Social media has given us new ways to connect with people like never before and share content within an instant, but it has also revealed something else: a more self-centered attitude. Why is this true? Well, people naturally want to fulfill their own needs and wants, but social media has given us more ways to do this. We can now become our own brand, share our thoughts instantly, publicly lay out our lives for everyone to see. It encourages us to seek “likes”, comments, and all sorts of attention from others. We have multiple profiles (Twitter, Facebook, Google+, etc.) and can easily create our own blogs, videos, and photos and then just as easily share them with anyone on the web.
There have been other ways that people have exercised their self promotion other than social media. In Japan, for example, in order to increase the amount of mail being sent, people were encouraged to put their own face on a postage stamp. Here in the United States, I have seen the ability to design your own custom stamp as well. In Australia, Coca-Cola created a campaign where you can put your name on a Coke bottle. Now if that doesn’t prove how much we crave attention, I don’t know what will. The point is, we love ourselves and if we can gain popularity or just 15 minutes of fame, we will jump at the chance. So is this a bad thing? And what does it really mean?
Well, it is a great thing for businesses if used correctly. If we know that people want attention and wish to be in the spotlight, companies should take advantage of this and design their campaigns to fit individuals. That is exactly what Coca-Cola did with their personalized labels, and what many other businesses are doing as well. As mentioned before, social media has made it easier to promote directly to the consumer and target specific individuals. Companies can post photos and videos where others will comment with feedback or share it to their friends. Special promotions and coupons can be found on company pages as well as contests and giveaways. Connecting with businesses on Facebook and Twitter feels a lot more personal than watching a commercial or seeing a billboard.
But even as impersonal as commercials may seem, businesses are now changing their format to market more specifically to the individual. You may have seen the Best Buy commercial that features the newest innovators and creators (those from words with friends, instagram, and others). HTC also released a line of phones called One and in their commercials they showed everyday people using their phones. Another great example is GE. They are a huge company offering a long line of different products. Their current commercials follow the personal stories of the people that make GE what it is today. One story explains all the work put into a GE engine and then watching the jet (with this new engine) taking flight. It shows how much the employees really care about their work and how it reflects upon the final product or service. These types of commercials are meant to send a message that these companies are not just in it for the money, but to bring a product or service that is designed specifically for you. And after all, it is ourselves that we really care about right?
Do you think this type of personal branding is the future of advertising?
To read more, check out this article on fastcompany.com
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