Currys got this so wrong. Tesco got it so right.

Currys & Tesco

We're living in pretty cool times. We've invented duster socks for cats. Science has blessed us with bacon-scented cologne. Even advertising's started to move with the times - Twitter's new TV tie-in represents some serious joined up thinking. I'm a big fan of the clever remarketing Facebook's now offering via its FBX platform (there's some golden potential for Social Commerce in them there hills).

So, when I see dumbo, dumb-ass, dum-dum advertising like the Currys Adwords example below, I just despair:

Currys advert

First, I was served this ad in early June, a massive 82 days until the next bank holiday (thanks for reminding me - guh). Secondly, it's Officejet, folks. Capital O. Like you might find in the sentence: "Oliver worked on the Currys account but now flips burgers for a living." Thirdly, how much is it again? "xxx"? I'm not sure I can stretch to that much. And finally, perhaps worst of all, the link leads to a search results page on the Currys website which doesn't even feature the HP printer in question. Or, in fact, any printer.

Ah well. Balls-ups happen (although it doesn't take a genius to proof-read an ad and set it to expire). But that's

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The secret behind Facebook's new toy

The secret behind Facebook's new toy

Facebook's recently announced Graph Search feature changes everything. Okay, not everything. Toast will still land butter-side-down, and shoe manufacturers will continue to be unable to manufacture anything that doesn't shred your heels upon first use. But it's going to have a massive effect on social media marketing and an even bigger one on social commerce.

For years now, brands have been engaging with people on their corporate Pages. Of course, no one joins Facebook for that, so direct traffic to has historically been pretty low. As a consequence, brands have had to force their way into users' newsfeeds and timelines. Sometimes by staging giveaways or running polls - anything to 'engage' and inspire sharing. Sometimes by posting photos of cute, fluffy rats wearing silly hats. Pics like that always get 'likes'.

But, in doing that, brands have dumbed themselves down. Acme Tractors aren't in the business of cooing over rats in hats. They're in the business of selling tractors (at least they would be had I not made them up). What they need is for people to engage with their brand on Facebook in the context of commerce, not cuteness.

Once Facebook's Graph Search expands to include all Open Graph elements (something CEO Mark Zuckerberg says is forthcoming), brands won't have to ditch their dignity to catch the eye of prospective customers. They'll just need to offer enticing deals, deals which reward users' participation and incentivise sharing. That way, when people search for deals which might interest them, perhaps deals their friends are taking part in (or, as we like to call them, Co-buys), up comes the brand and up go the sales. Essentially, brands won't just appear in search results, they'll be able to sell in them.

That's a game-changer.

And it's actually the most important thing you're yet to read about Facebook's announcement. You'd heard how it might affect Google. You've read about poor old Yelp. You've learned how Bing might actually profit. But, unless you work for one of those companies, none of that really mattered to you. This does. This matters a lot.

Robin Bresnark

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