November 07, 2007

Wake Me in Another Hundred Years

“Once every hundred years media changes," declared wonderalmostman Mark Zuckerberg at the Facebook Social Advertising Event in New York City. Apparently we're still waiting, at least from what I'm reading about Facebook's not-so-landmark platform for big brands to bore you where you came to avoid them.

I'm with Nick, who would probably join me at the clinic for an immunization against the "Infect me, I'm yours" brand (new) virus that's about to spread like the plague across online social spaces.

Facebook had a chance to get a clue to do away with traditional broadcast-model advertising, to truly put participants in charge of how they deal with the companies who want in their pants sooo badly, to instruct corporations who don't know how to do things any differently just how to DO THINGS DIFFERENTLY. And Facebook failed.

The same old brand pushers -- Sprite sips and all -- will be showing up on Facebook, led by the Biggest of All Brands--the Kings of Soda (can big pharma be far behind?). Prepare to be intertained!

In a marketing sense, social networks are comprised of Gonzo-Marketing-Styled micromarkets, where people gather around things that interest them NOT in 'predictable consumer ways,' but in ways where the 'i kissed a boy in kindergarten' group means something to you, even if that something is LYAO. Facebook COULD have been the virtual liaison between people gathered around areas of interest and related products and services, where the PEOPLE are the conversation, and the CORPORATION listens, and pays for the privilege.

But I don't think that's how it's going to be on Facebook. Not given this release about Leading Brands leading the way into advertising there:

The Coca-Cola Company will feature its Sprite brand on a new Facebook Page and will invite users to add an application to their account called “Sprite Sips.” People will be able to create, configure and interact with an animated Sprite Sips character. For consumers in the United States, the experience can be enhanced by entering a PIN code found under the cap of every 20 oz. bottle of Sprite to unlock special features and accessories. The Sprite Sips character provides a means for interacting with friends on Facebook. In addition, Sprite will create a new Facebook Page for Sprite Sips and will run a series of Social Ads that leverage Facebook’s natural viral communications to spread the application across its user base.

Great. The Webkins of Cola. Let the intertainment begin.

I guess we can hope that our grandkids, or theirs, who will be around in another hundred years will get to enjoy a MEANINGFUL change in what it means to be a "consumer," otherwise known as a person. 'Cause it ain't happening this time around.