Noah said some good stuff on stage at PSFK that we've been talking about for a while [that he kindly, falsely attributes to me]: that brands need to act like people, especially in a digital context.
We naturally anthropomorphize everything. We can't help it - we're incredibly solipsistic. But it's also because most of our big ol' brains evolved to help us understand other people. It's really very complex. I have to model how you might respond to what I might say, and how it might influence them and so on.
So we see faces in everything and think computers are out to get us when they crash with that deck unsaved.
Stephen King picked up on this. Hence the idea of brand personality was born and agencies began to attempt to link specific personality attributes to products.
But they didn't act like people.
Now, if brands want to play in our social media spaces, if they want to come to our party, they have to act like people. By being nice. And charming. And polite. By asking our names, or getting us a drink. By being interesting. Or useful. Or flirtatious.
Not just shouting about how great they are the whole time.