Ad Club Lunch Debrief


Just last Friday, Sarah and I joined the SavvyMom sales team for the annual Ad Club Internet Day lunch. It’s consistently the biggest networking event of the year (and by the way our very own Myra Thompson is on the committee) where each year media planners, media buyers, publishers and marketers come together to enjoy a stimulating, motivating and inspirational luncheon. That’s the idea, but this year’s speaker threw people for a bit of a proverbial loop, you might say.
The keynote speaker was Adam Penenberg, author of Viral Loop, a book about social networking and the power of virility for brands and their audiences. Despite the fact that he upset most of the people in the audience with his statement claiming that “banner ads just don’t work” (seriously, he actually said that to a room full of digital media buyers and salespeople), he did have some very interesting points to make.

I was pleased that it shone a favourable light on the strength of SavvyMom as a way to reach a highly engaged niche audience, and that our strong suite of integration with the right partners for our readers is already taking us beyond the banner. I’ll leave you with a few bullet points of what I took away from the address:

  • Social media is not going anywhere—so Facebook and Twitter are not fads.
  • Word of mouth marketing is not a new concept—it has worked for years. Avon and Tupperware are some early examples. Hotmail email was the first digital example of how quickly a message can spread virally, driven by the little footer message that was automatically added to each email a user sent.
  • Social networking is not a fad because we are biologically hardwired to do so. Whether it is online or offline, we need to connect and interact with others. It’s what makes us happy.
  • Scientific studies show that when we send messages on Twitter and Facebook (thus connecting with others) we produce the same amount of oxytocin (a happy hormone) as when we buy something or even breast feed children. This was really the most fascinating part of Adam’s speech! We moms know about that breastfeeding hormone and if it’s that powerful, then I agree that social networking is not going away anytime soon.

I don’t want to dwell too much about the fact that he said advertising doesn’t work (that’s just crazy talk), but I don’t think anyone is going to jump in and say that banner ads are the best thing to happen to digital media, either. I think we all know that as an industry, we can do better and SavvyMom for one is constantly looking for new and creative ways to reach our readers and help our brand partners.

Thank you to the entire committee for putting on a delicious meal and an entertaining and lively debate.


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