“They live online. They buy online. They play online. Their power is growing”
“The Toadies broke up. It was four years ago when Amanda Adams was 16. She drove into Dallas from suburban Plano, Texas, on a school night to hear the final two-hour set of the local rock band, which had gone national with a hit 1995 album. ‘Tears were streaming down my face,’ she recalls, a slight Texas lilt to her voice. During the long summer that followed, Adams turned to the Web in search of solace, plugging the lead singer’s name into Google repeatedly until finally, his new band popped up. She found it on Buzz-Oven.com, a social networking Web site for Dallas teens.
Adams jumped onto the Buzz Oven network, posting an online self-portrait (dark hair tied back, tongue out, goofy eyes for the cam) and listing her favorite music so she could connect with other Toadies fans. Soon she was heading off to bi-weekly meetings at Buzz Oven’s airy loft in downtown Dallas and helping other “Buzzers” judge their favorite groups in marathon battle-of-the-bands sessions. (Buzz-0ven.com promotes the winners.) At her school, Frisco High — and at malls and concerts — she passed out free Buzz-Oven sampler CDs plastered with a large logo from Coca-Cola Inc., (KO ) which backs the site in the hope of reaching more teens on their home turf. Adams also brought dozens of friends to the concerts Buzz-Oven sponsored every few months. ‘It was cool, something I could brag about,” says Adams, now 20 and still an active Buzzer.'” – By Jessi Hempel, with Paula Lehman, BusinessWeek
More telling than the story itself are the comments from MySpace users posted on BusinessWeek’s site about the story.
How about this one:
Review: first network news, then google, now myspace. let’s saturate the entire media world so deeply with commercial interest that all information contains hidden marketing messages. the internet was one medium where people could control their exposure to bogus marketing hype. looks like that’s going the way of the dodo too now. thankfully, many of the new web 2.0 startups are hunting for models that generate revenue by other means than advertiser influence. the cycle continues…
Date reviewed: Dec 8, 2005 8:33 PM
Review: As a reluctant MySpace user I noticed the article missed a few things: 1.)Users are subjected to fake “users,” which are advertisements. These fake people will often engage in scripted e-mail conversations that may involve several letters before leading readers to the intended ad. These are extremely annoying and dramatically reduce the appeal of MySpace. No one likes to be lied to, and when companies pretend to be people (and potential friends) they are lying. I’m currently boycotting Sony indefinitely on moral grounds. A lot of my friends are too. Companies can’t afford to be as underhanded as they have been in the past. Modern users catch on an get mad. 2.) These ads are often from X-rated sites, and a casual clicker wont realize this until they go to the site. Another nightmare for parents.
Date reviewed: Dec 8, 2005 4:54 PM
What’s the point? People, regardless of how old they are, don’t want to be manipulated. Give them a good reason to like your brand and company and they’ll reward you when it comes time to buy your product or service. Manipulate them and beware.
What about the social repercussions of using a service like MySpace?
Review: This idea is ingenious. Using the Internet, specifically MySpace — a site known to be a hub of teenage activity, to promote bands is obviously the way to go. I think MySpace could become one of the premier forms of advertisement directed toward the teenage class. The one thing to consider is the problems MySpace can cause. People do need to think about their personal information that they are putting on their site.
Date reviewed: Dec 8, 2005 3:01 PM
This person not only credited MySpace as a good potential vehicle to reach them, they also went on to make an important point that was illustrated recently by a friend of mine who found her boyfriend’s MySpace with all his pictures of various sexual exploits. Needless to say, she’s not too happy with her ex-boyfriend.
Word-of-mouth-marketers (Womma.org) who have the wrong idea take note. Don’t be afraid to advertise to people honestly, don’t be ashamed to sell your product or service, get it out there and give them reasons to like you. When you went to kindergarten did you make friends by telling the other kids how cool your dad was? Not likely. How did you feel about the kids that were just nice to you? Which did you prefer, the braggarts or the people that made you feel good?