Most online advertising is lame. Yes, the idea of a click-through ad is great, but let’s be honest, a lot of time that involves tricking people into clicking on your ad. Whatever happened to building brand awareness through compelling advertising? I think someecards is pretty damn good at that — and they’re going to get better.
You probably know someecards as the startup that makes those hilarious online greeting cards with the oddly black and white, and usually outdated pictures. If you don’t know what I mean, just look around at any of the examples I’ve included in this post, I’m sure you’ve seen them before. But what you might not know is that the company is also doing branded advertising on some of its cards. For example, they offer cards branded by the hit Showtime show Weeds, the show Bridezillas, the shoemaker Puma and Jose Cuervo.
And the branded campaigns are genius because they include the same witty text as regular cards, but tie it into the campaign in some way. They popped onto my radar a couple weeks ago when I saw a few circulating around the web for the show Weeds, and I immediately saw the appeal of advertising this way, because I actually recalled the Weeds promotional part of the card. Most people, when they look at something online now, simply are trained to not even look at the ads. But when the ads are a part of the content, you have to look.
Obviously, this approach won’t work for all types of content, but for these cards it does. “You’re getting a lot better affinity for the brand if you’re doing things this way,” someecards co-founder Duncan Mitchell tells us.
And while someecards also wraps more traditional online ads around the cards on their main pages, the company realizes that a lot of times those ads that surround content or appear as interstitials in videos, violate the content in some regards. So why not work the ad into the content someway because, “what’s funny is funny,” says co-founder Brook Lundy.
While most advertisers are still obsessed with the idea of click-throughs in online ads, they’re “reluctantly moving” beyond that a bit, according to Mitchell. One thing someecards offers for its cards is the immediate share numbers, through the URL shortening service bit.ly. Mitchell says that advertisers like to see when a card is virally spreading on services like Twitter and Facebook. And they’re starting to acknowledge that this kind of word-of-mouth spreading on the web by way of the share is a powerful tool.
The next step in the branded movement for someecards is to get into video. In the next few weeks, the company will launch its first video campaigns, promoting a new show made by Comedy Central. The clips, like the someecards, will be brief (around 15 seconds) and will feature the actors of the show performing some dialogue outlined by someecards writers.
Someecards has a bunch of other branded campaigns in the pipeline, including some in the pharma area and PSAs, which should be fun. Embedded below find some great branded someecard examples.