Commentary

Online Branding: Lost In Cyberspace?

  • by March 20, 2007
HOLLYWOOD, CA. -- A panel of experts debated the challenges of online branding at OMMA Hollywood Monday and pondered how to make online branding strategies work better. "The challenge is that while we have proven the case that online can brand, the question is how do we make online work better. "Is online lost?" Rex Briggs, CEO, Marketing Evolution challenged the panel.

A gap exists, according to Briggs, because while the media can be effective, "you have to get the targeting right and the message right."

"With interactive it's more complex because of the changing nature of the channel," said Chuck Sullivan, group director, Organic, which recently launched DaimlerChrylser's unique Jeep Patriot online brand campaign in which consumers help choose the plotline for an online adventure film involving the vehicle and characters. "Interactive means a lot of different things-social media, banners, search," he said.

In addition, it's not enough just to slap your logo or brand on a Web site or sponsorship: "If you can 'insert logo here' you know you have a problem," said Jason McDonell, marketing director for Frito-Lay's Doritos brand. "It's about what is the unique, ownable experience about the location for Doritos, versus another one. If you're not providing the experience, it's challenging. Branding is more than about buying [ad] space."

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GM Planworks is working on mycadillacstory.com for client General Motors' Cadillac brand, hand-picking celebrity Cadillac enthusiasts to tell their stories for the site, while also inviting regular Caddy lovers to send their stories and videos as well.

The branding exercise is a work in progress, thus far a showcase for a 30-second ad featuring NFL star Tiki Barber, and videos featuring actor/director/producer Andy Garcia; designer Dana Buchman; rocker Joan Jett; and pro skater Justin Eldridge all nostalgically relating their experiences with the historic brand.

Still, Caddy is struggling with how to distribute and promote the content. The brand is working with third-party publishers to envision a solution, according to Todd Riley, vice president, digital director, GM Planworks.

Tech marketer Lenovo has moved away from price comparisons in its online branding efforts, according to Ajay Kaul, director, global Web marketing.

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