What used to be created by an ad agency's writers and art directors -- engagement in the commercial message -- is now, according to the networks, the networks' responsibility. At least that's what they were claiming at this year's upfront -- each one selling advertisers on how their programs are better at engaging viewers in the commercials. Listen to the networks and you would think that the commercial itself -- how it's written, art directed, produced, its emotional content -- is of little consequence to whether people watch or not.
Many marketers, brand managers and media professionals continue to overlook a crucial component when tackling online video. The primary goal when deploying this kind of programming is to provide compelling online content for key audiences that garners and maintains consumer's attention and trust, not simply to copy what people are doing online for fun (see MySpace and YouTube) in a grandiose hope that it goes viral.
Great brands have great stories. Some come from their lore, their heritage or even the mythology that's been created around them -- like fashion and fragrance brands. As an industry, we've become experts at telling these stories in units of :30 and :60 -- standing back, observing the collective gestalt of life, and then mirroring those stories back at the consumer with brands neatly embedded in them.
Ever notice how difficult it is to buy a cheap umbrella when it's already pouring out? That's the thing about hindsight -- It may be 20/20, but it rarely pays off as big as we'd like. Must be because everybody has it. Foresight, on the other hand, has the potential to make all the difference. And in online marketing, it's indispensable. So why do so many vendors wait until they have no choice before developing new systems and technologies for their ad solutions?
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