The social graph. Data portability. Privacy. Data control. These are the pressing issues marketers face (or should be) when it comes to social media and how everyone (publishers, advertisers and users) can play nice together and all win. Peerset CTO and Co-founder Amit Kanigsberg has a few things to share on this topic.
Time to lose the training wheels
First off, I'll state that I'm not getting onto the "let's tear down Facebook bandwagon." I have a tempered attitude towards the changing social networking landscape - as much as I do enjoy a well-placed tirade. There are a lot of people predicting Facebook's demise, but the fact is there are a lot of smart parties at the table with an interest in not imploding. I'd rather talk about more fundamental forces, largely external to Facebook that will contribute to shifts, particularly as it relates to privacy, data and ad relevancy.
In short, I believe that social networking sites have acted as the training wheels for our online social aptitude. They have allowed us to discover and explore the potential for social networking, while developing the foundation for a broader and truly distributed online experience. We're about ready to take off the training wheels.
This is a guest post by Big Fuel Communications CEO Avi Savar. If you've every wanted to know anything about mommy bloggers and what brands are doing in this space then this article id for you.
Did Mom invent social media? Some say she did. And there is no arguing that she is driving it and helping it to evolve. There are 82 million moms across the U.S. of all ages. That's right, 82 million. And 26 million of them are mommy bloggers. And they are grassroots, Oprah-like brand advocates with loyal followers who can change the trajectory of a brand and its products.
Over at I Mean...What?!? Abe Gurko makes an insightful observation into the hypocrisy which, seemingly, runs wild in today's society. Gurko argues, "You cannot walk around trashing Miley Cyrus for doing a lap dance with an old queen like Adam Shankman and consider the new Miss USA marketing campaign a good idea."
Of the campaign, Gurko writes, "all 51 contestants have traded in their pageant hair and cornball, prom gowns for that skanky, Gross Baboon of the Year look that all of Tiger Woods' skanks share."
Furthering his point, Gurko adds, "You cannot watch Jersey Shore and think it is hilarious, anxiously waiting Season Two, then judge Miley Cyrus for being too young to be sexy."
Oh course, Miley was 16 at the time of her lap dance and the cast of Jersey Shore are well over the age of 18 but the point is a valid one in a broader sense. We love to use and see sexualized imagery in advertising and the broader media but God forbid if it's one's son or daughter being sexualized.
In an effort to challenge American Apparel's assertion the people in their sexually charged ads are ordinary people, Trent University student Jes Sachse, who suffers from a genetic disorder called Freeman-Sheldon syndrome, will appear on posters in Toronto transit stations May 6, 11, 22 and 31.
Photographed by her friend Holly Norris for a series called American Able, Saches will dress and pose as if she were in an American Apparel ad. As Norris writes on her site, "American Able intends to, through spoof, reveal the ways in which women with disabilities are invisibilized in advertising and mass media."
Loren Feldman of 1938 media has made a public plea to AOL CEO and Chairman Tim Armstrong urging him to buy Facebook. Calling Mark Zuckerberg an asshole who can't be trusted and who treats people's data like "chips in some bullshit poker game," Feldman argues AOL is a brand that still means something and was known for its simplicity and its privacy, something that's currently dogging Facebook.
Feldman says Armstrong should go on TV and plead his case to the American public and educate them about what's going on with Facebook and why it would be better under the AOL umbrella.
If you're into alternative opinions, give this video a watch. You won't be disappointed.
Oh, Chatroulette, how we used to love you so. Back in the day before anyone had heard of you. Back before people could pleasure themselves in peace before everyone found out that's all anyone does on Chatroulette. And back before every brand in the world decided Chatroulette is the new Second Life.
Here we have Amsterdam-based condom shop Condomerie using a "topless" hottie holding a sign which, at first, lets the viewer think they've struck masturbatory gold. Then the young lady holds the sign up and the viewer is presented with, "You are now in touch with a HIV infected person. Don't play Russian roulette in real life." Way to bring a guy down.
Of course this is completely stupid and the targeting is idiotic. First of all, no one needs a condom to masturbate. And, second, no matter how prolific a person's Chatroulette orgasm may be, there will never be an exchange of bodily fluids and, hence, no chance of becoming infected with HIV.
Can we move on from Chatroulette now?
If you are squeamish or faint of heart, you may want to reconsider viewing this nine minute video, Born Free, from M.I.A. (Mathangi "Maya" Arulpragasam). If you can get past the extreme violence in this video and grasp the metaphor presented, then, by all means, give it a watch.
The artist has put forth a thoughtful examination of the discriminatory violence that occurs around the world. For the metaphor, M.I.A. uses redheads or "gingers" as they are referred to in Britain, to illustrate her point. Gingers, those with pale skin, freckles and red hair, are considered by some to be inferior. The group is used as an example of persecuted groups around the world.
Hmm. After viewing this new Eastpak campaign from Satisfaction in Brussels, one might think it's an early tie in with the next Transformers movie. That or the brand is trying to become the latest fashion-wear for skateboarding little people who love to rock.
Or, take note cause groups, Eastpak is saying it's perfectly OK to stuff a little person inside a back pack and watch them do silly things as if they are some new form of entertainment. But hey, overseas, they aren't as outrageously politically correct as we are here in the States. They have no problem referring to the people in the ad as "our pint-sized cast of characters." So it's all good.
You can view the ads here, here and here.
Branding is a powerful thing. Benjamin Moore used to be my paint of choice. After all, why not? Their ads, including this recent campaign from Cramer-Krasselt which highlights creative people from various practices, have always touted the brand as a quality product.
Then I started reading Consumer Reports.
Year after year after year, Benjamin Moore never performed well. Consistently Behr, a Home Depot Brand, always won. So who are we to believe? A marketer with a beautifully crafted ad campaign? Or a non-commercial entity whose sole responsibility is to impartially rate consumer products? We think you know the answer.
AdFreak describes new work from Hunky Dorys as "an advertising campaign that pairs scantily clad females playing a contact sport with suggestive headlines in a blatant attempt to curry favor with the young male target market."
Um. Well, isn't that the entire point? What's blatant about using images of hot, half-dressed women to catch men's attention? It's basic human nature. Men love hot women. Men want to be with hot women. And when they can't...which is most the time...they settle for staring at hot women. In magazines. On TV. On the internet, In porn flicks. And, yes, in advertising which, if you think about it, is really a public service of sorts.