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Web 2.0 and advertising July 18, 2009

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When you ask the experts, they’ll tell you that advertising in Web 2.0 is nothing new.  Web 2.0 advertising, in simple terms, is a type of marketing that relies heavily on social networking services on the internet. Its essential elements include offering fresh data, the ability for other parties to share with others, harnessing the collective experiences of the audience, and fostering participation instead of publishing.

The latest craze for Web 2.0 advertising has been the use of flashmobs. As recently chronicled in The New York Times, T-Mobile famously used flashmobs in a Liverpool Street Station performance of Lulu’s “Shout” in their campaign built around the slogan “Life’s for Sharing.” The clips on the internet have been viewed well over 15 million times on YouTube alone. New Zealand based Vodacom has used a similar strategy in a campaign built around Beyonce’s “Single Ladies” anthem.

For more on this story, see the videos below.  The first is a clip from T-Mobile’s recent experiment with Web 2.0 advertising.  The second and third clips are from Vodacom’s “Single Ladies” campaign.

Discussion Questions:

1.  From your understanding, how does a clip of something like T-Mobile’s flashmob performance use social networking to reach the masses?  In other words, how does something like this go viral?

2.  Why is this kind of advertising so appealing to consumers?

3.  Is this an option for large and small businesses alike?

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