What can we learn from the big ad guys in 2014?

  • Posted on: 2 January 2015
  • By: Joe Justice

Joe Justice

The Wall Street Journal has a great article on the best and worst ads of 2014. You can check out the whole article here.

The cool thing is, the "ads" mentioned are mostly social media events or ideas outside the conventional 30 second TV spots. For example, you've got The Lego Movie, which - as fun as it was - was a 90 minute commercial for Legos. And you've got Coke's idea to replace their logo on cans with people's names and a note to "Share a Coke".

So what can we learn about the media landscape starting with 2014? It's time to think outside of the 30 second television box. Now, Coke and Lego still use 30 second TV spots, so don't think I'm saying there is not place for them. But with so many outlets today, creative ideas can really get people's attention.

What about the social media stuff? That's what we're really interested in, right? Well it's been a really good year for social media, look no further than the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. Last year, the ALS Association  raised $5,000,000, this year it was $15,000,000 and the difference was the social media sensation. The next big thing was Ellen DeGeneres' selfie with a bunch of celebrities using Samsung's Galaxy smartphone at the Academy awards. The selfie tweet was re-tweeted 3.3 million times.

So what can we learn about social media? Well, it's got to be social! The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge was all about people posting videos of themselves and calling out their friends. The Samsung celebrity selfie took a big, social event and threw it into the social media maw.

Last, let's talk about a little trouble. Two blunders involved hashtags. DiGiorno's Pizza used the hashtag #WhyIStayed in a tweet, which it turns out was being used by women sharing their stories of why they stayed in abusive relationships! Then Best Buy used the hashtag #Serial to make what someone must have thought was a funny joke regarding the podcast Serial. The podcast is about a true life murder of a high school senior. The case hinged on a phone call made near a Best Buy. (Little note, jokes about murdered high school seniors don't usually go over well)

So what can we learn? Research your hashtags and don't make tasteless jokes on social media. Always, always check the hashtag you're about to use before you use it! If it's not being used, then good. If it is being used, then read some of the posts to get a sense of what's being discussed. If your use of that hashtag doesn't add to that existing conversation, then find another hashtag.


-Joe Justice
Artist, The Media Center
Email Me, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn

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