• Julia Miletto
4. term, Communication, Master (Master Programme)
The following thesis aims at understanding how social marketing can bene t from the use of the visual social media platform Instagram in order to communicate about some causes or campaign.
In fact, this topic has never been researched previously, even if some authors already explain how Instagram is growing in term of users and content, and which therefore clari es why brands are becoming more and more interest by advertising on the platform, but no research had yet been done about the visual aspect of this social media.
For this purpose, a case study has been analyzed about the danish fashion designer Henrik Vibskov that used Instagram, collaborating with different in uencers, in order to communicate about the campaign « Every Child » he conducted in December 2017 to support Red Barnet. This particular case as been chosen because of being using exclusively Instagram in its communication strategy and also regarding the researcher’s previous knowledge about the case, that clari es the intentions and the functioning of the campaign.
For that reason, this thesis concentrates on the understanding of the visual elements and constructions that lead to the formation of meaning on the social media. Thus, the data sample analyzed is composed of the different Instagram posts that have been publicized by the in uencers when advertising for the campaign.
The literature review of this study is constituted of an in-depth understanding of the pre-existing knowledge that exists on the different elements that contextualize the case. First, an overview of social marketing will be given in order to understand the particularities of this eld of communication. Then, the author describes the situation of advertising nowadays in society, how it is perceived by the public and the problem it encounters. Finally, visual culture will be introduced in order to situate the context in which viewers are confronted to images and the relation that exist between people and visuals.Added to this, the authors gives a detailed overview of social media and especially Instagram, its functioning, the relation users or brands have with it and its particular visual dimension.
After this, a description is made of the new type of in uencers, who they are, their intentions and how works the whole phenomenon of advertising in collaboration with them.
In order to analyze the 20 data gathered, the researcher uses a qualitative method applying social semiotics principles mostly deriving from the theories of T. Van Leeuwen (2006), J. Bezemer and G. Kress (2008), C. Jewitt and R. Oyama (2001).
To begin with, the main traditional semiotic theories will be introduced to contextualize this eld, and then social semiotic will be presented with an explanation of its use for this project. Some clari cations will be given about the way this type of analysis works, what can it bring to the research and what type of outcomes should be expected from its application. From there, the main points of analysis that will be studied in the data will be introduced and explained: the discourse analysis, the design of a message, the construction and angles of visuals and then emotions and colors as sources of meaning of the viewers.
The researcher found out that the application of those principles on the data highlighted that Instagram had been an interesting tool used for «Every Child» campaign, and especially when combined with the work of in uencers. In fact, technically Instagram proved to be a smart way to share and archive content but furthermore the different semiotic modes it allows showed to be ef cient in order to convey enough informations and meanings to the public.
In addition, the use of in uencers allowed the campaign to bene t from their community and power of in uence on it. Finally, the results of this analysis have been put back into their original context of being a social marketing campaign and taking place into a visual culture. This revealed to be supporting the use of in uencers sharing common values with their audience and thus being able to encode the proper information for the audience to decode a similar message than the intended one.
The thesis conclude on a re ection about the limits of the project and the methods used for the analysis. In fact, the project is limited to the analysis of a single- case and using social semiotic which is a context-dependent method. Moreover, in general, communication strategies combine different media tools, thus the ndings of the research should be carefully interpreted into their own context.
Publication date31 May 2018
ID: 280121332