Posted May 23, 2006 1:37 pm by with 0 comments

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Can it be true? Online marketers are starting to see the benefits in advertising “the old way”? According to the WSJ, many staunch supporters of online advertising are starting to see the benefits of offline ads too.

“The big brands have stepped into this market in a big way, and we can’t afford to play that game,” says Shmuel Gniwisch, chief executive of online jewelry retailer Inc., which now spends roughly 20% of its advertising budget offline, up from nothing two years ago.

The company has stopped purchasing some pricey keywords like “jewelry” and “diamond” and is working to develop a home-shopping television program and aggressively to court free product placements on hit shows like ABC’s “Desperate Housewives” instead.

1-800-Flowers, Netflix and Blue Nile are other companies that have indicated a switch of some marketing dollars to offline. I wonder if this is partly driven by the need or desire to start branding themselves. Each of the aforementioned have strong online brands, but not so much in the offline world.