Remember passing the pillow!

Remember the game, “Passing the Pillow” an object that holds a very near and dear utility becomes an object of fun and play. That is what’s happening to the world of advertising. From something that conveys a message (mostly unsolicited I dare say!) to something that is all about play, participation and like the game “Passing the Pillow”.

As Chuck Brymer, our global CEO puts it, we are now entering the post-consumer world. A world which is changing and transforming at a pace unlike anything we have experienced before. Advertising as we know it is DEAD. Perhaps not so in the cradle of civilization where I happen to be at the moment, but it is only a matter of time!

So what’s the big deal? Nothing much, besides the fact that Facebook has set it’s sight on 1 billion users, Apple is selling one iPad every 26 seconds and the world is going crazy on Twitter with a new tweet per second record of 3085 during the NBA Finals, and this should change as the FIFA 2010 World Cup enters the Round of 16. Oh did somebody say people don’t watch ads any more, they don’t! But Nike hijacked the World Cup with a 3-minute video “Write the Future which by the way never aired but broke the record for the biggest audience in the first week of a campaign with 7.8 million views. Are you sure people don’t watch ads any more? Thanks to Nike’s Facebook fans who happen to have participated, played and passed it on to millions of their friends. The era of messages is long gone. It is all about content where everyone is connected to everyone else within six degrees, which means you, my dear reader, are connected to me in no more than six steps!

What’s my point! Our business has been redefined. I would be getting a little carried away if I were to say that we are now in the movie business. But we are definitely a lot closer to that now. Why? If we are to mean anything to the digitally connected swarms then we have to create “ShareValue”, which means the content has to be worthy of generating word of mouse, not just word of mouth!

How do we go about doing so? Well we have to move from traditional definitions of creativity to what is known as “Social Creativity” (as we say at DDB).  If  the work that we do is not something that our audience would like to play with, participate in and pass on to their friends then we have failed at Social Creativity.

There is a lot to more this. A brief explanation does not do justice to the concept. For now I guess a simple illustration shall suffice. One brand which seems to get it and repeatedly so is Toyota. From the way they managed the crisis by participating in a continuous dialogue with their customers using all forms of social media to the way they are creating entertaining content with definite “ShareValue”. I believe they are doing a splendid job. Check this video out and you will see what I mean! Feel free to play and pass on 🙂

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