21 August 2008

Social Media Powers Better Advertising

One of my issues with advertising has always been that, as a consumer (not an ad expert), I feel like so much advertising misses the mark. It's not personal. It's not relevant. It's often flashy or gimmicky or shocking for the sake of it, but rarely does it help me better understand a brand or build a relationship with it. My good friend and marketing smart guy posted recently about advertising that sucks, and I posted about an ad from the ASPCA that I think totally misses the mark.

I watch the Super Bowl commercials each year like everyone else, but have to be honest that I rarely remember the brands themselves that were part of the remarkable spots. And as much as I love the Budweiser Clydesdales, I'm still not going to buy their beer.

To me, advertising should be about creating awareness for a company, product, service or idea in a way that really connects with people. In human terms. And demonstrates how the brand embodies those ideas. People develop brand loyalty because it does something for them in a way nothing else can, or because they feel a personal affinity for the company/product/service for a particular reason.

And I don't find any of those things in a jingle, a stunt, sophmoric humor, or flashy weird graphics that are meant to be bizarre or avant garde but have no material connection to the brand itself. And I see lots and lots of ads that do so many of those things. The ads themselves may be interesting or "remarkable" but that doesn't translate to the brand. Am I missing something?

And I know we use Dell as an example a lot, but that's really because they're doing so many things right, like their ReGeneration project. They've asked a question: What does green mean to you? And as part of their project, they launched a contest on Facebook where they asked folks to submit artwork that spoke to their feelings about being green. I'm actually a bit behind here - the campaign is several months old now - but it has sticking power in my head because of how open Dell was to letting the community determine the direction for their project.

The cool part to me is that Dell did something that's one of the pillars of social media in my mind: They let their community create their advertising for them. They took some of the artwork and created ads around them. No fancy agencies, no "crafted messages", no gimmicks or in-your-face corporate speak. A sample is below.

Dell realized that their customers could and do build up their brand as well or better than they can. Jeremiah Owyang has a good breakdown of the campaign here.



So are you leveraging what your customers and fans are doing on behalf of your brand? How do you think companies can better embrace the brand assets that their customers might be creating for them? Do you think advertising is as misguided as I do, and if so, why hasn't it changed? Would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
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5 comments:

Frank Conrad Martin said...

Good post Amber!

It continually amazes me how some of the biggest (and presumably brightest) agencies can be so far "off the mark" when it comes to advertising and brand building. It's as if marketing, advertising and brand-building all have different if not competing agendas.

The don't create; they follow. Recently, (white) man-bashing is the rage! They may be amusing, but tell me how any of those ads is going to help develop a (positive) brand identity!

Advertising is on the cusp of change now - the agencies are seeing traditional forms of revenue evaporating, and they are fighting tooth and nail to preserve their positions. Watch and see!

Starbucks is also building the brand by developing community at http://www.mystarbucksidea.com. It's an example of what we are going to see social media doing for companies in the near future as they start to "get it"!

Again, great post, as usual!!

Lloyd Lemons said...

Yes, I think advertising is misguided, and has been for years and years. It was certainly misguided when David Ogilvy wrote about it in the '70s and '80s when he was the "Creative King". No matter how hard I look, I cannot find ads as "brand-building" as his work for Rolls-Royce, Schweppes and Hathaway shirts. Today's stuff is so creative it misses the point entirely. Agencies are more interested in winning creative awards than they are in creating advertising the works. The only question bigger than 'why is there so much lousy advertising', is 'why do companies continue to pay for it'.

Thanks. I enjoy your blog.

gianandrea said...

Maybe the key is in the definition of the agencies activity.
Customers do not need anymore advertising, it looks for communication. Creative agencies do advertising. Who will be in charge of generating communication? The corporations themselves.

laurent said...

Yes socialmedia should power better advertising ;-). In theory!
I see two reasons for that:
1- Social media is about niches. Advertising is about targeting. So if you can find all the relevant niches for a product/service you want to advertise, then you have done a better targeting job.
2- Social media is about symbols (to illustrate a concept). People in a community use the same expressions, the same graphical representations, they share widgets...if one can understand the language of a community as well as other artifacts and reuse them in the message of the advertising, it's more likely to be relevant.

Practically, on 1), I've done some positive experiment. On 2) I read that mini cooper listened to everything that was said into their brand, analyzed the key customer points and crafted their next messages with and around those.

peter said...

There is no limit to just how much the internet has revolutionized our world. Not only has information become an immediately accessible commodity, but it has also changed the way people all around the world are working. Especially in the world of blogging, people are able to transform their homes into offices and effectively become their own bosses.
-------------
micheel

link building

21 August 2008

Social Media Powers Better Advertising

One of my issues with advertising has always been that, as a consumer (not an ad expert), I feel like so much advertising misses the mark. It's not personal. It's not relevant. It's often flashy or gimmicky or shocking for the sake of it, but rarely does it help me better understand a brand or build a relationship with it. My good friend and marketing smart guy posted recently about advertising that sucks, and I posted about an ad from the ASPCA that I think totally misses the mark.

I watch the Super Bowl commercials each year like everyone else, but have to be honest that I rarely remember the brands themselves that were part of the remarkable spots. And as much as I love the Budweiser Clydesdales, I'm still not going to buy their beer.

To me, advertising should be about creating awareness for a company, product, service or idea in a way that really connects with people. In human terms. And demonstrates how the brand embodies those ideas. People develop brand loyalty because it does something for them in a way nothing else can, or because they feel a personal affinity for the company/product/service for a particular reason.

And I don't find any of those things in a jingle, a stunt, sophmoric humor, or flashy weird graphics that are meant to be bizarre or avant garde but have no material connection to the brand itself. And I see lots and lots of ads that do so many of those things. The ads themselves may be interesting or "remarkable" but that doesn't translate to the brand. Am I missing something?

And I know we use Dell as an example a lot, but that's really because they're doing so many things right, like their ReGeneration project. They've asked a question: What does green mean to you? And as part of their project, they launched a contest on Facebook where they asked folks to submit artwork that spoke to their feelings about being green. I'm actually a bit behind here - the campaign is several months old now - but it has sticking power in my head because of how open Dell was to letting the community determine the direction for their project.

The cool part to me is that Dell did something that's one of the pillars of social media in my mind: They let their community create their advertising for them. They took some of the artwork and created ads around them. No fancy agencies, no "crafted messages", no gimmicks or in-your-face corporate speak. A sample is below.

Dell realized that their customers could and do build up their brand as well or better than they can. Jeremiah Owyang has a good breakdown of the campaign here.



So are you leveraging what your customers and fans are doing on behalf of your brand? How do you think companies can better embrace the brand assets that their customers might be creating for them? Do you think advertising is as misguided as I do, and if so, why hasn't it changed? Would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

5 comments:

Frank Conrad Martin said...

Good post Amber!

It continually amazes me how some of the biggest (and presumably brightest) agencies can be so far "off the mark" when it comes to advertising and brand building. It's as if marketing, advertising and brand-building all have different if not competing agendas.

The don't create; they follow. Recently, (white) man-bashing is the rage! They may be amusing, but tell me how any of those ads is going to help develop a (positive) brand identity!

Advertising is on the cusp of change now - the agencies are seeing traditional forms of revenue evaporating, and they are fighting tooth and nail to preserve their positions. Watch and see!

Starbucks is also building the brand by developing community at http://www.mystarbucksidea.com. It's an example of what we are going to see social media doing for companies in the near future as they start to "get it"!

Again, great post, as usual!!

Lloyd Lemons said...

Yes, I think advertising is misguided, and has been for years and years. It was certainly misguided when David Ogilvy wrote about it in the '70s and '80s when he was the "Creative King". No matter how hard I look, I cannot find ads as "brand-building" as his work for Rolls-Royce, Schweppes and Hathaway shirts. Today's stuff is so creative it misses the point entirely. Agencies are more interested in winning creative awards than they are in creating advertising the works. The only question bigger than 'why is there so much lousy advertising', is 'why do companies continue to pay for it'.

Thanks. I enjoy your blog.

gianandrea said...

Maybe the key is in the definition of the agencies activity.
Customers do not need anymore advertising, it looks for communication. Creative agencies do advertising. Who will be in charge of generating communication? The corporations themselves.

laurent said...

Yes socialmedia should power better advertising ;-). In theory!
I see two reasons for that:
1- Social media is about niches. Advertising is about targeting. So if you can find all the relevant niches for a product/service you want to advertise, then you have done a better targeting job.
2- Social media is about symbols (to illustrate a concept). People in a community use the same expressions, the same graphical representations, they share widgets...if one can understand the language of a community as well as other artifacts and reuse them in the message of the advertising, it's more likely to be relevant.

Practically, on 1), I've done some positive experiment. On 2) I read that mini cooper listened to everything that was said into their brand, analyzed the key customer points and crafted their next messages with and around those.

peter said...

There is no limit to just how much the internet has revolutionized our world. Not only has information become an immediately accessible commodity, but it has also changed the way people all around the world are working. Especially in the world of blogging, people are able to transform their homes into offices and effectively become their own bosses.
-------------
micheel

link building

21 August 2008

Social Media Powers Better Advertising

One of my issues with advertising has always been that, as a consumer (not an ad expert), I feel like so much advertising misses the mark. It's not personal. It's not relevant. It's often flashy or gimmicky or shocking for the sake of it, but rarely does it help me better understand a brand or build a relationship with it. My good friend and marketing smart guy posted recently about advertising that sucks, and I posted about an ad from the ASPCA that I think totally misses the mark.

I watch the Super Bowl commercials each year like everyone else, but have to be honest that I rarely remember the brands themselves that were part of the remarkable spots. And as much as I love the Budweiser Clydesdales, I'm still not going to buy their beer.

To me, advertising should be about creating awareness for a company, product, service or idea in a way that really connects with people. In human terms. And demonstrates how the brand embodies those ideas. People develop brand loyalty because it does something for them in a way nothing else can, or because they feel a personal affinity for the company/product/service for a particular reason.

And I don't find any of those things in a jingle, a stunt, sophmoric humor, or flashy weird graphics that are meant to be bizarre or avant garde but have no material connection to the brand itself. And I see lots and lots of ads that do so many of those things. The ads themselves may be interesting or "remarkable" but that doesn't translate to the brand. Am I missing something?

And I know we use Dell as an example a lot, but that's really because they're doing so many things right, like their ReGeneration project. They've asked a question: What does green mean to you? And as part of their project, they launched a contest on Facebook where they asked folks to submit artwork that spoke to their feelings about being green. I'm actually a bit behind here - the campaign is several months old now - but it has sticking power in my head because of how open Dell was to letting the community determine the direction for their project.

The cool part to me is that Dell did something that's one of the pillars of social media in my mind: They let their community create their advertising for them. They took some of the artwork and created ads around them. No fancy agencies, no "crafted messages", no gimmicks or in-your-face corporate speak. A sample is below.

Dell realized that their customers could and do build up their brand as well or better than they can. Jeremiah Owyang has a good breakdown of the campaign here.



So are you leveraging what your customers and fans are doing on behalf of your brand? How do you think companies can better embrace the brand assets that their customers might be creating for them? Do you think advertising is as misguided as I do, and if so, why hasn't it changed? Would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

5 comments:

Frank Conrad Martin said...

Good post Amber!

It continually amazes me how some of the biggest (and presumably brightest) agencies can be so far "off the mark" when it comes to advertising and brand building. It's as if marketing, advertising and brand-building all have different if not competing agendas.

The don't create; they follow. Recently, (white) man-bashing is the rage! They may be amusing, but tell me how any of those ads is going to help develop a (positive) brand identity!

Advertising is on the cusp of change now - the agencies are seeing traditional forms of revenue evaporating, and they are fighting tooth and nail to preserve their positions. Watch and see!

Starbucks is also building the brand by developing community at http://www.mystarbucksidea.com. It's an example of what we are going to see social media doing for companies in the near future as they start to "get it"!

Again, great post, as usual!!

Lloyd Lemons said...

Yes, I think advertising is misguided, and has been for years and years. It was certainly misguided when David Ogilvy wrote about it in the '70s and '80s when he was the "Creative King". No matter how hard I look, I cannot find ads as "brand-building" as his work for Rolls-Royce, Schweppes and Hathaway shirts. Today's stuff is so creative it misses the point entirely. Agencies are more interested in winning creative awards than they are in creating advertising the works. The only question bigger than 'why is there so much lousy advertising', is 'why do companies continue to pay for it'.

Thanks. I enjoy your blog.

gianandrea said...

Maybe the key is in the definition of the agencies activity.
Customers do not need anymore advertising, it looks for communication. Creative agencies do advertising. Who will be in charge of generating communication? The corporations themselves.

laurent said...

Yes socialmedia should power better advertising ;-). In theory!
I see two reasons for that:
1- Social media is about niches. Advertising is about targeting. So if you can find all the relevant niches for a product/service you want to advertise, then you have done a better targeting job.
2- Social media is about symbols (to illustrate a concept). People in a community use the same expressions, the same graphical representations, they share widgets...if one can understand the language of a community as well as other artifacts and reuse them in the message of the advertising, it's more likely to be relevant.

Practically, on 1), I've done some positive experiment. On 2) I read that mini cooper listened to everything that was said into their brand, analyzed the key customer points and crafted their next messages with and around those.

peter said...

There is no limit to just how much the internet has revolutionized our world. Not only has information become an immediately accessible commodity, but it has also changed the way people all around the world are working. Especially in the world of blogging, people are able to transform their homes into offices and effectively become their own bosses.
-------------
micheel

link building