I am an avid student of marketing and new technologies. In the classic ‘diffusion of innovation’ theory’s parlance, I fall right there in the “early adopters” category. I test any new website or technology I can get my hands on. Thus I could not resist when I came across this new start-up called “bre.ad”. I think it is a powerful utility to demonstrate our support to a cause or to a brand. Read on to know more and let me know what you think.

“Brand is occupying real estate in the consumers’ mind” said our Professor during the Strategic Brand Management. Amid growing competition to capture your limited attention, eyeballs and mind share, companies are forced to innovate ways in which they can win the game.

On the other hand, a technical restriction of 140 characters by Twitter and a need to share short and sweet hyperlinks or the URLs have given birth to various url shorteners, bit.ly being a prominent one.

“Take two ideas and put them together to make one new idea. After all what is a Snuggie but the mutation of a blanket and a robe”, said Jim Kukral an Internet marketing expert in his book “Attention! This book will make you money”. A new start-up company bre.ad has set out to achieve exactly that. It provides an url shortener, but also, just for 5 seconds before you actually see the intended site, bre.ad shows a billboard kind of display of a brand or cause you love. This billboard is known as “toast page” and a short recommendation message you write on it is known as “toast”. If you like the toast, you can “toast” it too. Informatively named ! More details about how it all works and terminologies can be found here.

Although this is designed to support cause or similar motives, there is no reason this can not turn into self-promotion. I believe this is a great opportunity for marketers to get the undivided attention of the users for few seconds, rather than a small advert on a corner (which I never bother to look at). Given how crucial it is to get undivided attention, some websites (for eg PC World) already employ such tactics when users visit the website. But with bre.ad, that power is with the users and small businesses. I feel this is a powerful mechanism to remind the brand every now and then while spreading the short links. This especially helps when your followers on twitter share the links you pass on (RT), not only the original message but your brand is also carried and spread forward.

To see it in action, here is a shameless plug to my linked in profile : http://bre.ad/05xexd

2 thoughts on “bread and toast

  1. Is this really little more than the re-invention of the irritating pop-up ad in a way that will get past pop-up blockers? This couldn't really be more intrusive or irritating if it tried (okay, maybe some annoying music could make it worse) – http://is.gd/baking

    1. Well, I think the difference is that, this is coming from your friends or network – someone whom you trust. Users also have a choice to skip the page any instant. Also, the toast pages are clean, unlike the ads, and hence I did not find that intrusive.