Schmetterer believes the Internet is fundamentally changing how companies link their communications and business strategies. And he is a strong advocate of new kinds of partnerships that cross all categories of media, business, art, and entertainment.
He said creativity is the touchstone for all business in the 21st century version of branding and competition and called on advertisers and their agencies "to put the Internet at the center of their business, at the strategic center and embrace it as a marketing medium."
What's needed, he said, is for us to "approach branding as business strategy. One of the great things about the Internet revolution is that people are now thinking about branding on a higher level."
He cited Volvo launching its new S60 model online in a campaign with AOL as well as Miramax and HBO teaming up to create projectgreenlight.com, a site that solicits movie script ideas that become feature films, as examples.
"What advertisers have to understand is that the real power of the Internet lies in its ability to help deliver the brand experience and not in its use as an ad medium," Schmetterer said. "Branding is no longer about communications strategy... it's about business strategy."