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Viral marketing: Youtube's shadowy profit?

QinguQingu Registered User regular
edited January 2007 in Debate and/or Discourse
Viral market has been a hot topic in the news recently. So has Youtube: both its popularity and the enduring mystery of just how the fuck does Google think it's going to make a profit off of it worth more than 1.6 billion dollars. Could they be connected? Perhaps! Let's try to connect the dots.

Lonelygirl. Miaarose. These are, apparently, two examples girls who paid a PR firm money to make them famous. The PR firms specialize in viral marketing. They use bots to make these girls' videos appear more popular than they are. They make fake myspace pages and fake supportive comments on the pages ("Love your show!"). They even try to make Wikipedia promotional pages. In miaaroses's case, "miaarose" is apparently the name of a popular porn star, so porn-hungry fellows searching for that name will find this girl's video instead.

The payoff, for the PR firms clients (the girls) is that they genuinely get name recognition. They get famous. Even if it's bad publicity. If you think about it, the image that PR firms manufacture for Britney Spears and other vapid celebrities is JUST as full of bullshit and lies—but they go through traditional advertising and publicity channels (namely network TV).

For the PR firms, this seems like a great way to make a profit. Viral marketing may be the way of the future, after all. Looking back on the history of advertisement, isn't the traditional "30-second ad splitting up TV shows" pretty old fashioned? Who actually pays attention to those ads anyway? A lot of people have wised up. Worse, a lot of people have gotten Tivos and shit, which allow you to skip ads altogether. Same goes with newspapers and magazines (most of which you can read for free or cheap on the web). So it's very possible that, dollar for dollar—traditional ads are expensive—viral marketing is significantly MORE profitable than traditional advertising.

HOWEVER, what is the great danger for PR firms? Well, for starters, the limits of technology. They apparently use a lot of bots. Both lonelygirl and miaarose used bots to make their videos way more popular than they were. What would happen if these bots were discovered and blocked? Google certainly has an interest in blocking the bots, because (1) they slow down their servers, and (2) they are quite simply dishonest, harming their site's credibility as a democratic guage of popularity and culture.

But now for the weird part ... why isn't Google doing more to prevent viral marketing on Youtube? A cursory examination leads me to the conclusion that it's pretty prevalent on Youtube. Why the slow feet, Google? Why aren't they doing more to prevent the bots and, more generally, deceptive, greedy marketing?

What if Google actually accepts money directly from viral marketing PR firms, in exchange for allowing them to do their dirty little tricks?

Youtube cost a million a month in bandwidth to operate. More than that now, probably, as it gets more popular. Yes, they make some money from banner ads. Yes, they make some money from Adsense (though Google just discontinued that, which seems awfully mysterious). But—Youtube made no profit. Google bought them for 1.65 BILLION dollars. How the fuck did Google think they were going to turn that around?

I think the answer must have something to do with viral marketing. I think Google, being wise and future-looking neophytes as they are, have predicted that viral marketing is going to replace traditional ad-based marketing—or even decided that they will themselves engender the revolution for business purposes (brand new market!). I think they have already started to take kickbacks--or rather, the equivalent of "selling advertising space," to PR firms for people like Lonelygirl and miaarose. The PR firms pay Google money—probably less than what it would cost for a traditional ad spot. In exchange, Google promises to tolerate their subterfuges, and maybe, to a certain extent, some of their bot technology and exploititive use of porn names (and underage girls dressing in skimpy clothes, acting innocent on camera, obviously appealing to the exact same marketing demographic that would search for porn names in the first place—also sketchy). Google promises to tolerate all this shit in exchange for kickbacks from PR firms. Google sacrifices their bandwidth in the same way that a TV channel sacrifices their air time. But in a way, this is almost fairer—maybe not "fairier," but superficially more pleasant—to the viewers (us) than traditional advertising. On TV, our program is interrupted every 7 minutes and we're bombarded by 3 minutes of advertising. On youtube, there are no intrusive ads, but instead their are deceptive media campaigns that draw our attention towards videos that we would not normally be drawn to.

Google wins by finally getting a new stream of revenue (from the PR firms). PR firms win by paying a small amount for advertising (kickback to Google, and viral marketing is very very cheap). PR firms clients win because they genuinely get popular. Lonelygirl was an internet phenomenon. Everyone wondered about it. Miaarose was mentioned in Rolling Stone—well, her cover being blown was. You might think the clients will just get disappointed because their popularity is based on fake or bad publicity, and when the cover is blown they become scorned. But do the kind of people who pay money to advertisers for self-promotion care? I certainly don't think so, they're selling their innocence and a fake image for getting a record deal or whatever, they know exactly what they're doing.

I think we are on the cusp of the future of advertising. For better, or for worse. Honestly, I'm not sure which one it is.

Qingu on

Posts

  • IShallRiseAgainIShallRiseAgain Registered User
    edited January 2007
    sounds like you need this
    I highly doubt that google accepts money from viral videos. I think Youtube is just the perfect place to post them. To me this sounds like another lame conspiracy theory.

    I also highly doubt viral ads will replace normal ads, because viral ads are dependant on the fact that they are a mystery and interesting to find. If every company has a lame viral ad, then half of them won't be solved and no one will ever find out about the companies awesome products. I think they will only be used for big releases and not that often. Besides, I imagine viral ad campaigns aren't exactly cheap and with the risk of no one getting interested, it would be too big of a risk.

    IShallRiseAgain on
    Alador239.png
  • OboroOboro __BANNED USERS
    edited January 2007
    Why would Google want to take steps against viral marketing? I don't understand this. Your conspiracy theory paints Google as some hero lay dormant, and viral marketing as the dragon that needs slaying-- in reality, viral marketing is viral marketing and Google is an information technology corporation.

    Oboro on
    words
  • nexuscrawlernexuscrawler Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    Viral marketing has it's drawbacks. For every lonelygirl there's going to be a "all I want for Christmas is a psp". Companies aren't going to bank solely on viral stuff because, like in the later's case, it can be very damaging to the companies reputation.

    Some viral marketting is quite ingenious because it's original. For example the A.I. web mystery was revolutionary for its time. Still if every company started doing this crap they'd get old real fast

    nexuscrawler on
  • flamebroiledchickenflamebroiledchicken Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    That would make sense except that Lonelygirl isn't selling anything. It's just two dudes and a girl who wanted to make a Youtube "show".

    Sounds like you need to read this:

    http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/14.12/youtube.html

    flamebroiledchicken on
    y59kydgzuja4.png
  • QinguQingu Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    Viral marketing has it's drawbacks. For every lonelygirl there's going to be a "all I want for Christmas is a psp". Companies aren't going to bank solely on viral stuff because, like in the later's case, it can be very damaging to the companies reputation.

    Some viral marketting is quite ingenious because it's original. For example the A.I. web mystery was revolutionary for its time. Still if every company started doing this crap they'd get old real fast
    I think you guys are conceiving of viral marketing in too grandoise terms. There has to be more to it than the most public examples (ilovebees, the PSP site).

    Maybe I have a broader definition of "viral marketing," but isn't using bots to make things seem more popular than they are viral marketing? Or even just plain old-fashioned deception like commenting on your own client's "Comments" list and saying "OMG UR SO AWESOME"?

    Seriously, check out the Channels on Youtube. Half of them are teenage girls with guitars. How the fuck did they get so popular?

    (Or I might need aluminum foil... I am high)

    Qingu on
  • OboroOboro __BANNED USERS
    edited January 2007
    This is just baseless conspiracy conjecture. I have a few friends who are trying to become Youtube famous, and they go on and on about having hundreds of something-or-others (I don't really pay attention) just a week or two after putting up videos of themselves yammering on about nothing.

    But anyway, the OP is just basically spouting baseless conspiracy conjecture when he takes this into
    Qingu wrote:
    Seriously, check out the Channels on Youtube. Half of them are teenage girls with guitars. How the fuck did they get so popular?

    METHINKS MAYBE HE'S JEALOUS

    EDIT: OR HORNY

    also the last two lines are tongue-in-cheek i am sorry

    Oboro on
    words
  • QinguQingu Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    Oboro wrote:
    This is just baseless conspiracy conjecture. I have a few friends who are trying to become Youtube famous, and they go on and on about having hundreds of something-or-others (I don't really pay attention) just a week or two after putting up videos of themselves yammering on about nothing.

    But anyway, the OP is just basically spouting baseless conspiracy conjecture when he takes this into
    Qingu wrote:
    Seriously, check out the Channels on Youtube. Half of them are teenage girls with guitars. How the fuck did they get so popular?

    METHINKS MAYBE HE'S JEALOUS

    EDIT: OR HORNY

    also the last two lines are tongue-in-cheek i am sorry

    But wait! The reason Miaarose is on the Channels is precisely because of viral marketing! Her PR firm uses bots to make her more popular:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miaarose

    She didn't get there by pulling herself up by her bootstraps. Neither, I bet, did a lot of those other videos on Channels.

    Qingu on
  • OboroOboro __BANNED USERS
    edited January 2007
    A=B, B=C, A !=C

    Just because miaarose is popular because of botting does not mean that all other popular Channels or w/e are popular because of botting. You can't use the evidence for one to substantiate the other.

    Oboro on
    words
  • nexuscrawlernexuscrawler Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    So is link-farming on google viral marketing too?

    nexuscrawler on
  • OboroOboro __BANNED USERS
    edited January 2007
    So is link-farming on google viral marketing too?
    ohgodddd this thread is actually viral marketing for viral marketing

    Oboro on
    words
  • QinguQingu Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    Something else REALLY FUCKING WEIRD I found:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FERP1wtJ4hM

    This is a "video reply" to an episode of Mr. Deity, a youtube show. As far as I can tell, Mr. Deity is a legitimately popular video. It's well-produced, it's funny, and it has promise.

    This video, however, has absolutely nothing to do with the show Mr. Deity. It starts off with a picture of a picture of a pretty girl in a swimsuit. Then this weird-ass freaky guy comes on, stands in front of his couch and starts talking: "Hey hey hey this is Johnnie TV!" He starts babbling some more about, well, nonsense. All the while, he holds up printed-out sheets of paper with what are, apparently, spam advertisements.

    This guy has apparently made lots of videos like this, and he names them with similar titles to popular Youtube videos, so people searching for the popular shows will find his video. He puts the skimpy girl in front for the porn demographic.

    I mean, what are we supposed to make out of this? Some commenter called it "video spam." He seems to me to be an entrepeneur in what might be a new advertising industry. If advertising firms figure out how to ride the coattails of popular shows like this guy has, using the same techniques (more sophisticated), what is the future of advertising going to look like?

    Maybe the problem is that I'm confusing viral marketing with spam. But it seems like viral marketing is sort of non-automated spam. It follows the same basic concept: use whatever means you can to spread a message to the most people possible.

    Qingu on
  • SenjutsuSenjutsu thot enthusiast Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    So some douche is trying to get people to watch his crappy thing.

    Why do you give a shit? If anything linking him only helps.

    Senjutsu on
    Sarksus wrote: »
    I'm gonna get a PhD in incest.
  • nexuscrawlernexuscrawler Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    Marketing implies profit. Unless people are using deceptive techniques to get you to buy something it's really not marketing anything You're including lame youtube spam incorrectly.

    nexuscrawler on
  • FyreWulffFyreWulff Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited January 2007
    speaking of that trick-video thing, I've noticed a lot of videos recently that have a title, and then they write "But this video has nothing to do with..." and put a bunch of nonsense terms completely unrelated to the video afters, like a long string of "nintendo, cars, trucks, xbox, guns, rifles, viagra"

    FyreWulff on
  • jedijzjedijz Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    jedijz on
    Goomba wrote: »
    It is no easy task winning a 1v3. You must jump many a hurdle, bettering three armies, the smallest.

    Aye, no mere man may win an uphill battle against thrice your men, it takes a courageous heart and will that makes steel look like copper. When you are that, then, and only then, may you win a 1v3.

    http://steamcommunity.com/id/BlindProphet
  • DrezDrez Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    Oboro wrote:
    So is link-farming on google viral marketing too?
    ohgodddd this thread is actually viral marketing for viral marketing
    We're trying to inoculate. How do you think the flu shot works?

    Drez on
  • Andrew_JayAndrew_Jay Registered User
    edited January 2007
    I don't know much about the whole LonelyGirl thing - other than that it was suspected to be viral marketing for something - a movie, etc. But it was actually the girl in the videos using viral marketing to make herself famous? Is there any substance to the OP's claims?

    Andrew_Jay on
  • SenjutsuSenjutsu thot enthusiast Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    Andrew_Jay wrote:
    I don't know much about the whole LonelyGirl thing - other than that it was suspected to be viral marketing for something - a movie, etc. But it was actually the girl in the videos using viral marketing to make herself famous? Is there any substance to the OP's claims?
    This seems like a fairly retarded way to construe it.

    She made some videos and submitted them to YouTube, which is rather the entire point of YouTube. These videos became very popular. Fame is a corollary of popularity.

    So now we're supposed to pillory her for, what, daring to submit something to YouTube, or failing to make it sufficiently shitty to avoid popularity?

    Senjutsu on
    Sarksus wrote: »
    I'm gonna get a PhD in incest.
  • Andrew_JayAndrew_Jay Registered User
    edited January 2007
    Senjutsu wrote:
    Andrew_Jay wrote:
    I don't know much about the whole LonelyGirl thing - other than that it was suspected to be viral marketing for something - a movie, etc. But it was actually the girl in the videos using viral marketing to make herself famous? Is there any substance to the OP's claims?
    This seems like a fairly retarded way to construe it.

    She made some videos and submitted them to YouTube, which is rather the entire point of YouTube. These videos became very popular. Fame is a corollary of popularity.

    So now we're supposed to pillory her for, what, daring to submit something to YouTube, or failing to make it sufficiently shitty to avoid popularity?
    I just don't get Qingu's claim that she's been paying some shadowy firm to prop-up her popularity and make her famous.

    It seems like the classic way a conspiracy-theory gets started - this seems unusual, therefore there must be someone or something behind it.

    Andrew_Jay on
  • SenjutsuSenjutsu thot enthusiast Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    Andrew_Jay wrote:
    Senjutsu wrote:
    Andrew_Jay wrote:
    I don't know much about the whole LonelyGirl thing - other than that it was suspected to be viral marketing for something - a movie, etc. But it was actually the girl in the videos using viral marketing to make herself famous? Is there any substance to the OP's claims?
    This seems like a fairly retarded way to construe it.

    She made some videos and submitted them to YouTube, which is rather the entire point of YouTube. These videos became very popular. Fame is a corollary of popularity.

    So now we're supposed to pillory her for, what, daring to submit something to YouTube, or failing to make it sufficiently shitty to avoid popularity?
    I just don't get Qingu's claim that she's been paying some shadowy firm to prop-up her popularity and make her famous.

    It seems like the classic way a conspiracy-theory gets started - this seems unusual, therefore there must be someone or something behind it.
    I meant his interpretation was retarded, not yours. Sorry.

    Senjutsu on
    Sarksus wrote: »
    I'm gonna get a PhD in incest.
  • QinguQingu Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    Andrew_Jay wrote:
    Senjutsu wrote:
    Andrew_Jay wrote:
    I don't know much about the whole LonelyGirl thing - other than that it was suspected to be viral marketing for something - a movie, etc. But it was actually the girl in the videos using viral marketing to make herself famous? Is there any substance to the OP's claims?
    This seems like a fairly retarded way to construe it.

    She made some videos and submitted them to YouTube, which is rather the entire point of YouTube. These videos became very popular. Fame is a corollary of popularity.

    So now we're supposed to pillory her for, what, daring to submit something to YouTube, or failing to make it sufficiently shitty to avoid popularity?
    I just don't get Qingu's claim that she's been paying some shadowy firm to prop-up her popularity and make her famous.

    It seems like the classic way a conspiracy-theory gets started - this seems unusual, therefore there must be someone or something behind it.
    Wait, did I say Lonelygirl was paying a PR firm? I meant the other one, Miaarose. Here's the Rolling Stone article exposing her:

    http://www.rollingstone.com/rockdaily/index.php/2007/01/25/youtube-phenom-mia-rose-has-her-thorns/

    And okay, rereading my OP I admit I sound pretty crazy. But it's pretty clear that this person is using bots and dishonest promotion tactics to make herself famous. To what extent is Google/Youtube going to tolerate these types of tactics? At what point does self-promotion via viral marketing techniques turn into spamming?

    Qingu on
  • DrezDrez Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    Qingu wrote:
    Andrew_Jay wrote:
    Senjutsu wrote:
    Andrew_Jay wrote:
    I don't know much about the whole LonelyGirl thing - other than that it was suspected to be viral marketing for something - a movie, etc. But it was actually the girl in the videos using viral marketing to make herself famous? Is there any substance to the OP's claims?
    This seems like a fairly retarded way to construe it.

    She made some videos and submitted them to YouTube, which is rather the entire point of YouTube. These videos became very popular. Fame is a corollary of popularity.

    So now we're supposed to pillory her for, what, daring to submit something to YouTube, or failing to make it sufficiently shitty to avoid popularity?
    I just don't get Qingu's claim that she's been paying some shadowy firm to prop-up her popularity and make her famous.

    It seems like the classic way a conspiracy-theory gets started - this seems unusual, therefore there must be someone or something behind it.
    Wait, did I say Lonelygirl was paying a PR firm? I meant the other one, Miaarose. Here's the Rolling Stone article exposing her:

    http://www.rollingstone.com/rockdaily/index.php/2007/01/25/youtube-phenom-mia-rose-has-her-thorns/

    And okay, rereading my OP I admit I sound pretty crazy. But it's pretty clear that this person is using bots and dishonest promotion tactics to make herself famous. To what extent is Google/Youtube going to tolerate these types of tactics? At what point does self-promotion via viral marketing techniques turn into spamming?

    The expose video makes the Lonelygirl15 conspiracy claim.

    Drez on
  • HumblePieHumblePie Registered User
    edited January 2007
    I have noticed that Axe products appear a lot in popular viral videos, but I thought it was maybe just coincidence.

    HumblePie on
    Remember that there is always another wiser than yourself. Unless you're that one guy.
  • GorakGorak Registered User
    edited January 2007
    Qingu wrote:
    But it's pretty clear that this person is using bots and dishonest promotion tactics to make herself famous. To what extent is Google/Youtube going to tolerate these types of tactics? At what point does self-promotion via viral marketing techniques turn into spamming?

    Who gives a fuck, seriously?

    It's not like these people are hijacking your computer and forcing you to watch this shit.

    YouTube is being used as a marketing tool because that's what it is - a tool for people to market themselves. It doesn't constitute spam because you chose to look at it. If it bothers you so much then start using the site for what it's really for - kids falling off skateboards and explosions.

    Gorak on
  • FawkesFawkes __BANNED USERS
    edited January 2007
    I've noticed that viral marketing has the words 'viral' and 'marketing' in it, which proves that those evil pharmaceutical companies are trying to make viruses more popular so they can sell the cures!

    Fawkes on
    jclast wrote:
    Well shit. To the edit-mobile!
  • fjafjanfjafjan Registered User
    edited January 2007
    Oboro wrote:
    A=B, B=C, A !=C

    I'm sorry but my math sence is tingeling

    You can write A => B, B=> C, A=/=> C

    But if A = B = C then clearly A = C.
    Please move along people

    fjafjan on
    Yepp, THE Fjafjan (who's THE fjafjan?)
    - "Proving once again the deadliest animal of all ... is the Zoo Keeper" - Philip J Fry
  • redxredx I(x)=2(x)+1 whole numbersRegistered User regular
    edited January 2007
    Fawkes wrote:
    I've noticed that viral marketing has the words 'viral' and 'marketing' in it, which proves that those evil pharmaceutical companies are trying to make viruses more popular so they can sell the cures!

    It worked with tamiflu.


    "OMG Bird Flu! Ahhhh!"

    redx on
    This machine kills threads.
  • FawkesFawkes __BANNED USERS
    edited January 2007
    nonononono bird flu is reel & everywere & dangerus becos yesteday I coughed and there was a bird and it was there and it looked at me

    Seriously, I swim regularly in outdoor ponds, lost count of the number of people over the last two years warning me that I was going to die horribly because "...lakes and ponds are the first places that migratory birds from Asia will land, and infect the water, so the virus can mutate into a human form; you could be the first person to infect London with the epidemic! [subtitle: you selfish bastard]"

    Number of Asian birds in local ponds: 0
    Current temperature of local ponds: 3-5 degrees
    Chances of any flu virus living in that temperature for more than a second: 0
    Number of Bird Flu victims who swim in local ponds: 0
    Number of epidemics in London from Bird Flu: 0
    Number of mutated, bipedal, viruses-in-human-form wandering around London: 0

    O rly?

    Fawkes on
    jclast wrote:
    Well shit. To the edit-mobile!
  • jothkijothki Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    Fawkes wrote:
    Number of mutated, bipedal, viruses-in-human-form wandering around London: 0

    Do you really know that? Really?

    jothki on
  • FawkesFawkes __BANNED USERS
    edited January 2007
    I keep constant watch from under the brim of my tinfoil hat.

    Fawkes on
    jclast wrote:
    Well shit. To the edit-mobile!
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