Brands conducting their own media experiment

While media owners work out the new science of their businesses, brands are watching closely and conducting their own experiments.

  • To read the cover story relating to this ’Great media experiment becomes a balancing act’ click here
  • For the Case Study: The Guardian experimenting in the lab click here
  • To explore Pay vs Free: two media experiments that are working so far click here

Unilever: Chief marketing officer Keith Weed led a trip to Silicon Valley (Marketing Week 15 July 2010) where it brokered a deal with Apple to launch advertising on its iAds platform.

Babs Rangaiah, Unilever vice-president of global communications planning, worked out the deal with Apple and says: “We know that 25% of the world is online, but the next 75% will mostly get online via mobile. This partnership will offer us the ability to work within what we believe will be the future of the mobile internet – apps”.

Orange: The mobile operator is embracing content, using its home page as a news hub. It advertised for freelance journalists last month, asking for those with experience in writing about travel, sport, personal finance, music and film.

Courvoisier: The cognac brand has put together a sponsored site on the Times website, sitting outside the paywall. It includes a survey asking for feedback on the site’s content and the drink itself. The site looks like it is part of the subscriber-only site, with tabs at the top linking to paid sections.

Tate Media: Marc Sands, media and audiences director, is exploring how the galleries’ audience can be extended through different media. He is looking at his own mix of free and paid content. “You test and play the whole time, which we are starting to do. If website and other content is sponsored it is likely to be free for the user and if not, it is likely to be paid for by the user. Even if it is a small amount we have to get people used to paying for stuff again,” he says. Tate Channel hosts videos from artists and other podcasts. Currently artist Martin Creed talks about the Edinburgh Art Festival, in a video sponsored by Bloomberg.

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