The Internet has evolved over the years. In the beginning, we used it for information (The Email Phase). That phase was quickly overtaken by the brands making their presence online and making it another medium of marketing for brands (The Brand Website Phase). And soon we graduated from linear to a two-way communication environment which enabled brands to know their consumers a lot more better and establish a continuous dialogue with them in the hope to keep them loyal (The Social Phase).
So where does the internet evolve from here?
The answer lies in the development of infrastructure. We has come a long way from a dial-up connection to a speed unheard of 10 years ago. To add to it, we have an endless choice of devices at our disposal, each trying to outdo the other. All of this development puts the power of evolution in the hands of the consumer. The consumer now has a plethora of options to create/share his ideas to prompt the next change and this gives rise to a variety of new content on the internet. In the hope to be discovered we become entertainers.
This hope was triggered by a young Canadian singer who was discovered on Youtube at the age of 14 and whose name is synonymous with teen-pop - Justin Bieber. This discovery opened the floodgates and the internet was inundated with people trying to showcase their talent. Anyone with a half a decent camera was recording their talents and uploading it on the internet. Some were really good and some were equally bad. The smart ones made a business out of it. The proof of the pudding is that the top subscribers on YouTube are all amateurs. Most of them take the humor route and are most often ridiculous, but that is what sells online. A lot of content is snacking content and watching something in this genre is just what the doctor ordered. One such ‘entertainer’ who has got the formula right is a Ryan Higa and Sean Fujiyoshi. They run a channel on YouTube titled ‘Nigahiga’ and have managed to get over 5 million subscribers with over a billion views, a number that even the biggest brands would find difficult to achieve.
The biggest stumbling block that most brands come across in making it big is the brand itself. Most instances, when the brand is pushed in front of the consumer the rejection rate of that piece of content is also higher. So brands need to get a lot smarter and try to include their brand in a subtle manner keeping the content interesting and watch worthy. One brand that executes this exceptionally is Lynx (or Axe as its known in India). Content is specifically created for the internet is introduced at regular intervals keeping the consumer hooked and asking for more. Apart from humor, sex sells too (duh). What’s better ... Humor and Sex!
The internet has become a medium of release of content that is risqué and otherwise considered controversial on traditional media. Only a few brands can take this route, most brands would either need to tap into the talent that is out there and device a plan to make them contributors or create their own content so that the lines of communication can be open for a longer duration.
The internet has also broken the shackles of the 90 second commercial to allow the director to narrate the story without limitations. Most brands also give a glimpse of the communication on traditional media and prompt the consumers to get online to watch the complete experience, due to the cost effectiveness of the media and the ‘feedback’ nature of the medium. Either way, for a brand to be successful online it must entertain the consumer.
Carlton D’Silva is the chief creative officer at Hungama Digital Media and has spent over 15 years in the digital space. He takes insult when you call the digital medium new media…15 years should be old enough! Find him on twitter@TheWordOfGawd