The IPL and the end of the web as we know it

IPL cricketerWatching the Indian Premier League cricket the other evening (and loving how they have branded the language: a 6 is not a 6 any more but a ‘DLF maximum’ and a half-century a ‘Citibank moment of success’) I was struck, in the numerous ad breaks, by the stream of brands that drive consumers straight to Facebook, dispensing (in their advertising) with their standard URLs. Coke, Lucozade and Dulux all employ the URL; and the Army simply suggest that one Googles ‘Army Jobs’. Though we can’t quite yet tell who will be the victor in the so-called platform wars, we know that someone will, and we can probably predict a date when the idea of a ‘corporate url’ will become anachronistic. I am not surprised by this trend. In the 15 years I spent working with consumer brands online, the mantra (from New York to London to Mumbai to Beijing) was always ‘experience’: define moments when the consumer is open to brand communications and then create experiences that meaningfully intersect those moments with the brand. Continue reading