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Wednesday, February 07, 2007

New Media: Marketers Starting to See the Light (Maybe)

A recent article in AdWeek relays the findings of a survey by the American Advertising Association, which states that marketers seem to be realizing the huge potential of new media vehicles such as Second Life and You Tube, and allocating up to 15% of their marketing budgets to new media intitiatives. Further, the study states that roughly 73% of survey respondents are putting 20% of budgets to new or emerging media.

While this isn't huge, I do think it's good to see some proactivity on behalf of marketers. The problem still remains though, will this 15% result in after-thought, "let's get some viral shit done to support our 60 second TV spots", or a real and concerted effort to fully utilize the potential of new media and do something different? Getting on Second Life is fine, but what are you doing with it? Setting up shop and operating like you do in First Life really doesn't mean anything to me-- particularly if I don't care about your brand in FL, why am I going to buy your products in the virtual world? Similarly, plastering banner ads on You Tube is not unique or engaging, and looks like an after-thought to people who come across it. People love You Tube cause its created by them, find a way to harness that power and give them a reason to interact with your brand, not just click through on your banner.

I hope that the skeptic in me will be proven wrong, and that we'll see marketers committing to their words and coming up big on new media, but that remains to be seen. Comes back to an earlier post of mine, in which I cited a survey from Prophet that states almost 40% of marketers say that their companies only adopt new/innovative marketing techniques after the success has been proven in the market place. The real winners in new media will be the ones who swing for the fences early, establish themselves as pioneers of emerging and innovative ways to talk to people, and committ to it in the long term.

Nike is a company that seems to be committing to new forms of media. I'm sure you've all seen their new spot for The Second Coming. As fucking cool as the spot is, they took that to the next level by having a microsite for it (Nike Mash Up) which allows visitors to remix the spot and create their own. I myself spent a good 2 hours messing around with this, its engaging and provides true interaction between me and Nike. That's what I like to see.

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