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Friday, May 06, 2005

Yes, I am a
commercial whore.

There's nothing wrong with making a buck (or two).
If you've noticed the growing list of banners down the right-han side of this page, you may have correctly assumed that I am a fan of webcomics. As such, I had an idea this morning while reading Jeph Jacques' QuestionableContent strip. The idea was sparked by the fact the main character (Marten) has posters of his favorite bands adorning the walls of his apartment.

Here's the idea --

Why not make the album art an interactive 'click-to-buy' link?

For those new to Questionable Content, much of the story revolves around coffee shop-type conversations about life, love, and music. Many of his episodes deal with the music of his favorite bands -- since he's already recommending music, why not link to music, books, products, etc. by using the background images to link to affiliate programs?

Jeph maintains the site through donations and profits made by selling his t-shirt creations. My idea is basically a plan for product placement like they do in films, but this idea should be MORE successful, because (unlike films) viewers of online comics have the ability to immediately buy a featured product. They don't have to leave a movie and remember the song they heard or the style of shirt the actor wore in the first 30-minutes of the movie.

Want to see the the movie Marten and Faye are talking about?
Click on the DVD case in the video store background and buy it from Amazon.

Like the music review or album art you see in Marten's apartment?
Click the wall-art and download the single from iTunes.

Think the shirt design Dora is wearing would look good on you?
Click the cartoon version and link directly to the QuestionableContent store.

The more people see ads, the more they become immune to their presence. Placing advertising in context with the content of whatever you're viewing simply makes sense. Those items (album covers, shirts, etc.) were already going to be IN the toon anyway -- I'm just giving you a way to make them more profitably interact with your visitors. Jeph's daily readers are already interested in buying his shirts and hearing his music choices -- the contextual links simply make them easier to purchase.

I think this could be a profitable idea for most any online comic.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Jim Allen, The Big Idea Coach; said...

Don--

Great idea, man! I'll be interested in seeing how many artists follow up with this idea.

I know I've seen references in many comics and wondered about them... being able to click through would be interesting and profitable (plus it seems the perfect extension of hyperlinking).

The next big thing will be to create a way to do the same thing in online VIDEO. --I mean, if my TIVO can have a "click for more info" icon pop up in certain shows or "click to record" during particular commercials, there has to be some easy way of doing something similar in video.

Cool, BIG idea dude!

6:29 PM  
Blogger Don The Idea Guy; said...

Video is the ultimat, but they've been talking about it for YEARS (and not doing much else about it!) Cable is missing a HUGE opportunity.

Once again it is up to the early adopters and "fringe" creatives to roll it out and show the world you can make a buck off the idea. I think it's a PERFECT idea for the "webtoonists" -- I hope they give it a whirl!

Thanks for your comments...
~D.

6:36 PM  

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DON the IDEA GUY

The Idea Department | PO Box 26392 | Columbus, OH 43226 | Phone/Fax (614) 340-7910
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