I was reading in Wired this morning about Mr. Kutcher, yes – Ashton Kutcher, and his work with UStream and his own company Katalyst Media. As some of you may know he is a huge Twitter user and has over 4 million followers. He was interviewed by Scott Brown in Don’t Laugh: Ashton Kutcher Is The Future of Video. I can’t say that the article was very insightful except for one comment, “The consumer is the brand“.
Now this is the correct concept when it comes to reaching the consumer and ‘selling’ products to them. It can also be called smart advertising, Leo Laporte “gets this” concept which can be seen by the growth of the TWiT.tv network that he has built over the last several years. Those, like myself, that listen to TWiT network shows understand the content and are not blind buyers. We are people that research and look into products that we purchase. Leo said once in a talk that advertisers are seeing real returns from those that listen [& now watch] shows on the TWiT network. I am an Audible subscriber now because I love to read, but I have a long commute (sometimes) during the week and my physical book reading time is reduced to nill. Now, I read books while driving or taking the train. It has allowed me to read Tarzan, Free, and John Adams in the last few months.
There are other products that I have been made aware of via the NetCasts from TWiT because they covered and talked about, not because they were a sponsor of the shows. I am not interested in everything mentioned on the shows I listen to; however, I do spend time on the pages of the products mentioned so that I can get a better understanding of them and become more informed about that product.
So, the Brand is the Consumer, the products that we use and consume key to us for a reason, they resonate with our culture or our needs. They maybe something that we are already using; like on TWiT’s book pick section of the Audible ad it extends our awareness of something that we maybe interested in. I have picked up Free: The Future of a Radical Price, Ringworld, John Adams, and The World is Flat from listening to Audible ads in the NetCasts. These books are not something that I would have picked up on my own.
What the future holds will be in show ad placement and ads that reflect the audience you are trying to reach. The days of TV commercial ads are going out and companies will have to be able to adapt to the changing consumer. Smart, engaging, and doing research on the things they may want to purchase. That is social media and that is the future.