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Online branding. The consolidation of Google and the war against Facebook


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The consolidation of Google as a brand and the war against Facebook for the control of the cloud computing.

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Online branding. The consolidation of Google and the war against Facebook

  1. 1. <ul><li>Online branding </li></ul><ul><li>The consolidation of Google </li></ul><ul><li>and the war against Facebook </li></ul><ul><li>Carlos A. Scolari - Universitat de Vic / Universitat Pompeu Fabra </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul><ul><li> - </li></ul>
  2. 3. Branding and possible worlds <ul><li>What’s a brand? The brand is a semiotic device (Semprini) that: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Produces a discourse; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Creates a sense; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Communicates it to audiences. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The brand is an interpretative contract between the companies and the consumers: they propose a series of values and consumers accept (or not) to participate in this narrative world . </li></ul>
  3. 4. Brand-worlds <ul><li>Brands are possible worlds (Umberto Eco) that propose complex narrative worlds. These worlds contain characters, and these characters must satisfy their desires . These worlds also propose stories that attract the consumers and feed their imaginary. </li></ul><ul><li>Sometimes just one image is enough for building a universe of senses and values. </li></ul><ul><li>Possible worlds always are: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Not completed : the enunciator can never tell the whole story. The reader must complete it! </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Consistent : we’ll never see the Marlboro’s cowboy with black tie or red shoes. </li></ul></ul>
  4. 5. The Marlboro world <ul><li>World founded on a series of values (freedom, man, rural, etc.) that create a difference with other worlds (brands based on urban, feminine or funny values). </li></ul><ul><li>Narrative level (Propp) : cowboy (Subject-hero) works very hard and smokes a Marlboro when the work is finished (Object). </li></ul><ul><li>These values express in different texts and supports . They may be also not be present in the final text. </li></ul><ul><li>The brand-worlds propose different narrative programs (Greimas) to their subjects (and to their consumers). </li></ul>
  5. 18. Online branding <ul><li>And what about the online brands ? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>¿How can a narrative world be built in an interactive environment? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>¿Do the narrative structures change when applied to interactive environments? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>More than manipulating images or verbal discourses, online brands have focused on the interactive experience of their users . </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;Every time a user successes developing a task in a website, the reputation of the brand increases. When the user is frustrated, the reputation of the brand decreases.&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>McGovern, 2004 </li></ul>
  6. 19. Online branding <ul><li>In digital media the interaction –the interactive experience of the user- is a basic component of the hypermedia mix and a basic device for the construction of a brand. </li></ul><ul><li>Companies like Facebook, Google, Amazon or eBay do not focus on the graphic or verbal elements of the discourse: they concentrate in the experience of their users. </li></ul><ul><li>Like traditional brands, eBrands also propose narrative programs to their subjects (and to their users). </li></ul><ul><li>Let’s see the world of Google. </li></ul>
  7. 24. The world of Google <ul><li>To search information in Google is a ”simple, honest and objective” experience. </li></ul><ul><li>World based on: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>values (simplicity, speed) that introduce a difference with other services (traditional portals like Yahoo) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>oppositions ( centrifugal/centripetal ). </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Narrative level : the user (Subject) is searching for information and manipulates an interface (Propp’s magical instrument) to accomplish the task (Object). </li></ul><ul><li>The hero is not a character: the user is the hero ! </li></ul>
  8. 28. The world of Google: logotype <ul><li>Graphic elements are in a secondary place: Google can modify the logotype everyday and nobody cares… The symbolic capital of the brand is not affect (Can we do the same with Coca-Cola or Apple?). </li></ul><ul><li>Where’s the symbolic capital of the Google brand: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The simplicity of the interface </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The speed of the searching technology </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The “democratic” output of the Page Rank system. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>What Google users see (the logotype) is not as important as what they feel, that “simple, honest and objective” search of information. </li></ul>
  9. 30. The world of Google: the words <ul><li>Google’s narrative world has developed a semantic universe around it called the &quot; googlossary &quot;: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>- Googolopoly : Google’s strategy for the domination of the web </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>- Kilogoogle : 1.000 Google hits </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>- Google Dance : upgrade of the index every 20/30 days </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>- Google Doodle : logotype transformations </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The value of a brand … ¿Is it connected to the extension of the semantic universe that it generates? </li></ul>
  10. 32. The world of Google: the paratexts <ul><li>Hundreds of websites and blogs are dedicated to Google (with or against Google). They talk about Google like paratextual parasites . </li></ul><ul><li>This textual network participates in the construction of the narrative world of Google. This worlds are always incomplete because the enunciator can never tell the whole story (the rest is in the hands of the users). </li></ul><ul><li>The value of a brand … ¿Can it be measured analysing the paratextual blogs and websites grow around it ? </li></ul>But…
  12. 38. Google versus Facebook <ul><li>Google </li></ul><ul><li>Centrifugal website </li></ul><ul><li>NO-place (Augé) </li></ul><ul><li>Information is visible (transparency) </li></ul><ul><li>They know SOMETHING about us </li></ul><ul><li>Facebook </li></ul><ul><li>Centripetal website </li></ul><ul><li>THE place (OS of the digital natives) </li></ul><ul><li>Information is no visible for Google (walled-garden) </li></ul><ul><li>They know A LOT about us. </li></ul>If in the ‘80 the conflict was between interfaces ( Windows versus Mac ), and in the ‘90 it was between the browsers ( Netscape versus Explorer ), now there’s a war for the control of the cloud computing .
  13. 39. The reaction of Google… Google Wave
  14. 40. The reaction of Google… Google Docs
  15. 41. The war has just started…
  16. 42. The war has just started… BREAKING NEWS AGREEMENT GOOGLE-FACEBOOK!!!
  17. 43. The war has just started… Real-time search
  18. 44. The war has just started… Real-time search
  19. 45. Conclusions…. ? Cancanier! Pédant! M'as-tu-vu! Babillard!
  20. 46. Biblio <ul><li>Scolari, C. (2008a). Online brands. Branding, possible worlds and interactive grammars. Semiotica. 169(1/4), 143–162. </li></ul><ul><li>Vogelstein, F. (2007) Great Wall of Facebook: The Social Network's Plan to Dominate the Internet — and Keep Google Out. Wired Magazine: 17.07 - Online: facebookwall </li></ul>
  21. 47. Gracias! facebook: carlos.scolari [email_address] twitter: cscolari