Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Are brands the solution to the content cesspool?

A few weeks ago, Google CEO Eric Schmidt imparted this observation to an army of magazine executives visiting the Google campus:

"The internet is fast becoming a cesspool where false information thrives....brands are the solution, not the problem. Brands are how you sort out the cesspool."

With 12 hours of video being uploaded to Youtube every minute (the equivalent of 250 always on channels with no repeats) you can see why it's on the man's mind.

It's also been on mine - it's going to be interesting to observe the evolving role of brands in creating and curating entertainment that resonates with audiences (if you missed Jane McGonigal's fantastic presentation on 'The Rise of the Happiness Brands' you can view it here).

Within our own networks, people we perceive to possess real social capital directly influence the entertainment we consume. I trust my friend Sonya's advice on anything fashion-ish and the cARTel's* advice when it comes to art gallery stuff.

But brands can help too - particularly online. If I know a brand suggests something edgy (American Apparel) or just plain interesting (HBO); if it represents credibility within a certain subject (like Johnsons does in baby) then that trusted signal can steer me through the cesspool and straight to the good stuff. And, it helps me build my social network capital.

I reckon it's a win win. What do you reckon?

*If you're wondering about the cARTel, it's an art buying group made up of 4 like minded ladies (including me). Together we buy contemporary art with an eye to the market and art that is visually interesting or provocative or beautiful. Most of all we buy it because we like it.


Josh Strawczynski said...

Great article! Jules was spot on...very insightful. I look forward to reading more of your posts.

Keep it up!

Stan Lee said...

Interesting read. Really got me thinking. It hard to believe that YouTube has only been around for a few years and Google is only 10!

Dougist said...

I don't think that traditional old industry print brands are the answer. I do think that there is a brand answer and wrote about it here....

Looking to the mainstream media brands as a model of fair and accurate reporting is like looking for a pacifist at a prizefight.


Anonymous said...

Hi Kate

Great post. I agree. Brands can almost serve as a heuristic of sorts. Another reason to love the ones we love.