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Tuesday, August 19, 2008

MySpace: Slap Them in the Face with Your Brand Message

I finally found time to jump into the latest issue of Fast Company. I had been really looking forward to reading the cover-story about MySpace.

Cruising along through the fairly entertaining article, I jumped out of my seat and shouted, "*%# %^#@#+," when I read the following passage:

In June, for example, Anderson and DeWolfe [MySpace execs] created an aggressive new "takeover" feature on their home page, which gets some 45 million views a day -- a shiny bit of advertainment offering marketers a "more creative palette" with which to burn their messages into users' skulls. "You can own the page, whether you're McDonald's, Taco Bell, or Sony with Hancock [the recent Will Smith vehicle]," says Berman. "Our users look at you as content, while you're slapping them in the face with this incredible brand message."

What?!?! What does the language say about MySpace's marketing philosophy?

Burn your messages into my skull? Slap me in the face with your incredible brand message?

Please! That's just wrong on so many levels. It wreaks of Web 1.0. It smacks of one-way communication and broadcasting the advertising message. MySpace, like Facebook and many of the great new Web 2.0 social media platforms, is all about the conversation. It's two-way, not one-way. Not to mention that the language illustrates a lack of respect for the visitor (customer).

Egad! No wonder MySpace is getting dusted by Facebook in terms of growth.

"For all the bravado and new ideas, MySpace still has significant challenges. Foremost among them is the relentlessly evolving Facebook, whose most recent comScore numbers show it widening the gap on MySpace to nearly 10 million worldwide visitors in May -- 124 million for Facebook versus MySpace's 115 million."

It appears that for MySpace it's all about the advertiser and ad revenues--and not all about the user experience (i.e., taking care of the customer). Please join in and add your perspective. Am I over-reacting here?

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5 Comments:

Blogger Jeff said...

So it seems MySpace is the new AOL - obnoxiously chasing ad dollars at the expense of users. As with AOL, this will spike revenue in the short term and erode their end user base over the long term.

What's ad is that they've not learned anything from Google re: targeting and delivering relevant value to both advertisers and users.

2:54 PM

 
Blogger Skip Lineberg said...

Jeff-

With your many years of experience in the IT and communications world, your perspective really adds an important dimension to this discussion. Thanks so much! We really appreciate you for being part of this online community of marketing genius.

Skip

8:34 AM

 
Anonymous rebecca said...

It is really sad that they think users are so stupid that they don't see the difference between advertising and content.

I've seen some really brilliant Web 2.0 advertising that gave the consumers something in return. For example, Office Max had a neat little online application where you could upload your photo and it would stick your face on a dancing elf you could send to your friends. It was hilariously funny and people were willing to send what was, for the most part, an add for Office Max to their friends because the content was really amusing! And that site was so popular, they ended up having to shut it down in mid-January (instead of the end of January, as had been planned) because there were just too many hits.

I don't think people will feel the same way about having advertising "burned into their skulls" at Myspace. People tolerate it for a while just to network with their friends, but I think that, unless Myspace finds away to balance content with advertising, people will beat feet on over to Facebook, or maybe another social networking site to connect with friends.

8:28 AM

 
Blogger Skip Lineberg said...

Rebecca,

It is sad, indeed! Their downfall cannot be far off.

Now, about that Office Max applet, I need to go check that out.

Thanks for bringing your always insightful perspective to the discussion. And thanks for being such a vital part of the marketing genius community. You rock!

Skip

11:35 AM

 
Blogger Skip Lineberg said...

Rebecca,

It is sad, indeed! Their downfall cannot be far off.

Now, about that Office Max applet, I need to go check that out.

Thanks for bringing your always insightful perspective to the discussion. And thanks for being such a vital part of the marketing genius community. You rock!

Skip

11:35 AM

 

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