Welcome back, long copy
One and a half fabulous demonstrations, of how creative services can escape oblivion and enter the conversation. Early best practice on how service suppliers are handling what has become a dominating topic: so called content marketing.
Feel free to keep calling it self-promotion. Calling stuff by its name makes things easier.
Area 17, an interactive agency with offices in New York and Paris, was assigned to redesign the world’s most influential magazine of the advertising trade. Earlier successes with the branding and brand experience of The Atlantic Quarz, the history of the web as seen from inside the Webby Awards, or billboard music magazine helped with making a favourable decision.
The product itself is its advertising and Area 17 does what Apple did with its products—Area 17 has its advertising built right into their product, their creative service, their work. Their work is their best advertising.
With this stroke of genius, all eyes are on Area 17. The eyes of the international advertsiing industry that is, which also happens to be their source of income. Best practice, you said it.
The other half best practice on how content marketing works, is by Rene Haas, a competitor in brand building from Frankfurt, Germany. His intend was not to publish self promotion, he would have ended his entry with a prominent call-to-action, but to share his insights rather.
I came across his entry by way of Stumble Upon and what you get to see when selecting it on Stumble Upon, is the landing page independently from its original context. So, I immediately thought, wow what a great ad this is!
Most users find information through random searches on search sites, by way of associations or by referrals. They get to see a landing page in their browser window rather than a homepage. Fragments of streams of information, glimpses, excerpts, idea fragments rather. Content is as fragmented and decentralised as are the markets and the concerns of the users.
What triggered my interest was not the question if corporate design was needed but how the FAQ content concept made an impression on me:
What are the questions I hear from my customers?
What good can I do for them?
Can I get their interest with what is new to them, a controversy or a brief concise answer to their inquiry?
Is what I do of any help, does it solve a problem?
Do I want to ritualise my findings into a campaign?
Ever since the beginnings of the last to decades, small and large business owners face the challenge, to continually create new meaning for their brand. Nothing new to the manufacturer, manufacturers have their product to deliver the new and meaningful, but what does the service industry do?
What’s new and takes some getting used to is, that just about anyone can now write his/her own chronicle in real time. The chronicle of your brand can now be written, evaluated and published while it is being delivered. A diary of sorts being exposed to the greater public.