Friday, 23 November 2007

Wanted: Social Media Manipulators

Some things make me want to lose my mind as someone who works in digital communications. Last week I got a bit pissy in the comments on this Marketing Pilgrim post "How To Create User Generated Link Bait" and today i read the offensive post on Techcrunch talking about how to go Viral with your Video.

From my comments on Pilgrim here is my take:

Wanted: Social Media Manipulator

qualities desires:

- supreme liar (that includes lying to oneself)
- ability to manufacture relationships based on false premise
- complete lack of integrity masked in big comfy blanket known as marketing creativity"

Look people, successful marketing doesn't make it successful marketing. Stats are misleading. You want to take the chance that it doesn't get out that you participated in this type of BS? And what is that going to do for your brand. How is that going to build trust in a participation economy exactly?

I know chances are you won’t get caught. Just remind yourself that that's probably what all those fine folks in Heidi Fleiss' little black book thought too.


Ben said...

Thanks, Leigh,

This is why I always switch off any cool video that turns out to be an ad. Ads are inherently dishonest and belittling to those who watch them.

Ads are why I can't stand TV. Give me a good book and some glogg any day. :)

Leigh said...

Your welcome Ben...
I will have to admit though, that I like a really well done ad. But it's those pretend make it "viral" one's that i have no time for....


Mark said...

Well, I can think of "All I want for Christmas is a PSP" that was outed as a Sony viral site within a couple of weeks, "RV'ing across America" outing Wal-Mart within a week or so, "Wig-out" from Sunsilk (I think it was Sunsilk hair products) that was great as a viral fun-fair but bombed as the lead-in to product marketing. Viral is as viral does. Or, he who lives by the virus, dies by the virus. Or something like that.

What's fascinating (in a postmodern sense) about the TechCrunch post is how this character is likely arranging the same sort of viral coverage for his business as he promotes for his supposed clients, through the supposedly outraged comment thread. The more outrageous and controversial the material, the more people will respond, and the more "viral" it becomes. Old story. And, old broadcast mentality. The issue is not that hundreds of thousands of people find you - rather, you want the few who are looking specifically for YOU but don't know you yet, to find you.

Leigh said...

Very good points Mark - although as far as this growing this guys business, i think it might in the online casino category but big brands are going to have to be doubly suspicious now that is he not only ‘outted’ as a sketchy marketer, but also an egomaniac self promoter (bc you know there are so few of those in the blogosphere)....

Douglas Walker said...

On days like these, I despair for this industry. I had the same reaction as you Leigh on reading that.

When the hell are the clients of these services (whom I believe are almost entirely to blame) going to stop asking "how many viewed this?" and instead ask "who viewed this?"

Ben said...

Leigh, what do you mean by a really well done ad?

I find it condescending to be advertised at. The par for the course is to use an emotional appeal to leverage a sucker from his money.

Leigh said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Leigh said...

I know what you're saying Ben but whether we like it or not, advertising has become as much a part of our culture as anything else. And as with anything, there are the good ones and the bad ones. The bad (majority) condescend. The good, don't.

Go here as they have what i consider some pretty smart ads (ok i'll bet you hate all of them but it's worth a go)

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