MA Creative Media Practice, Bournemouth University, 2007-10

Why did you enrol on the MA?

When I originally studied graphic design in Australia, the course I did was more of an apprenticeship from practicing designers in the field as opposite to looking at some of the reasoning behind it.

Some years later, I did a Theology Dip HE- which was more of a looking at social communication. Sounds bit off-piste, but when you consider technology advances in times of war (the military are key in most technology developments), so religion has often developed communication, as people felt compelled to find ways of passing knowledge to the next generation – e.g. perfectly engraved hieroglyphs in Egypt, meticulously copied biblical scrolls, the lavishly decorative Book of Kells, the poignant swastika, etc. You can’t get away from it – the fact most of history of the world and culture is often found in such religious-based forms of communications.

  • From entertaining characters like Jesus, who people would travel miles to hear, who used visual aids to take complex truths and break it down to the everyday man saying ‘consider the lilies of the field’ or ‘whose head is on this coin?’.
  • To sinister characters like Hitler who used marketing propaganda and religious iconography to invigorate and revive a nation on brink of economic ruin to now the country behind global symbols of prosperity in their automotive brands.
  • Or people like Freud would argue that every Fast Food chain uses red, noting that our original point of comfort – babies suckling at nipple – the reddish pink of mouth-nipple is a colour trigger which we never grow out of…

Was not expecting it, but it brought a completely different approach as to my thinking in how to consider communicating to people from a creative point of view that I never would have got from a pure design course, learning from the past and applying it in ways to get that client and consumer to connect, the essence of ‘commercial’ art – not that I agreed with everything mind you!

Now I find myself again asking some big questions in communication in light of technology, like why did Compuserve fail and Amazon/Google succeed, and the need to question new commercial models of advertising to justify content creation and distribution, from press to TV – so to have the time to look at this, thrash it around with you guys, question the way and why certain things are done, push the envelope to some degree, and just to correct and hone my own thinking – all this I am really looking forward to

That and the fact a Masters will give me a certain kudos that helps with my industry profile and opens further opportunities to work further afield!! ;-)

What topics, themes and issues are you hoping to investigate during the coming year?

It’s a chance to create an understanding around future technologies. I want to look at investigating the future of Interactive Advertising and some of the key shifts that will define it like;

  • the convergence of media alongside emerging channels as everything becomes digitally enabled
  • the move from web browser to desktop widgets and onto wireless home media centres
  • information to entertainment – immersive inStream & IPTV covering the 0.5m to 3m viewing experience
  • look at ways of content delivery both from linear program planning, time-shifted EPG’s and searchable recordable content
  • interactive product placement against metadata inStream – searchable video indexed at frame level
  • the impact of touch-sensitive surfaces, HD and 3D devices and AmBX environments
  • following the user – dynamic advertising within portable entertainment content and into the digital outdoor space
  • commercial opportunities for content distribution on a fragmented range of user viewing devices; 30cm x 3” mobile, 1m x 19” laptop, 3m x 52” TV, 30m x 50’ billboard
  • challenge the traditional revenue models of 30 second ad slot or license arrangement for IPTV and look at new ways of delivering revenue
  • ethics surrounding user targeting with advanced technology like RFID & GPS tracking

Questions like ‘Is the user in control?’ – looking at the current Web 2.0 and user generated content moving into the semantic Web 3.0 – analysing and predicting user behaviour for advertisers.

More information on the course can be found here.