MySpace ads aren't watered down
Lest there was any doubt, the incessant pre-opening buzz over " Snakes on a Plane " proved that the Hollywood studios are have discovered the power of viral marketing online .
And it's a good thing for them, because the dinosaurs of Madison Avenue certainly haven't been helping out much at a time when the big screen sometimes seems destined for a decidedly unhappy ending .
We've long wondered when the advertising industry would figure out that the old ways of business are over, but some signs indicate that it's finally starting to wake up--or, at least, some of its clients are. One example comes from Mashable , which pointed out an effective social-networking campaign by Dasani , the bottled-water subsidary of Coca-Cola.
Dasani began promoting its new line of flavored waters on Friendster and then MySpace with its " Fruit Signs " profile. There, any community member can take a quiz to determine his or her Fruit Sign and find others they're supposedly compatible with, as well as get a special MySpace page layout.
Yes, we know it's not rocket science. But it shows that at least some smart companies are getting serious about using the power of social networking to leverage their brands--and, in this case, apparently at minimal cost. No longer able to rely only on static media such as billboards or even TV commercials, companies and their ad agencies will need to be increasingly creative in promoting their wares.
If the Dasani campaign can be considered a form of entertainment as well as advertising, we can expect to see more innovations that cross the line between marketing and content. One of the better examples of this was aired on the hit NBC show "The Office," which featured an entire episode based around the iPod .
For MySpace, YouTube and other social networks, the question is this: How much will they charge for Dansani-type marketing ? And if so, where will they draw the line between advertising and entertainment content?
Something tells us they'll figure it out.