The Marketing Opportunity In Social Pales When Compared To Spreading An Idea Virus

Socialistic CEO Colleen DeCourcy sat on a panel during Ad Week in New York last week that was hosted by’s John Abell. According to Adweek, Abell wondered if the multi-billion dollar advertising business on social networks is sustainable.

DeCourcy argued that brands should be using social media for bigger ventures than simple micro-targeting. “Social is more than creating an experience with a friend. It is about creating an experience to share with a culture.” In her view, content, systems and objects create that seminal cultural experience. “Advertising isn’t just about giving someone a soda when they want a soda,” she said.

Later, she clarified her point on Socialistic’s Facebook Page:

“The larger point I was trying to make was that the use of Social Media for mass cultural activation and change has been proven. Why are we, as brands, content to use it as a DM opportunity…Shoving people further down the funnel because we ‘know what they like.’ This is the first digital medium I’ve seen that can create global, mass media style momentum. So instead of micro-targeting, what about designing shared experiences around social objects?

If you can decode what that last bit means–designing shared experiences around social objects–I’d love to hear it.



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.