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A social ad with people in it is still an ad. A concept, btw, which has been used for decades. I am wondering if they can save online advertising, or if it’s just a reprieve to keep spending on media instead of creating valuable experience for people.
http://culturalfuel.com/2008/08/08/social-banners-can-they-save-online-advertising/

thanks Valeria, what a honour! :)
glad that my post is inspiring such a debate also here :)

@Mads - banners are such prime real estate that utilizing in more concrete and valuable ways can only provide an upside. I am warming up to the idea of using a widget. In fact, I will be thinking further about an execution in that direction. Thank you!

@Paula - Thank you for turning the question around. That is indeed the direction we should explore and the gap between where marketers are and where they should be sometimes is a bit large. I have been wrestling with the idea of design of business (which is where I'd really like to be vs. at the mere communications after the fact) and needing to be in conversations on the ground floor vs. an afterthought. I totally got where you were coming from. The alternative would be to dumb down and flatten it all making it sound and look simplistic, which it isn't. It is in moments of chaos that creation emerges so this is a very opportunistic time to drive change into specific directions.

@Jon - good direction. Usability is key, as in value within context. I think we all see that. How do we get there? I am going to give some thought to what Mads proposed, keeping in mind what you and Paula added. Now we're cooking! I will inquire with TP about the email if you send me your address off line. I remember that I once tried sending you a message there form email and it bounced back...

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