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  Guy Weinberger Brands in the Land of the Dwarfs
by Guy Weinberger
October 29, 2010

We all collect friends on Facebook like kids collect bubblegum wrappers. They're in fact empty of all content, but still maintain a memory of something sweet. The only thing one can do with them is show them off in front of other friends: 'Wow, look how many gum wrappers I have: this one's from abroad, this one's red, this one's really rare, everyone's got this one and so do I, this wrapper was my first and this wrapper's really, really famous'.

 
 

Everyone wants to be famous — and Facebook provides an addictive sensation of 15 seconds of fame. “That's my picture headlining the page and next to every post or comment I make.” Any action by me is immediately announced by fanfare on my wall — “Mommy, look I went potty!” — so that the nation I created can responds instantly by applauding with a supportive LIKE. I receive continuous reports on my 'news feed' as to the actions of each of my citizens. Only I approve or deport new immigrants. This virtual universe I created circles around me. I collected these bubblegum wrappers. They're mine.

Facebook legitimizes our narcissism. Google also knew how to empower the egocentric monster that resides within us. Its minimalist homepage, stripped of all content except for an empty line that waits in obedient silence while asking in a coquettish tone: "Yes master, how may I help?" We're talking about social revolution here. Nothing less. Reality TV also turned into a rating epidemic because it knew how to satisfy our wet dream of becoming a mini-god: to crown and slay with the strike of a mighty SMS from… my iPhone, of course.

What hides behind the mask?

Anxiety caused by a chaotic, alienated, and uncontrollable world, or in short, as always, escapism. The need of a two year old toddler, competing against a world to big for his size, to find haven in his ability to build a tower from his wooden blocks and then to disassemble it immediately all by himself. Or under a different prism, we see an Oedipus complex in all its glory. After killing God, awoke an almost existential need to create micro cosmoses where we, and we alone call the shots.

Heading the battalion marches commander Thumbelina, wearing a steel helmet and a sharp needle in his hand. Facebook is the largest nation in the world, composed of a trillion thumb-sized countries.

Welcome to the “it's all about me economy.” Brands that behave like Gulliver will be disgracefully exiled. In order to cross the Rubicon over to the land of the dwarfs, brands will need to learn to behave like infants or to become a chewing gum. To become chewable, blowable and popable, something to toss in our mouth for that quick sweet sensation, then chuck out in order to replace with a new one. In other words, brands will have to learn to submit themselves to the narcissistic whims of Thumbelina’s who suffer from megalomania.

 
   
   Guy Weinberger is the CEO of Zarmon Goldman DDB. Established only 11 years ago, it’s the youngest ad agency in Israel's prestigious top 10 list and and in the last decade enjoyed the highest growth percentage of all Israeli advertising firms. Since he became its CEO in 2007, the firm has won an impressive amount of Cactus awards (the official Israeli advertising awards) for traditional and interactive advertising, and is ranked 3rd in the number of Israeli Effie awards winnings amongst Israeli firms. For over 10 years, Guy has written about advertising and marketing for some of Israel’s leading economic newspapers.



 
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Brands in the Land of the Dwarfs
 
 lovely insight
great article 
atara bieler, strategic planner, atara bieler brand strategy - October 29, 2010
 
 Good article. You mentioned some of the reasons I keep myself out of Facebook. In that way I also keep myself away from the tirany of the searching-bubblegum-wrappers-dwarfs. Sadly, if you manage a brand, you don't have the same freedom. 
- October 29, 2010
 
 Great post, Guy. As a marketing guy, I know I'm supposed to be all Facebook-y, even if it's just so I can understand the phenomenon professionally. Try as I might to make Facebook a part of my life, I just can't get into posting stuff no sane adult should care about. Does that make me a bad person? 
Bob Fiddler, President, The Fiddler Group - November 4, 2010
 
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