Tuesday, February 26, 2013

David on Demand

In the world today, it seems like we are defined by the social media we use. It's not how pleasant of a person you are, it's the number of facebook friends or twitter followers you have. With all of these trends, it should only follow that someone would do something so extremely crazy and stupid that he would be considered the "King of Social Media". And here we are. No, I'm not talking about Mark Zuckerberg, I'm talking about David on Demand.

If you're too lazy to watch the entire video, I'll explain what's going on here. For the 2010 Cannes Ad Festival, Leo Burnett Worldwide Design and Advertising firm decided to unleash its secret weapon: David. David Perez is a 30-something guy who, for a time, allowed anyone and everyone to suggest things for him to do via twitter. For our viewing pleasure, he attached a video camera to the side of his head so viewers at home were able to watch his every move. As David states, almost half of the tweets for the festival were about him, grossly overshadowing that pesky rascal Mark Zuckerberg.

At the requests of strangers, David took a helicopter ride, pole danced in public, got a tattoo, and probably a bunch of other stuff that we were not privvied to in this meager slice of his adventure.

I see this weird little phenomenon as both positive and negative. On the bright side, it's great to see an advertising firm really thinking outside the box with their promotion. Since both twitter and viral videos are such popular forms to communication, combining them with a real-life person who will give you, the viewer (the most important aspect of advertising), control over his actions seems like a great way to generate buzz.

On the negative side, are we really that comfortable with letting social media direct our actions in such a blunt way? If David will get a tattoo (virtually permanent, at least in this day and age) just because someone on twitter tells him to do it, maybe we should sit back as a society and think about how much control we are handing over to social media in exchange for some pictures of that girl's pool party that we weren't even invited to in the first place.

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