If you’ve managed to stop by the Marketers Studio for any time the past few weeks you would have noticed that David has been unwittingly transformed from being a live, independent minded human being into a two-dimensional promotional vehicle by Facebook for the company Blockbuster Video. It seems unending. In fact, it’s driven David to the point he’s established a contest in which people can create their own Facebook style anti-Social ad. That is so cool.
My own thoughts on this is that it’s obnoxious. They take an image of someone and place it – without the individual’s prior consent or even knowledge – all over the place on Facebook. And they have the friend implicitly endorsing a product or service. The subject of the ad doesn’t get paid a dime or benefit in any other way. The ad agency and presumably the client cold save money by not having to pay for a photographer or a creative type or a model or even for stock photography. And it is a direct violation of the concept of permission marketing, a sacred tenet for many in new media marketing.
But what isn’t being discussed is something that would be vital to it’s success. Namely as to whether or not the concept as a marketing too at all. And there it should fail as well. Why?
Because it’s not targeted to the ad recipient. Because it’s not targeted toward the needs and interests that the recipient that the person has laid out on their Facebook profile. In fact, it has nothing to do with the recipient of the ad. Instead, it’s like spaghetti thrown up against a wall. It’s old style marketing. But because it’s on a hot property and it has the word "social" in it, it is supposed to be a new wave of advertising. I think not.
Now I realize that initially it may be intriguing for many at first. And that interest may last a little longer for college students and high school kids. But as one gets older (and hits their mid-twenties) gets a little less exciting. Our interests solidify and we don’t need as much affirmation of our interests from our peers as we did when we were a few years younger. Tangerine Toad has a great piece about it here.
Now, I wasn’t much for Beacon either. But I see this as another extension of over-hyped banal marketing designed to hopefully meet their silly $15 billion valuation.