You know the guy in this year’s Budweiser Clydesdale Superbowl spot? The guy who nurtures the Clydesdale foal, feeds him, trains him, guides him and then says good-bye? I have to admit I feel a little bit like that today.
It was four years ago when a few of my creative hacker friends and I conceived of Brandbowl. The idea was to get an ad agency and an industry aware of, and interested in, Twitter by giving them something familiar and easy to talk about: the commercials. After all who doesn’t want to be a advertising critic?
By most indicators it was a huge success. It helped launch Mullen’s social media business. (You may have seen this Forbes column, which named the agency among the top 10 in the U.S. and attributed that ranking to an early adoption of social media.) And it played some role for sure in getting traditional agencies to sit up and take notice of a new platform. It may be hard now to remember that just a few years ago ad agency resistance was strong, not just to Twitter but to all the new digital tools and platforms.
However, it did suck up a lot of resources to pull off. Designers, developers, writers, social strategists, analysts, project managers and PR people all contributed. And that doesn’t even count the help that initial partner Radian 6 offered or in the last two years our third partner Boston.com.
And so Mullen this year decided to take a pass. Between opening new offices, pitching new business, producing volumes of work for existing clients and pursuing new innovations (as in what comes after BrandBowl) it was time to move on.
Fortunately our friends at Boston.com decided to assume the mantle with a new partner Points Local. (Radian 6 had to excuse itself due to contractual obligations with Twitter.) I can’t think of anyone to whom I’d rather give the concept.
It should launch today. I’ll be there, tweeting away with my all time favorite hashtag. #brandbowl. Hope you will be, too.