Web 2.0 and Ambush Marketing

An article on the marketing in and around the Beijing Olympics and the ones scheduled in London in 2012 offers an interesting insight into the world of ambush marketing in the post web 2.0 era. It uses the successful examples of viral marketing campaigns by Pepsi and McDonalds which have leveraged the concept of consumer generated content to skirt the strict advertising and sponsorship norms of the International Olympic Committee. The regimentation of the outdoor advertising has been hugely undermined by the smart virals. Jesse Kanclerz has an interesting article where the author observes that “Ambush marketing is at its worst when the company misrepresents itself as the official sponsor of the event. ” However, in Pepsi’s case, the cola giant played upon national pride while skirting clear of any hints of formal tie ups with the event. It would be all the more interesting to observe how lesser known companies with limited marketing budgets use the web 2.0 and buzz marketing campaigns for share of voice. Will get back with some interesting cases.

Blogs: The New Serial Killers?

So will blogging really kill us? C’mon! Let’s grant reality TV that priviledge. Of late, I have been noticing a lot of feeds on how compulsive blogging can impact health issues. But the fact is that internet related psychological disorders and complexes will become more and more conspicuous as internet gains further stronghold. According to Dr. Pinhas Dannon of Tel Aviv University’s Sackler Faculty of Medicine, 10 percent of Internet surfers are afflicted with “Internet addiction disorder,” which can lead to anxiety and severe depression. So, I personally feel blogging is not a disease. It may be a micro manifestation of a larger lifestyle disorder. And if you don’t believe me, just take a quick look at how irregularly I blog, despite being a self proclaimed pundit of the cause!!

All New Open Socializing

So if leading a virtual life through social networking wasn’t enough, we now hear that players like Google and Yahoo are working on a project which would make it possible for your online profile to be portable as well. What this implies is that user profiles would be shared across websites without the risk of exposing sensitive site specific user information.

Amit Ranjan, one of the founders of the popular Power point sharing platforms, Slideshare, traces the precedent of this in the Single Sign On alias Open ID project. The idea behind it was to create a single username and password which could be used to sign into different social networking sites. One question that comes to mind though, is who stands to gain the most. If experts are to be believed, the smaller players would stand to gain the most. Ranjan says, “You can draw an analogy with the mobile telephony sector where users can retain their numbers while moving from one operator to another. This benefits the smaller operators the most since it helps them seamlessly increase their user base.”

But if this is the case, then how does one explain the advocacy of this initiative by the leading online players, especially considering that they enjoy a vantage position in terms of user base and community? If experts and industry analysts are to be believed, this is a response by the biggies to the heat being generated by the enviable success of Facebook. Zuckerberg’s brainchild had pioneered this idea in 2006 when it allowed developers to use its platform to create applications. It created massive buzz and a huge user base for Facebook which was instrumental in fetching it a valuation of 15 Billion USD. So what Google is doing with Open Social and Yahoo with its Open Strategy is something similar i.e. to develop a common application programming interface (API) for social applications across multiple websites. By doing this, they hope to combat Facebook’s growing domination in the social networking space and create a similar impact in terms of user mindshare. With these standard Javascripts and HTML codes, developers would be able to create applications that can access the participating social network’s friends and update feeds.




So did ya network on friendship day?

I recently got this email from the PR Cosultants of Fropper.com. Apparently, the social networking site has been trying to make the most of the Archies Utsav aka Friendship Day. Mr. Navin Mittal, Business Head, Fropper.com commented: “Social networking and friendship go hand in hand. With the Internet becoming an increasingly popular medium for friends to connect, it is only fair that we do something special for our users. The idea behind the Friendship day contests is not only to make your friends feel special but more importantly to have fun!”

It’s interesting, more so because a certain prominent though niche segment of Indian youth is certainly gravitating towards virtual socialization and business models centered around the internet might as well be flushed down the drain if they fail to capitalize on this opportunity.