First up: so what’s next with advertising?
There has been a recent spate of commercials pulled due to interest-group pressure. Ads for candy, shoes, and cell phones were yanked in response to criticism of the messages portrayed in the commercials. By pulling the ads, companies are acknowledging that the commercials were over the top, and one even stated that the commercial was designed to “break through the clutter.” The response to this has been mixed–some are happy the ads were pulled; others say it is “political correctness run amok.”
I tend to think that in a way, this is self-correcting. If you rely on your message being either offensive or over the top in order to get your message across, then maybe you haven’t worked on the message long enough.
There is no reason to be crude, rude, and unacceptable. Or is there?
This video from Greenpeace, titled “Forest Love” is designed to kick off a contest for user-generated video that will be compiled into a “collaborative video” to be presented to the European Commission in September. The goal is to draw attention to the practice of illegal logging. I can’t decide if this is weird, gross, odd, or extremely clever–or a combination of all of those. It certainly caught my attention…
Next up: What does this mean for Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter?
Like many, many others, I’ve played the “Six degrees of Kevin Bacon” game, where you try to link Kevin Bacon to another actor in six connections or fewer. Microsoft has apparently just proved that the theory is “close”–we are on average separated by 6.6 connections from anyone else on the planet. By examining Microsoft Messenger IM traffic, they were able to study the links between 30 billion IMs. Aside from the mind-boggling realization that on average each of us is only separated by about 7 people, what does it mean for applications that not only link us, but make it easier for us to communicate with one another?
I’ve always believed that people are more interconnected to one another than they realize, but I’ve had the advantage of moving a lot, living abroad, and meeting lots of people. I was at a workshop in college and met a guy who had moved into the same house I had lived in when I was in Germany, and many of my friends who moved a lot have had similar experiences. It’s always been a small world to me, but social networking sites are shrinking the world for people who might not ever leave the state in which they were born. This is fascinating and has implications for communications across every discipline: politics, advertising, even art.