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|Brands Should Stop Trying to Be Publishers If you believe this, then every brand should have a newsroom watching for flashes of cultural zeitgeist and coming up with witty retorts. Oreo is heralded for telling people to dunk in the dark when the Super Bowl s lights went out, and it earned a lot of impressions and a bunch of new Twitter followers from that clever and timely tweet. But this one in a million viral success story obscures the reality: Being a publisher is not for the faint of heart. It requires a huge investment in content, most of which will yield negative returns; its performance is inconsistent, unpredictable and often immeasurable. Of the brands I know, 99% wouldn t even consider taking that kind of a risk. Successful publishers have a strong point of view. TMZ and Perez Hilton can snarkily tear down celebrities at every turn on the red carpet, but could brands like Chanel and Pantene ever call out even the tiniest flaw in Heidi Klum s outfit when it s their turn to comment on the Oscars? Not a chance. An authentic point of view draws a line. It has both praise and punishment to meter out. Without an edge, it would have nothing to stand for, nothing to relate to. The social world is one of conversational marketing, but how boring is the conversation where all one party says is, "I m really great!"? Get me out of that ego fest fast! Of course, there are exceptions to the rule that brands can t have a point of view: companies like Virgin and Red Bull built their brand identity on standing out from the crowd. These are some of the most delightful and engaging brands, but they are few indeed; most brand managers I know would be fired for pulling those sorts of stunts. One of the premises driving the current "brands must be publishers" mania is valid: Brands do need to earn a spot on consumers radar. And to do that, they need Moncler Ski Women Jackets Hooded Zip Big Neck Sky Blue content that has a point of view, and is relevant to their audience. But most importantly, they need to move beyond talking only about themselves. Try reading Oreo s current Twitter feed: you d have to really love Oreo shtick to want to subscribe. Since the Super Bowl, Oreo s been tweeting little mini ads once or twice a day, cute and benign and edgeless and so hopelessly devoted to itself. But just what else does Oreo have to talk about? A lot, actually. They could write about the joy of being a kid, sharing moments with friends, Moncler Kids Pink Clothing - Fall-Winter With Hat or finding sweetness in life. What if they could move the cookie out of the spotlight and focus on delivering meaningful, exceptional content to their customers newsfeeds? Their audience size, conversational relevance and impact would improve by tenfold. Crazy? Not really. American Express has devoted tens of millions to supporting small businesses with content, events, tools and resources. L Oreal would be well served by offering consistent beauty help to its audience. And for a delicious chocolate cookie that begs to be twisted, opened, and licked, it s not crazy to delight people with lots of other examples of those sweet moments in life. But to write about sweet moments twice a day with anything of substance would require a whole publishing operation. And oy, the approval cycles from the marketing department! A full scale creative operation quickly sounds expensive, not to mention hard to pull off reliably. The evidence from other media is clear: most TV show pilots flop. Over 80% of Hollywood movies earn back less than they cost to make. And that s just the visible tip of the content creation iceberg; the greatest hidden cost of creation lies down below, on the cutting room floor. Few marketing departments have even long odds of being able to handle the pace, volume and risk profile of publishing. Successful Moncler Windbreaker publishers on the web post dozens of times a day, while a single piece of marketing creative can take weeks to be approved in most organizations. What s a brand to do? Creating all that content in house is messy and risky, so why not leave the sausage making to the experts? But there s another way to bring great content to your customers: Be a curator. Being a curator allows you to: Let other people take the blame. Brands don t have to fully "own" the point of view of curated content. As Jason Hirschhorn loves to say in his daily news roundup for media execs, he s "just" the curator. Granted, a great curator selects great works, as Jason does. But it doesn t mean he has to agree with them; he just needs to declare them worthy and relevant. Get the credit without the blame. Let other people do the work (and pay the bills). Creating truly standout content is hard and expensive. That s why ad agencies obsess for months to get each campaign s worth of creative just right. And it doesn t happen every day. Have you seen any other notable Oreo tweets since the Super Bowl? Selecting content, on the other hand, is a skill that can be exercised with close to daily perfection. Let customers know the real you. Consumers know that marketers are marketing to them, and for Oreo to say that its purpose in life is to create original journalism chronicling life s moments of sweetness would be dubious at best. But a sponsorship role is accepted and, frankly, appreciated. Oreo can say that these sweet moments are brought to you by Oreo, because hey, that s just what we cookie guys and gals are like. It s believable and real. Don t buy the hype that every brand must be a publisher. Remember that your brand is a brand. You don t need your customers to know what you think about the latest political scandal; you need them to know why your product is awesome. You don t measure success based on engagement the way publishers do; you measure success based on sales. Connect with your customers on a personal level by becoming the honored convener and even patron of great content. Relate to your audience via the dreams that you stand for, beyond just your product s attributes and flavors. What do your customers want to hear about, and what have you earned the right to discuss? Find third party publishers who have something to say of meaning that you can really put your brand behind! Lead with the content, not the cookie.
Brits go Gaga for eccentric first lady of pop From left: Lily Allen: Uncomfortable in Chanel; Leona Lewis: Bare shouldered in metallic; Florence Welch: A sequined mini dress; Lady Gaga: Am I right or a meringue? The 23 year old singer made an lasting impression from the moment she stepped on the music awards red carpet, dressed in a voluminous, three tiered, white dress, a lace facemask and with a towering nest of hair piled on her head. The singer went on to win all three categories in which she had been nominated: best international breakthrough act, best international album and best international female solo artist. The last time an international act walked away with three Brits was in 2005 when Scissor Sisters scored a triple award win. Lady Gaga eclipsed her rivals during the awards, when she appeared on stage in a ghostly, three tiered, tulle dress and also a skimpy lace creation that wound up her body. Moved to tears when it was announced that her album The Fame had won the international album award, the singer dedicated the night to fashion designer Alexander McQueen, who died last week. She said: "I was really excited to win the first two awards. This award means even more, because I worked so hard on this album for so long." Not so happy last night was Paisley singer Paolo Nutini, who was nominated for two awards but went home empty handed. Jonathan Ross tried to match Gaga for sartorial eccentricity, dressed in a curious "pimped" mix of a bowler hat and denim, to present her the international Moncler Maya Men Down Jackets Dark Purple female artist award. UK rapper Dizzee Rascal picked up the award for British male solo artist, beating Robbie Williams, among others. The evening was opened by a performance from singer Lily Allen, who descended on the stage riding a glittery blimp to the sound Cheap Moncler Coats of air raid sirens. She was backed by dancers wheeling Silver Cross prams, which will be auctioned for the singer s chosen charity, War Child. The star, wearing a huge bright orange wig, also collected the award for best British female her first Brit accolade. Surprised by her success, the singer said: "I only wore this wig because I thought it would be hard for the cameramen to find me to catch my disappointed face." However, she caused consternation by swearing during her acceptance speech. X Factor runners up JLS also picked up the prize for best British breakthrough, while indie newcomers Florence And The Machine took best British album Moncler Tibet for Lungs. US hip hop artist Jay Z scooped the award for best international male solo artist. Accepting his prize, he said: "I also want to thank the Spice Girls; they inspired me." The Spice Girls themselves were honoured with an award for best performance at the Brits of the last 30 years for their rendition of Wannabe and Who Do You Think You Are? in 1997. And while Oasis may have split, they were still causing controversy at the awards, when Liam Gallagher took to the stage, minus brother Noel, to accept the band s award for the Brits album of 30 years for their record (What s the Story) Morning Glory?