There are a few reasons why I got very interested in the email Chris Abraham sent me a week ago about Firebrand. Not only did it seem to be about a very interesting project, but also the approach Chris and Firebrand took to get the news spread was a good example of good engagement in social media. Since Firebrand is not live yet for public viewing (launches on October 22nd) I will talk a bit more about their outreach to bloggers and leave the review for once I get access.
Here’s just a little introduction to Firebrands though, so you know what I’m talking about:
“Firebrand is a new, opt-in entertainment and marketing destination that gives consumers interactive access to their favorite brands, products and promotions. Firebrand programs the “coolest” TV commercials the way MTV used to program music videos and its multi-platform network, slated to launch on October 22, is the first to go “live” simultaneously on TV, the web and mobile. Firebrand even has CJ’s (commercial jockeys), the same way MTV had VJ’s, who will contextualize the commercials as art and entertainment, and guide consumers through playlists, contests and promotions.”
And while the above copy may sound like your average PR speak (and it is from the press release obviously) the approach taken by Firebrand is interesting:
- The email from Chris Abraham announcing Firebrand was personalized enough to make it feel personal. I know many people will have received an email that was pretty similar to mine, using my name and blogname in the email shows the effort to make it personal. And I can tell you that – even though that simple – that doesn’t happen very often.
- They invited influential bloggers to their press event together with press, not as a separate event.
- It’s right on target as well. Advertising, marketing, etc are amongst the topics I cover regularly so telling me about Firebrand makes sense. Again, pretty obvious to some, ignored by many. I receive emails about the most random things and I don’t even consider myself influential… think about the silly stuff bigger bloggers are getting.
- Apart from their blogger approach, they also used social media in a smart way. Not by just creating the next Youtube video, but really making good use of the power of MySpace, Youtube, Delicious, Flickr and Facebook. All links which were included on the PR site (click on the links to see the examples).
It remains to be seen whether the service will become a success but I can only notice they seem to have their act together at Firebrand and given some of the most popular videos on the web are actually ads there’s definitely potential. Hopefully I can tell you more in a few days/weeks.