24 April 2006

‘Channeling’ on the net [International Herald Tribune]

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Land Rover's Go Beyond channel
Some marketers, worried about a world in which they can no longer rely on TV commercials to get their messages across, are taking matters into their own hands, starting their own “channels” on the Internet.

Land Rover, the brand of British sport utility vehicles owned by Ford Motor, this month introduced what it billed as the first broadband television channel run by a car company. It features an around-the-clock schedule of packaged multimedia programming, interspersed with ads for the Land Rover brand, accessible via a special Web site.

That move followed news from Bacardi, the rum maker, that it planned to start an online radio station, available over the Internet and mobile phones. The service will stream “uplifting party anthems from the world’s hottest dance floors” to listeners around the globe.

“To succeed today, you need to engage consumers rather than interrupt them,” said David Stubley, chief executive of Performance Worldwide, a London division of MindShare, a media planning and buying agency that developed the idea for the Land Rover channel.

Brands like Land Rover and Bacardi are hoping to engage consumers by offering them content that they actually want to watch or hear, rather than foisting a hard sell on them.

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