Jul 16, 2007

More Sightings of "Your Brand Is Not My Friend"

The inestimable George Parker has a post on Adscam about how all those companies who set up shop on Second Life are having virtual going-out-of-business sales.

Why? Well to begin with, Parker's source, an article in the L.A. Times, notes that despite claims of 8 million users, there are only about 30,000 to 40,000 actual users on line at any given time. Most of whom are in the virtual brothels and strip clubs. (Hey, there's a reason why "one of the most frequently purchased items in Second Life is genitalia.")

Which again leads us back to the drumbeat of "Your Brand Is Not My Friend."

People come to Second Life to meet like-minded people, to play and have fun. And since your brand is not one of their friends, they don't want to play with you. Ever. Second Life is all about fantasy. It's where people go to escape from consumerism and advertising. Making it one of the last places they're going to be receptive to your messages.

Second Life, in particular, has amused me, since every brand with a digital agency-- and more than a few political candidates-- rushed to "develop a presence" on there as a way of establishing their hipster chops.

I mean literally everyone from Reebok to Starwood Hotels to John Edwards.

And rather than face more eye-rolling and "they just don't get it" sighs from the Web 2.0-niks on staff, clients and agencies have willingly gone along for the ride without ever really understanding where they were headed.


Rather than start a whole new post, the Wall Street Journal [pay site, sorry] has an article today about how TV networks are using Twitter to try and get buzz about their shows. But, as the article notes:
Marketing through Twitter -- as with any new technology -- isn't a slam dunk. Sending marketing messages on the service could alienate users who see Twitter as a way to talk to their friends
Though I'd go a step farther and say "will alienate" rather than "could." Marketers trying to infiltrate Twitter and its microblogging siblings (Jaiku, Pownce) was more or less inevitable.

PS: Props to David Burn of the always-excellent AdPulp for actually transcribing the WSJ Twitter article.

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