Are Brands Fracking The Social Web?

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Information about Are Brands Fracking The Social Web?
Business & Mgmt

Published on March 6, 2013

Author: gamages



A talk I gave on to the brilliant young people currently on the Squared course, about the social web, marketing, and collaborative ways of working around this. Learn more about Squared here -

6th March 2013are brands social web? john v willshire @willsh

thoughts on marketing, the social web and collaboration, prepared for...

this isnot astandard“what’sthe socialweb” talk

hopefully it’ll give you interesting ideas to talk to each other about

I’ve also left lots of rabbit holes...

here’s a great thing from Monday...

greenpeace home page - 4th March 2013

nobody wentto knutsford see it, of course

but thesocial webmeansthey didn’thave to

those who goit’s one ofthe classic thosesocial web whostrategies know

it made me think aboutfracking and not just in the way it was supposed to

“Fracking is anaggressive, invasivetechnique for extractingvaluable raw materialsout of hard to reachplaces” phil adams, Blonde digital (and Chemical Engineer grad)

attentionis themostvaluablerawmaterialthere is

are brandsfracking thesocial web?

some context...

I’ve been inadvertently writing this talk for the last five years...

today, i runSmithery

the processand productof a generaliststudiofor marketing& productinnovation

the smitheryprinciple

before this, I worked at PHD Media for seven years as“the excitable scottish innovation one”

i wrote this in 2009... ...which just became a stick that social and advertising zealots used to beat each other with... (sorry)

maybe this is thestart of this talk,back in 2008... my IPA Excellence diploma thesis

if nothing else, it’s anobject lesson in how quicklysocial web examples date...

“I believe that the future of brand communications lies in finding a way to become part of communities, and communicatewith them in a way that is shared, participatory and reciprocal” me, five years ago

that soundsreally annoying

yep, really annoying.

“Our challenge is that people really don’t care” martin Weigel, W+K

so... maybe brands andthe social web don’t mix?

what do you mean by... brands?

how canbrandsbe social?

“ we use the word ‘brand’... We’re careless in the way ...when we mean company, product, service, idea, strategic advertising.... ” Mark earls

see, It all gets a bit... complicated

We need to talk about talking

I’ve beenreading alot ofRichardSennettlately

working well cooperationThe Craftsman together with “cities”2008 2012 to follow... three books about the skills people need to sustain everyday life

the latest book, ‘together’ is aboutcooperation “an exchange in which the participants benefit from the encounter”

it contains avery usefulway to thinkaboutconversation

“when we speak aboutcommunication skills, wefocus on how to make a clearpresentation, to presentwhat we think or feel...” Richard sennett, Together


conversation isabout listeningmarketing folks get that now ( well, for the most part )

but more importantthan just listening islistening well

“ listening carefully produces conversations of two sorts... the dialectic and the dialogic ” Richard sennett, Together

what the f***does that mean?

dialecticfrom work of german philosopher GWF Hegelthe interactionand resolutionbetweenmultiple ideas

dialectic“the verbal play of oppositesshould gradually build up toa synthesis; the aim is to comeeventually to a commonunderstanding” Richard sennett, Together

C g b AD fAD Cb AD Gf AD bA CD Fe GeA b C D E F G Hdialectic wants consensus

C g b AD fAD matterhow good that consensus is

it’s telling thatvery fewcrowdsourced“winners” arearound for long

dialogicfrom work of russian philosopher Mikhail Baktin“A discussion thatdoes not resolveitself by findingcommon ground...” Richard sennett, Together

“through the process of exchange people may become more aware of their own views and expand their understanding of one another” Richard sennett, Together

AC E in dialogicG b H conversation, ideologies coexist F D

AC E theyG b H constantly interact and inform F D each other

AC E each ideologyG b H can hold more salience in certain F D circumstances

AC E changes can beG b H made if a strategy does not have the F D desired effect

remindyou ofanything?

this might not just apply to“conversation”

what if thereare dialectic and dialogicstructures &cultures too?

are traditionalmarketingstructureslikely to bemore dialectic?

are social web platforms andcompanies more dialogic in nature?

it would help explain theculture clash

“if we’re used toseeing the worldthrough acentralized lens,dencentralizedorganizations don’tmake much sense”

brands aren’tfracking thesocial web

but there’s a definitecultural divide at play

competition cooperationsimplicity complexityCompression fragmentationcertainty experimentation

not either / or a line along which many truths lie

big telly clients are dying!

c l o s ed

though to be fair, it’s hard to sell shoes, furniture, books,clothes, entertainment, cameras, tellys and stationery on the high street nowadays

isn’t it?

big brand telly stuff works!

" have achieved theseresults is testimony to thestrength of the John Lewisbrand and the commitmentof all our partners to giveoutstanding service." Andy Street, Jan 2013

social media changes brands forever!

social mediaburns my eyes

Kingsmill ‘Sandwich confessions’

wow...that makes“scrunch or fold”look classy...

big telly clients social media changes are dying! brands forever! big brand telly social media stuff works! burns my eyes

keep accepting more thanone idea is true

what happenswhen culturesmerge?

social web companiesare heading over here

where the money is

they want to create safe, attractive places for brands to place ads

it’s not necessarily a good thing

it can destroy whythe thing was good in the first place

“The best minds of my generationare thinking about how to makepeople click ads” ” Jeff Hammerbacher

It can undermine thespirit of the social web

“Theres a littlememe Ive beenhearing recently.Columnistsrepeating it,"Dont read thebottom half ofthe internet"...” rob manual

it can mean closingdown the social web

wheneyeballsbecomedollar signs,things getugly

“weve abandoned core values that used to be fundamental to the web world” Anil Dash, “The web we lost”

i fear the day when you look onifttt and there’s only one channel

marketing must head this wayhead this way a lot more

if we’d still like adecent social web in ten years that is


let’s start from the dialectic position

The factory makes an end product...

“we have reached the best answer”

We have made a thing,and it is finished

and it wasfinishedefficiently

“ really just code for ‘democratising style’ is squeezing all the costs and selling it cheap ” Peter Field

innovation as incrementalimprovement

Six Sigma seeks to improvethe quality of processoutputs by identifying andremoving the causes ofdefects and minimizingvariability in manufacturingand business processes. Wikipedia

“ too much innovation is focussed on cost reduction rather than esteem enhancement ” Peter Field

“A brand is simply acollection of perceptions in the mind of the consumer” Paul Feldwick, 1991

( “ I don’t think this definition is entirely adequate.” ) faris yakob, 2010

hey, let’s find out whatthese perceptions are and put them in an onion...

“ with its lists and diagrams the brand-as-shape fails to help anyone easily, intuitively and memorably grasp what your brand is all about ” martin weigel

if your brand is a bit shit, coat it with other stuff tooOh look, it’s a bruce Lee Nokia N96

then shout at people

“a mechanicalmetaphor,the infamoustransmission model ” Prof. Mark Hobart

this is thehollowfactory

makeproductefficientlymake brandvaguelyinteresting& buy loadsof media


Frack That

“The Future of advertising 2020” by Mark Earls & John V Willshire

“ I’m really interested in the making of ‘it’ -where the making is part of the story of ” the ‘it’... thomas heatherwick

some quickeconomics

the labourtheory of value

developed ...andby adam later bysmith... karl marx

modern economics: the value of a thing isdetermined by what one is willing to give up to obtain the thing

The labour theory of valuethe value of somethingis determined by thelabour that wentinto its production

perhaps there’s alabour theory of brand value* *it might need a better name, mind

Field Notes

£0.99 £3.33per pad per pad

“marketing isworld building.With unlimitedbandwidth wecan now showyou the world.” @TobyBarnes

We’d ratherbuy this world...

...thanthis world

What if we stitched smaller ideas together tocreate a longer idea? What if we stitchedsmaller ideas together to create a longeridea? What if we stitched smaller ideastogether to create a longer idea? What if westitched smaller ideas together to create alonger idea? What if we stitched smallerideas together to create a longer idea?Gareth Kay What if we stitched smaller ideastogether to create a longer idea? What if westitched smaller ideas together to create a

maybe Marxwas halfright...

it’s not about themeansof production

it’s about themeaningin production

and the stories of thethings you’ve fracked

Labour theoryof brand value:make everything withthe infinite canvas ofthe internet in mind

you can’t build a brandpyramid for that approach

that brand shape would belike a bittorrent filecomplex, distributed,moving, uncontrollable...

perhaps itwould beimpossibleto conceive

no, don’t jump...

think like this... cooperation complexity fragmentation experimentation

if you createtogetherdialogically... can make complexitydialogical things fragmentation experimentation

so when you worktogether over the next few weeks

AC E rememberG b H that your ideologies coexist F D

AC E you willG b H constantly interact and inform F D each other

AC E each ideologyG b H will hold more salience in certain F D circumstances

AC E if a strategy H does not haveG b the desired effect, F D change tack

“ I firmly believe in the demise of the traditional campaign, and the need for constantly innovating stories around a core brand meaning ” Field Peter (who has studied more campaigns than all of us together will ever make)

Mark Earls

thank youartefact Cards john v willshire @willsh john@smithery.co

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