very frequently lately i've been paying attention to how organizations have been putting their brands out there via media (radio/tv mainly) and how they are driving traffic (if any) to their sites. I've noticed a weird (to me at least) trend lately. the use of myspace.com. here's two big ones that come to mind that i saw recently: burger king and chilis.
now both of these organizations have a strong brand and are probably widely recognized retail food chains. but instead of putting burgerking.com and chilis.com on their tv commercials, i'm seeing myspace.com/burgerking and myspace.com/chilis. now to me, the main product of these companies is food (and service maybe). they want us to be salivating over what we saw in the commercial and the next time we are out to eat, that we stop in to one of these places. so why the social side of things? burgerking.com and myspace.com/burgerking are two different experiences. in fact the myspace for burgerking is actually about 'the king' -- yeah, that freaky looking life-size chess piece that you see in the commercials. the home page of the burgerking.com site shows no reference to him at all (even though he is a strong part of their audience marketing these days). same thing with chilis -- the myspace is about their current song, whereas the normal site shows more about everything chilis has to offer.
as a consumer of food, do i care about the myspace aspect of these companies? what is the motivation here? to get 'friends'? and if so, are these 'friends' getting special promotional deals? and are they different than other online deals? seems to me that this has potential to create 1) stale messaging (i.e., the myspace now also has to be inline with any consistent messaging), 2) brand separation -- from itself., and 3) confusion in some of their audience. here's an example of #3 (an extreme one, but an example). i live in a conservative area. an area, in fact, that has hat community discussions around how 'evil' myspace is. now, let it be know that i DO NOT subscribe to that thinking. myspace isn't evil -- predators and people are evil. myspace is another medium and happens to be the napster of today. but would these conservative people now visit chilis or burger king if they see that those organizations are promoting themselves on myspace (thus encouraging their children to visit that site), and they just got done watching the latest episode of dateline? extreme thinking: yes; unreasonable to assume it wouldn't happen: absolutely not.
anyhow, opinion rant over -- resume to normal broadcasting for now.
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