Last week, I attended a talk sponsored by the Ad Club of Buffalo held at The 9th Ward on Delaware Avenue. The entry fee was $20 for students that are not current members of the Ad Club.

The 30-minute talk was given by Anthony Shop from Social Driver, which is a Washington, D.C.-based digital agency. His talk was titled “People Are the New Channel” and the main focus of his talk was how to use social and digital advertising to be more genuine and organic when interacting with customers.

He gave numerous examples of successful and unsuccessful social/digital campaigns and how to learn from them in order to reach your target audience and get your audience to share your content for you, and make your content part of their “autobiographies.” One of the examples he used was Nike+ and how people choose to post pictures of their runs with the Nike logo and Nike really doesn’t have to lift a finger. This type of social media content is more genuine and will be more likely shared because it originated from a consumer rather than a brand or company.

Anthony also stressed the importance of of innovation over imitation. While some campaigns work really well for certain brands, not every audience is exactly the same and there is no guarantee that it will be just as successful. He did mention however, that getting inspiration from these campaigns is great, but to mold it into your own ideas.

After listening to Anthony’s talk, I have definitely become even more interested in the world of social/digital advertising, and now I have some good ideas to bring back to my internship. Constantly coming up with innovative and creative ideas is always the most difficult part of this business and I think that Anthony’s talk opened up my eyes to the vast amount of opportunities that are out there.