Gangnam Style. 334 million hits on YouTube and now a #1 single in the UK music chart. Hats off to Psy for creating a worldwide phenomenon and also for spawning a plethora of spoof and clone videos trying to cash in. But with the recognition comes the harsh reality: social just doesn’t stick anymore.
People are consuming media at a ferocious rate. People want information now, not in tomorrow’s newspaper roundup of yesterday’s news. Gangnam is the flavour of the month now but tomorrow it’ll be something else and it’ll quickly pass into annoying obscurity.
Before, marketing and advertising stuck in memory (‘Is it live or is it Memorex‘) or built up over time to be enduring and endearing before verging on the frustratingly annoying (Howard from the HBOS adverts). Social media is becoming the McDonalds of the internet; fast consumption designed to quell an immediate pang but not the hunger. It is disposable and forgetful.
Can you remember last week’s trending topic on Twitter? Can you even remember yesterday’s?
There is no doubt that the reach of social media is on a scale that marketing has never had before, an audience who are eager to monitor and quickly snatch what they can, and what marketing departments struggle to comprehend is that they are still designing campaigns using traditional design methods for traditional methods of delivery.
But there’s another problem underlying the social ecosystem. The users themselves. The appetite is for ‘everything, on all the time, what and when we want to consume’. So it spawns those seeking their piece of Internet history. Fame is becoming a fast food commodity; you’ll trend tomorrow and be forgotten by Thursday. Conversation and interest will burst into a supernova of activity and then dissipate to nothing, you’ll mark your entrance to the Halls of Fame with a party only to be turfed out by the bouncers just as quick because your impersonators have taken your place as the host. You are no longer live nor Memorex.
Andy Warhol didn’t see it coming. If he had access to social media back then he’d have shortened his famous quote. In this high speed social junk world, you’ve only got 15 seconds to impress the world. Make it count.