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If advertising is

a firework, then
social media is
a bonfire.

John V Willshire
Head of Innovation
PHD
Just a way to help think
about the difference
between social media
and advertising

Or explain it to someone
A d v e rtisin g
http :// www . flickr . com / photos / stage88 / 3228637838 / sizes
/o/

is lik e
fire w o rk s
http://www.flickr.com/photos/71502646@N00/1309409634/sizes/l/

Fireworks are
attention grabbing
beacons on steroids
Good
ones
make
you go
‘ooh’
and
ooooh aaaaah
‘aah’
h ttp :// w w w . flickr. co m / p h o to s/ ch risjo n e s/ 6 0 5 6 2 9 5 1 / size s/ l
They draw
people in
from miles
around

http://www.flickr.com/photos/stuckincustoms/752319396/sizes/l/
They’re
prepacka
ged; just
light a
firework
and stand
back
h ttp :// w w w . flickr. co m / p h o to s/ e p icfire w o rks/ 2 8 2 9 3 6 3 9 8 9 /
Or get in
the
profession
als
h ttp :// w w w . flickr. co m / p h o to s/ a lkio l/ 7 3 2 0 7 4 2 3 5 / size s/ o /
It’s so easy…

EVERYO
NE is
doing it

h ttp :// w w w . flickr. co m / p h o to s/ a rn a r/ 3 4 0 8 8 8 7 0 1 / size s/ o /


Just like advertising
It’s the
standa
rd
solutio
n

h ttp :// w w w . flickr. co m / p h o to s/ e p icfire w o rks/ 3 1 3 5 5 8 9 3 6 2 /


h ttp :// w w w . flickr. co m / p h o to s/ srive ra / 2 7 9 9 7 4 7 3 1 3 /
Fireworks
burn very
brightly, but
die very
http :// www . flickr . com / photos / barbarasworld / 1308507724 /
You need
to keep
lighting
fireworks
to keep
folk
intereste
d
http://www.flickr.com/photos/epicfireworks/2848241812/sizes/o/
Which is
expensiv
e

h ttp :// w w w . flickr. co m / p h o to s/ e p icfire w o rks/ 2 9 2 8 4 1 6 1 1 1 /


size s/ l/
It’s an arms race

B ig g e r,
b rig h te r,
lo u d e r,
M ORE
B o n fire n ig h t
is n o t ju st
a b o u t th e
(fire w iso rk
the clue s
in the
name )

h ttp :// w w w . flickr. co m / p h o to s/ 5 1 0 3 5 7 7 4 1 3 1 @ N 0 1 / 2 8 3 2 2 4 0


If advertising is a
firework, then
social media is a
bonfire.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/clintjcl/2755425049/sizes/l/
Two very
different
things
Very
different
disciplines
Building
bonfires
takes
time…
h ttp :// w w w . flickr. co m / p h o to s/ sa rca sm e tte / 3 8 0 5 3 6 3 4 4 0 / si
…and it
takes
time to
get
good at
building
http :// www . flickr . com / photos / jbhalper / 3013369399 / them
It might go out…

Keep
tryi
ng
http://www.flickr.com/photos/numuseum/533515920/sizes/l/
Use whatever you have
to hand

http://www.flickr.com/photos/88933162@N00/3021553543/sizes/o/
It m ig h t b e a
b it lo n e ly a t
first

h ttp :// w w w . flickr. co m / p h o to s/ in a je e p / 2 6 5 5 4 4 1 9 5 / size s/ l/


http :// www . flickr . com / photos / kumo_no_ue / 3197957095 / si
zes / o /

Then a few
friends gather
round
Then a
few
more

http://www.flickr.com/photos/bluearc21/2359336236/sizes/l/
It’s where people
like to hang out and
share

http :// www . flickr . com / photos / 78428166@N00 / 3679575777 /


sizes / l /
Then, wonderfully…

…your friends start


helping out
http://www.flickr.com/photos/israluv/147458000/sizes/o/
Because
people
like
helping
with
bonfires

http :// www . flickr . com / photos / 78428166@N00 / 3759200168 /


more friends,
more wood,
bigger fire,
more friends...

http :// www . flickr . com / photos / mstreb / 617462120 / sizes / l


/
From a small
start, you can
end up with
something
pretty
amazing

http :// www . flickr . com / photos / powi / 2455460100 / sizes / o /


Just like social
media
So have
advertis
ing
firework
s had
their
day?
http :// www . flickr . com / photos / epicfireworks / 313475600
In the
long
term…

…we
don’t
know
http :// www . flickr . com / photos / epicfireworks / 313557207
Right this
moment… it’s
not either / or

It ’ s both
If you have an
amazing bonfire
already, use a few
fireworks to bring folk
to it

http :// www . flickr . com / photos / clintjcl / 3724362640 / size


s/l/
If your fireworks are
great, stop people
disappearing by getting
a good ol' bonfire going

http :// www . flickr . com / photos / reginayiqing / 2724868889 /


Just
remembe
r,
remembe
http :// www . flickr . com / photos / daverexwood / 1874498701 /
fireworks
in
bonfires
isn’t a
great idea
John V Willshire , PHD
@willsh
http :// feedingthepuppy . typepad . com

Simon Kemp
Th an k you David Wilding
Beth Williams
to … Chris Stephenson
Daniel Goodall
Mat Riches
Vijay Sankaran

h ttp :// w w w . flickr. co m / p h o to s/ g in _so a k / 1 8 7 8 5 2 6 5 9 1 / size s

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