Social Media MADNESS

Winnipeg Free Press, November 25, 2012 | Go to article overview

Social Media MADNESS


Companies often miss major step when advertising

I've been driving around town lately and have been seeing these huge billboard advertisements. It's pretty cool that companies are investing thousands of dollars monthly to advertise their brand or their new product out in the middle of traffic. I mean, when people are sitting in traffic, they always look to the sky to see the advertisements, right?

Next time you are stopped at a light, take a look at what the drivers around you are doing. I guarantee that more than 50 per cent of them are checking their smartphones. They are texting, tweeting, checking Facebook or reading a summary of an email notification.

Why are companies paying a lot of money every month to have their billboard in the sky when people aren't even looking at the road, never mind the advertisement?

As dangerous and as illegal as it is, people still text, tweet and drive all the time.

There may be a few exceptions here that I must mention so I don't have realtors or mortgage specialists sending me hate mail. For some businesses, billboards can work because facial recognition may be a large part of their business model. In this article, I am aiming my criticism towards larger companies who have a product.

I also must make a conflict-of-interest declaration. If you've ever read my biography above, I run a full-service digital agency called iBX. We work with national brands. Our bread and butter as a company is social media consulting.

Lately on television, print ads, billboard, benches and buses, I've seen companies place a few social media icons onto the ad. You know, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube icons. Companies place these on the ads so they appear hip and social-media friendly. I applaud the effort, but laugh at the execution. If you are going to place social media icons onto a non-digital advertisement, you must do one thing: TELL THE CONSUMER WHAT YOUR USERNAME IS! I can't believe companies miss this step.

There is a company that is running a series of ads downtown right now. You could take a drive down Portage Avenue near Polo Park and see two or three of their billboards. …

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