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?