male speaker: well,hello everyone. sorry to turn themusic off there. but it's time for jaredto do his talk. so i just want to know, do ineed to introduce jared? does anybody not knowwho jared is? i do need to. ok, maria doesn't know who jaredspool is, fair enough. so jared is a well-knownfigure in usability. he's written books.
he's done lots ofpresentations. he runs a company called userinterface engineering, which is very well-known inusability circles. i'm delighted to have jaredalong here today. he's going to talk aboutbranding, and he's promised to be controversial andstimulating. now he's also made a specialrequest. earlier today he did the talking at yahoo! and the yahoo crowd are verymeek and were very quiet.
and so he's made a specialrequest for us to heckle and ask questions. we don't want anything thrownat jared, but interesting stimulating questionsare very welcome. also this talk is going to berecorded for google video and released publicly, so just bearthat in mind when asking questions at the end. so over to jared. jared spool: thankyou very much.
i'm very pleased tobe here, and very pleased to be in stereo. i think if you just hold yourfinger up to your nose about a foot away you can actuallysee everything in 3d. what i want to talk about isthe relationship that we've discovered in our lab betweenbrand and usability, so sort of talk about what it means todesign to strengthen the brand in addition to designing to makea usable process, and to talk, to some extent, aboutthe overlap between that.
this is homepage of cisco.com. and if you come to cisco.com,cisco has a very strong brand particularly amongstits customers. people who enjoy using ciscoproducts very much go around and tell all their friends,and think the company is great, and would be very sadif cisco were to disappear tomorrow, and so it'svery strong. but the experience of thecisco.com site is an interesting one.
they have a marketplace on theirsite where you can come and see the various productsthat they have for sale. they have software and they havemanuals, but they also have, for example, merchandisethat you can purchase. and if you decide that youwant to purchase the merchandise you click on one ofthese boxes like this one that, it says logo merchandiseus, and you're immediately asked for a usernameand password. chances are you don't have ausername and password so the
experience, at that point, isthat you get this screen that tells you that they apologizebecause you have entered an invalid username passwordcombination or you've forgotten your password. and at this point you'reactually required to register in order to buy a t-shirt withthe cisco logo on it. the registration process isactually a four-step process. you go through step one whereyou specify the language you wish to speak, your name, andthen confirmed the language
you wish to speak and putin your password. and then you have to then decidehow they're going to sell things to youin the future. then you get to put in yourbusiness information and your phone number. and then you get to confirmthe language you speak one more time. describe how you want to seesearch results, if you ever see search resultson their site.
and then you're sent an emailwhich you have to dig out of your email folder. you have to then click on it toactually get entered into the system. and then at that point you aftera remember how you got back to the marketplace. so you have to go back to themarketplace homepage. you then have to getthe password. you then enter the password.
and it then let's you see whatapparel is for sale, and you can find that lovely jacketthat you always wanted. this is all so you can wear apiece of clothing with their logo on it. now the question is what doesthat do to the cisco brand? what happens when someone goesthrough that experience? does it strengthen their bond tocisco or does it weaken it? and that's really sort of aquestion that we're interested in, in how brands work, and howpeople interact with the
types of interaction. so we started looking at thisquestion way back in 1998. so we've been spending the lasteight years looking at what does it mean to designfor branding on a website. and we've been looking atgraphics, images, various types of messaging, theexperience users have. we've used eye trackers, and fieldstudies, a variety of techniques to do this, andthis is ongoing research. this is by no meansdone research.
it's just one of our ongoingresearch agendas. and when we talk about brand alot of people think that what you're talking aboutare logos. but, in fact, logosare not brands. they are brand elements. they are representationsof the brand. this, i'm sure, is arecognizable logo. did anybody want totake a guess? audience: adidas.
jared spool: adidas, yeah ok. there you go. no, this is the nikelogo, of course. the swoosh which nike paid agraphic design student $35 for this brand, for this logo. yeah, that's what they got. that's pretty much thegoing rate for a $16 billion company. this?
audience: pepsi. jared spool: you sure? it's not clear? it could be korean air. it's just a brand element. here it comes up as a pepsirepresentation. but in other places in the worldyou might immediately associate it withsomething else. the fedex logo is an interestinglong in that it
used to be federal express. and they spent more than $2.5million, i believe, to change it to fedex. and the primary reason fordoing that was that it required less purple paint. purple pigment weighs morethan white pigment. and as a result they sawsignificant fuel reduction charges or fuel charges on theirplanes because they were able to reduce the weight.
now one of the key benefitsof the new fedex logo is actually the arrow. does anybody here not seethe arrow in the logo. you can be brave. you can raiseyour hand if you don't see the arrow. a couple of you? ok. the arrow is right there in thenegative space between the e and the x. they paid $2.5million for that arrow, and i
have to show it to you. and the interesting thing aboutthe arrow is that half the time it's pointed inthe wrong direction. now those are brand elements. and when we're talkingabout branding that's something very different. so we sort of started togo off and look up definitions of branding. and on the encarta website wefound this one, which is
branding, originally a searingof flesh with a hot iron to produce a scar with an easilyrecognizable pattern for identification orother purposes. now it occurred to us that thiscame from the encarta database which we then realized is a microsoft property. so this does seem likea microsoft pattern. but there are other definitionsthat we like to work with.
in particular, this is one wefound for merriam-webster, and we like the definitionhere that says to impress indelibly. there's this one here, it saysto mark with disapproval, to stigmatize. the coca-cola peopletried that. it didn't work somuch for them. this is a definition that welike, which is a brand name, which is having a reputationand a loyal following.
so when we go with brand, whatwe're talking about is this sort of loyal following,this reputation. that's what we're looking at. now branding is basically, whenyou look at it from the perspective of the individualwho's being branded, the recipient of the brand stuff,it's basically a conditioning process where you use colors,symbols, phrases, to create some sort of emotionalresponse that creates engagement, and eventuallycauses people to interact with
and seek out that brand. and it's really mucha repeated process. does the name pavlovring a bell? it's very much this sortof interactive thing. and probably one of the bestbrands that we have ever seen is harley-davidson. it's really an incredible brand,and it gets people to do things that fewother brands do. imagine, close your eyesfor a second, and
imagine match this. this is just how it works. imagine a google customerwith the google brand tattooed to a body part. that's what harley-davidsondoes. they get people to tattoothings to their body. and it's just amazing. even lorenzo lamas does this. and by the way this is a resultof google image search.
it finds all sorts ofamazing things. but brands are not necessarilyjust logos. they can be physical things likethe design of something like an ipod, or a mini,or they can be people. it's how people interactwith those known things that turn out well. and brands are not necessarilyalways positive. they often can have a negativereaction, and people don't necessarily respond positivelyto them.
and there are all sortsof things that happen. vioxx, this is an oldad for vioxx. they had dorothy hamillis their spokesperson. and vioxx subsequently was afine brand to start with, and was very positive, but then thenews turned against them when people started having allsorts of issues with heart attacks and heart failure asa result of taking it. now maybe the problem was thatthey chose the wrong spokesperson, and insteadsomeone like barry bonds would
have worked better. barry bonds is a baseballplayer. baseball is a sport that peopledo when they're not working, just in caseyou were wondering. audience: [inaudible phrase] jared spool: yeah, hedoes it while he's working, that's true. apparently, he gets to do drugswhile he's working. so do we.
so it turns out that if you wantto look at what branding happens, what's going on is, inessence, what people invest in branding, branding is, from acorporate perspective, is an investment. what people are doing is it'ssort of like saving money up in a bank account. you put money into the brand. you make investment by doingbrand-related activities, and then you hope that that moneywill then come back in some
form typically in some sortof sales or future income. and there's two ways that thatinvestment can be made affinity branding anddispositional branding. affinity branding has to do withthe relationship of the brand element, the logo, forinstance, and the item. so here i have a computer. if i put on this computera sony label, you would immediately associate thingswith that particular computer. you'd associate things about thequality of the computer,
about the price, about thetechnical capabilities, about the reliability. and this would all be based onyour previous experience with the sony brand. if i were to take off the sonylabel off that box and put back onto that box a differentlabel, let's say the walmart label, instantly your perceptionof that box would probably change. you would think of itas different device.
it would be something that isless technical or less pricey and particularly less quality. or maybe if you like walmart andyou dislike sony it might go in the other direction. and that's how affinitybranding works. affinity is this sort ofrelationship between the two. and there's all sorts ofways that it works. for instance, banks use thatfdic and equal housing lender logos because it instantlygives them some sort of
credibility. the transition of the affinityfrom those particular brands, the fdic brand or the equalhousing lender brand, instantly transfer tothat institution. proflowers has to explainsome of their brands. they, for instance, put thefedex logo on their site because they deliver theirflowers overnight by fedex, and they want that associationwith that. but they couldn't justput the logo there.
they also had to explain whythe fedex logo was there in order to give peoplethat background. this is a cruise site, and it'slike hundreds of other cruise sites thatare out there. it's filled with allsorts of stuff. again, to give it credibility,they talk about all the different cruises that theyhave. so they list all of the items there. so, again, this is how affinitybranding works.
by putting the brand elements onthe site all of a sudden it gives the site that much morecredibility to those people who are positive about thosebrands, that have good branding engagementwith those brands. not all brand elements end upconnecting with their brand. there was a study done duringthe height of the dot-com boom where they asked people whatonline pet store this was. they gave them about tendifferent choices of petstore.com, pets.com,petfood.com, a variety of
things, and nobody knew. they all recognized the puppet,but they didn't know what story it went with. it was very rare that peoplecould actually say that this was pets.com. now pets.com is gone, but thepuppets you can still buy. other places where breaks has todo with just the fact that people have certainexpectations. on an early versionof the site from
samsonite they had issues. one was that thisdidn't actually look like their banner. it looked like a banner ad. so people were confused aboutwhat site they were on. they were also confused thatthis site which was supposed to be the outlet store forsamsonite was selling american tourister suitcases whichpeople perceived was a competitor, a competitivebrand.
they didn't know, that at somepoint in time, samsonite had acquired american tourister,and it was a sister brand because they often wereseen as being sold against each other. and other strange things aboutthis page, like for instance, we had users in our studies whodidn't want to buy any of the suitcases listed herebecause they thought they were boat suitcases, and they wantedairplane suitcases. so affinity branding is abouthaving the logo near the item,
and having the value of thebrand element transfer to it. so it's much like being in anairport and getting off the plane, and having flown to sanfrancisco, realizing that it might be cheaper to rent a carthan to take a taxi downtown for the trip. you get off the plane. you go down to baggage claim,or in the case of san francisco, you write little tramto the rental car cabana, then you're faced with this slewof rental car agencies
for which you needto choose one. and there's hertz, and there'savis, and there's budget, and there's bob's discountrentals. and all of them are identical. they all have the same sizebooth, and the same shape, and the same color scheme, and thesame surly teenagers working behind the counter. the only difference isthe brand element. so you choose your brandin that regard.
dispositional brandingis different. dispositional branding has to dowith what happens when you don't have those visual clues,when instead you're back in your office, and you're thinkinggee, i'm going to make this trip. and now that i think about it,it's probably cheaper to rent a car than to take a taxi. so i'm going to pickup the phone or i'm going to go to a website.
whose website am igoing to go to? who am i going to callon the phone? and in that instance you say,well, i'm going to call hertz or i'm going to call avis. that's dispositional. it's dependent on the brandpopping into your head at that moment. to do a little experiment, i'dlike to try something. and i see that many of you havebrought equipment instead
of paper to write on. but if you have a piece of paperor someplace to take notes, or you can just make amental note, i guess, if you want, i want you to answerthese four questions. so we're going to do a littleexperiment here. we're going to seehow this works. i want you to answer thesefour questions. the first question is if youcould go anywhere in the world to dinner tonight whatrestaurant would you choose?
so imagine. if you have paper write thatdown or type in into a file on your machine, or write it onyour arm or something. so what restaurantwould you choose? second, if your car failed youtoday and you needed to replace it tomorrow, with thecurrent financial state you are in, your current financialcontext, what brand of car would you buy? next, if you had to get apackage to the east coast by
10:30 tomorrow morning, if itwas absolutely necessary that you do that, who'spackage delivery service would you use? and fourth, if someone camerushing into this hall right now and said, have you guysseen the headlines? you have to see the headlines. what source would yougo to for headlines? yeah, i know. audience: [inaudible phrase].
jared spool: just put it down. now if you've recorded all this,even if you haven't, what i want you to do is iwant you to turn to your neighbor, compare the fouranswers, and see if you have the same answers asyour neighbor. ok, my turn. yoo hoo! male speaker:[inaudible phrase]. jared spool: ok, let's startwith the first one.
how many people had the samerestaurant as the person sitting next to them? anybody? no? you did? what restaurant? audience: charlie's. jared spool: charlie's. you just were too afraidto admit it?
audience: no. [inaudible phrase]. jared spool: ok. you guys are loyal employees. no, we have good food. they bought you with food. is that what they did? you know this has only everhappened two other times. i've done this with thousandsof people, and there's only
been two other times wherethis has happened. and by the way, it wasn'tcharlie's that they suggested. the only two other times thatwas both the same restaurant, it was in two differentpresentations, it was the outback steakhouse. how weird is that? ok, how about brand of car? who has the same brandof car as the persons ok, a small number of you did.
i'm betting liketoyota, honda. audience: lamborghini. jared spool: lamborghini? lamborghini, ok. they pay you well here too. audience: where do you work? jared spool: he works in theuser experience group. doesn't everybodyhave that job? so how about the same packagedelivery service?
how many people had the samepackage delivery service? oh, wow. fedex and ups are doing well. good, excellent. how about the the up to theminute news source, who had the same up to theminute news? who didn't have googlebut had the same up to the minute news? interesting, very good.
now here's the deal, there areabout three times the amount of people that had thesame package delivery [unintelligible] as had the same brand of car. but if you actually look atthe number of overnight delivery services versus thenumber of car models or car brands there are, it turns outthat there are about 1/10 as many car brands as there arebusinesses that will deliver your packages overnight.
so statistically we should havemore matches for brands of car than for overnightdelivery service. the reason we don't have thatis because of the investment that companies like fedex andups have made, and it's also potentially because of a littletrick i pay, which is i just mentioned fedex, andthat's called recency. and what happens is, is thatwhen someone sees a logo or brand element, they are morelikely to think of it dispositionally in the next 24hours then if they don't see
it in that period. so that's why companies pay tohave logos and things put on shirts and jackets andbillboards and stuff, and why so many of you are wearinggoogle wear. audience: we were also shownthe mini, so we were dispositionally inclined to[? want the car ?] as well, but that didn't work. jared spool: well i didn't talkabout the mini as much. but you're right, that's true.
but it turns out that all ofthese things play a factor. mini doesn't spend as much timeas fedex does or ups does trying to get their brandinto your head. so it turns out that thesethings all play a role. now dispositional brandingis very context-driven. so, for example, if i gave youa different context for the restaurant, if i told you, forexample, that you were going to take a very importantcustomer to the restaurant, you might choose a differentrestaurant.
you guys wouldn't. but everybody else would choosea different restaurant, versus a restaurant that youwanted to go to celebrate your birthday with six very closefriends, half of whom have seen you naked at some pointin time in your life or a restaurant that you might wantto go to when it's 7 o'clock at night, and you have two kidsunder the age of five who have not eaten since noon,and they're very cranky. and they definitely should takea nap, but they're not
taking a nap. you might choose a differentrestaurant at that point, or a restaurant you wouldgo for lunch. actually you probably wouldn'tchoose a restaurant for that. but the fact is, is that thebrand that pops into your head is very much dependent on thecontext that you're in. and that's how dispositionalbranding works. now in order to create thesebrands it turns out that there's also two methods inwhich you can make the
investment in branding. there's two things you can do. one is indirect messaging. so that's this active of puttinglogos on all sorts of things to get that effect ofprimacy and recency, and to have those thingscome to mind. and these are very repetitive. these take a long time to do. they're very easyto implement.
they're very easy to design,and so lots of organizations do it. the investment to make onthem is very small. this is very different than thesecond approach which is experienced branding. and in experienced branding,you have to look at the experience that the receiver ishaving with the brand, and the elements around it. and so it turns out that if youthink about the restaurant
that you chose chances are youchose it not because of any sort of advertising that thatrestaurant did, but because of the experience that you'vehad at that. in fact, if we were to go toepcot center disney world today, and we were to interviewthe people coming out of epcot center, and wewere to ask them what made them choose to go to disney,why did they pick that as their vacation spot, 75% of thepeople today would tell you that the reason that theychose it was because of the
great experience they had thelast time they went, 75%. and of the remaining 25%, themajority of them would tell you that the reason they weregoing was because they have a friend or family member whowouldn't shut up about the great experience theyhad had at the park. very few of those people wouldtell you that they were going because of some advertising thatthey say or some explicit marketing that disneyhad done. it's primarily the experiencethat they have, that's what
drives traffic tothe theme parks. and it turns out thatthis is true. netflix has decided that theirtwo most important variables for them to track are the numberof people who sign up, and when they sign up tellthem that the reason they signed up was because a friendhighly recommended that they do so. it turns out that, in any givenperiod, about 85% of the people who subscribe to netflixsay the primary reason
they subscribed is because afriend or family member highly recommended it. and they also track, in thelast three months have you tried to convince somebody tosign up amongst their existing subscribers? 93% of their subscribers saythat in the last three months they have tried to convincesomebody to sign up. they use those as keyperformance indicators for their company.
they have found that theirbusiness lags those indicators by about six weeks. so it turns out that when thosenumbers start to dip, that gives them a six-weekprediction about when their revenue numbers are goingto start to dip. and so they very much trackthose two numbers, which are referrals, which are allbased on experience. so these things turnout to be very key. so way back in 1998, one of thefirst clues we got of this
was an experiment that we weredoing when we were comparing ford to edmund's. we're having people look upinformation on both sites. in this case we were having themlook up how many people could you fit intoa ford ranger. and the scenario was somethinglike this. you landed a good job. you've got yourselfrecently married. you had a kid.
you've got another oneunder negotiations. you now are in a position whereyou can buy that pickup truck you've always wanted. go find out if, in fact, theymake a ford ranger which will seat the wife, the kids, thedog, and will be comfortable. go find that out. so we asked people to dothat both on edmund's and on the ford site. and when they did id onedmund's, the adventure they
had was that they would go tothe edmund's site, they'd click on new trucks. they would then choose ford. they would then pick theparticular ranger that we were talking about. they would then quicklyfind the specifications and safety features. and then at the bottom theywould find here that maximum seating was three, and that, infact, what they found was
that you couldn't fit everybodyinto the truck. but even though that was thecase, what we were measuring was people's feelings aboutthe ford brand. and we found that their strengthof the ford brand actually increased whileusing edmund's. so the act of using edmund'sto find this information, people felt better about theford brand at the end of going through this process. when we tried the experimenton the ford site, we saw
something interesting. to do the same exercise on theford site you had to click on showrooms, and then clickon this black on blue link that says ford. and then you had to clickon the ford logo. and then you got these four morepictures and this thing here that says people and theirstories and welcome to fordvehicles.com where everybodyhas a story and every story has a fordcar or truck right in
the middle of it. and now that you needed to knowto click on vehicles. and then you got four morepictures including this woman here who looks absolutelyfrightened about the model t that's chasing her. another ford logo and now youhad to click on trucks where you got four more pictures,two more logos. and now you had to click onranger where you then were told whatever.
now to be fair this was anadvertising campaign that was being run by j. walter thompson,ford's advertising firm of record calledthe whatever, whenever, wherever campaign. and this was the first of a verylarge animated gif that was being downloaded, and itwould say whatever, wherever, whenever, and it would takeseveral seconds where the screen would just sort ofshout whatever at you. the idea was you could use thetruck whenever, whatever you
wanted to do. it was part of a combinationonline marketing, and television, and radiocampaign. but now you are requiredto click on the link. it's probably one of the bestlinks i've ever seen. it says go anywhere, whichwould bring you this page which had one, two, three,four, five, six, seven mentions of ford, including thisone down here that's this disclaimer here, that saysexcluding non-ford branded
derivatives. how many people here drivea new non-ford branded derivative? no. but our user still really didn'tquite know what to click on at this point. they knew that it had atleast one seat in it. you could see that clearly. but at this point they didn'tknow what to do.
there's this link herethat says comfort. if you knew to click on thatyou might click there. but it turns out that brochureswas the link that you wanted. i'm sorry, not brochures. brochures would actually haveyou fill out a form and they would mail you a brochure. that's exactly what theweb is for, right? in this case, features,i'm sorry, features is
what you click on. when you click on featuresyou got this page. and now there's a link herethat says interior. that's looking good. and then you get the interior. and there's one thatsays seating. and then you get this chart thattells you everything you want to know about the seatsin a ford ranger except how many there are.
there's no informationabout that. so here we are 11 clicks intothe site, and we still don't have the information nor isthere any path to get to the information from this point. and so, at this point, people'sperception of the ford brand was much worse. even though they ran into allthe brand elements multiple times their perception of theexperience, it was the experience that trumped.
so it turns out that in thisparticular exercise, that was when we first got the hint thatexperience plays a much bigger role than any sort ofbrand elements that happen. now netflix, as i mentioned,uses experience tremendously. and they create all sorts offeatures which allow you, in this particular case, these aresocial networking features that they have. or you canspecify people who you like to talk about movies with. and if they're netflixsubscribers you can see what's
in their queue. they can see what'sin your queue. you can share what movies you'verecently talked about. you can make recommendationsjust to them. once you do this, the starschange to different colors to represent whether your friendsliked it or just the general public liked it. so you get to see what'shappening on the long tail. craigslist, which one wouldnot consider to be an
exceptionally highly visuallydesigned site, has extremely high brand engagement amongstits users as does myspace for reasons that no onecan explain. so these are experiences wherethe brand elements themselves are not part of it. it's definitively the experiencepart of the activity that's going on. so what we've learned is thatgood experiences are what create brands both offlineand online.
and it's what really sortof manages brands. and we can see this in the waythat we measure brands. we can see this through. over the last few years we'vedeveloped an instrument that allows us to measure thestrength of any brand we want to measure before and after, andeven during a user session so we can actually tell howpeople are interacting with a given brand. and so, for example, in a studywe did where we had
people shop for electronics,we would find people who needed electronics. we'd bring them to sitesthat have the products that they needed. we would give them the cash topurchase those products. we then measured theirexperiences on this site. so we looked at what turned outto be 11 different sites, amazon, circuit city, dell,barnes & noble, best buy, crutchfield, hewlett packard,ebgames, target walmart, cdw,
and j&r electronics. and the red boxes representexperiences where the brand strength went down from whatthey said they felt about the brand before the sessionto after, whereas the green boxes went up. and as you can see amazon,which started very high, dropped in actually using thesite because most users found that particular session veryfrustrating because shopping for electronics on amazon istypically a frustrating
experience. so it dropped, not as muchas dell which dropped tremendously, or hewlettpackard which dropped tremendously. target was the same way. interestingly enough walmartwent up, but that was primarily because the startingscore was so low. people had such low expectationsabout the walmart brand that they were actuallyimpressed by the
fact that it worked. crutchfield went up also asdid barnes & noble where people are buying cdsand video games. and j&r electronics stayedbasically the same. but that was before and afterthe shopping session. we then contacted them two weekslater to see how their order was fulfilled. and what we saw between the timethat they finished this study and they actually gottheir stuff, we see that
amazon dropped even more. circuit city droppeda huge amount. ebgames dropped a huge amount. target dropped a huge amount. walmart did not do sowell on fulfillment. crutchfield went up yet again. people really likecrutchfield. it was a brand they werenot familiar with and they liked it.
cdw basically regained itsthing, and again, j&r sort of stayed still. so we can look at what happensand we can see that in the online space it's not just whathappens in the session that affects the brand, it'salso what happens before and after the session in terms ofall the touch points that people are having. so it's true customer experiencethat we're talking about, all the different touchpoints that are going on here.
this brings me to advertising. this is the $1 million homepagewhere, if you're unfamiliar with this particularcampaign, a student in england decided he was goingto sell ads at a buck a pixel, and you could buy a tenby ten space for a $100. he sold $1 million worthof pixels to people. and so you can go to this atmilliondollarhomepage.com. and the only purpose of thissite is to go and look at all the ads or, i guess,click on them.
now $100 isn't a lot of moneyfor an ad though i know you can get adsense ads for less. but it's interesting that whatpeople found was that the first few advertisers who cameto the site actually got a huge amount to click throughtraffic from it. now this thing got covered oncnn, and the wall street journal, and thenew york times. and so it was getting atremendous amount of press. people were going to the site.
they were clicking on the adsto see what was going on. but as time went on and the adsstarted to populate, we saw was that peoplestop clicking. and the people who purchasedads later and later in the cycle found that they gotvirtually no traffic whatsoever no matter what thesize of their ad was. but the guy did get his $1million and subsequently decided not to use itfor his tuition. so when we look at whatadvertising is versus branding
they are very separateactivities. a lot of people perceive thatwhat's happening when you're advertising is you're workingon brand, and people talk about that as a brandimprovement strategy. but it turns out that that'snot necessarily the case. and so we see things. for instance, on sundays if yougo to salon.com before you can read their online newspaperyou have to watch an ad in order to get admissionto the site.
just to see the homepage andfigure out what the ads are sometimes you have to actuallywatch a one or two-minute ad before they will letyou do that. now the question is how manypeople are paying attention to that ad at that moment beforethey click over to the homepage or how many people justsort of waiting for that button to pop up that says showme the homepage and they can finally clickthrough to that? so there's this real questionas to really how effective
that ad is. and ads show up in all sortsof different places. this is polycom's homepage. polycom makes video conferencingequipment and audio conferencing equipment. because they're trying to getpeople to be aware of all the things they offer, theirhomepage has basically become a large advertising center,and people are constantly fighting to get advertisingspace within the organization.
they have infightingto get advertising space on that homepage. and they're constantlytrying to drive people to that content. how many people who are comingto the polycom site at that moment care about allthose things? in fact, the odds that they'dbe interested in anything other than the thing thatdrove them to that site, because no one's just goingto randomly show up at
polycom.com. it's not a site where you sayhey, we got 20 minutes until the apprentice is on let'sgo check out polycom.com. that doesn't happen. so they're comingfor a reason. they're coming because of aproduct that they want to buy, or technical supportthat they need, or some particular thing. 99% of this stuff is of novalue to them, but more
importantly, the issue thenbecomes how do you decide what works and what doesn't,what's important? this is plentyoffish.com. and plentyoffish.com is a datingsite which does not charge any of the peoplewho are dating. unlike many other dating site itdoes not charge anybody for this service. the money is made-- and theyclaim to make $10,000 a day-- purely through adsense.
so people are coming to thissite to find a mate, and for some reason, they're clicking onads which produces revenue to the site, many of the adsbeing other dating sites. and so the thing aboutadvertising is, in essence, what it's about is distractingthe user for what they are coming to do. it's trying to take themaway from what they're trying to do. and this is not just trueof online advertising.
this is true of all typesof advertising. you're trying to watch atelevision show, and they interrupt that show to give youthings that you weren't interested in seeing exceptduring the super bowl, and same with radio. nobody likes the ads at thebeginning of movies. you go to the movie theaterand see four minutes of advertising there, nobodyseems to like that. they do it because they wantto disrupt you from
what you are doing. they couldn't put thoseads, for example, at the end of the movie. it wouldn't work. they can only do it a pointwhere you will just not get up and leave. and so advertising is basicallyabout disruption. sometimes the advertising getexcessively disruption. we had a user who ran intoa small problem.
they were running firefoxlooking at the new york times site. this ad popped up, and,for whatever reason, would not go away. they could not get tothe ad to move. it was one of these floatingads that appears. you've all seen them. and it would not vanish. the close button wouldnot show up.
no clicks would makeit go away. so the user was unableto read the article. and so did this experiencehelped accenture or the new york times for that user? not at all. and you see othertypes of things. here is the ze frank show, whichis a very amusing site that pretends to give news. and here he's talkingabout tony blair.
and because he mentions tonyblair, google ads decides to advertise blair.com, which isactually not tony blair's site, it's a clothing site. and so the issue here is there'san association that's happening between tony blair andthis clothing site, which it's not clear that the clothingsite is that anxious to have the associationbe made. and this sort of thing happensfairly frequently with contextual ads.
here we have an article fromthe international herald tribune which talks aboutapple sues competitors. and because it mentions thecreative zen, the ads for those items are there. so again, i'm not sure that thebrand owners, in this case creative, are that excited thatthese ads are appearing in those contexts. so you get you get these typesof conditioning things are happening, and we don't knowwhat is happening from the
user's perspective in terms ofthe negative branding that might be occurring when someonesees reinforced advertising elements ina negative article. so what we've been learningabout branding at this point is this idea that basicallywe've got these two different goals. you're trying to both buildup affinity branding and dispositional branding, and thatas you build those things up you're doing it throughindirect messaging and through
we found that experience is amuch better tool, both on the web and off the web, as a methodfor doing it, and that branding is very separatefrom advertising. we have to consider them as verydifferent, and understand how they interact. that's why i came to talk toabout, to share with you how my machine works.