In the latest extension of its Epsonality campaign, which recommends printer models based on personal traits and work habits, Epson has teamed up with PopURLs on an intelligent RSS feed for DIYers, crafters, photographers, entrepreneurs and life hackers: the Epsonality edition of PopURLs.
The team at PopURLs points their technology at editorial content in those categories from across the web, and Epson sponsors a site and feed that caters to the informational needs of its core customer segments.
(Credits: Thomas Marban at PopURLs; Jordan Kretchmer, Ed Cotton, Shelly Hughes, Amy Rodier, Sankar Patel, Jordanna Howard, and Caroline Lewis at Butler Shine; and Leona Laurie, Bernie Albers, Josh Mattison and Mark Chu-Cheong at FM.)
Ed Cotton at Influx Branding does a perfect job explaining Toshiba’s latest campaign with FM: Banners that invite notebook users to get tech questions answered, right there in the banner ads. Ed, forgive me for republishing your entire post (bold type added by me)!
“Federated Media has spent some time educating the ad industry on the power and potential of blogs and their authors.
“Recently, they’ve been developing content that goes beyond the banner and utilizes their blog network. An interesting example of this is a recent campaign for Toshiba laptops that’s been running on the FM Network, sites like Boing Boing.
“It’s a simple banner that allows you to ask a laptop question and get a reponse from experts or the community in general. The linkage to the brand’s positioning is through the notion of ‘experts’, Toshiba being the laptop experts.
“Browse around the site and you will find answers to all kinds of laptop questions and importantly, they don’t all ‘plug’ Toshiba laptops.
“It’s an interesting idea and a good example of going beyond the banner to create a branded utility.
“My only criticism of the idea is about its uniqueness. The problem for Toshiba is the web is awash with tips and advice for laptop owners or prospects, it’s a hard area to ‘own’.
“However, the idea of link ad content to expert content is a really smart one and it’s just a matter of time before someone does something amazingly creative and useful by linking the two together.”
There was good stuff at yesterday’s Web 2.0 panel, “Marketing: Where Are We Now.” Battelle — wearing his Web 2.0 Program Chair hat, not his FM Founder one — moderated a discussion with Curt Hecht (GM Planworks / SMG), Carla Hendrie (Ogilvy) and Casey Jones (McCann).
- Curt Hecht: Search marketing can & should play a role in brand campaigns in at least two ways. One, always coordinate keyword buys with brand and PR initiatives. For example, make sure you own “Oprah” and “Pontiac” keywords when you have Oprah surprising her studio audience with free cars. Two, use search marketing to drive audiences to content you want them to see, even if you didn’t write it, eg, favorable editorial reviews on credible, 3rd party sites.
- Casey Jones
: Forget about keeping anything “off the web.” It just can’t be done anymore. He cited two examples — one, an XBOX 360 video spot that was rejected before it made it out of the marketing dept, the other an internal spoof video (what if Microsoft made the iPod) — that made their way to YouTube faster than an email leaves its outbox.
- Ed Cotton, from Butler Shine, posited from the audience that there’s a lot of talk about innovation, but the fear of screwing up is still much more powerful. How do we get beyond this?
- Carla Hendra’s examples provided interesting paths around those risk potholes. One, Motorola-sponsored silly Back Street Boys-inspired video in China with product placement for a cellphone. Two, Dove’s Evolution video that shows a model’s make-over (both by a stylist and with Photoshop), the transition from ordinary (even plain) mortal to the image we see on an advertising billboard. Three, the seed campaign for Cisco’s Human Network initiative. In all 3 cases, brands took advantage of amateur and viral videos and user-generated, participatory ad creative — yet the creative assets weren’t commercials starring cellphones, soap or routers. The campaigns gave customers some fun or thoughtful content (Motorola and Dove, respectively) to share with friends or an opportunity to converse, in a sense, with a marketing brand (Cisco) without expecting their customers to get excited about, say, soap.