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Brand giants experiment with online video

March 27, 2007

Three of the world’s branding giants (Sony, Budweiser, Coca-Cola) have been experimenting with the challenge of capturing attention in a hyper-fragmented world.

Anheuser Bush invested heavily in trying to create a TV destination on the internet, Sony has gone “transmedia” with its PS3 launch in Europe and Oceania and some months back, Coca-Cola created a viral video about the Mentos meets Diet Coke chemistry lesson.

The three brands have been experimenting in trying to create online video content to capture attention.

Of the three, Anheuser-Bush’s attempt to create it’s own network is the most ambitious. Various reports estimate the investment at around $30 million, which given Budweiser’s total advertising investment, is mere pocket change.

For a huge brand with a great track record in producing compelling and attention grabbing advertising, the idea of a comedy TV network makes a great deal of sense. The problem is how do you make the content compelling and do you really want to force people to access this content only though your network?

So far Budweiser’s experiment has yet to achieve the desired results.

TBWA’s “This is Living” campaign for PS3 uses multiple media to attempt to spread a fragmented and complex narrative. It’s the equivalent of watching a film you don’t understand. Something that looks amazing, but you are left scratching your head trying to work out exactly what it means. This is their intention, it’s advertising as  game.

Finally, Diet Coke and Eepy bird, this is the simplest of the three. Eppy bird had been successful at bringing the urban myth about the chemical reaction between Mentos and Diet Coke to life with engaging performance videos that got a lot of viral traction. For a while, Coca-Cola resisted the idea, but eventually succumbed and sponsored the wacky chemists.

The next post highlights 7 new rules for brands thinking about playing in this new world.

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