* Part 1 of 3, of my video (25min) lecture “Advertising 2.0″

Time Magazine, since the beginning of this century, has elected as Person of the Year:

  • Rudolph Giuliani in 2001
  • Worldcom and Enron employees in 2002
  • In 2003, the american soldier
  • Again Bush in 2004
  • And in 2005, benemerits Gates and Bono

And who was elected Person of The year for Time Magazine in 2006? You.
In fact, all of us who are now part of this digital democracy, where our role as citizens found a new importance.

002_time2006_full.jpg

In 2006 we created and shared videos, did book reviews, edited our profiles and avatars, developed open-source applications, wrote blogs and uploaded our photos online. We did a bit of everything to be Time’s Person of the year in 2006.

To celebrate the award, the magazine placed a outdoor screen in Times Square and those who walked by, could send a photo and appear on the cover of the magazine during some brief seconds.
Online, users started to change the cover to highlight those honored: themselves.


Advertising Age, one of the main marketing publications, later confirmed our importance as digital citizens, electing us – consumers – as agency of the year in 2006. Two of those consumers go by the name of Fritz Grobe and Stephen Voltz, and these two handy-man shared with us the “Diet Coke and Mentos Experiment”. The video was placed at Revver.com, with millions of stream views and with a direct impact on Mentos sales revenue of about 15%.

Communication is now starting to leave the marketing department and beggining to engage in conversations with consumers. SuperBowl, one of the biggest advertising events, had in 2007 several ads created by the consumers.
Frito-Lay in a partnership with Yahoo video, invited users to submit their own 30” commercial for Doritos, with the winning ad broadcasted during the event.

Consumer gained all these new possibilities thanks to a broader media scenario, where we can go a whole day listening and viewing only what we choose to. From pay-per-view networks, to iPods with custom playlists, the Internet helped us filter our own relevant content.
Along with these new tools, we have now a lack of trust in traditional media, leading consumers – now with easy access to production tools – to create their own content.

This new media scenario, where the consumer is the king, has taken several names:

We now live in a model where content providers and consumers face a constant and live interaction.
Users have access to several distribution channels, with tools and activities building a new digital democracy..

Companies like Procter&Gamble embark in this new model with initiatives such as the website InnoCentive.com, where an external worlwide community is awarded whenever they come up with creative solutions to industrial problems.

Or take for instance Nike or Lego, allowing users to create their own custom product online.
Through the internet, consumers are able to connect with brands in a much more personal and strong way, with new tools adding even more value to this conversation such as the capability of inserting subtitles to online video.

One of the clearest examples of the new dialog of consumers are weblogs. Lighter publication technologies and ease of sharing is helping the blogosphere to double itÂ’s size every six months.
blogosphere evolution

Most of this content comes from amateurs, in areas where they established themselves as specialists.
The earlier the companies and brands understand these tools the better, so they can connect to consumers in the same channel and language that consumers talk to each other.
And before the same consumers start to use these tools against the brands.

(continue to part 2)