Monday, October 25, 2010

Your Megastores, R2-D2 and cutting affiliates out of TV campaigns

I'm a proper geek so when Currys and PC World sign Anthony Daniels to voice C-3PO and rebuild an R2-D2 for a fantastic Star Wars ad - I notice.

The ad promotes the site Your Megastores which is Star Wars themed and promotes both Currys and PC World.

Or does it?

I couldn't but help notice that Your Megastores links through to Currys pretty much all of the time. If I was the PC World brand manager, I'd be annoyed, I've been cut out.

It's not just PC World that might have cause to grumble. Both Currys and PC World have popular affiliate campaigns (especially in the run up to Christmas). Here are my Skimlinks for both: Currys is http://buyth.at/c4xuh and PC World is http://buyth.at/pa2ml. If you click you'll see the sort of tracking URL deployed by the site and which appears to be missing from the Your Megastores site to Currys.

So, what Currys and PC World are doing are taking a chunk of the brand awareness their TV campaign is producing and channeling that towards a third site, one that's outside the affiliate channel, and then directing it back to a single site. Affiliates earn no commission for linking to the YourMegastores.co.uk site.

Is this a good idea? It's a bit of a debate. I certainly don't think affiliates have the right to ride on the back of a big brand campaign - a well run affiliate campaign is one which empowers affiliates to generate the sales a brand wouldn't have otherwise have got.

However, the phrase [megastores] is an interesting one. It might well have been associated with the old Virgin megastores more than any other brand up until this year. As of the time of posting, PC World, Currys nor the YourMegastores.co.uk site rank on Google for the phrase [megastores] or even [yourmegastores]. Affiliates might have been to help the brands control the natural search space. Right now you could certainly argue that the fantastic advert isn't being that successful in funneling web traffic.

The ad's worth sharing.

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