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