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MySpace backlash against marketing

Fake profiles to promote brands on MySpace have a very short shelf life and the sheer number of me-too marketing pages on MySpace are quickly turning off members of the social network.

In a post on Online Media Daily, this rang true for me:

Rachel Honig, co-founder of the digital-marketing firm Digital Power & Light, agreed that the growing number of fake profiles might quickly prove tiresome. "It's novel, and every [media company] is going to want to have them, but at some point the fictional character isn't going to be able to interact with you anymore, and the novelty will wear off," Honing said. "As a marketer, it's all about creating a long and meaningful relationship with the consumer, and if you leave them feeling sort of cheated, as it were, that's not helping."

Reminds me also of the gimmicky, shallow incursion into the YouTube community by Coke Zero with its "punk'd" videos. In a whole month they have attracted derisory attention (between two and nine thousand views in a whole month when I checked at the end of last week).

To form the kinds of relationships that Rachel Honig is talking about brands need to hang around, understand their networks, begin living in them and being useful (as I explained in more depth yesterday).

Inept and hasty engagements in social by brand marketers used to buying the attention of their target audiences media will fail and be ignored. Sometimes they will hurt them by offending, boring or just demonstrating to people in the networks just how out of touch they are with the reality of everyday online life.