Social Media – Another Case of ‘Shiny Object Syndrome’

Oooh, ooh! Look! It’s new! It’s exciting! I’ve got to have one! What if everyone else has one and I don’t?

Yes, it’s Shiny Object Syndrome again. Further proof that the communications/marketing world is in danger of drowning – despite the stuff it’s drowning in being so incredibly, indescribably shallow.

Today, gentle communicatorists, the Shiny Object of our Syndrome is apps. iPhone Apps in particular, but please take it to mean any app that can be downloaded or installed on your device of choice.

There I was, ghosting around the net (I think that’s a splendid term and perfectly describes the squillions of people, moving around the netosphere at any one time, leaving no trace save for a record of their IP address and clickety proclivities – both bits of information that are of no use at all to the ‘social media marketer’), and I found someone pleading for an answer to the question:

“How are you using iPhone Apps in your marketing and PR plans?”

Virals, anyone? (ie a useless waste of money that achieves little cut through and no tangible ROI.) Luckily, in amongst the ‘social media marketing experts’, who were gushing about how the design and production of bespoke branded iPhone Apps  represents the future of marketing and communications (or, at least, will keep them employed when Twitter and FaceBook inevitably turn to dust in their hands), there were one or two brave souls who simply said ‘what’s the point?’ Just another fad in the making and one that our experience should tell us is likely to be simply an expensive chimaera.

As ideas go – well, you cannot polish a turd. Seemingly, however, you CAN roll it in glitter.

Oh – and virals. As if further proof were needed of what an incredible waste of time, effort, technology and budget they are, have a look at this:

http://newteevee.com/2009/08/11/the-megawoosh-waterslide-viral-how-it-was-really-done/

Great film. Turns out it’s a ‘carefully crafted viral ad for Microsoft’s Office suite’. So carefully crafted, in fact, that the result is promotionally homeopathic. The brand message has been diluted so much that it is no longer there.

How can anyone see any value in this? Or is it that the executives who commissioned it have a particularly bad case of SOS?

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Filed under Communications Strategy, Evaluation, External Communications, Marketing, Public Relations, Social Media

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