Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Opinion On Big Brands: The State of the Game

So far 2009 has seen a slew of brands (large and small) enter the social space. Some have stumbled in, others entered with confidence. The advertising community is inundated with talk of these brands - how they did it, who they worked with, and what will happen next.

Frankly, I'm getting a little tired of hearing about it...

Here's my opinion on brands entering the social space: do it right the first time. The best way to make sure that happens is through partnership with an agency that understands and embraces innovation. Clearly, most of us still don't get it.

Even the great successes of 2009 (Whopper Sacrifice, etc...) touted by the advertising community and social media evangelists were not that great in the end. Where is the integration, the holistic thinking, the restructuring of brand communications?

If brands think they can just walk out onto the street, grab a handful of tactics from any of the thousands of "social media expert uber-consultants" and tweet their way to success then there isn't really a need for agency partners. Communicating value by bringing more to the table than tips, tricks, and tactics is a must for the last half of 2009.

It's time to stop talking about "viral videos" (no such thing - stop trying to sell it) and start talking about integrated communications plans that incorporate print, television, interactive, and anything else you can get your arms around.

Don't get me wrong - there are a lot of intelligent agencies, consultants, marketers, and specialists out there doing great things. I'm just feeling like many of these individuals and companies are also short-sighted in their zeal to spread the social love. Maybe it's the fact that all I could find this morning in industry news was Pizza Hut's new "Twinternship" (cute). That's not entirely true. The other industry news I read was about more layoffs.

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