Tuesday, September 12, 2006


Almost anything you read about marketing to the 18-29 year old crowd will tell you that one thing is for sure: they detest hype. Now, it causes me to wonder - Is hype in the eye of the beholder?

One of the advertising buzzwords right now is viral marketing. Viral marketing is like starting a rumor. You judge your success by how much it spreads and how much excitement it causes. Viral marketing does not have a direct call to action. Several years ago, a group of independent film makers caused a stir with a website that purported to show a group of teens being chased and killed by an unknown entity. Turns out, it was pretty much the first viral marketing project, and it made The Blair Witch Project a lot of money.

Lately, with the increased interest in the MySpace and YouTube websites, a certain video journal has developed a following with folks now wondering - Is It Real? or Is It An Act? Could it be another viral marketing scheme, or a bright, creative someone who has discovered an attention-getting device beyond their wildest dreams? After all, there have already been a couple of YouTube videographers who have landed development deals with the networks.

Whichever way the internet cookie crumbles, I have to wonder if that age group feels disillusioned when these online discoveries turn out to be hype for a movie, website, product or whatever. Is all hype still hype? Or are we as marketers and advertisers crying wolf ?

--Thanks for reading

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