TV advertisers not realizing digital potential.

by Mike Hanbery on July 30, 2010

in Business Social Media,Facebook,Marketing,web 2.0

“You can’t just launch your Facebook Page and expect people to find it. You have to reach out through traditional and non-opt-in means–networking, advertising, Search Engine Marketing, for example–incentivize them to connect with you and when they arrive, give them what they expect.”  – Me, yesterday and every other time I’ve delivered my Social Media and Your Sales Funnel presentation.

“TV is no longer a broadcast medium so much as it is a mass distribution channel — one that establishes awareness for a larger campaign effort that gives consumers a real role in shaping and communicating the brand essence.” – iMedia’s Jim Nichols, Monday.

Jim and I are saying the same thing in that, anymore, effective marketing involves direct, participatory consumer engagement via the online channels and that effective campaigns are integrated.

We differ in that I don’t think the majority of TV advertisers have caught up to him. Jim and I both like Pepsi. I’m married with kids so I’m not allowed to watch anything Axe does. I only just got turned on to the next level of the Kia hamster thing from reading his article, and it made my day because I dig that campaign with both shovels. Jim’s point is that these brands, and a couple others he ably cites, use the broadcast medium as  a signpost to let me know that if I enjoy the TV spot or like the product it advertises, it might very well be worth my time to become informed or entertained via their social Internet presence.

Nichols details five campaigns he admires. In less time than he spent researching and preparing his multimedia article, Jim could make a list of 500 TV advertisers who are stumbling into the engagement advertising age or burying their heads in the sand and pretending it isn’t happening.

Actually it’s not just advertisers. You can see cable news channels encouraging their viewers to connect with them on Twitter, true, but rare is the instance in which the online channel actually drives the content. Rather, it is used as peripheral filler, a visual letter to the Editor. Multinational companies are at a loss for how to cope with the inherent transparency of modern communication. BP, if you’re listening, you need a new PR agency. You’ve done everything wrong. And you won’t be the last to blow it. This political season, replete with iPads, will generate an unprecedented amount of head shaking.

Back to advertisers. I’ve given Honda a bit of a bad time in this space because their stuff is so…blah. Adidas’s Star Wars spoof gets mixed reviews. But at least they’re dipping their toes in the water. You know Yoo Hoo has no social media presence? None. And that’s tragic. How much fun could you have with Yoo Hoo on Facebook? Two geeks could riff off enough Facebook apps to revive that brand twice before needing refills on their coffee at Village Inn.

Speaking of Village Inn, when you go to, do you get something fun, like, I don’t know, maybe a little interactive thing that allows me to make a face with my virtual breakfast, a contest where I get to suggest a new flavor of pancake? No. I get a bar in England.

So I am really rooting for Jim to be correct, but we haven’t yet hit the point where a majority of traditional advertisers have grasped the painfully obvious.

And I suggest you “like” Village Inn on Facebook. Where else can you get this interchange:

STEVEN, July 23, 7:41 AM:  village inn sucks ,we were up dancin lastnight and my m8 was out havin a fag and we had 3 half drunken pints on a table and the glass collector swiped the lot ,i complained to the head bar maid and she said that if pint’s are left un attended for more than 10mins then they get poured away, now i can understand that if the place was mobbed but it was half empty, whats the crack village inn?

THE VILLAGE INN, July 23, 8:51 AM: These things happen Steven, sorry.

Up dancin. My M8. Havin a fag. Glass collector. Swiped the lot. Head bar maid. Poured away. What’s the crack. My circles could use a bloke like Steven. And I’m all for him and his m8 gettin a fresh pint on the house.

Cheerio, chaps. Enjoy your weekend.


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  • Jim Nichols

    Thanks for the pluig Mike. Though I think you said things better than I did. ;-)

  • Mike Hanbery

    Jim, we're all trying to crack this nut together. BTW, cosmic moment: Just as this comment came in via Disqus I was sending a link to your blog to an audience member from my Qwest Business seminar yesterday who had a question about fair use and republishing of content from the Internet.

  • David

    Interesting article Mike, and very true. There are so many engaging viral videos, social media driven community projects and even some forums that are engaging for a company's customer base. This is significant viral pull already out there. It comes down to who is running the corporation and buying into a big leap of faith from their current point of view.

    We are long past the “Social Media is here to stay” phase, thou so many people are still writing blogs with that as their feature article title. It's like they are stuck on a wow factor from 7 years ago.

    We are into the strategy implementation stage. And just like brands can regress with actions like: making cars with brakes that disengage; put out cable commercials that completely turn off their market; or produce multi million dollar movies that are high on graphical wonders – low on writing skills; brands can also completely miss the advantages of social media that others are perfecting. And perfecting in clear view. Thank you for introducing us to Jim, I'll read his article now. :-)

  • Mike Hanbery

    David, yeah, I often wonder if we have reached critical mass with, “Social media is…” and, “Why it's important…” As you say, people write and speak on those subjects with pervasive proliferation, and I guess I'll leave them to it. When their audiences graduate to actually wanting get something from their efforts, we'll be here Swift Kickin'.

    If you read my post on TV advertising and social integration from 7.30.2010, and put a few minutes of thought to it, I'm sure you'll find it somewhere between comical and alarming the number of big advertisers who haven't acknowledged the shift. We think that about a third of all companies using social have a policy for its use and less than half have applied any sort of measurement criteria, and you know not all of those criteria are meaningful, so…we're still on the upward slope of the curve.

    Thanks for reading and for the insightful comment. Y'all come back soon, you hear?

  • Bronte

    You have done good job, quality twitter followers are no doubt your most important followers. These are the ones who are actually following you to listen to what you have to say, asking questions, replying to your tweets but this type of followers a bit harder to gain but worth the work.

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