The advertising world is reeling from change – and it’s not just because they have yet to fully embrace social media in their brand campaigns. The problems in advertising are much more profound—they literally extend deep into the heart of capitalism. The core issue is that advertising and capitalism need each of the survive. Both are being challenged by powerful forces of social change in today’s new world: globalization, digitalization, social media and a loss of values. At the root of these pressures is also a powerful motivator: consumers want a better world, not just better widgets. This is motivated by a growing global consciousness that the world is faced with many severe crises, most of which are due in fact by capitalism’s myopic search for profits.
The most powerful tool in this transition is social media, the focus of this talk. Advertisers no longer hold monopoly control over the story behind their brands, as consumers are now able to write, distribute and curate brand content around the web. Between social networks, video, mobile phones, and location-based applications, consumers now have the power, the channels of communication, and the personal connection to endorse or condemn brand messaging or behavior. Advertising needs to adjust accordingly. In fact, everything about how advertising communicates to consumers needs to be reversed—push must become pull, talking needs to be replaced by listening, and monologues must transform in to active, daily dialogues.