Advertisers Pick up on Social Media Lingo

A couple of months ago, Psy, the ubiquitous South Korean “rapper,” made an appearance in a Super Bowl commercial for pistachios and performed his oft-imitated dance. Gangnam Style was the first YouTube video to reach 1 billion (with a “b”) views, a sad indictment of the human race, but pretty sweet for Psy and a sign of YouTube’s cachet.

His transformation from little-known South Korean musician to unoriginal Halloween costume is an example of the increased reach of social media platforms. It’s true that Psy already had a fairly successful music career in South Korea, but lest we forget, YouTube also enabled record execs to discover/create something called a “Justin Bieber.” We non-Beliebers can use that same website to enjoy watching him vomit/collapse onstage, truly a marvel of our brave new world.

Now, as Stuart Elliott’s article in the New York Times reveals, we have another indication of the power of social media: the use of social media netspeak (“fans,” “friend request,” “social network,” etc.) appearing in national ad campaigns.

By expanding their integration with our daily lives, social media have become more than a means for us to interact and discuss baby sloth videos; they’re actually starting to shape the way we view the world and communicate when we’re offline. People are able to relate to our attachment to Facebook, Twitter and other platforms to a greater degree than before. This trend suggests that the shared experience of interacting online resonates with consumers, but also that it is becoming engrained in our culture whether we “like” it or not.


This past weekend, I had the privilege of seeing one of my favorite, yet little known a capella groups called Pentatonix perform at the Riviera theatre in Chicago . Well, at least I thought they were little known. Practically everyone I asked had no clue of who Pentatonix was, but when I stumbled across one person who did, we both searched to find that the tickets were quickly sold out. So…how did those people find out about Pentatonix? To give a little background, the group won an NBC singing competition show called “The Sing Off,” which featured a capella groups from around the world. After airing the third season in 2012 and crowning its third winner, the show was dropped from the network…never to return.

My guess for the show ending was likely low viewership, which explains the lack of awareness among so many about Pentatonix. But the five-member a capella group has in-fact been the ONLY winner from the three season show that I’d heard about post-winning. The real reason? Social Media! While the group covers a lot of popular songs rather than its own, a strong YouTube presence and consistently uploading covers has made them known amongst those who did not watch the television show that was supposed to bring them fame. At the bottom of each video, the group includes links of where to follow them and after performing, there’s a short message for “plug-ins.” Everything from Twitter to Instagram, this group has created its own sharable material across socialYouT networks, and from the looks of it, success has been the result. Followers and fans feel like they’re on-tour with the group and a part of their blossoming journey through Facebook posts, photos, tweets and mini-vlogs. I always pass along a video to tell the next person that appreciates good music about Pentatonix. From the sold-out crowd, I obviously haven’t been the only one doing so!

Here’s a link to their videos as well as other social media page links you can follow Pentatonix on:

PTX Website:
PTX YouTube:
PTX Facebook:
PTX Twitter:
PTX Instagram: