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By Ben Kunz, Director, Strategic Planning, Mediassociates
The lovely photo of Janet Jackson below was once leveraged by Plaid to create Billboard Magazine’s top-ranked website for user-generated content. We’ll spare you the details of that sexy campaign – let’s just say fans got to play with Janet’s “clothes” – but will ask the question:
How did Plaid, a Danbury, Conn.-based brand shop, beat the big interactive boys in New York City?
The answer lies with American psychologist James Hillman, who himself cribbed a bit from Carl Jung. Back in 1997 Hillman penned The Soul’s Code, a book arguing for an “acorn theory” of soul development – in simple terms, the idea that more than nature (your environment) or nurture (your parents), you are born with the unique energy that defines your psyche.
Yeah, that all sounds like Pollyanna bullshit, but really, people, you know your success lies inside. Huge glass towers are no longer the key to success. If the (yes, sad) demise of the Rocky Mountain News taught us anything, it’s that the ability to gather knowledge no longer lies in the central organizations of old.
When we are influenced by the communities around us, we now build them ourselves. New York Times technology writer David Pogue shows friends the power of Twitter by typing in a simple question and being sprayed almost immediately with the right answer. In San Francisco, the top editors of BusinessWeek.com have begun promoting their stories, and seeking leads, in social media. In upstate Michigan, a small business school has begun teaching national nonprofits how to set up Google search engine campaigns. Back in December, we helped our 10-year-old son complete a homework assignment by linking him to the head of a PR agency in London. It’s all powered by human networks built by ourselves.
Social media has become the new city. Information is not flowing to the free, it is flowing to you. Which is why your small agency, like Plaid in Danbury, can really kick ass.
(Self-disclosure: The author does not work for Plaid, but rather Mediassociates, a media-planning and buying agency also in Danbury, Connecticut. He frequently argues with Darryl Ohrt of Plaid over advertising strategy while running laps around the local pizzerias.)
– Ben Kunz, Director, Strategic Planning, Mediassociates