Blogs are known for their brutal honesty, independence of spirit and genuine emotional conviction. None of these attributes play much of a role in corporate advertising, of course, but they are values that corporate advertisers strive to imitate — and, where possible, co-opt.

So it wasn’t all that shocking when Nike launched a blog this June. As a brand, Nike is youthful and forward-looking, and blogs are a great way to reach the young, hip and carefully shod — those who bristle when products get pitched at them but enjoy discovering cool new things on their own. Nike’s blogo ad, titled ”Art of Speed,” ran for 20 days, posting short films, speed-related trivia, inspirational athlete stories and so forth.

So far so good, until October saw a blog launched by . . . General Motors. Not your father’s Oldsmobile, indeed. Why would an earnest corporate dinosaur like G.M. get involved with an upstart medium like the blog? It’s clearly blogging by car geeks, for car geeks. But it turns out that geek to geek, informal and honest, is a pretty good model for the blogo ad.

From a marketing perspective, blogs make perfect sense. They are cheap to produce, immersive and interactive. It’s easy to measure their readership and response rates. For small companies, blogs are a quick and dirty promotional tool that cuts out the middleman; for big companies, blogs are a tool of humanization — an informal, chatty, down-to-earth voice amid the din of bland corporate-speak.

”It’s a dream come true,” says Bob Cargill, senior creative director for Yellowfin Direct Marketing. ”You can embed yourself smack-dab in the middle of your customers, form an ongoing relationship with them and hear exactly what they think of your brand.”

Source: NY Times

Fascinating.

And why does Bloggers spellcheck tool not contain the word “blog”?