SaatchiNY’s Chief Strategy Officer, Claudine Cheever, recently made an appearance on “Taking Stock with Pimm Fox” on Bloomberg TV. Claudine shared why more parents and grandparents are joining Facebook and Twitter and how social media trends are affecting the ad industry today. Check out a recap of the interview below:
Facebook and Twitter, all of these social networking sites are now grabbing not only young people, but adults. Why is this attractive?
Twitter has just turned five which, in the age of digital platforms is ancient. 43% of Twitter users are over 30, so that is really interesting. What’s happening, at least when you think of families and parents, is they’re really using social platforms and digital applications to help them parent and to understand and enjoy parenting. One of the trends that we’ve seen is instant nostalgia. I’m posting pictures of my kids and what we did at the park that day, and then you have this effect of instant nostalgia where you instantly feel better about being a parent. So, I might not remember the horrible tantrum, but I’ll remember the wonderful time we had in the park together. I think a lot of the “perfect lives” you see depicted on all these social networks really help parents to enjoy parenting more. They’re very much using these tools to share their lives.
Now you also make mention of the idea that you need to set some ground rules. It’s not enough to try to fight the popularity of social networking, that’s not going to be a winner, but you’ve got to set some rules and guidance.
I think one of the most interesting things is you look at the maturity of social networking platforms. When it started, people were tweeting things like, “I’m having a turkey sandwich.” And now social networking is everything is social. It’s almost becoming these filtering devices for what relevant content we want to consume. So if you think of a program like Flip Board, which basically takes all of your social networks and filters through content, so if you want, you can only read things that your social group is reading. I think the danger here is that there begins to be a bit of an echo chamber and if you’re only reading things that people you know are reading, you’re cutting off a wider range of content.
How is this affecting the popularity of television programs and various types of media? Advertisers want to find what’s popular because they want to reach the right demographic group, but now you’re describing a situation where it’s multi-generational.
It’s multi-generational but I think what’s interesting about social networking and television is in some ways it’s bringing back live TV. So, if you look at some of the Bravo shows a lot of people will watch it live and will tweet about it and will have social conversations while watching the show. So actually for television programmers they can prove there’s a lot of social activity around a show, and it really increases the value of that property.
What kind of challenges does that mean for an advertising company, because it sounds as if it’s more than just placing the ad now, you might actually have to come up with some of the content?
You can take an advertising idea and create it in such a way that people want to participate in it, play with it, and make it their own. Let’s say they’re taking your commercial and posting it on YouTube or remixing it or creating characters for themselves out of your content–that becomes much more valuable. It’s something called paid media vs. earned media. If you’ve got a really good idea, it should be earning its own media in some ways because people have their own publishing platforms. So if I tweet about something once and it’s replicated everywhere or if I’m tweeting about an ad I saw, we’re getting a lot of earned media for that ad.
Does that mean that the sales force in the traditional Madison Avenue advertising community is going to be reshaped because now you’re going to be held accountable?
Absolutely and I think one of the biggest questions is metrics. How are you going to measure all this? Because in the old days of the Nielsen box on TV, you knew exactly how many eyeballs were seeing what you were putting out there. Now we need to be much more innovative about how we’re measuring, because it’s also more valuable if someone touches something than if they just passively saw it.
What about the introduction of tablets such as the iPad and also the interactivity of smartphones, and the fact that this is now a medium which has a 24/7 life cycle?
If you look at the new Time Warner app where you can stream their shows wherever you are in your home, that’s actually really interesting because you begin to become truly untethered from the cable box. Or the new HBO Go—I paid for the content; therefore, I should be able to watch it on any device that I want to. I think more and more content publishers are going to have to be able to provide that kind of service.