P & G Launches Character Blog, Purists Freak, Reality to Set In
Defending the recently launched Procter & Gamble character blog, Where the Sparkles Girls Get Real, a blog promoting Secret Sparkle Body Sprays, P & G blogger writes the blog "is meant to be just a fun little promotion where the characters on our bottles are played out. This isn't a blog that is meant to be a way for Secret to talk with our consumers about their likes/dislikes. Instead, it is meant to be a promotional tool where consumers (teens in particular) can learn about the Body Spray scents and interact with the characters. It's just meant to be fun. Why can't certain bloggers realize this?"
Conversely, AdPulp's David Burn isn't so hot on the idea of branded character blogs writing, "Another fake blog has reared its hideous head. This time P+G is the culprit. I understand, and can even sympathize with clients wanting to jump on the blog bandwagon. But please, will someone from the agency sector please help these clueless marketers do it right? Writing tripe is not doing it right."
I'm in the middle on this one, having commented earlier on ads in RSS feeds saying, to the effect, where there are people, there will be advertising. Blogging is a new medium emerging from the technorati and expanding to the general public. As that happens, marketers are destined to glom on and experiment with the medium stirring up dust and tainting the medium in the eyes of purists (not David, all those other blogging geeks). This will go on until both sides realize the fight is pointless. Marketers, knowing people use the medium, will increasingly use it as an advertising channel. The Technorati, which we dearly need to counteract marketing insanity, will simply invent the next new thing. As blogs did, that new medium will remain ad free until people, followed by marketers discover it. It's a cycle which will never end.
It's funny to be lumped in with the blogging purists. I've been working on getting clients to adopt blogging for a couple of years now, much to the chagrin of certain Puritans.
For me, it's not about fake blogs being evil. It's about the marketing establishment bringing their same old lame-ass attitudes toward the customer to a medium that isn't going to stand for it.
Dovid...I so didn't mean you when I wrote that but now it looks like I did. Sorry. I meant like...oh...the Dave Winers of the world. I know you're all good:-)
And I completely agree with you on the lame ass attitude thing.
Thanks Steve. No worries.
Old idea. I remember 180 Amsterdam had a live blog about 3 years ago for Dr Pepper in Europe.
Full disclosure before I give my comment: I am a marketer and I blog. Now to the point: we need to be very careful about nomenclature -- IMO we need to reserve the term "Fake blog" for blogs where there is an intent to deceive, whether developed by Madison Avenue or an individual. As far as character blogs, we need to separate the form from the content. Nothing inherently wrong with the idea of a character or fictional blog. Its audience will decide whether it is lame, or not. For example, I love Manolo the shoe blogger, I am the intended audience and I *have* purchased a pair of shoes as a result. Home run.
So a bunch of creatives decided to jump on the blog bandwagon and execute a creative brief in that format. Big friggin' deal.
That's like saying advergaming has disgraced the video game industry.
It's actually pretty well executed. Almost an homage to blogging. Even the "sponsored links" are actually ads for other Secret promotions.
6 months from now this will have run its course and too many other advertisers will have tried the same thing. (I'm sure this site is all the buzz at the big CPG companies.) Then you'll never have to worry about another major company trying the same thing.
Wait until you see what they do to podcasting...
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