Social Media, The Sequel: In 3-D and on Ice!

With this week’s release of the trailer for the new movie The Social Network, this topic had been on my mind.

You might remember that The Social Network is the big-screen adaptation of the creation of Facebook starring Jesse Eisenberg (that kid from Zombieland) and Justin Timberlake (yes, THAT Justin Timberlake) and directed by David Fincher (the guy behind Fight Club and Se7en).  Are you thoroughly confused yet?

Five years ago, who would have thought that there would be an actual movie about the creation of a website for college kids?  And this got me thinking, why now?  What makes this okay and interesting?

We No Drama

Everybody loves a good drama.  It doesn’t get much better than Kramer vs. Kramer or Schindler’s List, but is this really the best we can do or is this just the fad of the times?  (Psst, I’m leaning towards option number two)

Movie producers know better than anyone what will put asses in the seats.  Why do you think there are streams of superhero movies out now, or why there were a ton of war movies put out 6-7 years ago?  After 2001, our minds obsessed over war, so there were war movies.  Now, we are looking for something extraordinary to take us away from the dire straights that are our lives; insert superhero movies.

What Came First, The Music or the Misery?

It’s an age-old debate: does culture imitate art or visa versa?  I’m not going to go into my opinion of that question now (see discussion questions), rather I’d like us to think about why we, as marketers, seem to get sucked into playing with “shiny new toys” at the expense of common sense and content.

If a movie is 3-D, does it make it a good movie?  Would Gigli have been better if it was filmed in 3-D or starred Samuel L. Jackson?

What gimmicks are you using in your life or your marketing campaign in place of good ideas and targeted tactics?  Here are some questions to ask yourself when dealing with a “chicken or the egg” scenario:

  • Is this really the best way to handle this situation?
  • Will this truly bring value to my audience?
  • If XYZ organization hadn’t done this, would I still want to?
  • Who am I actually doing this for?

Brevity is the Soul of Twit

This week I’m trying something new with Through a New Lens.  I will write a post every day and they will all be under 500 words.  I will attempt to accurately bring my point(s) across, but mainly I’d like to leave room open for debate, so each post will be followed by discussion questions.  Feel free to openly answer them and share them, because I truly value your input (yes, you).  You are the star of this week’s posts, use the limelight wisely.  So, here are today’s questions:

  1. What “shiny new toys” do you see in the marketing/PR world today and which, if any, do you think will become part of the marketing toolkit?
  2. Do you think that marketing is more influenced by its culture or visa versa, and why?
  3. When was the last time you got stuck playing with a “shiny new toy” to no avail and how did you use that to your benefit?  Or did you?
  4. Is Twitter “The Great New Marketing Tool” or The Antichrist?

And there you have it.  Please put on your 3-D glasses now because this post is coming right out to you.


P.S. – For you anal retentive folks out there, this post IS longer than 500 words, but that’s because I had to explain the idea of the week and write this post-script for you.  So there.

About Joey Strawn

Digital marketing sociologist and public relations specialist with experience on national and local campaigns with a love for film and the things it says about our culture and business. Joey is the Senior Social Media Strategist at ISM in Nashville, TN and is in the business of helping people and companies deal with the new universe of social media in their marketing and PR endeavors.
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6 Responses to Social Media, The Sequel: In 3-D and on Ice!

  1. Great stuff here – thought provoking.

    I’d like to tackle #4. Twitter, for me is a great marketing tool, but only if the prerequisites are in place.


    It takes all three of these to make Twitter useful as a marketing tool. Too many people leave off the retweet and engage parts. – simply spamming the tweetstream with their latest big offer.

    If you want me to look at your stuff – seduce me. Show me you know me. Engage in a conversation with me. In short, build a relationship with me OVER TIME – then I’ll look at your stuff.

    Done right, Twitter can be extremely effective as a marketing tool.

    • @Frank, Great points. I like the prerequisites you posted and I might even add Enhance to it for two reasons: the first is that even if you are engaging, yet not adding any benefit to the conversation, you will be little less than noise. The second reason is that it makes it the nice, memorable acronym TREE. The Twitter TREE, I like that.

      Thanks for commenting!

  2. Adam Fischer says:

    Looking at point #2, I would say that marketing takes cultural bedrock and has its own river flow over it. Your point of how war movies flooded the market after 2001 illustrates this. Sometimes you have something like the Nintendo Wii that creates its own social culture behavior – reinvention likes this is the most exciting marketing in my eyes.
    Then we have to look at the current movement of marketing power form the big guys (businesses) to the little guys (consumers). Social media and blogs that influence represent a cultural shift in power – more like “culture vs culture” than “culture vs marketing.”

    • Joey Strawn says:

      “Culture vs culture” I like that. Especially with the rise in popularity of all forms of social media it really is culture influencing culture. I also like that you pulled the Nintendo Wii in for an example (I’m also a huge fan).

      Thanks for your insights!

  3. savy2681 says:

    I am reading some of your previous articles since I am a new follower. (All it takes is one well written post right?)

    In response to #4, I think Twitter is the anitchrist. It makes me scared in a way I can not describe, shortening our attention spans even further? Also, the amount of mundane garbage that comes across that medium really astounds me.

    I miss the days of real thoughts, ones that are not limited to what a website says is appropriate. Then again I am just catching up on the social media chain.

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