Miscommunication on Social Media

January 1, 2010
A long time ago a friend asked me to write a television commercial for her friend's business...a medical lab specializing in patient lab work. It took gentle diplomacy to convince my friend that television advertising is not the answer to all communication needs and that my refusal to write a commercial for the lab was not professional snootiness.

The furor over Social Media is well deserved.  Don't get me wrong.  The many branches of SM compose a powerful new communication voice.  But the insinuation in many of the You Tube presentations I have seen and the Webinars and invitations to "business lunches" designed to train you on how to find the lifeboat on the sinking ship of traditional advertising is that Social Media in one form or another is the uniform answer to ALL advertising.  This simply is not true.  Not only is it not true, the insinuation is more damaging to the industry than the real problems being confronted by traditional media.

First of all, and I will confess to a definite bias here, good advertising requires the intervention of advertising professionals ( and even then there have been some notable misses! ) who can tell the difference between wants and needs.  Just as the emergence of desk top publishing software submitted a lot of us to horribly designed ads just because someone with the software and the conviction that they "could do it themselves" now had a tool that allowed them to actually do it so it is with Social Media.  When it is used without a disciplined goal it runs the risk of becoming nothing more than a nuisance.  Worse than Spam; I call it VACN (Viral Ads Causing Nausea) and the only VAC-Cination is to "delete".  Is that the best strategy to communicate with your target market?  Antagonize? Worse yet, appear to be irrelevant? By suggesting that professionals can be eliminated and that "you can do it yourself" we are finding ourselves subjected to the updated version of those ghastly designed desk top publishing ads.

Secondly, because it is a very valuable and meaningful component of communication it is almost criminal to bastardize or prostitute it through abuse by the enthusiastic but untrained fanatic. Frankly, Julianne, I do not care that you just had a delicious bagel at your local latté trough...I DO care that your business has just introduced a new line of multi-colored didleys.  Stick to the message, add personality, but stick to the message.

As it turns out I recommended a print campaign for the Medical Lab which today could be executed with Social Media components very effectively. I still wouldn't recommend using television to address the needs of a laboratory. But neither would I suggest limiting advertising SOLELY to Social Media for consumer product attempting to establish brand awareness.  There is a time and a place for everything. 


Local vs. National

August 8, 2009
Do you like late night TV?  Lately I've noticed a plethora of local advertising on the late night shows that I always try to stay awake for.  These spots have always been favored by the local market because the cost per spot is lower than prime time, but lately there seem to be fewer and fewer national spots and more and more local spots. 

While the screaming car salesman is still a leading figure for late night the production and creative values of many of the local productions seem to be on...
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About Me

Advertising professional active in campaign creation and audio visual production with a special emphasis on real people testimonial productions for Hispanic and the General Market.
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