A look at the equivalent of a Super Bowl of interactive advertising.
I'm winding down a three-month exercise analyzing the online strategy of every single Super Bowl advertiser, looking for tell-tale signs of cross-promotion, offline-online integration, innovative use of Web 2.0 "expression" tools, and more.
Decent results overall -- an improvement over last year -- but very few breakthroughs. Most big brands are still pretty slow to adapt to the migratory patterns of consumer attention and engagement.
By contrast, here in Ohio, my adopted home state -- and home of today's "make or break" primary for Democrats -- I'm witnessing the equivalent of a Super Bowl of interactive advertising, and I'm really impressed.
Like most voters around me, I've started to tune in big time, and what's obvious and clear upon reviewing Barack Obama's and Hillary Clinton's respective Web sites is that offline marketing is utterly incomplete -- dare I say "naked" -- without a robust online marketing component. Indeed, these sites are hotbeds of marketing innovation. And they don't just preach or wax poetic about "participation" -- the mother's milk of loyalty -- they depend on it.
John McCain, Mike Huckabee, and the other former contenders also deserve credit for pushing the needle, but there's a progressive "edge of the wedge" in what Democrats are doing, and I thought I'd translated my learning into 10 interactive marketing lessons from the Barack and Hillary campaigns.
Not everything is perfect. I was shocked neither candidate uses search on their Web site. I also didn't invest time here talking about all the great innovations on social networking platforms like Facebook and MySpace.
Overall there's an impressive level of engagement every brand should pay attention to. Trust me, where's there's attention and engagement, there's a healthy serving of brand insight.
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Pete Blackshaw, whose professional background encompasses public policy, interactive marketing, and brand management, is executive vice president of strategic services for Nielsen Online, a combination of Nielsen BuzzMetrics, a firm Pete helped cofound, and Nielsen//NetRatings. One of Pete's key focuses is helping brands interpret, manage, and act on consumer-generated media (CGM). A former interactive marketing leader at P&G and founder of consumer feedback portal PlanetFeedback.com, Pete cofounded the Word of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA). He authors several blogs, including ConsumerGeneratedMedia.com, and is the author of an upcoming book from Random House, "Satisfied Customers Tell Three Friends, Angry Customers Tell 3000: Running a Business in Today's Consumer-Driven World."
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