Back in the day, advertising was supposed to be kinda sneaky — yeah, we knew companies were directing ads at us consumers in an effort to get us to buy stuff, but no one talked about it. Now, social media heavies like Twitter, Zynga (makers of Farmville, Mafia Wars and other time leechers) and LinkedIn are being totally open about their efforts.
Fortune.com has a video snippet up from a panel of COOs and CEOS from the aforementioned companies, discussing their innovations in advertising and basically, how they’re getting suckers like us to pay in.
Zynga’s founder and CEO, Mark Pincus, weighs in on the future of ads in social media with the example of a recent campaign for General Mills new organic Cascadian farms blueberries. It’s easy, really — just introduce the berries in virtual form on Farmville, and voila! Millions of game players plant the digital crops and then go on to make pies they can’t actually eat or let those imaginary berries sit too long in the online fridge until they’re forced to throw them out.
It just seems interesting that companies are being so open about their tactics. We should be overjoyed at the transparency, but it feels a little condescending to be informed of how we, as consumers, are being targeted.
But then again, people love their Tweeting, winking, and virtual food. Carry on!