Buying space

Another really good post from Hugh at Gapping Void. Ostensibly it is on the subject of Nike moving some campaign activity from Wieden + Kennedy (or at least adding other agencies to the roster). However, the interesting bit is the idea that W+K are being penalised for failing to match the success of Nike + iTunes in providing value to communities rather than just promoting products.

Nike Plus Vista widget 

That’s a pretty high bar! An innovative product in its own right, generating a very definitely web2.0 pile of content, offering genuine and uncopyable branded-utility.

Hugh’s summary is

Buying space in someone else’s brain is far harder than buying space in someone else’s media

Very nice. One of the follow up comments is:

marketing should be built into your product from the start, rather than slapped on afterwards in the from of advertising

But that’s not it is it? It’s not marketing that needs to be in there from the start of the design cycle for a product. It’s the user. Or in a non-digital setting, the customer. That’s what Nike did (presumably) and I don’t see any reason why an ad agency, just as much as a digital agency can’t do it. We’ve said it before though, that Nike has been putting the user at the centre of their brand since before the interweb was a twikling in Berners-Lee’s eyeball.