Maine Today interview: Åsk Dabitch Wäppling CEO of Adland

Current Maine Today here. Waybackmachine archived article here. here.

Maine Today interview: Åsk Dabitch Wäppling CEO of Adland

Current Maine Today here. Waybackmachine archived article here. here.


Today marks my first international “Social Social” interview. I was very fortunate to have had the opportunity to talk with Åsk who is a very well known and respected figure in the advertising industry. All the way from Stockholm, I give you Åsk “Dabitch” Wäppling. Pay attention as she takes no prisoners.

Globetrotting viking currently busy bagging seven continents. Åsk stems from a long line of engineers, and is driven by the need to pick things apart to see how they work, and the want of making everything useful pretty too. Her first social media handle was the email back in the 90s.

Adland is the worlds oldest ad blog the largest commercial archive in the world.

Insomnia, shallow thinking, and the smartphone as our witness


What do you dislike about social media?

“I dislike the shallow thinking it leads to. There’s a tendency to share sarcastic quips, jokes and surface only. People will only read the headlines of an article, and be done with it.”

“People worry about narcissism, I worry about stalking. People pass on ‘missing children taken by their mother’ alerts on Facebook without thinking, and have revealed battered women’s hiding places. Screen dumps of  embarrassing images from Snapchat follow teenagers around until they kill themselves. Every upload of every sunset and dinner and pretty bike at beach that you share from your personal life is becoming a bit of data that reveals your geographical location, preferences and income bracket to the lean mean digital marketing machine. Privacy is something that we will lose if we keep giving it away. I’m very good at dodging cameras at events. But it’s becoming increasingly difficult as now even the local coffee-shop has ten ‘iPhotographers’ being arty. I bet they tag faces in photos, too. Our children’s faces will be automatically tagged, as by that time the worldwide computers will already know them so well.”

What impact do you think social media has had on advertising?

“In a way, it’s leveled the playing field for small businesses and local shops more than the Web already has. People online are actively seeking out their interests, and geographical area on social media. The small Mom & Pop café in ‘LittleTown’ can establish their brand & personality with a few well chosen keystrokes, say by sharing the über-local news about found dogs, cars that left their lights on, and today we have Mom’s Apple Pie free with every lunch. Becoming useful, like Duracell and Budweiser did, to the local clients. Or with a niché business, such as special organically dyed knitting yarn, joining and engaging with all the knitters out there who are collecting into Pinterest groups with yarn inspiration and Web pages with tips.  Your local diner used to only have that chalk-board outside, but these days you can reach people who might want to drive for half an hour to get that free pie – it’s given local and niché clients a much larger reach. It is allowing Mom & Pop to battle a little against the Starbucks next door, without having spent the same bucks.”

“There are two kinds of ‘local,’ the geographical and the niché. Both of these types of businesses should be online and in social media.”

“Not all of us will go viral, and most of us don’t need to. But a tip to that café is to write funny things on the chalkboard and hope a photo of that gets shared on Reddit. However, going viral is like fame. It doesn’t equal sales, just like fame doesn’t equal riches.”

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