New Media Lessons From Old-School Brands

You probably haven’t picked up an issue of Adweek in quite a while, because what’s happening on Madison Avenue with the Budweiser account doesn’t really affect the financial industry. But a recent issue showed how much Adweek has changed. Adweek used to be all about global agencies and massive TV ad campaigns. Now it’s almost all about new media, or at least that how it seems.

Here are three articles from this week’s current issue:

The story about how Coke — the world’s biggest, most valuable brand — couldn’t sustain its social website, “The Coke Show,” was the most interesting. From the article:

‘The Coke Show’ joins a growing list of cautionary tales, including Wal-Mart’s ill-fated social network ‘The Hub’ and Anheuser-Busch’s ‘,’ showing it is far from easy to tap the same kind of sharing vibe that’s fueled the rise of MySpace, YouTube and Facebook.”


1. Learn from Adweek. They see which way the wind is blowing. Marketing — even advertising — is increasingly becoming a dialogue with consumers. Traditional media still has its place, but the days of one-sided, one-directional marketing are numbered. It will be more and more common for consumers — not advertisers — to control the discussion and pick the venues.

2. Success isn’t guaranteed. If big brands like Coke, Budweiser and Wal-Mart can’t find success after applying all their might and muscle, others are sure to fail also. The rules are still being written and no one has all the answers. Can your credit union’s CEO handle this level of ambiguity and uncertainty? Especially when the ROI is fuzzy (at best).

3. Don’t rush into the Web 2.0 world blindly.
Some organizations seem to think “if you build it, they will come,” but it’s not that simple. You need to know your target audience and what they want to talk about BEFORE you launch a blog or a MySpace page. And don’t underestimate the commitment it takes once you’re up and running. You’ll need to devote time, energy and focus to your Web 2.0 initiatives every day (hint: hours of writing).

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