Friday, October 27, 2006

Ben Edwards: Corporate Branding In The Age of YouTube

Interesting to hear IBM's Ben Edwards -- a 14 year journalist in "legacy media" as he says, with 9 years at The Economist -- explain how he saw the unique powerful franchise of journalists just disintegrating in the face of blogging, social networking -- and decided he had to leave mainstream media behind.

At IBM he launched a popular podcast series and is running their New Media Communications initiative. He encourages people at IBM to use social media tools -- podcasting, blogging, etc. His interest is how these tools are used across a large enterprise.

I'm sorry, it's hard to feel like IBM is new, fresh and innovative. They feel tired, old, and staid. Maybe he can convince us otherwise.

It would be wonderful to hear IBM has created some killer social networking software, but it feels like they have a snowball's chance in hell of doing that. Their brand works against it. They are still "blue suit blue tie" to me and NOT "blue jeans and black hoodie" if you know what I mean. What they are doing with Linux is truly HOT and they should be talking about that.

MORE: Edwards shows a funny video about IBM's mainframe sales efforts. He makes his point that advertising in the old days has morphed into publishing in social media. YouTube has some great Seinfeld + Superman videos that are ads for Amex. They are not like any other "ads" you've ever seen. Seinfeld for yelling at Superman for locking the car keys in the car ... don't miss it.

MORE on brands: Talking about brands becoming symbol of our social aspirations. BP and IBM and others. "In truth, corporate lost control of their brands the moment they became symbols of our dreams, aspirations and identities."

Let me add something. Wanna talk brands, read about Monopoly's new "Here and Now" modern version that have brand new tokens like the Motorola RAZR, McDonald's fries, Toyota Prius ... so why is there an unbranded LAPTOP ... it should be either a MacBook or a ThinkPad or something!