[Sponsored by Adobe] It’s no secret that the Wild West days of digital marketing opened up opportunities for various bad actors to enter the market to sell their wares. Countless millions have been poured into social media snake oil, fraudulent traffic, or ads that couldn’t be viewed.
But marketers have to take their share of the blame too. All too many got caught up in the tech-hype and happily invested in every shiny new thing put in put in front of them. Social media in particular provided fertile ground for a slew of Nathan Barleys who were adept at preying on technologically naive marketers. Suddenly fork-tongued Twitter gurus and Facebook ninjas were everywhere, desperate to conceal that their skill-set consisted could be replicated even by young children.
The flow of social media BS was intolerable, but a surprisingly high number of brands bought into the idea that they needed to build communities around everything from toilet cleaning products to hoovers. Like a vicar at the school disco, brands waddled awkwardly across the dancefloor to ask the cool kids if they want to ‘join the conversation’.
In fairness to the marketers, many were sucked in by the fact that there are brands out there who are capable of getting the very best out of social. Red Bull, for example, have done an exceptionally good job of building out a highly sophisticated content strategy around a sickly energy drink; Old Spice have created highly shareable ads that have been a huge hit with their targeted demographics; and then Dove have done a great job with their ‘Real Beauty’ initiative.
But it doesn’t take long for things to get out of hand: even when one brand strikes social gold – even just once – the rest of the market, trade press included, often rushes to laud that one-off feat as the foundation of a new marketing paradigm. The Oreo tweet at last year’s Super Bowl was a case in point. Because one opportunistic tweet – just one tweet – delivered results, marketing morons everywhere decided that ‘real-time marketing’ is the next big thing.
It’s against this backdrop that Adobe are entering the market with their Adobe Marketing Cloud advertising campaign, which they have been running over the last couple of years year or so. While it’s sad to say it, the digital marketing industry is ripe for parody, and Adobe have been quick to use this to their advantage in their own marketing. In this latest installment, Adobe make fun of how marketers are addicted to ridiculous metrics like clicks, likes and shares, while not actually having any idea of what drives sales or boosts their brand.