Thursday, April 16, 2009

This Time it’s Volvo’s Turn to Experiment with Social Media

Major consumer brands are starting to explore ways to integrate social media into their advertising campaigns - last month it was Skittles, and this month it was Volvo.

In Volvo’s case they promoted their new XC60 crossover SUV with a one day only YouTube page takeover to coordinate with the New York Auto Show. To spice things up, the takeover included a live feed of XC60 Twitter updates from the auto show.

This is the first time YouTube ran such a prominent ad on its homepage. This is no doubt part of Google’s (YouTube’s owner) effort to generate more revenue from YouTube which, it has been widely reported, has been a serious drain on Google’s profitability.

While it’s too early to tell what kind of impact Volvo’s gambit will have on XC60 sales, to me this is a great way to raise awareness and create a dialogue with consumers.

It’s almost a certainty that more marketers will follow suit in the coming months with their own social media experiments. As with anything else, there will be fits and starts but it’s only a matter of time before social technologies become commercialized as a platform for highly targeted online advertising.

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