Affective economics

From Media Technology and Culture Change

Affective Economics.

This model encourages companies to blur the division between entertainment content and brand messaging. It pretends to convert the brand identity into a way of life with which the consumer feels identified. It asks consumers to be active participants within the brand creation (interactivity).

Henry Jenkins explains in his book Convergence Culture that “the ideal consumer [for this model] is active, emotionally engaged and socially networked.” This kind of consumer will usually produce new content based on the same brand, form fan communities, and invest part of their lives immersed in the brand identity’s life style. Yet, Jenkins points out that this way of approaching audiences can turn back against the company’s benefit since these consumers become so protective of the brand integrity that they overcome the industries' expectations of their active engagement. Sometimes the consumers' engagement can go as far as to create negative feedback for the brand itself.

According to Henry Jenkins affective economics is mainly influencing reality TV. An example of this model given by Jenkins is Survivor, a reality TV show. The producers of this program started giving hints within the show for the fan community to find out about what will happen in later episodes. But, the community went beyond interpreting these hints and end up almost spoiling the first time watching experience to other fans that weren’t as involved. Spoiler websites such as these have now become extremely popular and can be found for most major TV shows.