Dr. Myrna in NYTimes.com
Thursday, February 16th, 2006
The article lays out the pros and cons of viral strategies like this one deployed by ad agency McKinney & Silver, our neighbors in Durham.
“You have a brand that nobody knows what it is and you have a consumer that’s very specific,” said David Baldwin, the executive creative director at McKinney, a unit of Havas. “They don’t engage in traditional marketing. But they live online and they live with their cellphones.” …
And the planners of buzz marketing campaigns often say that in order to reach the modern multitasking consumer ‘ who may be simultaneously watching television, talking on a cellphone, reading the Internet and sending instant messages ‘ advertising must be a two-way conversation to have an effect.
“The consumers in that target demographic do not want in-your-face marketing,” said Gary Ban, the chief executive for Oasys Mobile. “We wanted something that was risqué, funny and something that involves the consumer. If you’re doing something that they can identify with, that they can participate in, that’s basically something that that generation can tune into.”
The “is it OK to fool consumers?” question also comes up in the article. The question is a canard in this case, since Pherotones was clearly a prank from the get-go, at least to anyone old enough to click a mouse. (Here’s an earlier rant on foolish worries about fooled consumers.) In a stroke of genius, McKinney has included Adrants, one of Dr. Myrna’s critics, in the latest buy.
Sadly, the new round of Dr. Myrna’s blogads dump all the text links into one page, rather than linking to multiple pages on the site, particularly the video. More importantly, the ads should link to blogs talking about Dr. Myrna — see fun examples like 1, 2,3, 4, 5. Multiple links help prove that advertising really is a multi-filament conversation and not a one way monotone. (See examples of great blogads from Kelloggs,Audi, Budget-renta-car, Knopf, Warner Brothers Music, TBS.)