The Story of the Week in Women’s Wear Daily is about the beauty brand MARK selling their wares via Facebook. Do you really want to add another layer to your already meaningless visit to Facebook? Precious time that does not include reconnecting with your 8th grade friends…those who have gained all sorts of weight and are stuck in Podunk, reaching out to you for those last vestiges of a life? I didn’t think so. Look, I could be proven totally wrong here, but I am not convinced that Facebook is the place to shop. Not for me anyway. Facebook is not about selling at all, actually, it is about NOT selling. Every time I get invited to something like that, I delete it. You don’t? Facebook fan clubs are great for community inspired activities. The best one being what Stephen Colbert recently did, which was generate enough enthusiasm from his Colbert Nation (and surely Facebook fans) to raise the money needed to sponsor the US Olympic Speed Skating Team. Yes, he learned that the team lost their sponsor, some bank…duh…and reached out to his core supporters and…it worked. Brilliant?!? I’d say. He can sponsor I Mean…What?!? anytime. The intention of Facebook was to develop and engage a community of people to share ideas, catch up with irrelevant people who no longer impact your life, try and get laid…though this surely is not the forum, and wonder, “What am I doing on this ridiculous site anyway…oh, right…it’s better that Twitter…like I care that Miley Cyrus is having a latte.”
Another article in Women’s Wear Daily addressed this new era of consumerism, Fashion Brands Seek to Control in Social Media Boom. The article goes on and on with the usual suspect top brands blabbering how they are going to do this, and do that. But in the end of the day, it is the title of that article that is the inherent problem. Yoo hoo…it is not the role for brands to control anything. It is for consumers to determine what they want, how they want it, and never feel controlled. That is what I learned at The Onfronts™, the premier meeting of online entertainment executives with press and major advertisers. It was a riveting, first-ever meeting with presentations from leading digital entertainment companies and select independent producers that will power this next generation of content marketplace. And the take away was the notion of “being sold” is NOT the only way to fly. What was discussed was the importance of a clear point-of-view, the more irreverent the better, because loyalty to a particular voice is different than loyalty to a brand. It is vital to establish an intimate relationship with the anonymous consumer, that which is not afforded in traditional print and television advertising medium. So, if you are looking for an irreverent voice that communicates effectively with an exceptionally bright, influencer crowd…by all means look no further.