Avenue A | Razorfish Unveils New Brand Gene Scoreboard and Top 10 Digital Brands at Cannes International Advertising Festival

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Avenue A | Razorfish, one of the largest digital marketing companies in the world, today unveiled a proprietary Brand Gene Scoreboard to assess the effectiveness of digital brands--along with its list of the top digital brands--at the 55th Annual Cannes International Advertising Festival.

Whether you're helping your clients sell more shampoo or sneakers or credit cards, if your work scores well using the Brand Gene Scoreboard, chances are you've hatched a truly digital brand experience

Avenue A | Razorfish, one of the largest digital marketing companies in the world, today unveiled a proprietary Brand Gene Scoreboard to assess the effectiveness of digital brands--along with its list of the top digital brands--at the 55th Annual Cannes International Advertising Festival.

The scoreboard and top 10 digital brands--including Apple, Flickr, Google, Netflix and YouTube--were discussed in a presentation, "Digital Darwinism," delivered at the Palais des Festivals by Joe Crump, an Avenue A| Razorfish vice president of strategy and planning.

Avenue A | Razorfish researched the seven attributes of successful digital brands and created the Brand Gene Scoreboard because the market lacks an effective way to measure how well a brand can take advantage of the interactive and social nature of digital technologies.

In discussing the "survival of the fittest" nature of the digital world, Crump noted a University of Carleton (Ontario) study concluding that it takes only 50 milliseconds for people to form their impressions about brands' credibility, usability and visual appeal--along with purchase intent--upon visiting a website home page.

"Digital is the most ruthlessly Darwinian medium in history--a channel demanding brands to innovate or die at the hands of more nimble competitors," Crump said. "Within the user-center world of Web 2.0, it's survival of the fittest. That's why any brand that wants to put digital at the core of its success needs a way to measure the effectiveness of a digital brand."

He identified the seven attributes* (using the Avenue A | Razorfish Digital Gene Scoreboard) as follows:
1. Fresh--does the brand convey something unexpected in its digital home?
2. Authentic--does the brand look and feel comfortable there?
3. Adaptive--does the brand respond to people's digital involvement?
4. Relevant--are the digital messages and content useful and appealing to the people you are trying to reach?
5. Transformative--does the site/ campaign raise people's expectations of the brand and digital spaces generally?
6. Social--Is the digital content worth borrowing, sharing or contributing to?
7. Immersive--do people lose track of time in the brand's digital home?

Using the scoreboard and a five-point scale*, a team of 800 Avenue A | Razorfish employees identified the top 10 digital brands:
1. Google (4.2)
2. Apple (4.0)
3. YouTube (3.9)
4. Flickr (3.7)
5. Netflix (3.64)
6. Nike (3.6)
6. eBay (3.5)
8. IKEA (3.4)
9. Coca-Cola (3.3)
10.Mercedes (3.3)

The Avenue A | Razorfish list varied significantly from Interbrand's list of the best brands:
1. Coca-Cola (3.3 using the Brand Gene Scoreboard)
2. Mercedes (3.3 using the Brand Gene Scoreboard)
3. GE (3.1 using the Brand Gene Scoreboard)
4. Nokia (3.0 using the Brand Gene Scoreboard)
5. Microsoft (2.9 using the Brand Gene Scoreboard)

Brands 6-10 on the Interbrand list (IBM, Disney, McDonald's, Toyota and Intel) all scored 2.7** or below on the Brand Gene Scoreboard.

"Whether you're helping your clients sell more shampoo or sneakers or credit cards, if your work scores well using the Brand Gene Scoreboard, chances are you've hatched a truly digital brand experience," Crump said. "If your scores are low, I would bet there's room to push the experience to a more interesting place."

Crump also called on his audience to think about their craft in a new way: "As marketers, we need to rethink the process of how we solve problems for our clients. We need to conceive new measurement tools for the digital environment. And, most importantly, we need to make our products great. By making things better, or easier, or more useful for people, we create our own advertising. Because the only advertising that works is for products we are drawn to anyway. The lesson is that, as an industry, we have to stop thinking about things like traditional advertising people. We need to start thinking like designers, engineers, architects and the like. It's all about the right mix of logic and magic."

*Crump's presentation and the Digital Gene Scoreboard can be found on the "Avenue A | Razorfish in Cannes" Facebook page. Simply join the community for access.

** On the Avenue A | Razorfish 5-point scale, 1 is failure, 2 is below average, 3 is average, 4 is above average, and 5 is best in class.

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