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Agencies 4 Growth Festival Logo

The Real Social Media Revolution

…is about ideas. Ideas that make people think, make people smile, make people laugh, make people change the way they behave. It’s about creativity. Creativity in advertising and design. Creativity in the field of poetry, literature and screenplays. It’s about art. Sharing it, discovering it. Trying to understand it. It’s about getting things done. Not waiting for someone else to do it, or relying on someone else to get it done for you. As Mahatma Gandhi said: “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.”

I have over 25 years experience in the ad industry working for agency brands such as: DDB; TBWA; BBDO; O&M and McCann’s as a CD / AD / CW. I have won over 100 awards, including Cannes; D&AD; One Show; Campaign and Epica. For brands such as: VW; Audi; Carlsberg; Black & White Whisky, Smirnoff, Coors, Cadbury’s; Coca-Cola; Heinz; Peugeot; Nissan and Meteor to name a few.

I’m also a published writer, I was short listed for the Independent on Sunday Short Story Competition in 1997. My short story, “Woman’s Best Friend”, also appears in the IOS New Stories published by Bloomsbury.

My poetry has been widely published in Ireland, Britain and the US in anthologies and periodicals such as: The U.S. Literary Review, Envoi, Cyphers, Electric Acorn, W.P. Monthly, Lifelines 3, The Haiku Quarterly and The Amnesty International Anthology: Human Rights Have No Borders.

I am the author of six feature length screenplays, six short films, a collection of short stories, a poetry collection and my first novel which contains 85,000 words, some of which are in the correct order.

And no, I’m not talking about how advertisers can use it to flog wares to their target audiences. I’m talking about it being used for the original reason Zuckerberg actually invented it.


Social media was invented for people to stay in touch with, and network with, people over great distances, but in real time. No hanging about for the postman, or waiting for the next monthly gathering of the Women’s Institute to convene.

The social media revolution I’m talking about is the one that’s just occurred in Tunisia, and is underway in Egypt.

In Tunisia, students arranged to meet via Facebook, MySpace and Twitter. They uploaded their protests via music on YouTube.

It worked.

It mobilized people that ordinarily wouldn’t have known what was going on in a state-controlled broadcast nation.

Interestingly, Egypt has cut off all internet access within its country to try and avoid what occurred in Tunisia. But I suspect it’s too late for that. The first tweet has already been cast and has gathered its own momentum.

The internet really has given power to the people. In the same way that the Gutenberg press revolutionized mass literacy, (ergo knowledge), so has the internet enabled us to share and access information we would hitherto never have dreamed of being able to access.

Okay, so Egypt pulled the proverbial plug. But can that alone stop the power of the world wide web? I doubt it. Everytime a nation state thinks the people might be revolting do they turn the lights off? Can’t see it happening. The truth will out.

I wonder, did Tim Berners-Lee imagine just what he would enable people to achieve when he created www.?

P.S. Advertisers can still make the most of the revolution if they act quickly. “Two balaclavas for the price of one”. Or, “Buy two Molotov Cocktails, get a third free”.

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