Jul 2, 2007

Your Brand Is Not My Friend-- More Sightings

Today's Wall Street Journal has a story entitled "Young Surfers Spurn Banner Ads, Embrace "Widgets"." Relevant quote, from Samantha Skey, exec. VP of Strategic Marketing at Alloy Media + Marketing:
Kids have come to view [social-network profile pages] as their yearbook page. It's their collage. It's very personal.

A further reading of the article reveals that all of the widgets in question are being placed by movie and other entertainment companies to promote their shows. Which, in this toad's opinion, is pretty much a no-brainer: kids will put movie widgets on their sites because they identify with movie characters and because it's socially acceptable to say, be that into Harry Potter. But they're not going to put a Diet Pepsi widget on their site because it's not at all socially acceptable to be that into Diet Pepsi.

When will brand marketers realize that tactics that work for entertainment brands are not easily transferred to consumer brands?


Anonymous said...


It seems a no-brainer. And it isn't just for kids. I have been around for six decades, and been in marketing, communications, and publishing for 35 of them. So I'm no kid.

No way am I interested in a product widget. But if my favorite bands offered widgets, I would make them part of my blog tomorrow.

Anonymous said...

When will they realize?

I think it will take a long time. For the most part, brands can’t help themselves. They see buzz: they want a piece of it, even if the particular tactic is wrong for their brand.

Anonymous said...

I have to think, though, that there are some consumer brands that could get away with it. Mini? Vans? Chuck Taylors? Phillies Blunts? Those ugly-ass-yet-super-popular Crocs?

Trouble is, most brands don't garner nearly that much consumer love, even though clients all think they do. But it's always been that way.

Clients are usually so into their brand (because they're truly excitred about it or need to pretend to be in order to stay employed), they think everyone else is, too, and thus, who wouldn't want a widget for Product X? I know I do!

(I'm sure we've all been in those client meetings where they talk a little too passionately about the brand, you know, like it's alive and has feelings, etc. Very creepy and a bit sad.)

Alan Wolk said...

@the other: Yes, there are definitely a few brands that inspire that kind of loyalty. Apple, Harley, some of the surfer brands - but as you point out, that's a pretty tiny number.

You know what's even scarier than clients who take their products too seriously? Agency types who do. I've worked with a few and the only thing I can say is that they make very very compelling sales people.