Has Social Media Affected Our View of Traditional Advertising?

Like most of the Western Hemisphere, I watched the Super Bowl Sunday evening.  Cheering for the Saints, hoping for a good game and anxiously waiting to see what the millions of dollars spent on television advertising would present to us.  I was disappointed. In an impromptu an unscientific poll on Twitter and with friends, most felt like the commercials did not compare to previous years attempts to separate us from our money.  Could this be because of the proliferation of social media?Non-football fans watch the game just to see the ads; I think this is because the commercials are typically talked about for weeks leading up to the game and then become the subject of water cooler conversations the morning after.If you didn’t watch the game or would like to watch the commercials again, check out NFL Fanhouse.Many articles or blog posts have been written on the decline of traditional advertising and the rise of social media, such as the one by Brian Solis.  You can read that post here.  Many Tweets were published and Retweeted when Pepsi decided to NOT advertise during the Super Bowl and instead spend $20 Million on The Pepsi Refresh Project. This project is built solely on social media.My questions to you are these:

  • Has social media affected our view of traditional advertising?
  • Do we expect more from traditional advertising because we have been using social media?
  • We  use social media to develop conversations and engage with individuals and companies in place of being “pitched to”; has this affected how we view traditional advertising?

Bonus question: How many Super Bowl advertisements referenced the company’s presence on Twitter, Facebook or other social media platforms?Provide your feedback via the comments section.  Thanks and congratulations New Orleans!

Comments

  1. Rochelle Veturis says:

    Such an interesting post, followed by great questions John. And Paul, you crack me up about not being a football fan ???one more reason I adore you. Ha. I agree with you that ???many ???ol skool??? companies still don???t ???get??? social media.??? Yes, hands down. We do have higher expectations of how companies will engage, connect, and humanize themselves now. While traditional advertising (aka T.V. commercials, radio spots, direct mail) will never go away, it???s definitely undergoing a transformation. And what becomes more evident, are the companies that aren???t making the grade. They???re sticking out like sore thumbs.Mostly, people scurried to watch the Super Bowl commercials because they didn???t want to be left out, or not queued into the conversation about them the next day. Yet another ???social??? reason that had a huge impact on the behavior of a good chunk of America.Although I try not to look down on traditional advertising, social media has definitely changed my view/feeling toward it. I almost pity it now. I showed @ChelseyVeturis a Macy???s ad the other day (back cover), with prominent placement of ???Follow us on Twitter.??? I had fun pointing out their faux pas ??? they didn???t include their Twitter handle. True, it wouldn???t take a rocket scientist to find it ???especially if you knew what you were looking for. But we had fun saying ???oh shame??? about it. Is that the purpose traditional advertising will serve in the future? Being fodder for us to discuss, share and critique both on social networks and in real life? Hmm, maybe. At least they???re getting our attention ??? even if it???s an ???oh shame??? moment.

  2. Leslie Coty says:

    Vizio, of course, mentioned them all. And the Google ad was the best of all the ads.

  3. Leslie Coty says:

    Oops, back to the questions. Having been in traditional advertising (TV, print and radio) for many years, I have always "preached" to my clients to engage their customers, to "converse" with them, and NOT tell them what to do or what to buy (not necessarily the same as call to action). And this was way before the advent of social media. If you think about the most effective commercials over the years, they’re not the ones where car dealers are yelling at you (alas, these are still far too common on TV and radio). The most effective commercials have always been those that strike an emotional chord with their viewers/listeners/readers, the ones that relate to them on a personal level, i.e., Mean Joe Green Coke commercials from years ago.In short, companies are wise not to tell customers what to do, not to "sell" them, but to engage them, to reach them at their responsive level. This has always applied to traditional advertising (the successful ads, anyway) and is "de rigeur" for social media.Me – I see a beautiful marriage between social media and traditional media which will only enhance the relationship between business and customer, benefiting both.(By the way, Pepsi is not abandoning traditional advertising!)

  4. Gina Parris says:

    Hey John,I was thinking the same things as I watched the disappointing ads. I wondered if its because I’m so used to the interaction of community. I was definitely expecting more companies to send the viewers online with a call to action of engagement.I am not the best consumer though because I rarely watch TV & when I do I dvr past most of the commercials (except on morning news.) I do laugh at all the product placement attempts that companies are making though. It’s totally like The Truman Show – and probably a good way for retailers to go!

  5. Rod Kirby @ The Success Center says:

    Hey, John, I think social media has definitely changed the landscape of advertising. If companies aren’t willing to at least add a social component to their marketing then they’re going to loose . . . big time. On the other side of that coin, consumers want something more than just "funny" commercials to watch. It’s been the norm for years past. We want for companies to come down to our level and engage with us. We don’t necessarily want them to stoop so low as to give us a laugh and nothing of value. Good thoughts here man.

  6. Hey John,I’m not a football fan (Yeah, I know; commence with the tomato throwing) and didn’t watch the game, but I think many "ol skool" companies still don’t "get" social media and that has shifted the consumer paradigm tremendously. My expectations of engaging, connecting have been changed, and I expect companies who want my money to move with it. All those commercials are now just clutter to me.

  7. My motto is that if you’re going to interrupt somebody with an advertisement you better have something just as good to show them. A lot of the advertisements shown during the Superbowl failed but there were a few that definitely succeeded at creating something special with their audience (Dodge & Google come to mind).I think that one of the worst things that social media has done to marketers is make them believe it is the end all be all. Sure, many bloggers and marketers tell people not too fall into this trap but a good chunk of them don’t actually back it up.However, thats the darkside of what social media has done to our views. On the other side of the field we realize that social media has made consumer and brand engagement more important than ever. It has taken us back to the old days when you got your haircut from someone you trusted not someone who had the big budget. Overall, I think the positive side of things far outweighs the negative. We just have to remember that Social Media and Traditional Advertising can co-exist and ultimately lead to some remarkable returns.

  8. John Lusher says:

    Thanks Ross, I appreciate the comments! Yes, the different mediums can and should exist! As consumers, we will demand it!

  9. John Lusher says:

    Thanks Paul! I appreciate your comments and yes, if companies do not engage me, they are just noise to me!

  10. John Lusher says:

    Good value, engaging us and being honest with us; that is how companies can develop long lasting relationships with consumers! Thanks Rod, look for more about this topic in the future!

  11. John Lusher says:

    Thanks Gina, all consumers should expect to be engaged by the companies that are trying to sell to them! Product placements will NOT get me to buy their products, but engaging me will.

  12. John Lusher says:

    Very good points Leslie; I agree with the marriage of social media and traditional media. Companies that do it will be successful, companies that continue to shout at us; won’t. Thanks for commenting!

  13. Rochelle Veturis says:

    Such an interesting post, followed by great questions John. And Paul, you crack me up about not being a football fan –one more reason I adore you. Ha. I agree with you that “many ‘ol skool’ companies still don’t ‘get’ social media.” Yes, hands down. We do have higher expectations of how companies will engage, connect, and humanize themselves now. While traditional advertising (aka T.V. commercials, radio spots, direct mail) will never go away, it’s definitely undergoing a transformation. And what becomes more evident, are the companies that aren’t making the grade. They’re sticking out like sore thumbs.Mostly, people scurried to watch the Super Bowl commercials because they didn’t want to be left out, or not queued into the conversation about them the next day. Yet another ‘social’ reason that had a huge impact on the behavior of a good chunk of America.Although I try not to look down on traditional advertising, social media has definitely changed my view/feeling toward it. I almost pity it now. I showed @ChelseyVeturis a Macy’s ad the other day (back cover), with prominent placement of ‘Follow us on Twitter.’ I had fun pointing out their faux pas … they didn’t include their Twitter handle. True, it wouldn’t take a rocket scientist to find it –especially if you knew what you were looking for. But we had fun saying ‘oh shame’ about it. Is that the purpose traditional advertising will serve in the future? Being fodder for us to discuss, share and critique both on social networks and in real life? Hmm, maybe. At least they’re getting our attention … even if it’s an ‘oh shame’ moment.

Speak Your Mind

*