They don’t ask for permission.
Last week Old Spice showed the world how to use social media. They took one character who had been featured in less than five television commercials and produced over 100 commercials/videos in one day. It worked because they used tools and sites that require permission and options. Here are their YouTube results as of 7/19/2010
Old Spice used Twitter (which requires you get someone’s permission before you can talk to them) to start their campaign. The videos they created were in response to Twitter messages and were posted on YouTube. That means that people had the choice to watch non-Old Spice videos when they arrived at their destination. Old Spice resisted the temptation to change the surfing habits of users. People like sites they’re familiar with. Businesses spend thousands of dollars to build a web site that very few of their customers go to. Old Spice understands that I’m already going to YouTube today so they showed up there.
Social media begins with permission. I see television, print and radio advertising happening like this..