Monday, 13 April 2009

Social media and branding: accelerated natural selection?

At Advertising Age's Digital Conference last week Unilever Chief Marketing Officer Simon Clift commented, "No matter how big your advertising spending, small groups of consumers on a tiny budget might hijack the conversation," he said. "So this internet thing is much bigger and more interesting than just finding successors to TV advertising." It's a lesson learned partly from Greenpeace, which last year hijacked "Onslaught," Dove's follow-up to the massively viral "Evolution" video, with what turned into a widely watched and discussed parody focusing on Unilever's purchases of palm oil resulting in destruction of Indonesian rainforest. More from Advertising Age here.

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I am director of the Media and Persuasive Communication (MPC) network at Bangor University where I also lecture on political-economy of the media. I am currently working on a book provisionally titled Deconstructing Privacy for Peter Lang and leading two empirical projects in connection with privacy perception and the use of new media for smoking cessation. I am author of Creativity and Advertising: Affect, Events and Process (Routledge, 2013); The Mood of Information: A Critique of Behavioural Advertising (Continuum, 2011); and Digital Advertising (Palgrave-MacMillan, 2009). Please contact me at if you are interested in Ph.D supervision or consultancy services.