In ancient times, more than 20 years ago, brands had undeniable power. They created brand stories and images and slogans and taglines. They designed commercials and billboards and posters. And they had the millions of dollars required to force their messages on captive audiences.
Consumers had little choice but to watch, listen, and believe for there was no alternative. Sure, you could discuss with your friends how much you disagreed with the ads but you certainly didn’t have a million bucks to create and publish your own anti-brand ad.
Those days of one-sided power are gone. Facebook and Twitter and YouTube stole the power from brands and threw it at consumers. Consumers who have no brand experience, no scientific bases, and no expertise have a voice, a very loud and annoying voice. And consumers who know what they’re talking about, people with experience and expertise have a loud voice too, but slightly less annoying.
Brands can write even wittier taglines and even more creative commercials but consumers can fast-forward through those messages and counteract them with their own widely publicized blog rants and YouTube satires.
- Posters on Facebook focus more on Volkswagen’s products than YouTube users when engaging with “The Force” commercial (wave.wavemetrix.com)
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