Even as digital advertising is up (it’s no secret of the declining engagement within traditional), it is clear that consumers are not interested in repeating the same invasive advertising experience at a time when recommendations from family, friends and professional peers are more trusted sources of information. There is a reason that the banner ad is also on the decline.

And then there is Facebook, protecting the interests of community by eliminating ads as noise with a preference towards advertising as relevant content. Advertising as being a part of the conversation. Advertising to be shaped by the consumer, in real time, if relevant, if it brings value and connects in a way that friends want to share.

Nielsen analyzed results from 79 ad campaigns on Facebook over a period of six months to determine the effectiveness of social advertising. They found that social advertising, on average, generates a 55% greater lift in ad recall than non-social ads. In a separate study conducted in 2011 they found that 76% of U.S. web consumers said they most trusted recommendations from personal acquaintances.

And so the data shows that yes, the future of digital advertising is most definitely going to be social, but I don’t think that Madison Avenue will be able to effectively service it for a few simple reasons:

1. Creative Control: Mad Ave is still about creative control. It is the discipline you need to create magnificent commercials but not the skills required for social advertising.

2. Silo’d Traditional Media Buying: The traditional media buyer gets in – then gets out. They do not participate in the conversation, nor do they help shape the story or adapt the buy based upon the conversation. The media buyer of the future will follow the conversation, create engagement and participate in the flow of the story.

All of these things are what we in PR have been doing for years. Authentic engagement combined with earned media expertise that allows us to turn on a dime and evolve the story to bring relevance to the conversation and make you, our clients, matter more.


One thought on “ Is Social Advertising The Future of Madison Avenue? ”

  1. I couldn’t agree more. It’s all about the conversation and not about blasting creative at hordes of people. The broadcast model is less effective every year. It’s not what a lot of agencies and advertisers want to do, but more and more, you have to get right into the trenches and actually interact with your potential customers as people not points in the market.

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