Archive for the ‘sponsorship’ Category
With the financial crisis bringing the cost of celebrity sponsorship sharply into focus for many brands (Brand endorsement under pressure, MarketingWeek.co.uk, 3rd December), what implications could this have in the increasingly social web-wide-world we live in today?
Ever since the first TV reality show, we have witnessed the rise of the everyday celebrity. Think Jodie Marsh, Jade Goody, the slightly camp guy from Airport, amongst others. All of them have come from very normal backgrounds, but acheived celebrity status largely through reality-based shows. But ultimately they have all become celebrities in their own right, and have gone on to be managed and promoted as such.
So what impact have global-reach social networks brought about? Well, the debate about conumers as influencers has raged since Gladwell’s The Tipping Point gained such popularity, although the debate’s origins go back much further. But what we are beginning to be able to observe through social networks is the influence users exercise over each other, and by serving this we can begin to observe the context of that influence between any two nodes (or friends) in the network.
In essence, we are beginning to see the rise of celebrity within private networks. It’s always been there, and I do not suppose social networks have altered it’s occurence. But social networks have allowed any one user to exaggerate their celebrity status within their own network. Think about it. When you login to Facebook, you see a newsfeed, a summary of what your friends have been up to (on Facebook). And assuming you haven’t already carefully fine-tuned your notification settings, you probably filter these messages sub-conciously, reading updates from the friends you consider celebrity, and ignoring, or taking less time over those you don’t.
So imagine reading a review from two people in your network. It coud be about a new film, a new shop, a new album. Anything at all. But which one exerts most influence over you? Would it be the passionately written, more vociferous damning review by someone you barely know at all (and may never have met in person), or would you pay more attention to the moderately positive, slightly favourable review given by one of your networks own celebrities – your best friend?
Social actions attached to ads on Facebook certainly seem to take this into account: “click here, because your friend Joe did”. Or “become a fan of product X, because 5 of your friends are already”. It’s a compelling evolution and an interesting behavioural change for marketers to keep a watching brief over, and a keen eye on opportunities to genuinely amplify their advocates through these new mechanisms.