Sunday, April 03, 2005

Guerilla e-Marketing works: BLOG away! Talk it up! Drink that coca cola

Aha! This piece TELLS IT LIKE IT IS, DAMNIT, and what is so bad about that? People used to wear sandwich boards to advertise. The technique here may be more subtle, but you just don't know when it's coming-----and it works!

[shhhhhhhhh---insider secrets! Brought to you by bloggers Wasp Jerky and The Green Lantern]

Friday, April 01, 2005

Corporate Commercials In Your Reality: Whistleblower Tells All


You're walking down a busy city street at rush hour. As you wait at the traffic lights, you notice beside you two 20-somethings. One of them has a headset on and is listening to music on an Ipod. You can't help but over hear them discussing the CD they are listening to, and how great the band is.What if I told you, while they appeared like you and I, dressed in everyday clothes, that they infact were placed there by a marketing company, to advertise a product without you even knowing you were being exposed to a commerical? If you have yet to see the jaw-dropping Canadian documentary film The Corporation, you are probably picturing me sitting at my computer in my pajamas swaying back and forth in a basement apartment wearing a tinfoil hat. But if you've had your eyes open, then you know that it is an admitted fact that this happens on a day to day basis, where corporate shilling and advertising invade our private lives, in the guise of real people in everyday reality.

Have you ever been standing in the chip isle at the grocery store, trying to decide what kind you want to buy, when a couple of people come up next to you and start talking about how good a particular brand of chips are? There is a good chance they were on a Chip company payroll. But don't take my word for it. Read some first hand testimony from a blogger and former employee of a company marketing a then up-and-coming Avril Lavigne."During my final year of college, I had an internship with a group called Hi Frequency Marketing. Hi Frequency "specializes in developing and executing unique and edgy marketing campaigns that utilize under-the-radar approaches, including our street team, online e-teams, guerrilla-style publicity and other methods of connecting directly with today’s media-savvy consumer." [this is the way to do it! Aha! ] One of my projects was working for a then-unknown Canadian songstress named Avril Lavigne. Hi Frequency came up with an ingenious, if not dishonest, backdoor approach to launch Lavigne’s career. Using guerrilla-style e-teams, Hi Frequency sent marketing reps like myself into chat rooms and onto message boards, where we would casually namedrop Avril Lavigne and her music. We acted as if we had just heard of this great new musical act, and casually suggested that others check her out. Hi Frequency also steered its reps to create dozens of fan Web sites. Of course, these sites weren’t constructed by fans at all, but rather by Web savvy marketing interns. But these "fan sites" made sure that anyone searching for Avril Lavigne would find her. Exactly how much of her career Lavigne owes to this subtle marketing blitz is probably impossible to say. But word of mouth works far better than any commercial you see on television. When you tell a friend about a good experience that you have had with a product or service, that friend is a lot more likely to use that product or service based on your recommendation. Television, radio and glossy magazine ads have tremendous power. But they don’t have as much power as word of mouth. So it’s not inconceivable that a deceptive word of mouth campaign like this one had an enormous impact on getting Lavigne into both the marketplace and mainstream pop culture.This type of marketing isn't new at all, nor is it uncommon. I saw a report on the news several months ago (back when I used to watch the news occasionally) about people being paid to go into bars and coffee shops to play a new gaming system. If the marketing plant could casually convince a bystander to play the system for a few moments, then success had been achieved.This is the advertising and marketing of the future. That’s not to say that television spots or Web ads are going to disappear. Not at all. Direct advertising works. As long as it continues to work, you’ll continue to see it. But you can also expect to see advertising and marketing take a more creative approach to brainwashing you to purchase its products. And by see it, I mean you won't see it. It will be there. But, if the advertisers and market gurus have done their job, you won't know it at all.Take product placement. Just this week McDonald’s announced that it will pay rappers $5 for each time they use the word Big Mac in a song. Fox has long been placing sponsor products on its television shows. Count all the Ford vehicles the next time you watch an episode of 24. Watch for 20-oz bottles of Coke casually sitting around the next time you watch American Idol. You often consciously don’t notice these things. But your brain does. And your brain will remind you the next time you get hungry or thirsty, or the next time you get car fever. What’s also interesting is how people have started prostituting themselves on eBay. You’ve undoubtedly heard about a couple of people being paid to have product branding tattooed on their bodies. But the ante has been upped. Recently, a woman in Knoxville placed a bid on eBay to have the auction winner change her name. So Terri’s new name is now that of a Las Vegas casino. Sadly, she only got a little over $15,000 out of the deal, which doesn’t seem like a lot to have to go through the hassle of changing your identity and explaining in your next job interview why your name is Golden Palace Casino. Maybe she’ll get a book deal."

To learn more about corporate commericals invading real life, see The Corporation



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