The Art of the Shameless Plug

Yesterday, I attended the 140 Characters Conference in London, an event that looks at how Twitter and social media is changing the way that we communicate around the globe.

During the music panel, an audience member asked the panelists if any of them follow P. Diddy and why. The question initially sparked a bit of confusion amongst the panelists until music producer Tommy D commented that Diddy–along with a number of other US artists often over-promote themselves. I thought this was pretty interesting, considering the fact that I get paid to push products, information and individuals and Americans are constantly in a stage of self promotion. Whether you’re P. Diddy or Levi Johnston, the shameless plug has taken the place of authentic information sharing. It’s an interesting concept, so I asked a few of my fellow British friends if they felt the same way, and of course they agreed. Another friend who recently visited the US commented on how just watching the news is like watching an on-going television commercial.

So are we so lost in our own worlds that we don’t realize when we’re being sold to anymore? Or are we just so used to it that we just ignore it, pick out the bits and pieces of facts that we can find beneath the sales pitch and keep it going? 

We live in a nation of walking brands. Our biggest stars are products of great stylists and music producers while they represent a brand more than true art. Everything they say and do is a reflection of that brand “image” developed in a board room…like a walking robot. Our top news channels force you to look at the happenings of the day from either a left or right perspective. Very few have been able to find a healthy medium, so you’re often forced to take a stance on a subject vs. simply receiving information. So I guess– it’s no wonder social media sites like Twitter and, to a certain extent, Facebook have become go-to sources of information for people who choose to by-pass the shameless plug and find new and interesting information.  It’s a scary thought, but exciting at the same time.

What do you think?

Last 5 posts by Sherry J. Bitting