Ambient Intimacy

Rory Sutherland, Ogilvy Creative Director, has written an article on Brand Republic’s website about Facebook and brands.

Rory describes Facebook’s newsfeed and status Twitter-like functionality as ‘semi-addressable’, where ‘the message is not addressed to specifically named individuals.’

I prefer to describe this form of communication as Ambient Intimacy, as coined by Leisa Reichelt on her blog back in March.

In and of itself, a single Twitter feed is meaningless and mundane, but as a continuous ambient trickle of statements about a person’s daily life it can be initimate, personal and insightful. It’s one of the main reasons everyone had such an affinity to Princess Diana. So many column inches were filled with her daily life that we all felt we knew her and had an affinity towards her despite never having physically met her.

This level of communication will become very important, but only as part of a larger set of social communication tools. Were you to have an important sporting event such as a tennis Grand Slam, and have a selection of athletes taking part in the event utilizing Ambient Intimacy in the run up to it, you’d get a very personal view of those people’s fears and hopes which would generate interest into the lead up to that bigger event and an affinity with those athletes.




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