No Face-To-Face, No Community.

Spike Jones is on the box.

Ninety-two percent of word of mouth happens offline (so says Keller Fay Group). 92%! And that’s not going to change.

Working from that factual place, Spike’s premise is a brand has to have an offline, real world dimension to any community building efforts it undertakes.

Why is it the more I am connected online, the more alone I feel? Because I an missing the one thing that online can help facilitate, but never replace: the magic of a face-to-face encounter. Not webcam to webcam. But looking someone in the eye, shaking their hand and experiencing the presence of other people who share the same interests. And that, my friends, is the difference between yet another online social community and a successful, sustainable movement.

Shout it from the mountaintop, brother!
To me, this fundamental truth is one more reason to blast interactive out of its silo.
Interactive–where these so-called online communities are curated–needs to be everyone’s job. No, everyone needn’t run out and learn PHP, ASP and Ruby on Rails. But all agency and client personnel need to fully grasp what the web can and can’t do for a brand.



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.