Instead of trying to find the new new thing. instead of to trying to change people, perhaps more time can be spent what is worked since the dawn of time.
In the new media world, we are guilt of taking things that are niche, fringe and unproven to our clients just to show how edgy and shiney we are. The worst thing of all, they are usually geeky things like Twitter and Blogging that we and are friends use when most of their target market do not live in the interactive marketing world. Sure, the people who use things could *spark* ideas but that is hardly a big platform idea.
We need to very often step out of downtown New York and Silicon Vallery (they are fringe mindsets) and spend more time where the rest of world lives.
The reality is more new ideas fail than succeed. As mentioned in a previous post, if Hotmail can die, so can Facebook, Twitter and MySpace. By definition, whatever is cool right now, will not be cool very soon. The cool crowd talking up those things pride themselves being on the new new thing all time - so you will notice they have a pattern of dropping and picking up.
So it takes me back to ideas, stories and characters. Start there. Don't start with Facebook, Twitter and MySpace. Weak stories, weak characters and weak premise are still all of those things when you put them on Facebook, Twitter and MySpace... and blog about it.
The reality is this. People are putting their brand content in the easiest places for people to access in your home. But people still commute to a movie theatre and pay $11 just for the hope of seeing a good story told well with memorable characters. Do the brands that are trying to sell them listen ? No.
For an example of the use of story and character to engage people. Really pay attention to the story line in this Kelly Clarkson video. (Because you are reading a blog, you are put in the box as a hater. Try and break out of that of being someone who is aware of what the masses want.)
This video has had 20 million plus views. So by a real qualification, it is popular.Because Of You
It does not matter how good looking you make your product in a commercial. Your "commercial" is a product pitch that we will not be forwarding to friends no matter what social network you upload it to. We want you to tell us a story first and only once that is done FIRST, then we will pay attention to you and your product.
Sarah The Consumer
So, the question should not be "Is this ad on brand?" it should be "Is this truly on consumer?". Then once we have their hearts and minds, what can they do for us. That is the new value exchange of the marketing world people and brands live in.