Can digital let us put more fun into branding?

In a fascinating article in Revolution, Sept 2008, Justin Billingsley, Orange’s UK brand director told Adam Woods that digital was going to ‘steal considerable budget from above-the-line marketing’ – no surprises there. However what was interesting was his comment that it was going to be used to more ‘cool stuff’ (by which I understand he means exciting, innovative digital activities) but with a more relaxed view to ROI.

It’s a phenomenon I have also observed: a client who had perhaps a £4m TV budget, decides to take, say, 10% out to spend on digital can be more prepared to take a few more risks. The same psychology that underlies the Orange approach of ring-fencing a proportion of the budget for more experimental activities seems increasingly common. Of course the results will be measured, and will inform future strategies, but provided the actions are on-message for the brand they will allow more adventurous conceptual thinking… and a bit more fun in these depressing times.

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