Secrets of Successful Blog Ads

I spent part of today at the Promax/BDA conference, a flashy confab for marketing and promotions folks in the TV and electronic media business. There were, of course, the celebrity guests (Chris Matthews chairing a panel, Max Weinberg playing drums, Maya Angelou on whatever she felt like), but the biggest a-ha on my end came from Henry Copeland, President of, when he said "It's okay to be in a blog ad that drives viewers to the competition." His point is that it is more important to reach more people in an organic fashion than it is to try to restrict your message. OK then, but does that mean it's a good idea for a Target ad exec to link its ads with Sears? Or NBC with ABC? Thoughts?

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  • Sean

    The fact is, truth sells. If you are brave enough to show your competitors in your own marketing, it makes a statement. It speaks to your audience, saying "I know that there are others out there and it is obvious to me that my product is better." In the past, generic mentions of "top brands" were used and were semi-effective. But we live in a connected and aware world. It doesn't help my company to pretend that we are alone in our market.

    The other fact is that many times, people can choose more than one item from one market. If a customer watches your television show, they are likely to watch other shows like that, regardless of the network. So a Star Trek blog, for example, would be wise to inform their readers about The 4400 or Battlestar Galactica. There is a wisdom in appreciating your audience for having their tastes, which spread beyond one network television station.

    I was surprised to see an ad for Superman Returns: The Video Game in a Marvel comic book. Marvel and DC have always been in heavy competition, but the fact that readers can choose to buy more than one title without regard for the company who produces it, has been acknowledged.

    When it comes to certain products, I don't think the same thing holds true. While people listen to different bands and watch different films and television shows, they may only buy one vacuum cleaner. If Hoover allows Dyson to advertise on their blog, are they helping themselves? I doubt it. If Pontiac's blog advertises Honda, you run into the same problem.

    So the end result is knowing your market and knowing whether or not your potential customers are likely to purchase multiple items from both you and your competitors. Shampoo only lasts a month or so and consumers don't always stay with their brand. But many products, from furniture and appliances to computers and cars, are expected to last a whole lot longer. The risk in such cases, where a consumer is looking for information about a potential purchase and is led away from your information due to a competitor's ad, is too much for a marketing team to accept.

  • s chan

    Why not? I viewed a commercial on a major network primetime show tonight promoting Diet Pepsi, just before Jackie Chans car with the can of Diet Pepsi was to crash off the side of a building he replaced it with a can of Diet Coke.
    If Pespi is puting Diet Coke in their ads I see no difference in puting my competion in one of mine. I am sure Pespi pays its marketing people alot more than I pay mine and if it has been researched by them and found to work well enough to spend mega bucks in primetime I would say it's good enough proof for me to do the same.

  • Greg

    Did Copeland actually cite examples of blogs sucessfully directing to competitors? How do you benchmark the success of THAT one?

  • Christopher

    I think that if we are appealing to a need in our marketing that it needs to extend to something beyond ourselves. NBC isn't reaching just reaching potential NBC viewers - it is selling the larger picture of viewing television shows, what kind and why. The better ads they do the more we wil naturally transform these ads into credibility on the part of NBC that they know what they are doing. But if you help the whole and increase your credibility and appeal of your particular product - who is going to be mad at you for that?

    Increased competition has always meant better products.