After the Super Bowl and Kenneth Cole Twitter flub this past week, I had a few observations I thought were quite insightful, until I read a few other posts/Tweets expressing similar thoughts. (Oh well.) So rather than forgo my brilliant thoughts, I’ll incorporate a few of the aforementioned posts to make my point; which is: for all the breathless touting of social media as the next driver for marketing and advertising, it had a pretty piss-poor showing over the past week.
Two examples below:
1) Kenneth Cole Twitter-Gate.
I can’t imagine you haven’t read the original tweet by this point, but go here to read Rupal Parekh’s post at Advertising Age and take a quick look if not. Rupal illustrates nicely the point that America’s attention span is shorter than Keith Richard’s on the ‘78 tour. Oh, everyone had righteous rage immediately after the KC tweet, but it lasted for about eight and a half hours. In fact, by roughly 4 pm on Thursday (original tweet at 10:15 that morning,)
It’s not long before it’s clear nobody really cares.
As Business Insider pointed out, the stock price was tracking high on a day that the market was generally flat, and by the time the markets closed, it was at $13.89, up 1.83%.
It also turns out you can score from a social-media sin — Kenneth Cole ended the day with a spike in followers. As of about noon, @kennethcole had 8,935 followers; three hours later, 9,262; and by 7 p.m., 9,779. That’s counting those who during stage two began asking people to #unfollow the brand.
Huh, people sure were angry 8 hours before, but I think Kim Kardashian did something provocative around 3:30, so everybody moved on. A rather poignant comment followed the Ad Age article:
Doesn’t this argument just shoot the entire social media marketing industry in the foot? If social impact is this ephemeral, why bother advertising there? Stick with TV, where at least they’re still talking about your ads two days later (see Volkswagen) or even years later (see Hyundai).
I personally wouldn’t go that far, but it certainly underlies the fact that there is no formula to social media success, not yet anyway.
Also of note is the Groupon Super Bowl “Tibet fiasco.” Everyone’s freaking out about that with, once again, righteous anger. Not to worry Groupon, I hear Lindsay Lohan might play Supergirl in the new Superman movie and that will be the next shiny thing that will make them forget all about your lack of sensitivity.
2) The Super Bowl wasn’t Social at all, and it should have been
Ian Schafer nailed this with his Advertising Age article The Super Bowl of Social Media? Maybe Next Year. It was odd that there was no social media element to any of the ads, at all (a few minor exceptions, it turns out, being Audi & BMW).
According to Lightspeed Research:
Nearly two-thirds of 18-34 year-olds planning to watch the Super Bowl have smartphones and intended to use them while watching the game.
Of those, 59% were planning on sending emails or text messages about the game, while 18% planned on checking out the ads on their phones.
There was not one spot that actually asked us to do anything. Or suggested that we do something. These ads could have all run before the internet was even invented. Nothing acknowledged that we had any other connections at our disposal other than the one between us and our televisions. We were expected to visit the brands’ websites because we found those brands and their commercials interesting.
More than a few in the Twitterverse commented on it as well, like this one (also in the article comments):
In the same year that The Social Network will win the Oscar for Best Picture, the #SuperBowl is full of ads with strategy circa 1972.
Missed opportunities all around and for such a burgeoning and exhaustively-touted platform for innovation in advertising, this past week was a major #fail.