Monday, 15 February 2010

Pre-Digital Social Media


image courtesy of DBKing

There is a well-written and well-thought through article on the Marketing Week website by Richard Madden, planning director at Kitcatt Nohr Alexander Shaw. The basic point is that Social Media is nothing without great content.

The article cites an early example of Social Media; the Michelin Brothers who created their eponymous guide as a way of generating interesting content to promote their business.

Another vintage French example is raised by Paul Smith in the comments section below. It seems the Tour de France was invented by a French newspaper to promote itself. This wasn't sponsorship, it was the Red Bull / Nike strategy of owning your own event, of creating live one-off events that can't be copied and produce valuable content that they could exclusively write about and use to make themselves famous.

The sports paper behind the Tour was L'Auto which needed to up its circulation and crush its better selling rival Le Velo. The idea for the Tour came from the 26 year old Chief Cycling Correspondent. The strategy proved to be a huge success, L'Auto's circulation boomed and L'Velo went bust. L'Auto still exists today as L'Equipe. More here.

This is a good reminder that using live events to drive other media, whilst often being a solid strategy, is nothing new.