Ads That Speak the Language of Social Media

Madison Avenue is offering consumers a status update on just how pervasive social media have become.The language of social media — “fans,” “friend request,” “like,” “social network” and, yes, “status update” — is increasingly appearing in advertising, whether or not those ads are running in social media like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Such ads are also increasingly being aimed at mainstream consumers, not just the younger consumers who were the early adopters of social media.The appropriation of the trappings of social media for marketing purposes is an example of a tactic known as borrowed interest, by which brands seek to associate themselves with elements of popular culture that are pervasive enough to be familiar to the proverbial everybody. Social media’s new starring role in product pitches signals that agencies and advertisers believe they are sufficiently prevalent to refer to without producing puzzled reactions.

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