Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Gen Y and bringing back face time.

With the growth of social media on the web and new communities springing up – particularly for the gen y demographic -- we are missing out on socializing in the real world. Somehow our reliance on those communities has meant that we don’t need or want to continue to connect outside of the basement – where entire dramas can unfold without moving from the couch. But by doing this are we really trying to avoid that face to face time?

In the new Dentyne gum campaign, which is both print and tv ads, they are targeting Gen Y and their socializing patterns and highlighting the shift from electronic communications to “Making Face Time”. I was really taken by the print ads as I made my way home on the subway. I was like, “Yeah, I do want more face time.” Which is, I am sure, so different from what everyone thinks Gen Y wants. We want to connect with people. Online, at home, on the train, in the pub. When I investigated more about the new Dentyne campaign I checked out their website which continues to reinforce the brand. It has a counter on it to limit the time you spend on it , promoting more face time. One interesting feature is the smiley chamber of doom, where emoticons which we all used are destroyed using interesting tactics like being squished, inflated to the point of explosion, you get the point.

With social networking uptake by women evidenced by recent Facebook statistics and what we know about women and their need to nurture relationships, are women less likely to fall victim to the online social vacuum and maintain their face to face time? Hard to say, I know that I am with Dentyne and want to go back to where you actually have a physical conversation with people. Face time is back! Woo hoo.

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Cadillac and Kate Walsh, firing on all cylinders!

Critique: Cadillac CTS ad with Kate Walsh, when you turn your car on, does it return the favor? Now here is an ad that I can get excited about! They creators of the ad may have had the Kate sex appeal in mind when developing this creative for the male market given that the CTS is a model designed for the male market, however, it gets A's all across the gender board in also appealing to women. This liberated and luxurious female message hits all the right chords with women and goes further beyond brand to extend to product appeal. I found myself considering what it would be like to drive a Cadillac even though this is not my auto brand of choice.

SWING gives this ad top marks for smart marketing with women!

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Thursday, October 23, 2008

Social media, marketers and consumers

Going through my stack of Marketing Magazine's to catch up on, I was leafing through the August issue and came across the interview with Grant McCraken on Circle of Brands. Matt Semansky, staff writer for Marketing Magazine posed a great question in this interview asking "how can marketers gain the trust of consumers in the social media space?". Although I am not sure it was exactly answered by Grant, the proposition is extremely insightful. In a world of co-creation and UGC, consumers are designers, developers and producers for marketers. As it should be. Both marketers and consumers now have skin in the game which begs a greater need for an exchange of trust.

Some time ago when we first launched the www.defineyourself.ca community for women to discuss how they feel about aging, we were criticized by a well known journalist for 'using' women and their views as research for the marketer. At the time it struct me as a highly antiquated observation but I chalked it up to inexperience with social communities as consumer pipelines for co-creation, feedback and ideation. The notion of getting closer to the consumer is just smart business and good for everyone. The formation of a win-win value exchange model opens up new possibilities for an emerging marketplace that levels buyers and sellers on common ground.

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