Eat at McDonald’s? Drink Coca Cola? Get your furniture from IKEA? Would you like a TV station, Radio station, or a catalogue with no women with that?
We are moving into the next chapter of mass communications, in which big brands want to brand as many aspects of your life as possible.
Imagine the life of one Joe Smith. He wakes up with Facebook to see what his friends are up to and reads the news in Facebook’s custom news stream, just like most of us – I even got a study link to prove that this is, indeed, how we wake up these days. Joe then drives to McDonald’s to get some breakfast and watch local news on brand new McDonald’s TV channel, while he eats. Then he drives to work, listening to Coca Cola FM play
ads, his favourite songs, customized just for Joe. I could go on.
What if I now told you Joe Smith lived in Saudia Arabia, and after work he will be heading to IKEA to get some new furniture for his home? In his IKEA catalogue, there will be no images of women, because IKEA took an effort to erase women from the catalogue completely. Would that bother you?
When big brands enter a new era of content creation and launch their own TV channels, radio stations, newspapers and magazines, traditional media and especially the notion of independent journalism grasp for air. In addition to branded TV channels and radio stations we have Scotiabank Nuit Blanche and similar awkward tongue twisters sprouting up. Rogers Centre or The Sony Centre for the Performing Arts, anyone? Why stop there, why not brand our cities, our homes, or our neighbourhoods? But wait, we already do that.
- Want someone else to pay your mortgage? Just paint an ad over the entire front of your house.
- Welcome to Ikea-land: Furniture giant begins urban planning project
- Welsh town Wikipedifies itself with QR codes
Have a good Facebook morning
In the end of the day though, us the people – or should I say us the consumers – lead a sort of branded existence. Have a good Facebook morning, will ya? I love advertising, digital communications, and branding and I sure hope that’s not the future we end up creating for ourselves. On the other hand, lets call it “augmented reality” – somehow it sounds better, doesn’t it?
Branding the future, what a fun concept. How can we use this in our marketing strategy for the next campaign? Can we ask someone to live for our brand, even a little? How about 15 minutes of someone’s life out there, can we brand that? Sure we can, and we will. – Signed, an unknown marketer from ABCXYZ marketing.