so…how would i find that cool web thing you are pitching?

We are in planning for next year (already) for one of our CPG clients and we are doing this new “integrated” approach that means nothing more than that we have to listen to other agencies (interactive, media, etc) say silly things and then fight for our ideas to get presented to the senior leadership. It’s a lot of fun.

The interactive agency tops the unintentional comedy scale almost continually. I am going to miss them.

The real issue, which bothers me less than the fact that the creative team they brought to these brainstorms included a copywriter who could barely read the concepts he wrote and then said nothing the rest of the first day of meetings, is that they do not understand that people have to have a reason to go to a website. They do not understand that it takes awareness-driving tactics to build buzz around an interactive idea. They seem to think that because something is cool and online, people will magically find out about it and start logging on immediately.

Tangerine Toad, as you would expect, says it best:

I mean the most basic of all interweb ad concepts– that people need a reason to come to your site– is seemingly lost on many of my colleagues, who seem to think that like TV, putting something online guarantees viewership and that any video posted to YouTube automatically becomes “viral.”

This maxim is as true for a website or a viral video as it is for, say, branded entertainment of the sort that AdPulp featured today:

On its website ae.com, American Eagle introduced a dedicated media channel called 77e, which plays music and videos. The idea was to make visitors intrigued enough by what they saw to entice them to click further and buy clothes. Much of the content on the channel has been commissioned specifically as entertainment and used the American Eagle brand almost incidentally.

Though it seems a stretch to believe that music and videos, which can be found online and on television at any time (though not, of course, on MTV), would drive purchase the idea works as a general concept because it is hosted at a site that already attracts a significant number of consumers and targets only those current visitors.

The objective is conversion of site visits to purchase. The objective is not to bring in new consumers.

Which is good.

Because if you want to bring in new consumers online video and branded content without a big awareness driver or a targeted means of reaching new consumers is a complete waste of money.

As I have been saying all week to the clowns at this interactive agency we are forced to work with.

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One response to “so…how would i find that cool web thing you are pitching?

  1. Thanks DB.
    It’s frustrating. I mean so many of these people really seem to think that “browsing around the internet” bears the exact same results as “flipping though the channels” on a TV set… that somehow there’s a finite number of web sites and that in time, I am sure to stumble upon theirs.

    Same way they feel that creating a “game” — where plenty of unbranded but decidedly cooler games already exist– is somehow the magic ticket.

    The degree to which people don’t understand how digital works in the year 2008 is truly astounding to me.

    (But you knew that.)

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