Category Archives: Word of Mouth

Another Fake Blog Takes a Consumer-Generated Beating

Sony is getting killed for the flog it launched to promote its PSP, called All I Want for Xmas is a PSP. [Sony shut down the site over the weekend.] From one of the site’s “authors”:

Consider us your own personal psp hype machine, here to help you wage a holiday assault on ur parents, girl, granny, boss – whoever – so they know what you really want.

Lame! The gamers figured it out quickly and have posted more than 500 flames on the site over the past couple of days. A sample:

This is retarded. As a gamer who is part of Sony’s target audience I’m insulted not just by the integrity of this website, but that this reflects how intelligent Sony’s marketing department thinks I am. Good job turning consumers off your pr0duct.  

Hey Sony – I own a PS1 and PS2. You have cemented me never owning another of your gaming products. Good job!

You guys are so lame! Don’t you see that this guy is trying to pull a LonelyGirl15 with this blog!! It’s obviously some sony suit guy who wants teens to buy a dead console good for nothing, hello, can you say corporate bullsh*t!!!

and my favorite:

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The gamers have also figured out that all references to advertising or marketing are being blocked, so they are adding spacers and symbols (and vertical text) to get their outrage across. Sony and its agency in this campaign, a “consumer activation” firm called Zipatoni, should know better – especially in light of the recent Edelman-WalMart fiasco. Amazingly stupid marketer tricks.  

WOMMA’s Ethical Blogger Contact Guidelines, or Tips for Dumb Marketers

The Word of Mouth Marketing Association posted a discussion draft today of 10 rules that marketers should follow when interacting with bloggers:

  1. I  will always be truthful and will never knowingly relay false information. I will never ask someone else to deceive bloggers for me.
  2. I will fully disclose who I am and who I work for (my identity and affiliations) from the very first encounter when communicating with bloggers or commenting on blogs.
  3. I will never take action contrary to the boundaries set by bloggers. I will respect all community guidelines regarding posting messages and comments.
  4. I will never ask bloggers to lie for me.
  5. I will use extreme care when communicating with minors or blogs intended to be read by minors.
  6. I will not manipulate advertising or affiliate programs to impact blogger income.
  7. I will not use automated systems for posting comments or distributing information.
  8. I understand that compensating bloggers may give the appearance of a conflict of interest, and I will therefore fully disclose any and all compensation or incentives.
  9. I understand that if I send bloggers products for review, they are not obligated to comment on them. Bloggers can return products at their own discretion.
  10. If bloggers write about products I send them, I will proactively ask them to disclose the products’ source.

Let’s simplify things and boil the list down to three: 1) Don’t lie, 2) Don’t cheat, 3) Don’t deceive. There, that was easy.

Red Auerbach and Word-of-Mouth Marketing

One interesting anecdote among the many tributes to the Boston Celtics’ legendary Red Auerbach, who passed away on Saturday: In the early days of the NBA, when attendance was sparse and media coverage was nonexistent, Auerbach and his players would barnstorm across the U.S. with a basket on the back of a truck and do free clinics and demonstrations. “That’s how fans got the message that these were extraordinary athletes,” he said in one interview. Another tactic was getting professional players from baseball and football – two far more popular sports at the time – to talk about what great athletes basketball players were. “That sold the game more than anything,” Auerbach said. A good lesson on the value of word-of-mouth marketing from a basketball pioneer.