Where Brands Can Go With Their Blogs

Some smart people have recently asked me pertinent questions about the value of blogs for brands and branded communications. This is a rich topic–one we might spend days exploring at an expensive seminar on a tropical island.
For our purposes here, I’ll offer a couple of scenarios to consider. Before I do, I’d like to point out that blogs are narrative in structure. As a writer, I can’t help but be excited by this fact. For here’s a chance to make copy important again.
1) A blog (and other conversational media applications like podcasts, wikis, etc.) can deliver brand-sponsored entertainment. Think Mutual of Omaha’s “Wild Kingdom,” modernized for this new media sphere. The content needn’t have a thing to do with a company’s product or service offering. I’m talking about pure sponsorship. For instance, a client like Coca-Cola might create a new soap opera that’s delivered exclusively via online channels, as a daily podcast and/or in blog format. The possibilities here are endless.
2) Another ripe arena is event and promotional marketing. Because blogs are structured in reverse chronological order, they lend themselves to tracking a campaign through time. Imagine a promotional tour that stops in 16 cities over a 16-week stretch, where contestants show up and participate with the brand in some fashion. A blog can be used to track this tour from city to city, building anticipation for those who plan to particiapte and giving everyone else a window into this experiential activity.
I’m confident this is but a surface scratch. If you’d care to share your own lofty ideas, please leave a comment.

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 now head of brand strategy and creative direction at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.