Coming to an inbox near you!

How are Hotmail, Hulu, and Facebook interconnected? I’ll tell you how.

As a relatively new member of Hulu, one of the first things I subscribed to is a short show called “The Morning After”. It’s about six minutes long airing daily from Monday through Friday and is described as “a smart, pop culture “snack” to help get Hulu users quickly up to date on the latest and greatest in entertainment news and celebrity gossip. So, I have the luxury of having a link to the program sent to my e-mail inbox every day!

Not seeing the picture yet? Just wait for it.

The program, with its two witty co-host Ginger and Brian, give viewers the latest news and critiques about the continued series and up and coming new shows. It’s also a daily six minute TV show promotion brought right to your e-mail. Not necessarily the direct advertising that many of us are used to it nevertheless makes viewers aware of the new media they should be indulging.

Recently, on this show, starting with this video from the 11th of October, they have been encouraging fans of the show to visit their page on Facebook for a chance to receive a Fall TV Makeover by using previews from two new HBO TV shows. Who wouldn’t want their very own makeover? Of course, focusing it on two lucky individuals makes it seem rare enough to attract attention and stand out enough to receive this seemingly rare treat.

Not only asking the public for their input on past and present shows that they enjoy in order to give other individuals this golden opportunity; the way they match you with your perfect show is by checking out your Facebook profile. There not an automated service mistaking your interests and referring shows that don’t fit you. By looking at your interests, hobbies, favorite TV shows and books, and more they are able to give you the best recommendation of what new show you should be checking out this Fall.

Don’t believe me? Take a look for yourself:

http://www.hulu.com/watch/287655/the-morning-after-tue-oct-11-2011?src=h&kme=Link+Html+Queue#play-queue

From your personal e-mail to internet TV to social networking sites, the borders between internet entities continue to blur the lines between clear advertising and murky marketing by the use of each other.

All in the name of being recognized on a TV show, I suppose.

I hope you enjoyed your few seconds of fame Kristi and Leonel!

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Say what?

People love to talk. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m definitely one of those people, whether I’m talking your ear off about classes or complaining about the weather. But my favorite thing to talk about? Shopping. If I get a fabulous deal on sweaters during a fall clearance event (with free shipping!) or buy a pair of boots that I really like, I’m going to tell you.

Even though you might not like when I babble relentlessly about my shopping conquests, I can think of someone who does: advertisers. That’s because when I rant about how much I love a product, brand, or when a store is having a sale, it’s instant, free, word-of-mouth marketing for the company.

While me talking to you about my shopping adventures is natural and not sponsored by a company, marketers are increasingly pursuing tactics that take advantage of marketing in forums that are “not TV ads or  billboards, or even video games, but rather the conversations we have in our everyday lives,” as described by Rob Walker in “Buying In.” Walker describes such word-of-mouth marketing techniques as an attempt to “break the fourth wall that used to separate the theater of commerce, persuasion, and salesmanship from quotidian life”  through “the commercialization of chitichat.” There are even companies out there, like BzzAgent, that recruit “agents.” These everyday people volunteer to talk about a product with friends, co-workers, or neighbors using specific talking points provided by the company.

Even if we aren’t recruited by a company like BzzAgent, we can be “agents” naturally, without even realizing it.

For example, imagine you are in Bucharest, Romania walking towards the popular restaurant filled area of Old Town and you see this:

 

 

 Unless you are the most spacey person in the universe, chances are that is going to stop you in your tracks. What is that exactly you might wonder? Well, as the band along the bottom of the fountain indicates, it is an advertisement for the fourth season of the popular HBO show, True Blood, which debuted in Romania on October 7. While that strip of print advertising is by no means novel, it’s the huge blood-red stained fountain above it that I want to draw your attention to.

In my opinion, that’s one pretty awesome form of murketing.

1) By stopping pedestrians in their tracks, it encourages them to read the band of print advertising under it that would most likely go unnoticed under normal circumstances.

2) If you see a red fountain in the middle of town, you are probably going to tell your friends. Something like that needs a lot of explaining too. So, a typical conversation will probably have the mention of True Blood in it to explain what the heck happened to that fountain. Boom. Instant word-of-mouth advertising.

Does anyone else feel bad for the guy who has to clean that up? I do.

Photo credit: http://collider.com/true-blood-viral-campaign-romania/120338/

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