How Social Is the Advertising Industry?

Every day, an agency uploads a presentation to Slideshare, or releases a gated whitepaper, or blogs and tweets about social media best practices. But is it all talk?

To find the answer, one needn’t look much further than some of the biggest awards in the industry. Sure, many of them have added social media categories, but that will not suffice; awards administrators need to find more appropriate criteria on which to judge a social media execution.

For one thing, the categories are still campaign-based, even though we talk about maintaining ongoing, sustainable conversations on our branded channels. Another observation is that many awards don’t acknowledge partnerships between agencies – it takes a village, after all. Finally, there’s the question of effectiveness: what metrics of success are the judges basing the entries on?

Looks like we still have a ways to go.

This post continues our series of posts from our “140 Club,” delivering social media insights in a bite-sized 140 words (or less)! Let us know what you think in the comments below.



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  2. Aston Hunt
    09/6 2012

    In my opinion, two things need to happen for advertising to be more social. First is that people need to get away from looking at social as a “throw-in” puzzle piece to a campaign, rather they need to step back and see what social does well from a non-branded perspective. Ironically, I think for this to happen; several campaigns need to be core focused around social, and what that means is a brand owning a communities interactions, their core beliefs, and their passion for pushing a personality (i.e. Red Bull looking into their community of young adventure seeking junkies for their next organized event)!

  3. Scott Ziegler
    09/6 2012

    I definitely agree. There needs to be more categories for smaller agencies that have smaller budgets to get some shine for their creative efforts. Not just the big boys.

  4. Kim Reyes
    09/6 2012

    Aston, you are absolutely right. It’s really disappointing to see social media treated as an afterthought. It’s a marketer’s responsibility to stay abreast of emerging technology and respond to it by optimizing your business operations.

    Scott, I see what you’re talking about all the time – big agencies winning big awards for what seems like flashy, shiny work that has had little impact. This is actually why I prefer the Effies (which Big Fuel won this year!). The Effie Awards measure *effectiveness*.


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Hello! Big Fuel is a full-service marketing and communications company based in New York that takes brands from Content To Commerce. A unique approach that bridges "people stories" to "product stories" through social media and branded content.

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