Face it: we marketers are button-downed control freaks. Once we do have that big, creative idea, we build a wall to protect it in its perfection....
After that, much of marketing has to do with painful details, timing and execution. Perhaps this is why it is so hard for us to accept that consumers freely wield a certain control over the brands we nurture.
While consumers have always vocalized opinions on brands, broadband access and the rise of user-generated platforms have facilitated the dialogue. From personal web sites to blogs to myspace, the web has become a temple to the brands we love and hate.
Some firms respond to such behavior by summoning the brand police. Others have embraced Generation 2.0's passion for brand with much success. In early February, Scott Witt, now of Denuo, cited MSN's The Wall graffiti project as a particularly brave experiment.
Consumer engagement in this new era can also surpass the life of a campaign, as was the case of P&G's incredible success of the SecretSparkle instant message bot. Well after the media effort ceased, teenagers everywhere were still actively confiding into the bot.
This willingness to entrust a brand was taken to a new level by Alex Bogusky, Executive Creative Director of Crispin Porter & Bogusky, at the Future of Marketing Summit. Bogusky spoke frankly about the trials of encouraging brand managers to loosen the grip on the King. Once accomplished, Subservient Chicken and The King not only formed part of popular culture, but induced an increase in sales that would make any brand manager proud.
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