What do you get when you mix a famous snack maker, a group of women, and a well-known spokesperson? The Art of the Cookie, a new social network sponsored by Pepperidge Farms designed to bring women together around a plate of cookies and a glass of milk.
As a newly self-proclaimed student of social media, I'm going to attempt to follow this campaign closely. Whether it will have the same impact as a similar campaign by another consumer products company, Dove's Campaign for Real Beauty, is something I'm interested in finding out. While the dynamics of the two campaigns may be similar, the intent is different. Dove's campaign had real social implications. This one...well, it's about cookies and friendships (not necessarily in that order). The official theme is "connecting through cookies."
One of the lessons I'm looking to learn is the role advertising will play and its effect on the growth of the community. An article in the NY Times says, "Ad spending on Web sites like Bebo, Buzznet, Facebook and MySpace â€" by companies like Blockbuster, Circuit City, Coca-Cola, Microsoft and Sony â€" is expected to total $1.2 billion this year, according to eMarketer, a research company, and climb to $1.9 billion in 2008."
That's a lot of cookies!
The Times also quotes Michael Simon, vice president and general manager at the Pepperidge Farm snacks division, who says, "We started with this notion of wanting to move our communication with our consumers from telling them about us to having a dialogue with them."
"Communication to dialogue"... that pretty much sums up in three words the entirety of the transition that's happening in the advertising/marketing universe: "How do you carry on a dialogue with consumers in a way that will build loyalty and affinity for your brand, and how to you get them to talk to you in the first place?"
Dove seemed to have found a plausible solution. Let's see if Pepperidge Farms can mimmick their success.
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