Archives For Advertising

Among more traditional, boots-on-the-ground struggles unfolding in the political sphere are power plays happening in cyberspace.  The same control and influence social media affords consumers – taking control of the conversation, providing feedback, making noise when something isn’t right about a brand or a product – has been useful to civilians reacting to issues of state governance.

According to the Washington Post, many participants learned about the protests in Ukraine “from internet sites like Facebook (49 percent), VKontakte (a Facebook-like social media site that is popular among Russian speakers, 35 percent), and Internet news sites, such as Spilno TV and Hromadianske TV (51 percent)” (survey participants chose all applicable answers for the question). The U.S. State Department has gotten in on the conversation too; Politico reports on the digital dipomacy the U.S. uses to “correct misinformation”, “advance a positive narrative” in the Ukraine, and engage with individuals rather than talking at them.

Twitter played a major role in the Arab Spring and is assuming a similar role in the protests unfolding in Venezuela.  The platform has empowered protesters and allowed retired army general Angel Vivas to provide encouragement, organizational help, and tactical advice to protesters, turning him into the face of the movement. According to Mashable, Twitter is also the only free media available.

“[The Internet] seems to be the last space that the government has not figured out how to monopolize,” Ashley Greco-Stoner of the Freedom House told Mashable.

The Venezuelan government’s limited influence is not through lack of trying: It has established its own presence on Twitter and allegedly sought to increase its standing through subversive tactics such as purchasing followers and using shell accounts to bump up the number of pro-government hashtag mentions.

Nevertheless, the protests continue, and attempts by the government to create manufactured good will online has not taken hold. That’s another lesson brands should keep in mind when registering and using social media handles and domain names: Every portal has to be a genuine representation of your company and your intentions.

The same is true for brands/Internet users and their digital presence: They must follow through on the promises they make on their platforms.

New gTLDs are opening new opportunities for individuals to hone their images. For example, someone might purchase a JohnDoe.PHOTOGRAPHY website to legitimize himself as a photographer, or a JaneDoe.GURU website to establish expertise. Businesses of all sizes also may use .GENERICs to establish a certain image, maybe by registering in .LUXURY. But if you (literally) don’t have the goods to back up the image you’re crafting, the campaign will not be successful.

Fashion Week, now underway in NYC, is perhaps the ultimate example of the retail industry’s proclivity for spectacle and showmanship. Even though producing just one runway show can cost over $1 million dollars, as industry expert Kate Betts explained to Marketplace’s Kai Ryssdal yesterday, the residual exposure is worth it thanks in large part to digital devices and social media.

Abigail Keats A/W 2010

Just try signing on to Facebook or Twitter over the next week without being bombarded by an Instagram photo or Vine video of a disinterested waif in a couture gown. Everyone is sharing – your contacts, fashion bloggers, gossip sites, and online versions of traditional media outlets, such as WSJ.com.

Given the natural, if not overwhelming, symbiotic relationship between digital marketing and the fashion industry, it’s not surprising that a new report by e-Marketer finds that the retail industry continues to outspend financial services, telecom and even the consumer electronic industry on digital advertising.  As was explained in eMarketer’s description of the report:

“Industry marketers report today’s brand-advertising mix is evolving fairly rapidly from standard banner units—for which investment is expected to remain flat—to richer and more dynamic units, such as video, as well as social display and hybrid formats that can integrate more tightly with traditional branding workhorses like TV and print.”

And where will these richer, more dynamic units live?

“Retailers aren’t going to be satisfied with campaigns that simply run on social media platforms and existing .com websites for long,” explains Phil Lodico of FairWinds Partners.

“Industry leaders, including some of our clients, have already moved to build entire online worlds that revolve around providing their customers with unique branded content and, in doing so, advertise in a more meaningful way.”

Lodico said companies that own and run their own .BRAND Top Level Domain (TLD) will have unbridled opportunities to engage customers creatively – building followers at a previously unknown rate. Even companies that did not apply for their .BRAND in this latest round are building out innovative campaigns on other relevant .GENERIC top-level domains – set to begin launching in the next month or so.

Investors in new TLDs appear to have seen into the future. Four applicants are vying for the .FASHION site.  I’d bet the new Chanel collection that Fashion Week will reach a new level of digital spectacle in a whole new way once this new gLTD – the meaning of which signals the ultimate retail industry – launches.

Let us know in the comments!

After this weekend, many blogs are, as expected, buzzing about the commercials aired during the Super Bowl. But there is another commercial that began airing a few weeks prior to this weekend’s big game that caught our attention here at gTLD Strategy: online travel agent Booking.com’s newest “Booking.Yeah” TV spot. You can view the ad here: Continue Reading…