Is the tail wagging the dog in social media?

20 Jun

I recently read about a new healthy burger chain in New York called 4food, which will allow customers to use iPads to place orders.

Their customers will also have the option of naming and branding their creations, and posting them on our favourite places like Facebook or Twitter. If they’re lazy and are ordering from home, they can create commercials on YouTube. I guess hunger motivates you but I wouldn’t be taking the time to make a commercial before I picked up the phone.

These branded burgers and commercials will then be featured on a 240-square-foot media wall (something we saw BC Ferries launch last month in Vancouver) in the restaurant that also streams from Foursquare, the social-networking site where users can check in at restaurants and other locations. It’s booming if you haven’t been paying attention. Every time someone buys one of the consumer-generated burgers, the creator will receive a 25-cent credit through their account.

I find this kind of innovation fascinating. Where once businesses used media to drive the product message, the media now is the message.

That’s nothing new of course. Marshall McLuhan was saying that in the 60’s. He claimed in his groundbreaking book Understanding Media that all media have characteristics that engage the viewer in different ways.

But I don’t know if even a forward-thinker like McLuhan could have imagined a world where how you order your burger and fries becomes more important than why.

Talk about a counter culture.


4 Responses to “Is the tail wagging the dog in social media?”

  1. Amanda Waye June 20, 2010 at 11:05 pm #

    I love this concept and 4Food’s use of the bleeding edge media to engage its audience. Do you have a link to the original article? I’d be interested to read more about how they pulled this experience together.

    Thanks for the innovative find, 4Food will certainly be on my list of stops for the next NYC visit!

  2. Z June 21, 2010 at 10:01 am #

    Sounds like “happy meal” for adults.

  3. dougbrowncreative June 21, 2010 at 10:42 am #

    A social minded restaurant with a social media edge. Neat huh? Amanda, here’s the link for the article, which came via the Wall Street Journal.

    Z, I wonder if their use of FourSquare will lead to Mayor MacCheese type creations!

  4. hlwatters June 21, 2010 at 5:41 pm #

    Depending on the order, this communication technology could revolutionize our concept of “hot” and “cold” media! 😉 Just where will convergence take us next.

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