Friday, March 27, 2009

"Burning-In" the Brand

It used to be that media accumulated audiences and brands hitched a ride (meaning they purchased space or time in the media). Now, some brands accumulate their own audiences.

Geico's Gecko has his own channel on YouTube.

People continually seek the new. The psychologist Wilhelm Wundt demonstrated this well over a century ago. No one wants to be what they used to be. So we seek the new and share it with our friends.

Today, brands hitch a ride on the "Wundt Curve" by paying attention to how their icons and ideas connect to the current cultural conversation.

For example, here the Gecko and his wingman "Kash" hitch a ride with Gary Broisma's now famous video homage to Mysto and Pizzi's version of the 1984 hit single by Kennedy Gordy (aka Rockwell).

This video is already finding a large audience. It demonstrates the meaning of the concept "brands as channels" and how brands can become media in themselves.

It also reveals the evolving meaning of the concept of persuasion. I've always thought the notion "low involvement learning" was a misnomer. What some researchers call "weak arguments" are really highly involving ways to burn-in those brand associations.

This work is by the Martin Agency, the Richmond advertising agency.

For more on the Psychology of Advertising, please see Advertising and the Arc of History.

Copyright © 2009 by John Eighmey. All Rights Reserved.

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