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    Wednesday, August 09, 2006

    MASS(ive) DIY

    These days everyone is self-publishing content on everything from Youtube to your local skate movie. GM has just started Driver TV on Time Warner Cable. The channel is a virtual showroom of sorts for all of GM's brands, where potential buyers can shop cars in their living room. Cause you would never want to see it in person now..Driver TV’s opening screen, for example, features positions for up to four auto companies. Selecting it means viewers are whisked to a showroom displaying only GM vehicles. Viewers who ignore the GM come-on can enter the broader Driver TV content offering. This reminds me a lot of the DIY self branding commercials of real-estate or other people that sometimes populate the low ranking cable channels. In its Albany, Binghamton, Rochester and Syracuse, N.Y., systems, Time Warner has added a more traditional portal-style on-demand offering. There, the free service delivers viewers a broad menu of advertorial tips and how-to videos purchased by local advertisers and housed under the brand “Your Neighborhood Expert.” What i find more interesting is Time Warner's agility as a DIY platform. The internet has increasingly fragmented media. Today many of the top bloggers are those who effectively manipulate the medium to link to other sites, feeders, and spread a mass message across the fragmentation. DIY is on the rise no doubt. Corporate DIY might be too. Time Warner's platform is established and has a definitive audience. The ability to provide an efficient platform with relative ease of accessibility is crucial in the future (ala Youtube). On the corporate side companies might increasingly start to have their own media channels to wax poetic their brand message and products (ala GM). GM is hardly a DIYer, but its own channel of branded content is about as close as that can come to qualifying. How will the role of the agency change if brands can simply put their message on Youtube or Cable?





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