American Apparel and Facebook - What Could Happen?
Let’s talk social networking-
Online social networking is the idea that an online medium allows for connections to be made that would otherwise not be possible. What makes the internet so special that it allows these connections to be made? It’s easy and rooted in the infrastructure of the mediums themselves. For example, let’s look at Facebook. By this point, most people have heard of the social networking site, but what does it really do that makes it so popular and unique? Well, it’s like this – let’s say that you’re really good friends with Person McPerson. You’ve known Person for a long time now and you know some of his friends. But – do you know all of his friends? Doubtful. So, let’s say you friend Person on Facebook and discover he has an entire network of friends you had no clue about. Bingo. At this point, you can find an entire network of friends that would otherwise be unknown. Some of these friends may provide huge benefits to you that would otherwise be unobtainable (say, for example Person is friends with the hiring director for Pixar…) – at any rate, online social networking allows for these connections through established friends to be made.
Okay, so we’ve got social networking down. Great. Now, let’s take a look at the world of advertising and see if it applies (Can you figure it out yet?)
Advertising has long been defined as the mass communication of an idea, organization, product, or service. Through various attempts, advertising attempts to connect with a specific audience to achieve desired results (no duh, right?) Sounds easy. But here has been the long uphill climb for the world of advertising – establishing credibility. It’s kind of like this, imagine walking across campus and having each person you walk past try to sell you the shirt your back. You would be so bombarded by offers you wouldn’t even have a clue where to start. And if that’s a little bit too theoretical – just think back to how many ads you see each day. Each one begging for your time, attention, and most importantly, your money. So who gets it? Who gets your dollar? Probably the one you can closest associate with or have the most trust in. (Have you figured out where this is going?)
So, we’ve got social networking and the basic premise for advertising – what next? Okay, let’s go back to the popular social networking site, Facebook. Let’s say that you’re on Facebook and you’re looking over your buddy Person McPerson’s profile. Now, keep in mind, you’ve got a relatively high respect for Mr. McPerson and suddenly, you realize, Person is a member of the “I Love American Apparel” group. You may say, ‘Oh wait, what?’ As you look closer, you realize a lot of people you know are in the group. In fact, most of the people in the group are people you know or would like to know. Okay, so great. Here’s the hook – you realize what they all have in common is that they all enjoy American Apparel clothing. You visit the site, browse around, and before you know it, have spent $20.00 on a brand new AA Helvetica Alphabet T-Shirt. Game- set- and match.