Digg is one of the first social media communities to really take sponsorships and advertising to the next level. They were the first to allow users to rate ads shown on the site, have sponsorships for events like Digg Dialoggs, and even combined banner and background campaigns targeted to specific categories or submissions.
If you happen to browse through the Health section on Digg, you will see what has to be their most complete sponsorship to date… and based on how much the users hated the Dragon Age ads that took over the page, these ads are done quite well.
I first heard of GE’s health initiative when I saw an article off Better Homes & Gardens that was shared on Twitter, but was reminded of it today when the social sharing buttons on a Digg submission had a been sponsored by GE offering to let me ‘share this Healthy idea’.
Clean, non-intrusive or annoying, the click-able banner takes you to a pretty cool landing page off HealthyMagination, which is GE’s attempt to help people become healthier ‘through the sharing of imaginative ideas and proven solutions’ by helping gather, share and discuss healthy ideas.
The landing page showcases the most recent health related content from GE’s various partners and the amount of shares the article has received.
GE’s sponsorship of Digg includes the entire Health section including the Section title, top 728×90 leaderboard, the top 300×250 sidebar ad on all Health pages as well.
I have to say I am rather impressed with GE and their use of social media, not just Digg, to promote their initiative.
Very interesting use of advertising in social media. the less obtrusive, the better and it looks like they executed this one really well. How about Toyota that had an entire subdomain on Digg.com (or so it seemed) to help with the damage control there?
Thanks for sharing Brent, always insightful!
I like to see sponsor integration that either ads to a site's functionality, or at the very least does not detract from it. I think case, I think that GE's sponsorship was well targeted, on brand, and additive to the experience of using Digg, which makes it a smart buy for GE to make, and a smart sponsorship for Digg to sell.
Grant McCracken's "Chief Culture Officer" book has some interesting things to say about brands that interact creatively with the larger culture (the culture around healthcare in this case). This is a nice example of how technological opportunity can mix with an expansive view of "brand".