeper and more emotional basis.


Senior Thesis.

Included in

Business Commons