Betty White

Heather Fletcher is senior content editor with Target Marketing.

With happiness being the inverse of anger, intense levels of online vitriol were solved with discounted candy bars. So begins one of the least boring stories about data ever — when Snickers and agency Clemenger BBDO Melbourne in Australia teamed up to create a social media “Hungerithm” that resulted in discounted Snickers bars, which spread to the post-election U.S.

AARP isn’t the first marketer you might think of when it comes to social media, but it has been active there for nearly three years. The original challenge was to figure out ways to get people to think of AARP when they are starting to think about retirement. Now, like many marketers, AARP wants to go beyond the experimental phase and into building a social strategy for the long term based on defined metrics. Three years ago, there wasn’t any real strategy in place. AARP didn’t have anyone devoted solely to social media.

Media companies and ad executives say the ad spending growth will continue in 2011 but the year will likely bring significant changes as companies continue to shift money to digital advertising.

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