Everyone in the Social Media world is going on and on about building relationships and spending money on a good PR agency, vs. millions on advertising. It’s not worth it, they say. The top down approach no longer works. they say.
Well, I call bullshit.
Advertising is valuable… when done right.
Sure, when I’m watching TV or videos online, I’d rather claw my eyes out than watch yet another 30 second slot of why L’oreal (I never know where to put the apostrophe) or Pantene is so amazing and makes me look exactly like the models, like O. M. G.!
But isn’t that because the ads themselves suck? I mean I may believe Sarah Jessica Parker actually colors her hair out of a box only because I also believe she has a $500/hr hair dresser applying that color.
Despite Social Media being the “it” thing right now, there’s still value in ads. With the right execution, ads reinforce positive brand attributes and can actually make your constituency feel a sense of exclusivity and belonging – something Martin Lindstrom covers in his new book, buyology. (Just had to add a plug. The marketing research discussed is interesting, although I’m a bit skeptical on the methodology and potential.)
The big take-away is “done right.” People hate Wal-mart but love Target. Why? Because Target understands the importance of design and perception in addition to low prices. Wal-mart treats their employees like jack and get cheap stuff from developing nations. Target has the hottest designers and gives 10% back to charity. I’m pretty sure Target sources from developing nations too… but that’s not what you emphasize, is it?
Ok. Ok. The ads don’t make Target better than Wal-mart. And it shouldn’t. But it does remind you of exactly why you love going there.
So go on and hire that Social Media agency. Research how to interact with bloggers and how to be real with your tweeters. Understand that a Facebook app or page isn’t a check list item but a project to be executed only if it’s really the right way to interact with your market base.
But remember, good ads stick with you.
Here are some of my faves: