Finally, an advertiser being honest about social media advertising. Ted McConnell general manager-interactive marketing and innovation at Procter & Gamble Co spoke recently at a forum on Digital Media where he came across as rather negative about social network platforms and advertising. He singled out the Facebook platform, saying "I really don't want to buy any more banner ads on Facebook."
Other key phrases of his that stand out -
Social networks may never find the ad dollars they're hunting for because they don't really have a right to them.
What in heaven's name made you think you could monetize the real estate in which somebody is breaking up with their girlfriend?
I don't think everything every consumer says to someone else and writes down is somehow monetizable by the media industry.
Fragmentation thwarts artificial scarcity.
Performance-based advertising will gain share over CPM
Ted McConnell. [Pic Ad Age]
McConnell's premise is that social network platforms won't be able to collect ad dollars because they don't really have a right to them, which I believe is entirely accurate. And his negativity about the platforms appears to hinge on the wrong-headed idea or a misunderstanding of the meaning of the term "social media" - he asked - "Who said this is media? Media is something you can buy and sell. Media contains inventory. Media contains blank spaces. Consumers weren't trying to generate media. They were trying to talk to somebody. So it just seems a bit arrogant. ... We hijack their own conversations, their own thoughts and feelings, and try to monetize it."
McConnell's ideas strike a chord with me as I have found myself on the contrarian side of the social media argument recently. I have argued on panels and in essays that technology did not transform the way we socialize -
When we wrongly consider technology as a 'new' medium that simply and efficiently transformed culture, business and society, we forget our own human ancestry. We leave out Nature. In our hearts we want to belong, to share; we fear dying alone and as we age we become thanatophobic - we fear dying. Individuality is an illusion. [By that I don't mean an individual's style, taste, fashion etc, things that set us apart aesthetically from others, I mean we are forever bound to being social animals.] Read the rest of these thoughts here.
We need to rethink the term "Social Media."