BCBusiness Innovators 2012, Adbusters Media Foundation | BCBusiness

BCBusiness Innovators 2012, Adbusters Media Foundation | BCBusiness
Back: 2012 BCBusiness Guide to Innovation

Congratulations to Adbusters Media Foundation, #10 in 2012's Most Innovative Companies in B.C.

The occupation of its shrine to capitalism by an unruly mob of activist protestors was not widely celebrated by the business community. There’s no denying, however, that in mobilizing the Occupy Wall Street movement, Vancouver’s Adbusters Media Foundation found the sweet spot marketers dream of: harnessing the power of social media to tap the zeitgeist of a generation.

“The idea was born with a global brainstorm,” explains Kalle Lasn, co-founder of the media foundation and editor-in-chief of Adbusters magazine. The Adbusters.org website channels the chatter of about 90,000 activists worldwide, Lasn explains, and it was from that online conversation that the Occupy Wall Street idea emerged.

The movement didn’t gain traction until last July, when following the populist uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt, Adbusters published a blog post, or “tactical briefing,” as Lasn prefers to call it, exhorting followers to congregate in Manhattan on September 17, to “set up tents, kitchens, peaceful barricades and occupy Wall Street.” At the same time, Adbusters coined the Twitter hashtag #occupywallstreet. As Lasn reports, “the Twitter feed went crazy.”

For Lasn, it was a case of being in the right place at the right time: “The disillusionment among young people and the power of social media combined and created absolutely the right moment for our spark to take hold.”