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Social Currency…I like it.

February 3, 2009

I read an interesting article in a recent Fast Company about Interference, Inc.  They’ve been coming up with some creative nontraditional / alternative / guerilla / street marketing – I always dig this kind of stuff.  By the way, which nomenclature should we use going forward?  We should decide, because sources are citing that “alternative media” accounted for 16% of all marketing expenditures for ’07, doubling in the last five years.  It might be tough to call it alternative much longer….


Check out some of these examples:



ge-washer2The first one is for a new GE washer – a 20 ft. inflatable washing machine with about 800 ft of clothesline (complete with hanging laundry) along several blocks in Times Square.  It illustrates the six months of washing that you can take care of before having to add more detergent.





This next one shows some street theatre done for the Discovery Channel – lifeguards promoting shark week.shark-week


Love the creativity…and if you can pull off something this engaging for a GE washing machine – well, you can engage on just about anything.


They also make a point about the creation of “social currency” – defined as images, stories and ideas that allow people to connect with both the brand and each other.  The best promotions create thought and delight among those who encounter them – much more stimulating than the typical guy in a t-shirt handing out flyers…

5 Comments leave one →
  1. Crystal permalink*
    February 3, 2009 1:26 am

    A few more nouns to consider: experiential marketing and good old promotions. I like the idea of social currency. Focuses the mind on the need for a central idea that transcends media boundaries, similar to the concept of social objects in the social networking and digital space. As I’m reading up on the topic, the target audience definition itself is becoming something I’m rethinking. We typically define the target as an individual with certain demographic or behavioral characteristics. These days, we probably should define targets in terms of groups and social interactions as well (or instead) to get to ideas with social currency. Nice post.

  2. MelissaHamilton permalink
    February 3, 2009 1:02 pm

    Love the idea of defining targets as groups (like personas) – defining things using interactive methodologies may be the new way of tackling marketing in this social world.

    Greg – you need to circulate some of this stuff with 6, they’ve been looking for some guerilla inspiration lately.

  3. greg permalink
    February 3, 2009 6:11 pm

    I like experiential marketing as well…and (the work & press section) has some great guerilla inspiration. It’s a fun perusal for anyone…

  4. February 6, 2009 11:02 am

    Experiential marketing forces companies to think outside the box and set themselves apart from competition. Marketers must make their efforts “memorable”. Your Discovery Channel and GE examples above do just that.

  5. February 10, 2009 11:59 am

    Thanks for the mention in the posting above. Glad you like our work. As for terms, most of the time it seems that ‘experiential’ and ‘non-traditional’ are the dominant terms in use. It used to be Guerrilla, but that seems to be going away.

    Also, the Social Currency comment is from Douglas Rushkoff who has some good essays on and quotes on it.

    Interference Inc.

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