An online branding and marketing campaign with a different flavor is scheduled to pop off agency drawing boards and into the public eye this month.
Labelled 'experimental' or '3D' branding, the question is whether it is really fresh or simply old wine in new bottles. A leading Australian proponent of the style is Sydney company Love Pty. Ltd., an online branding and marketing business.
Love's online director, Tim Stokoe, defines 3D branding as additional services brought to consumers by a brand over and above its primary products.
"It's relatively new in Australia although there is some activity in the US," he says. "The principle is that by creating an interactive environment you allow the user to interact with the brand as well as the product. The brand becomes what the user wants or needs it to be.
"With a confectionery product, for example, you might have games for kids to play that they associate with that brand. Or an educational offering that encourages parents to take their kids to that brand."
Love is working on 3D projects for three clients, one is a global brand, the other two local. Stokoe won't name names but says the first will appear this month and the others in March or April.
Besides 3D branding, Love is an exponent of viral marketing, with two projects currently in the works.
The beauty of using viral ads (which are spread by consumers forwarding them to friends as e-mail attachments) is their low dissemination costs, Stokoe says. They also sidestep existing and potential legislative bans on spam because of their opt-in nature.