Saturday, May 31, 2008

Does the shell matter?

I was recently asked if running an ad before a Martha Stewart clip on Martha has any more value than running an ad before that same clip on YouTube?

Its an easy answer for the buyer in me, but for the marketer its not as clear.

As a buyer, since syndicated content is a new way for content creators to increase their supply of ad space, I would pay less. Supply and demand, you create more supply through syndication, I pay less, simple. I'm sure the sellers would accept that, but what if they didn't?

As a marketer is there really less value? I don't know. Some people argue that it doesn't matter what content is next to ad, much less the subtle difference of what website hosts it. All that matters to them is who the individual is that see's the ad. What's their age, what are they in the market to buy, are they the right target. The context in which the ad is viewed means little, and they sacrifice that to get more exposure per dollar. If its cheaper to advertise to me during a Battlestar Gallactica rerun, why pay more to advertise to me during the Grey's Anatomy finale?

I think there are times to follow that logic and times not to. Your state of mind changes depending on what content your consuming, and seed planting is art that requires harmony of message, target, context, and timing. There is alot to that special sauce.

But I'm hard pressed to think there more's marketing value to the shell that holds the same content. YouTube or Martha Stewart, vs Hulu.

What are your thoughts?

Friday, May 2, 2008

What Wu Tang Taught Me About Social Marketing

When I was in college most of my friends were very into hip hop and it wasn't for me. I'm more into Springstein and the Who. But I wanted to be included in their conversations. If I showed knowledge of something that was both off the everyday's hip hop fan's radar and that the hard core fans thought was awesome, I could leverage this undiscovered gem.

So whenever I had the opportunity amongst a hip hop conversation I would say "Capadonna's verse in Winter Wars was the best rhyme ever." I was quite the hit at parties. Thanks for the tip Jared.

As a marketer there are conversations around cars, traveling, eating, clothes, food, entertainment, health, style that we want to get into. Most corporate messages are as out of place in these conversations as I was in hip hop conversations. But if we can create something that's just a little obscure but our most ardent influential customers think is awesome, maybe we have a chance.

I think our Portland Office did a great job at this with their Bruce Campbell Old Spice spots.