Monash University
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Behavioural ecology and advertising practice : an evolutionary approach to consumer engagement within complex networks

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posted on 2017-05-15, 06:54 authored by Amner, Maxwell Scott
This study takes an evolutionary perspective on consumer behaviour in an online context. Specifically, it aims to show how such an analysis can not only enhance our understanding of the contemporary online era but also suggest new avenues for advertising practice. The theoretical approach will draw on insights from a range of disciplines including memetics, semiology and anthropology, as well as cross-disciplinary fields of study such as behavioural ecology. This is necessary given the underlying premise that human behaviour is a response to a complex mix of environmental pressures, both biological and sociocultural. (Advertising’s power to engage consumers rests on its ability to harness these pressures; but for the purpose of this study it can also be seen as simply another such pressure.) The focus on the online world is a recognition of the internet’s increasing importance – in general sociocultural terms, and as reflected in advertising practice. It has also rapidly developed the hallmarks of an environment, evolving along with the entities that inhabit this virtual space, through various selection and survival mechanisms. The study will identify these mechanisms and investigate the ways in which they operate. Finally it will propose an evolutionary strategy to maximise the chance of survival for brands within this environment, based on the model of symbiotic, co-adaptive behaviour.


Campus location


Principal supervisor

Bradley Haylock

Additional supervisor 1

Vincent Dziekan

Year of Award


Department, School or Centre


Degree Type



Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture