How It Works Online: Enable Your Visitors, Or Get Lost

Makin’ Ads, an ad blog for aspiring creatives who are working on their books, offers some insight via a guest series from Nathan Archambault, a copywriter at AKQA in New York.
I like what he says about content and how brands need to rethink their entire premise when working in online media channels.

Content that hunts down and interrupts the viewer doesn’t cut it anymore. People have too many options of how to consume media. If content is going to succeed, users must choose to spend time with it. Good digital campaigns blur the line between ad campaign and product, like how this Smirnoff media player gives DJ Tiesto fans more of what they want. Interactive can be a tool, offering functionality and serving a purpose beyond pitching a brand. The ultimate goal of any campaign that lives online should be to empower the user. The digital process starts with the consumer, not with the product or media buy. That’s what makes it so effective.

Back to one’s book for a moment. Branded content on the Web is a freaking gold mine for creatives of all stripes. In my opinion, that fact needs to be addressed in one’s portfolio, even if the ideas are purely conceptual with no real executions.
Back in 2006, when I put together the team that supplies lifestyle content to, the people who totally got what we were going for turned out to journalists, not copywriters. But whatever your background, content is in the mix now, and copywriters, in particular, must demonstrate a serious command of body copy, not just smart headlines and terrific ad concepts.



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.