Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Branding Online. A Contradiction In Terms?

In a piece published Tuesday, written by Alan Pearlstein, president and CEO of Cross Pixel Media, the question was raised as to whether the internet will ever become a branding medium.

Mr. Pearlstein appears to be one of those who thinks it's doubtful. His argument is that the current online ad formats are not as effective as TV in creating an emotional connection with the viewer.

Why he says this, I'm not sure. If the commercial's content is the same both online and on TV, then what's the difference?

Size of screen?

Certainly, that's one difference.

But if branding is about building relationships with consumers over time (rather than making an immediate sale) then what needs to be evaluated is the relationship over time bit, not so much the size of the screen.

Interestingly enough, the one thing that can be measured online that can't be measured on TV is the amount of time a person actually spends with a brand.

I, as those who read this blog know, will argue that the more time spent with a brand, the greater the likelihood of purchase of that brand.

In other words, share of time = share of market.

Since we can measure share of time online, it seems that online is the only platform that can truly make branding, dare we say it, accountable.

In the future, this is what will drive branding dollars online.

Not the size of the screen.

Accountability.

Which is why, it could be argued that in the future, TV will be used strictly for reach - where brands can reach out to people to let them become aware they exist, or, to keep them top of mind.

Online, on the other hand, will be the platform where people can reach out to brands. To find out more.

To inquire.

To be inspired.

To be sold.

And, if a creative guy/gal can't make that message be emotional, than he/she has no business being in this one.

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