Wednesday, March 26, 2008

TV Commercials on Facebook?

I’ve been conflicted about this subject for awhile. I don’t go to Facebook for commercials, but I do go to YouTube. I love being able to play ads in class. Imagine being able to show a class of Vietnamese marketers ads from around the globe. So, wherever I am and whatever marketing subject I’m teaching, I love to be able to find ads on the net. What I wonder is, “Does anyone else?”

Josh Bernoff of Forrester pretty much agrees that people don’t generally care to watch ads. Why should they watch them on the Internet when they change channels on TV? There are a few exceptions—remember the Cadbury gorilla?

Note the ad on the screen capture then view the video here.

That essentially confirms Bernoff’s point—people don’t watch ads unless they are really special. But they do watch videos; we know they are doing that in large numbers. Here’s a list of the examples he mentions in the video:

Blendtec. People enjoy a light-hearted look at products.
RayBan. It’s just plain funny. Note it has spawned others.
Dove Evolution. I’ve written about the Dove Campaign for Real Beauty before. It’s a wonderful integrated campaign.
TIBCO. If you don’t look at any of the others, look at this. I apologize for not beliving that software engineers can have a sense of humor. They’ve created a whole world for this little guy!

Three of the four I found on YouTube. Each of the brands has created its own “channel”—essentially its own page on YouTube. TIBCO couldn’t have done what they have by just posting on YouTube; they needed a microsite. I was interested to see that, a video site, had its own channel on YouTube.

Here’s a bit more advice, quite accidentally from another Forrester consultant. Jeremiah Owyang created a corporate Facebook page for his brand—his Web Strategy blog. Then he took a small amount of advertising to promote it. The results weren’t overwhelming, but it worked. It's a great example of a social network marketing experiment that cost only $20 and some of Jeremiah's sleep time. Here’s his latest post on corporate Facebook efforts and if you search his blog you’ll find more. Thanks, Jeremiah!

The message? Well thought out campaigns on Facebook (or other social networks) can work. Engaging videos will be viewed. But only advertising instructors are likely to thank you for posting your run-of-the-mill commercials on the web!
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