Learning To Promote Sharing

As a parent, you want to teach your child to share; it demonstrates a good nature and assures that your child will be welcomed into their communities.  Sharing is critical to their personal development.

Today, it’s also critical to every advertiser’s development.  Our biggest new challenge is understanding how we can encourage our market to share the video and promotional content we create.  How can we shape our ideas to encourage our audiences to pass them along?  That’s a radically different challenge for video messages created for broadcast on social networks as opposed to television networks.  More critically, it’s one where our success or failure  is easily measured.

Dennis Ryan, Element 79, Chicago AdvertisingFor years, the challenge of brand video production was creating something that would make your audience feel “Wow, that was cool/real/hilarious.”  In today’s socially networked world, that challenge is now a compound phrase: “Wow, that was cool/real/hilarious, and I have to pass that on to my friends ____ and ____.”  The true power of new media like YouTube, Facebook and Twitter lies in it’s ability to leverage low cost, highly effective recommendation, to activate crowdsourced PR.  Today, the best online video content becomes curated by key consumers to engage other key consumers.  So broadcasting these videos is not merely cheap, it’s highly selective and effective.

So what triggers a consumer to take your brand content and pass it on to other pre-qualified audiences?  In an entry on MediaPost yesterday, David Murdico, ECD of the rather hubristically-named Supercool Creative, takes a shot at defining what drives people to pass along video.  He lists seven ideas, but ultimately, the image that sticks in my head is of that kid back in grade school with the comedy record.  You know, the one who played cuts from Cheech and Chong/Steve Martin/Richard Pryor/Sam Kinison/Chris Rock/Dane Cook for his friends and somehow, through a mysterious bit of entertainment osmosis, accrued cred for his find.  These kids were never the entertainer, but they were the presenter, bringing their discoveries to a group of like-minded people sure to enjoy them.

That’s who we have to try to reach today.  And it will be a hill of fun to watch and see how different brands do it.

Because right now, it’s pretty much all fresh powder in front of us.


By Dennis Ryan, CCO, Element 79


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