Prinz Pinakatt, the Coca-Cola Company’s interactive marketing manager for Europe, said, “In some cases some of our campaigns won’t need a coke.com-hosted site. In most cases these will still exist as it’s the most obvious destination for a consumer, but it might only be a page linking to YouTube encouraging people to join the community there.
Unilever is also abandoning campaign sites in favour of long-term community engagement platforms.
Cheryl Calverley, Unilever UK’s senior global manager for Axe Skin, said, “You’ll see fewer brands creating a site for one campaign and then throwing it away. Certainly we won’t do that at Unilever any more.
The shift has caused some digital media specialists to question the long-term future of campaign sites.
Jo Lyall, head of invention and digital at Mindshare, said, “The challenge is understanding what a campaign site is now and how you get everyone into the mindset of creating a continuous stream of content.”
Julie Jeancolas, digital board director at media agency Carat, said, “It’s not always cost effective to produce a site every time you launch a campaign. What we tell clients is to create something ongoing that has scope for community.”
Unilever’s Calverley said the shift in focus won’t mean less work for creative agencies, more that their output will evolve.
“The digital agencies that have a proper planning arm and think very seriously about the consumer’s journey through the digital space will be those that will benefit,” she said. “The battle is now to understand how to continue engagement with a consumer outside of a campaign site I’ve driven them too. It’s a much more complicated planning challenge.”