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Physician Profile: From Interview Transcript to Video Script

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Dr. Jane Doe, Pediatric Plastic Surgeon and Craniofacial Specialist

Web Video Physician Profile

Video Script

In this assignment, I have extracted excerpts from an interview transcript of a Long Island pediatric plastic surgeon. The physician is looking to create a 2:30 branding video for the practice website and YouTube channel. Below is the edited transcript piecing together a video script for the video.

The audience includes parents of children (in utero, babies, toddlers, and teens) with a cleft lip or palate.

Based on this script, would you find this physician appealing as your child’s surgeon?

Video Audio Log


CS DR. DOE, SET RIGHT Life just brings with it its everyday challenges to begin with, and my goal is to help these children enter the world with no more challenge than everybody else has. 02:53:17




Music bed through remaining video.


MS DR. DOE, SET RIGHT; TRANSITION TO DR. DOE IN OR My primary special interest inside of plastic surgery is pediatric … to craniofacial reconstruction, which includes … cleft lip and palate. 02:15:04


WS DR. DOE SITTING WITH SET OF PARENTS IN OFFICE ON COMFORTABLE SEATING, HOLDING CHART Cleft lip and palate is … one of the most common birth defects or birth deformities that occur. It’s extremely common in this country. 02:26:58


WS TO INCLUDE DR. DOE/PARENTS IN BACKGROUND AND CHILD WITH CLEFT LIP AND SIBLING PLAYING ON THE FLOOR In the majority of cases, these are normal children, normal intellect, and they just need a few surgeries. 02:51:43


CS OF DR. DOE SMILING, NODDING AND TALKING WITH PARENTS Obviously one of the most rewarding things is the change that we can bring to these families by treating these children. 02:32:45


WS DR. DOE AND PARENTS STAND UP AND HUG. You develop a very intimate relationship with the patient more so, I think, than in many other surgical specialties 02:18:06


CS OF DR. DOE SET RIGHT I meet most of my patients right after they’re born. I often take care of them until they are teenagers and thereafter. So I get to know their parents even before the child is born. 02:18:06


MS OF DR. DOE SET RIGHT Either they need operations along the way or in infancy and maybe when they’re a teenager. I tend to watch them grow. 02:18:06


WS CHILD, SIBLING, PARENTS ENTER OFFICE. CHILDREN GO RIGHT TO THE TOYS. I honestly think that the reason why I connect with the kids is that, first of all, I never wear a white coat in the office. They come to my office and they have a playroom to play in while I’m examining them 02:49:17


MS OF DR. DOE GESTURING TO PARENTS TO SIT ON COUCH; DR. DOE CROUCHES DOWN AND TALKS WITH CHILD WHILE PLAYING WITH TOYS. If you see my office, you’ll see that the entire place is just filled with toys. I rarely see my patients in an exam room. They can play with their toys and their siblings can play while I speak to the parents about what we have to do going forward. Their child is about to have surgery. So I found that that environment really works well with my practice. 02:20:22


CS DR. DOE SITS COMFORTABLY ON THE FLOOR LOOKING CLOSELY AT CHILD, BUT WITH FRIENDLY SMILE I’m always sitting down. I play with them while I’m examining them. We sit down on the floor. Instead of having a formal examination where they’re going to get quiet and not talk and get scared, we play. 02:49:17


WS DR. DOE TURNS AND LOOKS TO PARENTS TALKING, NODDING, ENGAGING. It’s important that they’re not anxious and they’re not scared because I see them a lot in the office. I don’t want their association with me or my office to be something negative. 02:50:43


CS DR. DOE PLAYING WITH CHILD I want everything to be a positive experience 02:50:43


MS DR. DOE STANDING AT NURSES’ STATION IN HOSPITAL SETTING. DR. DOE IN OR SCRUBS What makes my practice unique is that I am the only plastic surgeon here on Long Island who dedicates their practice to pediatric craniofacial surgery. 02:48:13


OTHER PHYSICIANS WALK UP TO NURSES’ STATION. WS WARM GREETINGS, SMILING, LAUGHING There’s a wonderful family environment or camaraderie amongst the partners. So I honestly couldn’t think of a more perfect environment to be practicing in. 02:24:46


MS DR. DOE IN OR When I went through my training I narrowed the scope of my interest. I found that I was most passionate when I operated in the head and neck region. The patients that I felt most passionate about and that I felt I connected mostly with were the children. 02:17:02


MS DR. DOE IN OR SCRUBS AND PARENTS BESIDE GURNEY WITH CHILD TALKING; PARENTS CRYING HAPPY TEARS. MOM HOLDS DR. DOE’S HAND. THEY HUG. I think one of the most satisfying things is not only seeing the effect that I can have on the family and the parents. Bringing the baby out from the operating room and having the parents hug me and cry 02:33:21


MS DR. DOE IN OR SCRUBS SITTING BEDSIDE TO TEEN IN HOSPITAL BED. THEY ARE TALKING IN A RELAXED MANNER When the kids are a little older and after surgery they’re smiling and they’re not crying anymore and kids aren’t teasing them anymore. I think it’s just one of the most amazing things to transform a child’s life. 02:33:21


MS OF DR. DOE SET RIGHT It’s really tough … if I can make any difference and help them transition into a more normal life and social life in that regard, it’s just wonderful. 02:34:16


CS OF DR. DOE SET RIGHT I get to really make a difference. 02:37:21


IMAGE LIBRARY OF DR. DOE AND COLLEAGUES IN MISSION COUNTRIES We’re blessed here in this country with having access to physicians and hospitals.I think it’s just very rewarding to travel and go and make a difference in other countries as well. 02:38:43


IMAGE LIBRARY OF DR. DOE AND COLLEAGUES IN MISSION COUNTRIES I think it helps everyone just maintain perspective. Although you make a difference in quite a few individual’s lives in that week or two weeks that you’re there, you leave behind a feeling that, “Wow, There’s just so much more to do.” 02:38:43




WS CONTINUES I think the onus is on the physician to stay current in our field … If you just practice in your own little microcosm of the world and you don’t get input from your colleagues nationally or internationally, I think you’re doing yourself and your patients a disservice. 02:41:44


MS OF DR. DOE TURNING AND TALKING TO A SINGLE COLLEAGUE. BOTH SMILING AND LOOKING SATISFIED WITH RESULT Exposing yourself to criticism, meeting with colleagues, staying up to date … your patients deserve that. 02:43:58


CS OF DR. DOE ON COMPUTER IN OFFICE My commitment to the field is not only operating and taking care of these children, but also in contributing either new techniques or even just reporting outcomes. 2:39:32


MS OF DR. DOE ON COMPUTER IN OFFICE It’s very important to parents that I dedicate my career to this and to children. 02:20:22


WS OF LITTLE KID RUNNING INTO THE OFFICE TOWARD DR. DOE. DR. DOE GOES AROUND DESK WITH OUTSTRETCHED ARMS AND EXCITED TO SEE THE CHILD. If I’m going to spend … the rest of my life doing something, I want to love it … I want to love every case I do. I want to look forward to the cases that I do the next day … 02:56:23


MS SLOW MOTION OF KID JUMPING INTO DR. DOE’S ARMS. DR. DOE HAS WIDE SMILE AS SHE HUGS THE LITTLE KID TIGHT. It’s something you need to really dedicate your life to and … take the best care of kids. 02:56:23

Reverse Engineered Scripts: Intel 2 in 1 with Jim Parsons

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For week six of my IMC digital storytelling class, I was assigned the task of reverse engineering two 30-second commercials to learn how to establish a video script before shooting. Here is my second script attempt:

Commercial #2: Jim Parsons and the airport security “bins”

Video Audio Time
1 WS of an airport security check in. One female TSA agent at the scanner with two others in the background. Three ticket holders are readying their belongings for the TSA screening. Character A (female, business attire) is already putting her items through the machine. Character B (male, African American, business attire) and Character C (female, caucasian, business attire) are sorting their electronics into bins. TSA Agent: “Everything in separate bins people” 0:01
2 TSA Agent (looking all business) walks toward the table as Chars B and C quickly sort their belongings Quick paced music bed implying speed and efficiency 0:01
3 CS of Char B’s laptop bag. He pulls out his tablet and laptop from the bag and puts it in a single bin. TSA: “Computers, shoes” 0:02
4 MS TSA Agent walks over and observes Char B’s bins. She shakes her head admonishingly while Char B looks up concerned and confused; Char C looks up too. TSA: “You can’t put two in one” 0:05
5 Chars B & C look at one another. Char C removes her shoes from one bin, while Char B moves his table to her emptied bin. 0:06
6 Jim Parson walks into the shot to the left of Char B and leans in to speak to him as if he’s telling him an important secret. Chars B & C pause and then look to the TSA Agent expectantly. Jim: “At Intel they make technology that lets a device be a laptop and a tablet. So you can put two in one” 0:07
7 Char B reaches in and begins to move his tablet back to the bin with his laptop. Jim Parsons looks smug. 0:13
8 CS of Char B moving tablet to the laptop bin TSA Agent: “No you can’t.” 0:14
9 MS TSA Agent leans in toward Char B implying she is in charge. He quickly picks up the tablet to put it back in the other bin that Char C has already filled with her shoes. Jim: “Yes you can.”

TSA Agent: No you can’t”

Jim: “Yes you CAN.”

10 CS of laptop with Intel logo on screen. Businessman’s hands typing. Hands lift the screen up and off the keyboard turning the laptop into a tablet. VO: “Intel, this is where it all changes.” 0:16
11 MS of airport security. TSA puts hand on hip irritated. Chars B & C look confused and anxious Jim: “See it’s like two things in one. You’re like a mermaid. Or one of those horse-guy people.”

TSA Agent (sarcastically): “You mean like a centaur?”

Jim (smugly): “See, you can.”

12 Animated Intel logo with type on screen: INTEL.COM/WHATSNEXT Music bed stops; no sound as Intel logo animates. 0:27

Intel. (2015, February 9). Jim Parsons and the airport security “bins” – Intel 2 in 1s [Videolog]. YouTube. Retrieved from

Reverse Engineered Scripts: Discover It Card “Surprise”

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For week six of my IMC digital storytelling class, I was assigned the task of reverse engineering two 30-second commercials to learn how to establish a video script before shooting. Here is my first script attempt:

Commercial #1: “Surprise” Discover It Card :30 Commercial

Video Audio Time
1 WS hallway, possibly a hotel, where male Character A turns the corner looking at phone. He is dressed casually with a satchel as if just returning from work. Character B: “Discover Card?” 0:01
2 Char A walks comfortably toward camera looking at and speaking in smartphone. Char A: “Hey there! I just got my bill, and I see…” 0:01
3 CS of smart phone screen showing Discover website with a high FICO score displayed “That it includes my FICO credit score” 0:03
4 MS of Discover card representative (Char B) at a desk in a call center with a headset, coffee in hand, looking at his computer. Relaxed body language. Character B: “Yup you have a Discover …” 0:05
5 CS of Char B casually pointing at the camera as if he is looking at the computer “It card so your …” 0:06
6 MS of Char A walking slowly listening to Character B explain his It Card value. Char A gives a satisfied smirk and head nod as Char B continues. “FICO credit score and your monthly statements online for free” 0:07
7 Char A walks into CS Char A: “That’s pretty cool of you guys” 0:09
8 CS of Char B looking off screen while moving hands in a conversational manner. Background movements indicating modest activity in the call center. Char B: “Well we just want to stay on top of your credit and avoid surprises.” 0:11
9 CS of Char A turning toward the left (his door). Char A: “Good, I hate surprises.” 0:14
10 CS of apartment door (number and knocker). Door clicking open, slight squeak as the door swings open 0:15
11 As door fully opens, MS indicates a bunch of colorful balloons tied together Char A: “Heh heh” 0:15
12 CS of goat standing in the living room Goat screams “aaahhh” 0:16
13 MS of Char A looking surprised and scared — startled body movements Char A screams “aaahhh” 0:16
14 MS of Char B at the desk looking surprised and scared throwing hand up and nearly spilling coffee Char B screams “aaahhh” 0:17
15 CS of goat screaming Goat screams “aaahhh” 0:17
16 CS of Char A screaming Char A screams “aaahhh” 0:18
17 CS of Char B screaming Char B screams “aaahhh” 0:18
18 CS of goat screaming Goat screams “aaahhh” 0:19
19 CS Char B screams to a stop Char B screaming stops abruptly 0:19
20 WS of Char A, fists clenched and tense Char A sucks in his breath and whimpers 0:20
21 WS of goat Goat bays softly 0:21
22 MS of Char A looking at his phone Char B over the speaker: “You okay?” 0:22
23 MS of Char A speaks and puts phone down to his side Char A: “Nope.” Breaths out in relief. 0:22
24 Discover It card moves in from out of focus CS and pulls back to crisp WS; type on screen reads: WE TREAT YOU LIKE YOU’D TREAT YOU” VO: “We treat you like you’d treat you.” 0:23
25 Image and type swipe right; new animation of number counter ticking and type on screen: MILLION FREE FICO CREDIT SCORES; ticker stops at 175 with VO VO: “We’ve already given more than 175 million free FICO credit scores to our card members.” 0:25
26 Type on screen swipes in left to right: APPLY TODAY AT DISCOVER.COM VO: “Apply today at Discover dot com” 0:28

Discover. (2015, February 15). Surprise – Discover It Card [Videolog]. YouTube. Retrieved from

Creative Brief: Milton Hershey School and Rappahannock Goodwill Industries

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Note: While based on actual research and real organizations, the following creative briefs are fictional. They were developed as coursework for the IMC program at WVU.

Milton Hershey School, Hershey, PA

Creative Brief

Why are we advertising?

The majority of Milton Hershey School’s student body is made up by Pennsylvania native students. They are hoping to expand their recruitment into other states within reasonable driving distance from Hershey, PA.

Whom are we talking to?

Parents and guardians of qualified students outside of Pennsylvania.

What do they currently think?

  • While the Hershey brand is well-known for their candy and other treats, many outside of the Hershey, Pennsylvania region understand the Milton Hershey School’s mission and programs.
  • Parents and guardians may be hesitant to trust the virtues of a boarding school when their personal experience or exposure may be limited or non-existent.
  • A book written by a Philadelphia Inquirer reporter and published in 2015 paints a negative picture of the schools policies, history and funding.

What would we like them to think?

  • The Milton Hershey School is funded through the Hershey Trust. As such, the school is designed to provide an advanced curriculum with highly qualified teachers at no cost to the child or their family.
  • The school tailors individualized programs to prepare students for a bright future.
  • Enrolling their child into the Milton Hershey School is not an easy decision. But the stories of the alumni is proof that a structured education mixed with arts and sport leads to success.

What is the single most persuasive idea we can convey?

Enrolling your child in Milton Hershey School delivers on the promise of a brighter future.

Why should they believe it?

  • Alumni success
  • Current student success
  • Parent/Guardian stories


Rappahannock Goodwill Industries

Creative Brief

Why are we advertising?

The Rappahannock Goodwill’s job training program prepares citizens with disabilities for the workforce. Local businesses can participate by offering appropriate job placement for Goodwill-trained associates.

Whom are we talking to?

Local business leaders with open positions with skills matching Goodwill-trained associates.

What do they currently think?

  • Many local businesses are unfamiliar with the job training and employment placement services offered by Rappahannock Goodwill.
  • Some businesses misunderstand the attributes and job skills persons with disabilities can offer their organizations.

What would we like them to think?

  • Rappahannock Goodwill prepares persons with disabilities with the skills necessary to find work in the region.
  • Goodwill-trained employees are valuable assets to the community.
  • Businesses that hire Goodwill-trained associates provide a valuable service to persons with disabilities and the community as a whole.

What is the single most persuasive idea we can convey?

By hiring persons who have completed the Rappahannock Goodwill job training program, local businesses allow persons with disabilities to remain employed, improve their self-worth, and ultimately successfully contribute to society.

Why should they believe it?

  • Local businesses have already benefitted from hiring Rappahannock Goodwill job training program graduates.
  • Persons with disabilities placed in mainstream positions have shared their heartwarming stories of success and contribution.

Subtlety is the Best Policy in Brand Videos – Three Commercials You Don’t See Coming

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Everyone loves a compelling commercial that draws you in and surprises you. The Daily Commercial outlines some of the best commercials and branded videos for 2015. The videos range from poignant to funny to frankly, weird. With the opportunity for many viewers to skip commercials all together, brand videos have to crank up the creativity to draw in the viewer.

One way to engage an audience — don’t oversell the product. Let the consumer connect emotionally with the brand story before they decide to buy or act. These three commercials for well known brands surprised me with their stories while staying true to their brands.

The commercial starts with a classic horror setup. A male figure wearing outdoor gear wielding a weapon that looks rusty and horrible which clearly would do a bad job of a clean cut. The music is spooky indicating this figure is up to no good. He throws a large, heavy trash bag in his trunk, rolls up to his garage, and opens up an array of torture tools. Just as you anticipate something dreadful spilling out of the garbage bag, the man reveals three large pumpkins. The man is revealed as a pumpkin carving artist who uses his tools to create masterful three-dimensional pumpkin carvings. At the end of the commercial as he describes his artistic process, the man puts custom candy (obviously Snickers’ bars without the name) into the mouths of the pumpkins labeling each one “Drama Mama,” “Loopy,” and “Fiesty.” The last frame of the commercial, which runs 1:36, shows the three pumpkins with a few “fun size” snickers scattered around, and the words: “Who are you when you’re hungry? Grab a bag of Snickers Fun Size bars this halloween.”

Ultimately, this play on the traditional Snickers commercials, which indicate you are not your best when you are hungry so eat a Snickers, works well. By the end you will go, “Oh yeah, Snickers.” There isn’t a need to really push the product throughout the spot. The connection to the three styles of pumpkin and their hunger alter egos brings the brand message “satisfying hunger” home without an overt sale. Snickers managed to connect Halloween, an important time of year to differentiate candy brands, to their candy without showing one cute trick-or-treater.


The commercial begins with a young baby bundled in a pink blanket. It quickly dissolves to a young girl playing with a boat in the tub and then on to playing doctor by performing pretend surgery on a stuffed toy. It moves from one play experience to the next — surgery, helicopters, dragons, and more — including private play, a stage performance for friends, and a moment of imagination proudly watched by mom. The young girl’s voice speaks to the freedom to imagine and create without fear of failure or limitations. There are LEGO products used in the play scenes with the young girl, but they are subtle. If you didn’t know it was a LEGO commercial, you may think it was a video on self esteem or engineering careers for girls or even transition to a military commercial empowering women soldiers. The 1:00 commercial is shadowy with a strong piano music bed. The mood of the piece is thoughtful and emotional. The viewer wants to see the potential in the young girl, ultimately rooting for her success. The girl’s mother is seen only at the opening and closing — indicating she has always been there supporting and encouraging but letting the young girl discover her own way. The emotional buildup comes at 0:56 as the girl states, “I’m about to build something that I know will make you proud.”

LEGO does not traditionally market specifically to young girls. The brand message in this video is “discovery, imagination, and inspiration” through play. LEGO’s brand mark shows for the last :03 of the video with #KeepBuilding.


The brand video is a role reversal commercial showing the husband with a large, pregnant-looking belly. The spot follows the husband through the stereotypical pregnancy woes from stomach pains to food cravings to the semi-supportive spouse seemingly a little exasperated to an older woman giving up her seat on the bus. The music is a Michael Bolton song, “I Just Can’t Wait to Meet You” playing as the husband X’s days on the calendar throughout the spot. Then finally at the crescendo of the song, the husband holds his stomach and grabs his wife indicating, “It’s time.” The wife impatiently fidgets as she sits in a waiting room. At last the husband emerges with his once swollen belly flat again as the bathroom door swings shut. They embrace and walk away with the words, “If you’re irregular, get more fiber.” Finally the Fiber One box shows at the end of the spot as a female hand pushes it across the screen and a man picks it up. The role reversal spot implies that Fiber One may typically be a product women are attracted to yet men could benefit from too. Assuming women are still the audience, the brand message, “fiber keeps men regular, too” works. Share your Fiber One products with the constipated, irregular man in your life.


Do these brand stories work for you? Did you have the, “oh, that’s clever” moment when you see the connection to the brand? I watched them knowing the brand when it started. My kids gave all three a look and picked up on LEGO earlier than I thought they would. Perhaps that is because LEGO’s are a big part of their own play experience. Or LEGO wasn’t as clever as I give them credit. Regardless, they liked the commercial and believed the message met with their expectation of the product.

In the end, that is the goal. Connect emotionally; make the brand relatable; encourage a positive reaction; maybe sell a few products.



Daily Commercials. (2015). The Best Commercials 2015. Retrieved from

Fiber One. (2015, August 26). Expecting: I just can’t wait to meet you [Videolog]. Retrieved from

LEGO. (2014, November 26). LEGO commercial: Inspire imagination and keep building [Videolog]. Retrieved from

SnickersBrand. (2015, October 19). Snickers: Hungry for Halloween [Videolog]. Retrieved from

Mobile Advertising: If There’s a Waze, There’s a Way!

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The Waze app has completely changed the way drivers navigate the roads. Waze is a GPS-based mapping system that connects drivers in the vicinity. “Wazers,” or app users, signal hazards, increased traffic, accidents and other potential interruptions for drivers (Black, 2015). The app includes a social element where Wazers can select an avatar for their car icons and earn rewards to choose from a larger array of avatars.

wazereports-300x275As a regular Waze user, I have benefited from redirected routes to avoid accidents or other hazards. Although I don’t socialize with other Wazers, the app is more useful than Google maps or other applications available for GPS maps.  Google purchased Waze for $1 billion in 2013 (Johnson, 2015). With a large daily user base, Waze has the ability to target drivers based on time, day and location (Johnson, 2015). Similar to Google Ads, advertisers can purchase advertising based on impressions, budget, and type of ad (Waze, 2015).

Advertisers including Dunkin’ Donuts, Chick-fil-A, Panera Bread and others find the Waze app enticing to draw customers to their business based on time of day and local searches (Johnson, 2015).

Dunkin’ Donuts mapped all of its locations on Waze in 2012 and now buy ads which include pins and takeover ads (Johnson, 2015). “Those who saw the ad were more than two times as likely to use the app to navigate to Dunkin’ than those who did not see an ad, driving a total of 1,000 navigations to stores across multiple states” (Johnson, 2015). Okay, this may not sound like record breaking numbers, but for Dunkin’ Donuts, this is just the beginning as they are now layering weather data to test navigation results (Johnson, 2015).

WazeAdSampleJoesPizzaPanera Bread uses pin advertising only to encourage Wazers to find their stores, referencing concerns for distracting drivers with flashy takeover ads (Johnson, 2015). Whether the advertisers selected pins or takeover ads, advertising with Waze works and makes sense. For retailers, the most difficult part of marketing your business can be letting people know where you are. The Waze app gives literal driving directions, access to reviews, websites and other Google functions (Waze, 2015).

Although Dunkin’ Donuts saw increased navigation to store locations, there are still little to no metrics to determine direct return on investment from the ads. Waze (and Google) conducted a study to determine a new metric called “navigational lift” (Tode, 2015). Essentially, the study shows, based on a control group methodology, that average lift for pins and takeovers was 53 percent (Johnson, 2015; Tode, 2015). With Wazers engaging with the app five hours or more each month, Dunkin’ Donuts’ ad frequency and national retail locations make it a prime choice for mobile ads through this medium.

Consumers have had mixed reviews concerning the ads. Takeover ads only show when the car is idle for more than three seconds (Johnson, 2015). Drivers have complained on some review sites regarding the distraction of the ads, limited advertisers (such as too many Dunkin’ Donuts and Taco Bell ads), and a desire to pay to opt out of the ads (Guzman, 2014). However, more and more drivers are drawn to Waze which surely makes Google happy. Dunkin’ Donuts was forward thinking joining Waze from the beginning and maintaining innovation by continuously improving the Wazer engagement with their brand and physical locations.





Black, F. (2015, April 4). Road trip with Waze, a social traffic app [Video]. YouTube. Retrieved from


Guzman, M. (2014, September 11). Why I’m hooked on Waze, and what it says about the future of humans and machines [Web log]. GeekWire. Retrieved from

Johnson, L. (2015, March 24). With turn-by-turn directions, Google’s Waze app wants to win mobile advertising [Web log]. AdWeek. Retrieved from


Tode, C. (2015, March 27). Brands on Waze see average 53pc increase in traffic to locations [Web log]. Mobile Marketer. Retrieved from\

Waze. (2015). Advertise with Waze. Retrieved from

Consumer Dis-Trust of Mobile Privacy

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My mobile phone goes with me everywhere. I have a deep, personal connection to it. Like the fact that it knows my purchasing habits, shopping lists, kids’ photos, links to important documents, cached passwords … basically personal information that could be compromised. Are consumers, like me, falling for a false sense of privacy when it comes to our mobile devices?

The privacy act only identifies protection of personal information, which is data that identifies you such as your name, social security number, email address or credit card (Burdon, 2014). However, information is considered personal information if it is “reasonably identifiable” (Burdon, 2014).

MobilePhoneMirrorWhen you consider a mobile phone, there is a unique wifi network connection called the MAC Address. This identifier can be used to track the phone’s activity and locations not the personal information (Burdon, 2014). You can argue that a mobile phone or device is most likely connected to one individual. So arguably the connection could be considered “reasonably identifiable” under the Privacy Act. However, it’s not currently.

With advertising delivered to you on a digital board as you walk by or wait at a bus stop based on your mobile device, it’s technically not about your personal information but your mobile activity. That’s what I would call a gray area.

010714-ConsumerConfidence-USUsers of a mobile device use individual applications to access or engage with brands, products, games, etc. Each app has settings and terms of agreement. Most likely, 99% of people who download apps don’t actually read the fine print regarding privacy, tracking, and other identifiable information sharing. I would hope that everyone is well aware that online activity is tracked and used to deliver ads and messaging throughout your online experience. The mobile phone is really no different than online searches, social media, gaming, purchases or other activities that can be done on any device.

The consumer, or in the definition of the Privacy Act, personal information, is not tracked. It’s the device and activity that is tracked. So does that mean consumers have a right to be tracked without permission? No, but consumers give permission every time they download an app, purchase a device, or surf the Internet using a mobile device. The device is tracked, not the consumer. It’s a nuance, but its reality today.

Phone-to-phone communication and one-touch purchasing open up considerable legal and privacy concerns. As we begin to use our mobile devices to connect with our homes, appliances, and the whole “Internet of Things,” our private information becomes harder and harder to protect. Imagine connecting your home security system through your cloud so that you can set your alarm, check your cameras, and turn your lights on and off while you sit in a hotel thousands of miles away. Then imagine your phone being tracked indicating you are traveling away from home.

The more we connect the Internet of Things, the more vulnerable our personal information becomes. Consumers don’t trust technology as much as a few years ago. They are less likely to download an app or turn on location tracking (Bachman, 2014). Brands have to establish themselves as trustworthy for consumers to provide personal information.

Where do we go from here?



And just for fun, here’s an interesting video from John Ploumitsakos, Senior Director of Product Strategy and Sales for Twitter. It’s long, but worth the watch.




4YFN. (2015, May 4). ‘Back to the Future: How mobile technology shapes our lives [Video]. YouTube. Retrieved from

Bachman, K. (2014, January 28). Consumer confidence in online privacy hits 3-year low: Most afraid of businesses, not government [Web log]. AdWeek. Retrieved from

Burdon, M. (2014, March 11). Why new privacy laws won’t stop your phone being tracked [Web log]. Retrieved from

photo credit: <a href=”″>I can see you…</a> via <a href=””>photopin</a&gt; <a href=””>(license)</a&gt;