Whilst tutoring at Ravensbourne this week, we were looking at essential design principals, and using the language of design to evaluate some very well known brands in their digital guise.
Bulmars.com was voted the best, and worst, offering by them, with a single page comprised of an organic-egg-yolk-yellow coloured background, an image of a glass of cider and two links off to Twitter and Facebook. That’s it. Nothing else.
We discussed the pro’s and cons of such a simple site (Let’s forget for a second that there is a full on version of the site sitting on their Irish domain). Then the whole discussion traversed off into really exciting territory…
One of my students piped up with ‘Now the Paralympics are over, I don’t see the point of all the content on Channel 4’s website’. He used Channel 4 as his example, however he meant any telly destination site. The entire tutor group agreed with him, and they are not a group that are easily led. They are very clear about their opinions and energetic in their pursuit of them.
The only content they deemed relevant were Games, News, and Video. Not even the TV Schedule Listings are relevant to them. Male and female, Between 19 to 24 years old, incase you’re wondering. Ah yes, the tricky Millennial Generation Y.
Ever since I can remember there has been passionate debate between TV marketers and content makers around whether of not their digital destinations should be marketing led or standalone authored content. The pendulum has swung back and forth between the two since 1997. She who holds the budget generally wins, until its wrestled back from them again that is.
You can bet your whole year’s salary however that none of the management teams swanning around the telly corridors of power would even dare to think along the lines of a single landing page shooting off to Twitter and Facebook, like Bulmers.com
Just chatting round the table at work, it seems we’ve all had to banish thoughts around why on earth we’re creating certain digital products. Other than being paid for it. I can think back to some real turkeys, and when a doing a ‘Bulmers’ would have been the right thing to do.
That said when content creators generate destination content like this Redbull video , (12m 145, 713 views and counting in less than a month), it creates a perfect storm of both marketing and editorially led content. Aside from telling us all the extreme sports RedBull sponsor, the video isn’t actually for anything other than to entertain us.
Maybe that’s the trick. Downscaling editorial seems to be the fashion across many brands in favour of social media, where the brands don’t really own their audiences. I’m still not convinced about this strategy, one change in an Edge-Rank algorithm and half your audience disintegrate.
Call me old (fashioned), but I would still argue that Content is Queen, however perhaps Context is now King…