Branding in the Internet Age

In the 1960s brands used to draw on emotions like hope, fear, jealousy, nostalgia, etc to persuade customers to purchase their products

Technology, ie the Internet of Things, has allowed organisations to put their ads cheaply in front of very targeted audiences.

However, the placement of the ads needs to be watched with care, eg organisations do not want their ads near inappropriate and/or extreme content like Nazi sympathisers, Jihadists, etc. For example, ads for the Australian Defence Force appeared in far-right web sites like

There has also been cases of over-stated viewership metrics, eg in 2016, Facebook

"...overstated viewership metrics (which are not ordered by third parties) or video ads on its platform by up to 80%..."

John McDuling et al, 2017

To show their frustration, some well-known US brands like Starbucks, Walmart, Pepsi, etc and Australian Businesses (Holden, Telstra, Federal Government, etc removed their ads from YouTube in a boycott.


" part, the boycott is properly an expression of frustration by customers at Google and Facebook who really are the only two digital advertising games in town..."

Andrew Macken as quoted by John McDuling et al, 2017

"...Facebook is used by nearly 2 b. people around the world each month. Over 1 b. of them log-in each day on a mobile device. Most of these users willingly hand over intimate details about themselves to social media, which also happen to track their every Internet move. This means if the market wants to reach 18 to 30 year old English-speaking males who work in finance and have shown interest in buying a car, Facebook knows how to find them. It can insert adds into the timelines of users that fit the profile..."

John McDuling et al, 2017

Google can do a similar thing, ie

" targeted audiences and reach them in a variety of destinations scattered across the Internet..."

John McDuling et al, 2017

NB Good marketing

"...basically combines a good piece of creativity in a really contextual environment with a good audience......context is important..."

John McDuling et al, 2017

Ignoring the context can be dangerous for brands, despite its cheapness. It carries significant potential risk to brands around governance issues, reputation damage, less controllable, etc


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