Live from #DigitalEast: Is Brand Advertising on the Internet Doomed?

By Janet Driscoll Miller | Sep 29, 2011
More Articles by Janet


First up in the Paid Search session was Jack Krawczyk of StumbleUpon. Jack started by sharing some statistics about how the brand vs. direct response marketing advertising is breaking down today online, and brand is only a small fraction of what direct is. How do you find balance between the two?

Direct response is focused on people who know what they want. Brands, however, are about feelings and trust. Brands are about the feeling of satisfaction. How do you compute satisfaction? Satisfaction = experience – expectation. TV works well for evoking feelings because your expectation is that you are watching TV to be entertained. That’s why commercials like the VW Darth Vader  commercial is so memorable — it entertained.

Display ads, by contrast, don’t really match expectation because they often are above the content you really want to see on the page. And while 14% want to fast forward through ads on their DVR, 43% ignore banner ads. Jack gave the example of the Intel “Museum of Me” campaign, which created an amazing media rich experience when connected with your Facebook account. It’s an example of great brand digital marketing. Instead of using a banner ad, which gets in the way, create a unique experience.

Another example Jack shared was the Grilled Cheese Academy, created by Wisconsin Cheese, and shares recipes for grilled cheese sandwiches. They spent less than 10% of the marketing budget (about $3k) on it but got 50% of the campaign’s page views and 8,800 hours of engagement, which equates to more than a 30 second spot on the Food Network.

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