Friday, December 26, 2008

The importance of the logo to advertising

How many can you recognise? Extra points for knowing what the people behind the button actually do.

While facebook is a relatively new company, much earlier into its career than say, a creaky 23 year old Wayne Rooney, that didn't stop Microsoft from paying $240m for a chunk. Well, more a crumb really. 1.6%. That makes fb worth fifteen effing billion dollars. Not bad for a four year old. As a tradvertiser, if you're not asking why a social bloody network where people 'poke' each other is so bloody expensive, you should possibly stop playing Scrabulous for five minutes and find out.

And then there's YouTube. It's interesting to note that on the day your new €275,000 (excluding terrestrial media buy), 40" spot for your client's SwankyShine Shampoo breaks, two hundred THOUSAND people will upload videos of their own (many featuring themselves, with their bedroom walls in the background, mostly in the US and UK and, increasingly, here) and two fifths of them will be in the music and entertainment categories, stuff that other viewers will actively seek out. You don't have to be Spike Jonze or Michel Gondry either. Any old low res tat will do, as long as it's entertaining or informative.
Good luck with the new SwankyShine spots on terrestrial TV, btw. Thank God it's got added ProPylaxaToriAmos Ten, huh? At least YouTube can never make that sweet shit.

There are one million Irish profiles on this social bee already. About half a million of these seem to be Dublin nightclubs. It's Bebo, of course. Correctly used, this is an incisive way to reach a younger demographic. It could however also be a bit like standing in a lush, green meadow and shouting at the grass to try purple for a change. You need to be punting the right product or you're wasting your time. There is an interesting early test case involving the marketing of Granard's most famous export analysed here. Rarely has thirty grand generated such intense debate.

Here be bloggers. I know the word sounds fluffy and dismissable, but when everybody's TV analysis of the US election is certain sure to have its own blogger, then pay attention. No marketing campaign on earth is more finely tuned to the nuances of its target market, and if they say blogging is necessary, you should believe them. The W is for Wordpress, the B is for Blogger. Two of the main software providers for most bloggers. There are some differences between them (like Wordpress is a commune of freeware-loving hippie geeks and, er, Google owns Blogger), but fundamentals are the same. They give you a voice and a set of ears in a very big world. It's lunchtime as I write: already 88,570 posts have been written on Wordpress blogs alone today. The simplest way to understand the phenomenal attraction of blogging is to just start one.

This is Feedburner's logo. If you publish content on the web, in a blog or a podcast, and you'd like to advertise your stuff, Feedburner can help with that. Anyone who wants it will be given regular, automated updates of your new content by Feedburner. It can also help you analyse who visits your stuff. Owned by Google. The more you blog, the usefuller it is.

If you use StumbleUpon it means you can give the thumbs-up to web content you like. Wikipedia calls it a 'personalized recommendation engine which uses peer and social-networking principles.' StumbleUpon themselves say that it 'helps you discover great content you probably wouldn't find using a search engine.' Seven million people are out there using it, bigging up what they find cool or useful or relevant. Sounds nerdy? A waste of time? Yeah. That's probably not why eBay parted with seventy five million dollars for it in 2007.

When an engine is developed just to search blogs, it's safe to say that bloggers have arrived as a legitimate and understood voice in the social and commercial media mix. Technorati is the engine. But it's a bit more than that now too, as it also acts as go-between between the blogger and the advertiser. Oh, didn't I mention? If you're a good blogger you can get paid by advertisers who want your space.

Digg is where people share and discover web content. Users vote on popularity, and the best stuff rises to the top. This is, in theory, all done by users. I can, also in theory, give this blog post an extra boost by submitting it to the upcoming stories section on Digg and get some extra readership thataway. In theory.

Delicious (or del icio us) is a social bookmarking site. Instead of just bookmarking a site or page you like, you instead have a Delicious account where you keep all your favourites online. Everybody else can see and share and swop. This exposes you to more of what you like, so if trans-Carpathian slapstick cookery programme outtakes is your big thing, then you'll find like minded souls on Delicious. Or not.

Twitter is a relative newcomer, having started in California (you don't say) in 2006. In essence it's a way to network with your own friends by keeping them up to date with your movements in info bursts of up to 140 characters. This can be fed through to your computer on your Twitter homepage, Facebook, a variety of other apps or, more popularly, on your mobile phone.

You get a 'tweet' SMS or email telling you and your network that Sean has found his lucky sliothar and so won't need to kill you for accidentally giving it to Mrs Quin's Charity Shop. It may sound stalkerishly obsessive, but it's getting ferociously popular, adding on users every month by the million.

Linked in is yet another social networking site, this time for business purposes. It's your CV, portfolio and business card online. Your contacts/network is an extremely valuable part of the site's architecture, as they act as referees and an endorsement of what you're about. 30 million users are registered on Linked in. I'm dismayed to think that anyone would suggest I've added it in here so that I can be readily checked out. Shameless.

Some postscript observations.

I'm guessing that not one of these dorky names went through the focus group hell that a lot of big brand advertising is forced into. Just a small bunch of startup people with a working title and butterflies in their tummies. There are lots more out there: try 10,000 new downloadable applications already for the iPhone alone, and it's an infant.

The single unifying theme for all these new social tools is their interactive nature. They rely on user input, commentary, feedback. They thrive on it, including the critical stuff. Traffic is blood. And that represents the divergence between the old world and the new. Top-down communications the ad agency way is gone, at least for the foreseeable. Not listening is no longer optional. Marketing has undergone a radical shift, and the polarity between the young who have always known social network media and how to integrate them into their lives and interests, and the 30-plus demographic who have a half-hearted interest in a facebook account at best, has never been wider. The important thing from the agency's perspective is to appreciate which one of these is the growing market, and then learn - quickly - how to connect with them.

1 comment:

  1. It would depend on what you want to achieve with the target audience after all what you want is to sell the product or idea right ? I especially like advertising that offers me something. Many TV, radio, magazine and newspaper ads that are out there are just yapping on about how their product is great.