Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The Top 100 Social Media Brands -- Or, Sex Doesn't Just Sell, It Socializes

As usual, I've been spending way too much quality time mulling over something only the readers of this column, and yours truly, might care about: Vitrue's second annual list of the top social media brands.

After looking it over from the iPhone (#1), to Comcast (#100), here's what I've decided: that, as it always does, sex sells -- in this case, because it socializes.

No, Playboy didn't make the list, but when you look at who did, they are almost all brands that, using the broadest sense of the term, are inherently sexy. I speak of brands like Mercedes (#17), the NBA (#5) and Nike (#10). Of KFC (66), BestBuy (#22) and MTV (#4). In short, they are almost all brands that speak to the gratification engine that super-charges our souls, that makes life worth living -- and a BMW (#20) worth purchasing.

So, why do I point this out? Because it makes me wonder what the social possibilities are -- or aren't -- for brands that merely serve instead of gratify. I counted six consumer packaged goods companies on the list, and even them, including outlier Nutella (#42), were what I would define as sexy. (I mean, who, really, can resist a spread made partially out of chocolate?) The CPG list was rounded out by Coca-Cola (#31), Pepsi (#73), Red Bull (#47), Avon (#97) and Skittles (#65). No Tide or Hamburger Helper here.

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