My Butter, My Friend?

The ARF (Advertising Research Foundation) recently published an artful piece via Fast Company on how social media should be levered for the purpose of building brands. With the caption, “No, I don’t want to be friends with my butter” the post took the assumptive position that social media is a way for brands (any brand really) to build a social movement in order to shape an augmented brand experience – join the conversation around your unsalted butter experience, in a way.

Well, here’s what’s shaping up. As much as the notion that the social media “firehose” is probably dogma by now, when it gets down to engaging with butter, consumers are being asked for a bit too much. Let’s face it, in any househould we likely have over 1000 brands that we have purchased within the past year. In my kitchen pantry alone, some 87 brands are represented. When full, our GE refrigerator has 5 brands of cheese, 9  brands of beverages (and 1 brand of unsalted butter, which I am not at liberty to disclose). Then there’s the workshop, laundry room, bathroom and clothes closet. Even in my car, I’ve got stuff from several brands: Purell to Kleenex, Scott paper towels, Goodyear Tires, a VDO pressure gauge, AAA maps, Altoid mints and two empty coffee cups SBux (hers) McD’s (his) to name a few.

Imagine a world when every brand that you consider, let alone purchase, or just notice, wants to be your best friend. Is it not prudent to first understand whether or not a brand is one of high versus low emotional involvement? Brand strategy needs to figure at the front end of defining a media roadmap, social or otherwise in building brand awareness and engagement. Otherwise, how does one reconcile advertising clutter in the digital age? I cannot find the words to describe…

As for a relationship with butter, only my toast knows for sure.

– Ted Morris, 4ScreensMedia

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