Monday, April 23, 2007

Advertisers are the fleas on a social networking dog's back

Well, this has got to be the dumbest title I've ever come up with for a blog post.

However, even if that is the case, I still have some unresolved issues with these social networks. Maybe I should get out more, maybe I should find a new passion. But, sometimes it's a good service, at other times it's just too in your face.

Example of good:- you can reconnect with someone you've lost contact with in a way that is really unobtrusive. It's good because if the person doesn't really like you that much and there is a reason they lost contact with you, they can just ignore you once you've been accepted. The rejectee just thinks the rejector is busy or doesn't really use the site that much and all parties are in the clear and guilt free.

Note that the key word above was unobtrusive. This is important, because advertisers who have hopped on this ride have no idea what the word means. Nor do they know what meaningful and valued is either. This is an example of bad.

When mySpace first started and The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou got on board that was cool. It was original, it was clever and it was entertaining. It also gave information about the movie that viewers could utilise in a practical way. This is also important.

Second Life has also succumbed to pressure. I don't know who else is on there. But, it's now old hat, it's stale and everyone has seen it all before.

Now the mySpace profile is old hat and costs a shit load. If you are going to get up there and do it, don't do one of these. I don't know what you want to achieve. I don't know what you want me to do with it. I'm not a compulsive competition enterer. If I want something I'll just buy it, and frankly so will anyone tapped into the disposable income demographic that is, well, basically your target.

This is an example of something good. I think one of my friends on Ning made this. It goes above and beyond the current use of mySpace. Typical think outside the square type stuff. Plus it has cool stuff you can do. Being in the travel category it's a natural fit to the nature of the industry- you can book through it. Clever stuff. Ingenuitive.

Someone asked me today about what I thought of a brand going on mySpace. Is it worth the mula? Quite frankly, no. Unless you tap into an existing base. That Wrangler profile only has around 500 friends. Not a very good figure for a campaign that's been running for a good few weeks.

Then once you find an existing base and tap into it- get them to promote your product in some way through their profile. It's the next stage in the process, not as creative as the gnome, but at least it uses the space in a smart way with a pre existing user base.

I just don't understand why people want to connect with a brand's myspace. It just doesn't compute on my end.

People have less and less time on a daily basis. If they connect it will be with their mates for the 5 or 10 minute or hour interval they have online. I don't why they would connect with a brand. Maybe the real brand, in real life, but certainly not something virtual (I see where Second Life comes in there, having a drink of Cola or whatever, but it's getting tired, real tired).

It's just getting on the band wagon. It's being in the space your competitor is just to be seen. You lose value, you waste cash and you become unoriginal. I say bin it all. Think what's best for you and your consumer. Screw the bandwagon.

1 comment:

Eb said...

I must disagree Wisey... Yes you make some valid points, but at this stage in the game, brands are expected, at the very least, to have a MySpace page (regardless if it's crap). People want a MySpace for the brands that they buy into because, like it or not, this is a way for them to be able to connect directly with it. It helps them learn a bit more about the brand and find more ways to resonate with it. There are the media savvy social networking haters like yourself, and then there is the average Joe Schmoe who loves that shit.