Online Ad Points to Product Commentary Rather Than Homepage
In an interesting and refreshing twist, an online ad for a new book by Murakami Haruki, Kafka on the Shore, does not link directly to the author's or the publisher's website.
Rather, the ad, running on weblogs via the BlogAds network, links to other weblogs which have commented on the book.
Publisher Knopf Books has hit on a unique form of paid, word of mouth advertising. Knopf is relying on the comments of others to talk up the book and to, ultimately, link to the book's website. In essence, Knopf is paying to point people to comments about the book.
Quite ingeniously, Knopf has bought their way into the word of mouth space and is, smartly, using the words of others, rather than its own, to promote the book. This approach works well on weblogs as linking to other sources is common practice. However, there's no reason why, say, opt-in banner ad company, Dotomi, couldn't promote itself through its own online ad campaign by linking to case studies by marketers who have successfully used Dotomi rather than directly linking to its own promotional site. While Dotomi is a fine, upstanding company, as an advertiser, it's likely more trust will be placed on those who have had experience with Dotomi rather than what Dotomi has to say about itself.
While this approach is not unlike typical endorsement advertising which has been around forever, a campaign geared towards driving people to commentary about a company rather than to the company itself is a new and novel approach to combining and capitalizing on both traditional one to many and word of mouth style advertising.