Who, ME? Yes. You!

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Yes. Yes, you.
I think we can all understand there is a certain element of me to social ME-dia. There is also the ME generation. Hi! Member 1,276,024 of the ME Generation reporting for duty. PR, Marketing and Ad folks have caught on and are milking this self-centeredness like nobody’s business. And I in no way claim myself an expert in this arena and am aware this sort of targeting has been happening for quite some time. But go with me here…

Picture me sitting on my living room couch. I’m watching The City (self-absorbent television unto itself) and on comes a commercial for Yoostar, “the next wave in social entertainment — an immersive, incredibly fun experience that brings together the movies and TV you love with personal video creation, online sharing and social networking.” Never mind your horrid acting skills, YOU can star in TV shows and movies alongside your favorite actors and send this Academy Award-worthy performance to friends, family, heck – perfect strangers!

Don’t forget the new Yahoo! campaign. “The Web the way YOU want it. It’s YOU!” Me? Yes, you.

Ah, yes, and there is the HTC Hero. Their ad says it all: “You don’t need to get a phone. You need a phone that gets you.”

You, you, you. Me, me, me. It’s all about us…well, rather me, people.  And it seems the population at large revels in such attention. More of the same ‘everyone is special’ mantra we’ve been taught – just dispensed from corporate brands rather than mom and dad.  Something to consider next time you see a “me-centered” ad or promotion.  What do YOU think?

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  • http://michaelschechter.me MSchechter

    I will probably take some flack for this, but I dont think that there is anything wrong with ME if you are using it to get to know YOU.

    The more I put ME our there, the more I get to know you. We are living a lot more of our lives in public these days and for those who have embraced that shift only seem to be getting closer to others.

    Are advertisers taking advantage of this trend… sure, but I think most of us in the know can distinguish between good ME and bad ME (at least I hope)

  • http://twitter.com/KOttavio Kate Ottavio

    No flack at all friend! You bring a valid point to this discussion. If we expose/promote ME for the overall good, we can’t go wrong. And there’s very few ways to actually keep ME out of the spotlight now-a-days. This post was kind of like a silly observation of how self-centered our society is and how marketers capitalize on this (sociology minor in college). Thanks very much for your comment!

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  • jeffespo

    Kate – I find this post quite amusing on a number of levels, but will just go in one direction. The ME seems to have infected more than just a generation, but rather the way that our overall country thinks.

    If we could travel back in time and stand in front of your media class in Quinnipiac and tell you that a reality TV show would be on the evening news. You would probably call me nuts, however most evening news shows will discuss the Gosselins, American Idol or the White House party crashers.

    The ME is who we are now as a society (while it sucks at times) people buy into that and want to be associated with us. See Tiger's sponsor drops as a real holiday treat.

    But enough of the rant… Social media has done some great things for us flacks. Instead of having to guess our research is correct on a given reporter, we can easily see what they are into on sites they participate in and join in on the conversation, building a quasi-relationship that can make the pitch easier.

    For example, I had emailed Dell Jones numerous times with no response, however a quick Tweet or a session of commenting on Tweets has led to direct conversations. Unfortunately still not a fit for the story thogh.

  • Lex_D

    Now look what you've done, the sociology nerd in me got all revved up after reading this post :)

    I think it's interesting to see how the “everyone is special and unique” mantra will play out in advertising. I know this school of thought is starting to see a backlash in the parenting world (I read a great article about it last month, but can't seem to find it).

    I guess my question is, will people really get tired of hearing that products were designed specifically “for them”? I imagine the verbiage will get old. But with an increasing share of the market having been brought up with the idea that they are incredibly unique and special, will the idea behind these ads ever become unattractive?

    @Lex_D

  • http://alexaizenberg.wordpress.com/ Alex Aizenberg

    HA, i love this. Well said.

    Reality is that if Person of the Year was YOU (ME) even 2 years ago… so this trend is not new. However, as more and more people move from the fringes into the social MEdia (love that too btw) space, the over saturation of users and 'participants' in these social experiments will undoubtedly go from interaction to arrogant soap boxing, unless we step in and moderate it… which I'm happy to say, 'pie-in-the-face' posts like this def only help! =)

  • kathyhokunson

    Kate-
    Listen isn't it all about YOU it is all about ME, sheesh. LOL.

    But actually I really like the point you make, it is okay to be about ME as long as I am using ME to know and help you. And I think we are heading back to the moderate view of it being all about ME. For awhile there, it was the ME generation and there was no consideration of YOU.

  • http://twitter.com/KOttavio Kate Ottavio

    No flack at all friend! You bring a valid point to this discussion. If we expose/promote ME for the overall good, we can’t go wrong. And there’s very few ways to actually keep ME out of the spotlight now-a-days. This post was kind of like a silly observation of how self-centered our society is and how marketers capitalize on this (sociology minor in college). Thanks very much for your comment!

  • jeffespo

    Kate – I find this post quite amusing on a number of levels, but will just go in one direction. The ME seems to have infected more than just a generation, but rather the way that our overall country thinks.

    If we could travel back in time and stand in front of your media class in Quinnipiac and tell you that a reality TV show would be on the evening news. You would probably call me nuts, however most evening news shows will discuss the Gosselins, American Idol or the White House party crashers.

    The ME is who we are now as a society (while it sucks at times) people buy into that and want to be associated with us. See Tiger's sponsor drops as a real holiday treat.

    But enough of the rant… Social media has done some great things for us flacks. Instead of having to guess our research is correct on a given reporter, we can easily see what they are into on sites they participate in and join in on the conversation, building a quasi-relationship that can make the pitch easier.

    For example, I had emailed Dell Jones numerous times with no response, however a quick Tweet or a session of commenting on Tweets has led to direct conversations. Unfortunately still not a fit for the story thogh.

  • Lex_D

    Now look what you've done, the sociology nerd in me got all revved up after reading this post :)

    I think it's interesting to see how the “everyone is special and unique” mantra will play out in advertising. I know this school of thought is starting to see a backlash in the parenting world (I read a great article about it last month, but can't seem to find it).

    I guess my question is, will people really get tired of hearing that products were designed specifically “for them”? I imagine the verbiage will get old. But with an increasing share of the market having been brought up with the idea that they are incredibly unique and special, will the idea behind these ads ever become unattractive?

    @Lex_D

  • http://alexaizenberg.wordpress.com/ Alex Aizenberg

    HA, i love this. Well said.

    Reality is that if Person of the Year was YOU (ME) even 2 years ago… so this trend is not new. However, as more and more people move from the fringes into the social MEdia (love that too btw) space, the over saturation of users and 'participants' in these social experiments will undoubtedly go from interaction to arrogant soap boxing, unless we step in and moderate it… which I'm happy to say, 'pie-in-the-face' posts like this def only help! =)

  • kathyhokunson

    Kate-
    Listen isn't it all about YOU it is all about ME, sheesh. LOL.

    But actually I really like the point you make, it is okay to be about ME as long as I am using ME to know and help you. And I think we are heading back to the moderate view of it being all about ME. For awhile there, it was the ME generation and there was no consideration of YOU.

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