eeing Faris's talk at MCAD was an interesting one. Rather than a prim and proper business man coming in to talk about how amazing he is working in NYC with all these important people, we get someone who is a little bit more down to earth. While this isn't a completely unheard of at MCAD it is a welcome change from what you normally hear about in the advertising world.
One common trait I see in Faris along with many individuals we talk about at MCAD is the ability to make a name for himself. This wasn't someone who picked a role and excelled in it. Instead, he decided none of the rolls fit what he wanted to do so he found something that seemed to be lacking and made a role to fit it. Now that consumers have the ability to nearly be everywhere at the same time Faris figured he should help plan out where exactly the brand should choose to live.
Its not as easy as coming up with one of these anymore:
On the down side you can't just throw money at the TV and know people will see it. Instead people have DVRs, Hulu and various other "channels" of media they choose to spend their time on. You can't guarantee anyone will be on any given platform at any given time anymore(exceptions being the Super Bowl and such).
On the plus side the ever increasing amount of platforms brands and consumers choose to shout from give benefits as well. Once a new medium has been thoroughly tested and rules have been put in place it can turn into new opportunities. Faris used the example of Nikon using Twitter, Ashton Kutcher and user submitted short films they were able to create a extraordinarily cheap campaign considering how much attention it received. This increase in platforms splinters audiences, but it also gives opportunities to reach consumers in new ways.
Now you can argue for every Nikon story there are 10,000 automated Twitter bots that do little other than ruin the experience for others. There was the UK company, Moonfruit, who topped Twitter's trending charts for days until being taken off by Twitter simply by offering Macbook Pros to anyone who tweeted #moonfruit. While it was incredibly successful for Moonfruit, it cheapened Twitter for many users. Being a poor college student I'll be the first to admit that I indulged in the #moonfruit, but I'm certain those who follow were less than thrilled to read nonsense in their feed.
As a brand I think the most important thing to do is to realize you can't be everywhere and to choose carefully where to go. You need to manage your online and offline presence more than ever now, because if you don't consumers will come up with an identity for you and its rarely a positive one. Brands need to realize that the consumer is more in control than ever before now that there is 0 latncy for content delivery whether its reviews, opinions or the ability to move on to the next new thing. All brands can do now is do their best to cater to their consumer's desires and have a function that makes them truly unique and desired. You can't simply exist and have an advertising budget anymore; become relevant or you run the risk of simply disappearing.
Oh and I'll close with this little Gem Dr. Pepper thought would be soooooooo cool to do. I believe this is the epitome of doing something simply for the sake of trying to fit in. Don't just have something because everyone else does, make sure there is at least some context for doing so.