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Monday, December 11, 2006

Fake Grass Roots Isn't Viral Marketing

Gamers across Web 2.0 are shaking angry fists at the latest alleged viral marketing campaign orchestrated by Sony. Piggybacking the YouTube bonanza, the company has hired "consumer activation" firm Zipatoni to create a false video-and-blogging approach to generate interest in their flagging PlayStation Portable handheld machine. The video/blog/ads featured people portending to be authentic PSP fans creating messages of love/want for the console, but were quickly uncovered by's dedicated base as superficial facades shielding mouthpieces for the corporation.

In the past, Sony's award-winning PlayStation brand ads were celebrated for their creativity and innovation. Their recent campaigns, including an ill-advised series of graffiti art, suggests that they are having difficulty getting a handle on the bottom-up, community driven opportunities made possible with social software.
-- New Sony viral marketing ploy angers consumers

Here's a friendly tip to wannabee ilovebee's: don't be a paid schill. Schills are those people con men pay to hang out in the audience so that someone can agree with their con. There are few things more annoying to net savvy crowds than learning that someone is really just a walking advertisement. I'm not saying that every viral ad needs a "Paid For By The Advancement Of PlayStation 3 Sales", I'm saying if you're going to represent things which actually aren't what they seem ... it's better that it be a sentient AI trapped on someone's website rather than someone paid to act like they know what a PSP looks like.

By comparison Three Speech is just ... straight up grass roots. Yeah, it's basically just a corporate paid fanboy site ... but at least you know that's what it is.

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